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.
- 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.