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How to Apply to Undergraduate Business Programs in the USA
Students applying to postsecondary education programs may feel overwhelmed by the wide variety of choices available to them. Applicants will benefit from thorough research into the range of schools and programs available. Students should choose a school based not only on its business program, but also its facilities, campus life, athletic programs and social atmosphere. Where possible, a visit to the prospective university or college will greatly help students form a clear idea of what they can expect from the program and campus life in general. When applying for an undergraduate program, students will find that a number of basic steps will help them through the process:
1) choosing between a university or college 2) shortlisting schools for application 3) preparing and submitting applications packages
University or College?
One of the first choices high school graduates face when considering their future education path is whether to attend a university or college. Universities typically offer programs leading to a bachelors degree. Colleges that are not affiliated with a university may offer a variety of program options, including diploma, associate degree, certificate and university transfer programs. Colleges that are affiliated with universities may offer bachelors degree programs in business.
Applicants should bear in mind the minimum academic qualifications necessary for admission to universities and colleges. In general, colleges and institutes aim to be accessible to a wider range of applicants than universities. University business programs often have specific academic requirements, both in terms of grades and course prerequisites. Diploma programs offered by colleges and applied arts and technology institutes can usually be completed in one to three years, while a business degree typically takes four to five years to complete. University, college and institute programs offer excellent educational opportunities. Applicants must decide which type of institution and which program best meets their educational and career goals.
The Application Package
Application packages can usually be acquired directly through the undergraduate admissions office at an institution, or through high school guidance counselors. Applicants should allow sufficient time to receive the package, fill out the forms, and send the completed application before the deadline. The contents of the application packages vary from institution to institution. In general, however, a completed application package includes the application forms, official transcripts and an application fee. Usually, transcripts are sent directly from the applicants high school (or college if applicable) to the institution.
International students may need to meet specific English language requirements and submit additional information with their application package, such as TOEFL scores, certified English translations of documents and proof of sufficient financial resources. International students should contact the admissions office to determine which additional information is required.
Applications for admission to postsecondary institutions are assessed according to a number of criteria. For universities, the principal criterion is academic standing, but reasons for applying to the program, as well as background information on the student are also considered. Colleges and technical institutes may focus less on grades and place more emphasis on the individuals experience and interests.
Here are some things to consider when involved in the application process:
1) apply as early as possible. Some institutions accept students on a first-come, first-served basis. It is important to be sure the application for admission and all supporting documents are submitted prior to the deadlines.
2) always double-check the entry requirements (minimum GPA, English language requirements, etc.) to ensure eligibility.
the application should emphasize an individuals unique characteristics and experiences; international students, in particular, should emphasize the global perspective that they will bring to their studies.
3) dont be afraid to challenge a negative admissions decision. If an applicants GPA is lower than the minimum normally accepted, the individual may still be accepted if the admissions committee understands the situation.
4) most importantly, have another person review the application prior to submission. If information is missing, the application may not be accepted, or unnecessary delays may be introduced.
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