What You Must Do Before Applying to a U.S. College

Colleges in U.S. and colleges in other countries alike require a variety of documents to support either your first year or transfer admission during a specific time span. To ensure a higher successful percentage of being accepted, you must have everything and be ready before the deadline. Down below listed all the documents you should have before you apply to a U.S. college. There are some institutions which require additional information from you, especially when you apply for its financial aid or request for its merit based scholarship.


Admission Form

Each colleges have their own application forms which you have to fill in.


Standardized Tests

They are SAT, ACT, IELTS, or TOEFL. Check the school requirements before registering for the tests.


Academic Background

They are transcripts from your eleventh and twelfth grade. Be sure to have them translated.


Financial Statement

This will prove the institution you are applying to of how you pay for your education. Normally, the form is included with the admission form.


Bank Statement

This serves as proof to support the financial statement.


Registar Document

Even though the school do not ask for it, but this document show your relationship between you and your family, so it is a must-have item and you should always bring them along; especially if your parents are supporting your education.


Birth Certificate

Similar to Registar Document, it is not required but you should have it.



Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay in the U.S. Every information you filled in Admission Form should match with the passport


Two photos of 50mm x 50mm in size


Please be cautious about all the deadlines. It’s important you understand the timeline well so that you have enough time to gather enough information and be well prepared. The usual duration you are recommended to start your preparation is at least 18 months before you start your degree in U.S. This includes the duration after you are accepted as well.


18 months to go

The first 4 months should be used on researching for several institutions you are interested in, seek for information from other colleges you have not known of, take a visit around the campuses and talk to the counseling guidances. Register for any of the standardized tests your favorite colleges require and prepare hard for it. The most important of all is to keep working hard in your school.


14 months to go

After the initial 4 months of deciding which institutions you are applying to and gathering information, it is time to request them for application forms. You should have acquired your standardized test scores by then and make the decision whether or not you should retake the exams. Start working on your personal statement. Different universities demand different type of essay so study well on which features of yourself are worth mentioning.

12 months to go

12 months before your first day in college, it is time to notify your recommenders of your college admissions. Inform them carefully of which programs you are applying and help them if necessary. Request your high school for your transcripts if available. Have them translated from a trusted agency if necessary.

At this point, you might think 12 months is too long but check the deadline of admission and starting date of your applied program carefully. For most institutions, the deadline of admission is 8 months before the starting date. So before you know it, you might end up not having enough time. Once you are accepted, you have 3 months to work on visa which you can refer to this link if you seek for help.

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