USA University Application Process

by May 22, 20200 comments

Applying to USA universities can be a lengthy process for internationals and is
more detailed compared to applying to a South African university. In our blog today we take you through a step-by-step guide on the actions you need to take and the documents you will need to complete a US university application.

Before you start with the online application, make sure you have all of the following documents and information on hand:

•    Grade 9 to most recent report cards
•    Standardized Tests Scores (SAT/ACT/TOEFL)
•    Letters of Recommendation
•    Detailed Parent Information

Step 1 – Complete the Online Application

Search for the Apply Now button on the university website in order to start your online application, make sure you answer the questions as truthfully and to the best of your ability. All universities have a student portal, make sure you save your login ID, username and password and visit the student portal on a regular basis to make sure that your application is on track at all times.

Step 2 – Report Cards

American universities will consider your academic school marks from Gr 9 -12 for university admission. All subjects across these four years have equal weighting; grade 9 counts just as much as your matric year. It is important to ensure that you submit English copies of your report cards on the method the university requires. There are three possible ways of submitting your report cards;

  1. Upload to the student portal
  2. Send via email
  3. Courier certified copies to the Admission office.

On some occasions, the university would require your report cards to be verified by an independent verification body in the United States. We would recommend that you make use of ECE or WES to verify your report cards. If you are attending any institution within the NAIA, Incred is the preferred option as it automatically synchronizes with your NAIA Eligibility Account.

Step 3 – Standardized Tests

Standardised tests, such as the SAT & ACT are often required when applying to USA universities. The most common test is the SAT, which consists of an English and Maths section, whereas the ACT includes a Physical Science, English and Math sections. Aspire Atlantic recommends students to take the SAT. 

​After you have written your SAT exam, the results will be made available two weeks after you have completed the test and your official score report will be issued in the next 4 weeks. Simply log into your college board account, navigate to the score report tab and send your score reports to all the institutions that you are applying to as well as the league association you will be competing in, either the NCAA or NAIA. The cost for sending your score report will be $12 per institution.

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) might be required for students who will be looking to join a Junior or Community College. You will be able to send your TOEFL score report from your TOEFL account and you will be charged $20 to send a Score report per institution.

Step 4 – Letters of Recommendation

Universities would like to gain insight into the type of person you are and see if you will be a good fit for their student body. Letters of recommendation from teachers will give the university an indication of who you truly are. Ask a teacher or your coach to write you an appealing letter of recommendation for your application. The recommender might be required to send the letter of recommendation directly to the university.

Step 5 – Financial Information

A big part of deciding to go to a university is being able to afford it. Once you have received your athletic scholarship you will need to submit proof of funds to showcase that your family can afford the remaining shortfall on your university fees. This can be in the form of bank statements, payslips, trust funds or annuities.

Studying in America can be an exciting and rewarding experience, so be sure to carefully follow the instructions of each school that you are considering. If you have any questions about the application process, don’t hesitate to reach out to us, we are always here to help


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