How to Get Admission into US Universities without Travel Agents

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The United States continues to top the list of the country with the largest number of International students and the reasons are not far-fetched. In 2022, the United States recorded 948,519 international students and is followed by the United Kingdom with 633,910 and Canada with 552,580. If you desire to study in this country but do not know how to go about it, then this article will serve as a detailed guide for you. 

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Benefits of Studying in the US

Before we go into the detailed process of how you can gain admission into US universities, let’s examine some of the benefits you stand to gain when you choose the US as your study-abroad destination.

  • You get access to study in globally recognized universities. According to the QS World ranking in 2022, 28 of the top 100 universities globally are US universities. Additionally, seven American universities also rank in the top 10 according to the Times Higher Education Ranking. 
  • Universities in America offer a wide range of programs and you are sure to find the perfect fit for you.
  • Furthermore, when it comes to technology, the US is one of the leading countries. You can be sure that you will have access to the right facilities that will help enhance your studies while you are in the country.
  • The fact that the United States is one of the leading countries in technology, makes research easy, especially for students who are running research-oriented programs like Ph.D.
  • Also, there are various scholarships, fellowships, and grant opportunities available for international students who want to study in the United States to help with the cost of education. 
  • Moreover, students get the opportunity to earn while studying as there are study-and-work opportunities available in the country.
  • Students also have access to career opportunities as the United States houses lots of Multinational companies. This is especially true for students in the STEM field. 

Read also: How To Move To The US With HND?

Steps to Get Admission into US Universities without Travel Agents

Before you start your study abroad journey, you have to first make up your mind about the university program and the course you are enrolling for to make the process easy for you. Is it a bachelor’s degree? A masters? Or a PhD? Is it a STEM-related course, or an arts course, or a management course? Answering these questions will help guide your choices as you proceed. 

Below are the steps aspiring international students can follow to get admission into US universities without the help of any travel agents:

1. Find out the best universities in the US

You cannot apply to a university you do not even know. It is therefore important that you research to find out the universities in the US so that you can make a choice. Doing research will help you narrow down your choices so you can pick the best option for you. Sites like  U.S. News & World Report’s, QS World Ranking, Forbes, The Princeton Review, and Times Higher Education can help give you the ranking of the universities in the US so you can make a choice. However, ranking should not be the only criteria you should consider. Other aspects you should look into include:

  • The programs they offer
  • The courses they offer
  • The tuition fee and other education costs
  • The duration of the course
  • Financial aid opportunities and others. 

However, to make the right decision, you can contact a study advisor or attend webinars of people who have successfully processed their admission, so they can they can help guide you as you make your preferred choice. 

2. Select a university program

After you have embarked on research, you should make a decision and pick a school that suits your program choice and education goals. Below are a few questions that can guide your choice:

  • Do I want a public or a private school?
  • Do I want a large university or a lowkey college?
  • What course and program do I want to study?
  • What activities do I want to join on campus?
  • When am I supposed to start the program?
  • What are the standardized tests I need to take?
  • Will there be accommodation available or will I have to find one?
  • What are the requirements?
  • What are the eligibility criteria for application? 
  • Are there available internship/work opportunities? 

Answering these questions will help guide your choice. Once you have selected the school and the program, the next step is to apply for admission.

Read also: Universities In The US That Do Not Require Application Fees?

3. Apply to the University

After making a choice, the next step is to visit your school’s website and begin your application. Many of the schools have made the application process easy by allowing students to apply online. However, it is important to note that each school will have specific requirements that they expect students to meet. This will also be included on the university’s website. 

Undergraduate Student Applications

As it has been established above, various schools have their unique requirements, however, some of the generally acceptable requirements for an aspiring undergraduate international student include

  • Transcript
  • Standardized test scores
  • SAT or ACT
  • English proficiency test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, iTEP, PTE Academic)
  • Essay
  • Recommendations
  • Copy of your valid passport
  • Proof of financing (optional)
​​Graduate Student Applications

For graduate students, the required documents needed to get admission into US universities differ from the undergraduate requirements. However, it is important to note that there might be a slight difference according to the university’s preferences. Below is the list of documents:

  • ​​Academic transcripts from your bachelor’s degree studies
  • ​​Standardized Test scores (GRE/GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, etc)
  • Statement of purpose
  • Research proposal
  • Recommendations from professors
  • Copy of your valid passport
  • Proof of finances 

Also, it is important to note that you might be required to interview with the admissions committee before your admission will be granted. This however depends on the school you are applying to. 

