While most state board examinations are over by now, students must be thinking about getting admissions in various colleges. However, keeping the high cut-offs in mind, students should think about their back-up plans. Many must have given a thought to study abroad. However, Indian students often underestimate the amount of time it takes to apply in foreign universities, especially the United States. You can avoid common pitfalls and stress by having a plan in advance.
Students and families will need sufficient time to thoroughly research the institution and/or programme that will best serve your academic and professional goals. Then you must meet the application deadlines of the universities to which you apply, which may be up to 10-11 months before the beginning of the school year.
Remember schools with highly competitive admissions, the application process takes a significant amount of time and effort. You will need to write personal statements and request recommendations from teachers or others who know you well. Even if you are applying on line via the common application, you will want to get started early.
University websites and other academic Internet sites may provide quick and convenient access to the required application forms, but you still need time to research your options, contact teachers and institutions to provide recommendations and transcripts, and sign up for required entrance exams in time to meet application deadlines.
Broadly speaking, we recommend the following based on what grade the student is.
Class 9: Time to get started. Get a general exposure to the college admissions process and what college admissions officers look for, goal-setting, assessment of strengths and interests, high school course selection, 10th grade curricular planning, summer activity options, standardised testing.
Class 10: Halfway there. A deeper review of the college application process explores how colleges assess application components including grades, rigor, testing, activities, recommendation letters and essays. Begin an extracurricular resume. Check in on academic and extracurricular activities. Discuss summer activity options, 11th grade curricular planning, standardised testing plans, college suggestions and the college research process. Also review your family’s finances to determine affordability and potential scholarship opportunities.
Class 11: Almost there. Set academic and extracurricular goals for the year and create a standardised test strategy. Begin college research, visits and selection. Receive a personalised and balanced list of suggested schools created by a college counselor. Discuss application strategy, pursue teacher recommendations, and keep tabs on academic and extracurricular performance and summer activities. Complete pre-essay writing self-assessment activities, begin college essays and select courses for 12th grade.
Class 12: Homestretch. Finalise the individualised college selection list, review application deadlines and requirements, and develop a strategic plan and completion agenda. Continue standardised test strategy, finalise college applications, activity resume, essays and interview preparation. Finally — submit those applications.
While this article focuses primarily on the Undergraduate Admissions Process, if you are planning on doing a M.S or a M.B.A., it is advised to give yourself at least 18-24 months to prepare and apply for a M.S. program and 24-36 months for a M.B.A. program at a top global college.
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