Your application for an American university will take quite some time. It is important to be well prepared before you start. You can use the timeline below as a general guideline. If you want to follow a full Bachelor’s program in the US, you will need to start your preparations 18 months prior to your departure. If you intend to study at a community college, one year of preparation will suffice.

Eighteen to twelve months before departure

(January through June prior to your last year at school) 

  • Consider what kind of school you would like to study at.
  • Discuss your yearly available budget with your parents and find out if there are additional financial possibilities available to you. Finances are an important factor in choosing a school. It can be tempting to focus on your admission first, but by doing that you risk missing the deadlines for financial aid.
  • Complete the admission exams (SAT or ACT) for the first time. This gives you the opportunity to try again next spring, if necessary.
July – August
  • Take an English language test.
  • Create a shortlist of universities that you would like to attend.
  • Search for information about the application process on the website of these universities. Look into any potential financial aid options. Create a schedule of application deadlines and requirements based on your findings.
  • Create an account at Common Application, which opens up for registration at August 1st.
  • Begin drafting your personal statement.
September- November
  • Request all necessary school documents and recommendation letters from your school.
  • Have someone look over your personal statement, and write several new versions. It will take time to write a good essay.
  • Are you applying for a financial need scholarship? Most universities require the CSS profile. Register and start creating yours in time.
  • Most Early Action and Early Decision deadlines close on November 1st. Make sure your application is completed on time if you wish to act on these opportunities.
  • American universities release their decisions on Early Action/Early Decision applicants.
  • Most application deadlines close around January 1st.
February – April
  • American universities release their decisions for regular deadline applicants.
May – July – Pre-departure
  • May 1st is the National Reply Date. Notify universities of your decision by this date.
  • Your university will send you more information about housing options and the required vaccinations and insurance.
  • Once you have managed to prove that you can shoulder the costs of the program and the accompanying housing, your university will send you all necessary visa documents.
August – September
  • Start of the program.