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Schools in the USA

Preparing for University

If you are considering applying directly from high school to a university or 4-year college in the United States, your post-secondary planning process should begin early. University and college--or particular programs within an institution--can be competitive; therefore, it's important to plan your high school courses accordingly. Your area of interest will determine what you should take. If you are considering a science or technology-based program, you should load up on courses in math, chemistry, physics and computers to ensure that you are well prepared for the schools that make your list. Communication skills are always important, in virtually every field, so don't forget your English! In general, English and math are the most-often required courses for all fields of university and college study. If you are going into a more general program--or don't know yet what you plan to study--then go for breadth: take courses across the curriculum in science, social science, humanities, creative arts and technology. Find out what the university's policy is on pre-requisites, because if you are missing a required course, some institutions will offer specific courses to help you complete what's needed.

Taking the required courses, though, isn't necessarily enough; you should also be sure to keep your grades up. Most universities and 4-year colleges in the US have a minimum cut-off average for general admission, which is usually between 60-70%. This required GPA varies according to the type of school you are applying to (public versus private, for instance). Quota or other highly competitive programs may require a competitive grade point average (GPA) of up to 85%. The competitive GPA can change from year to year as it is based on the quality of the applicant pool and space available in the specific program.

In addition to your academics, there are several additional things you can do to prepare for success in your university application:

  • Undertake to read and study independently. This is a good way to develop interests, expand your knowledge and improve the vocabulary and reading comprehension skills needed for your program. This will also help you if admission requirements include an interview, since you will be able to impress the interviewer or admissions committee with the knowledge you have built up of terms and issues specific to your area or program of interest.


  • Since lots of students have excellent grades, many university admissions committees base their decision partly on a student's personal qualities. These qualities can be developed through participating in extracurricular activities. Consider joining or even starting school clubs, whether related to your area of interest or not (of course if it is related to your proposed field of study, all the better!). This is also a good way to develop demonstrated leadership skills, which are also an important aspect of any competitive application.


  • Prove your work ethic. University study takes a lot of commitment and plain old hard work. Therefore, work experience -- paid or volunteer -- is an achievement often regarded highly by admissions committees. Any work experience related to your chosen field is extremely beneficial: university programs are competitive, and being able to show the admissions committee that you have some experience in the field will be a definite plus.

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    Featured Schools

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    Purdue University

    Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history.

    Programs Offered:
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    Portland State University

    Complete Your Bachelor's Degree 100% Online

    Programs Offered:
    • BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice

     
    Accounting Academy

    The Accounting Academy was founded in 2005 and has been continuously approved to operate by the California Bureau for Private-Pstsecondary Education. 

     

    Programs Offered:
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    Widener University

    Why Choose Widener University?

    At Widener University, we proudly cultivate challenging and culturally diverse learning environments where academics, leadership, and service come first. Our curricula are connected to societal issues and challenge students to take social responsibility for their role in today's global society.

    Programs Offered:
    • Masters of Social Work

     
    Our Lady of the Lake University

    Our Lady of the Lake University is a private, Catholic university with a deep connection to the history and community of San Antonio.

    Programs Offered:
    • Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree

     
    Abilene Christian University - Online
    Abilene Christian University (ACU), founded in 1906 and affiliated with the Church of Christ, has a long and proud heritage dedicated to educating students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. Instructors teach students how to think critically and globally in each of their respective programs, while still maintaining a focus on their particular program of study. ACU is an academically notable institution top ranked by U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges", as well as The Princeton Review and Forbes.
    Programs Offered:
    • Master of Education in Higher Education

     
    Yuma Truck Driving School
    Yuma Truck Driving School trains students to not only pass their Commercial Driver's License (CDL) test, but to become the kind of professional driver that companies seek. It's what we've done for years, and it's why our graduates are working for many of the nation�s top over-the-road carriers as well as regional and local companies.

    Yuma Truck Driving School employs only experienced drivers as instructors. These dedicated professionals receive on-going training in various teaching techniques to ensure the hundreds of students we train each year receive a first-rate education.
    Programs Offered:
    • Commercial Truck Driver Program - 310 Clock Hours
    • CDL Driver Training Program - 80 Clock Hours

     
    Animal Behavior College
    Interested in a career as a professional dog trainer? Animal Behavior College is the place to start.
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    The University of Scranton

    Since 1888, The University of Scranton has grounded its education in Catholic and Jesuit principles based on intellectual growth and integrity, all of which shape the online master’s and certificate programs.

    Programs Offered:
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    Stratford Career Institute
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