Read also: 10 Affordable Colleges In The USA

4. Consider the cost

Universities in the United States often charge an annual fee. It usually covers tuition, living expenses, health insurance, book supplies, and other state fees. From your research, you must have had an idea of how much it is going to cost you. Like it was stated earlier, there are various ways you can fund your education in the US. You can either:

Additionally, you can check out the school’s website to see if they have financial aid programs for international students. 

Read also: How To Get A Graduate Assistantship In The US

5. Accept the admission

Furthermore, once you have completed the application form, the next step is to await your admission. You will receive a notification once the school has granted you the admission. It is also possible to apply to multiple schools at the same time and pick the best option when the results come. Once you have accepted the admission, the next step is to process your student visa and prepare for the new life. 

To study legally in the United States, you will need the  I-20 form to apply for your student visa. Also, take note that there will be a specific deadline for payment of tuition and accommodation to further show your interest in the admission. 

6. Student Visa Application

Additionally, it is important to note that there are different types of student visas available in the US for international students who have been admitted. Some of them include: 

  • F-1: allows students to study with funding from themselves, friends, or family. You can also work for a maximum of 20 hours weekly during the academic session
  • J-1: students can study and work however, the program should be sponsored by an educational or nonprofit sponsor
  • M-1: available for students who want to pursue vocational studies. 

Moreover, to apply for an F-1 or M-1 visa, you need the I-20 form while the DS-2019 form is for the J-1 visa. Some universities in the US will send either the I-20 or DS-2019 alongside your admission letter if you have funding for at least a year of academic study. Other universities will do so after the finding is documented, and the deposit is paid. After getting the form, you must:

  • Pay the required SEVIS fee
  • Apply for your non-immigrant visa
  • Schedule your visa interview at the US embassy
  • Complete the interview and wait for your visa

To learn more about the US student visa, click here

Important Tips

Below are some of the important tips you should consider after your visa application:

  • Start preparation for your departure to resume on time to your school. 
  • Ensure that you settle your accommodation
  • Have the required documents you will need at your school, in the embassy, and at the airport.
  • Ensure you have enough funds with you so that you do not end up being stranded.
  • Make friends, or find a community of international students you can relate with before you arrive at your school, or once you arrive at your school
  • Take the necessary things you will need, and prepare to get the necessary tools and gadgets when you resume
  • Finally, focus and be on your best behavior at all times! Don’t lose sight of your goals

Read also: 10 Profitable Businesses You Can Start In The US As An Immigrant 

Top 20 Universities in The United States

Below is a list of the top 20 universities in the United States in 2024 according to the QS world ranking: 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)1
Harvard University2
Stanford University3
University of California Berkeley (UCB)4
University of Chicago5
University of Pennsylvania6
Cornell University7
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)8
Yale University9
Princeton University10
Columbia University11
Johns Hopkins University12
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)13
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor14
New York University (NYU)15
Northwestern University16
Carnegie Mellon University17
Duke University18
University of Texas at Austin19
University of California, San Diego (UCSD)20

Let’s help you

How do you go about your admission processing into schools in the US and Canada? Don’t worry! We’ve got your back! Enrolling in the top universities in the world can increase your chances with employers. Unfortunately, studying abroad can be expensive due to the current economic crisis. But this shouldn’t limit you as there are other options you can explore to enhance your career. 

MPower Finance and Prodigy Finance are some of the best student loan providers for international students. They also do not require any cosigner or collateral before application. At EdXtra Associates, we can help you with your loan application process. We also provide educational consultancy services for international students to help make your journey easier and faster. You can reach out to us, as we’d love to guide you through this journey.