Preamble (Introduction)

In the modern academic environment, the US college application process has become lengthy and competitive. Waiting until 12th grade to prepare for college is no longer a realistic option as schools that were once accessible to the average student have become selective; having a perfect report card is no longer enough to guarantee admittance to the best colleges. Navigating admissions forms, entrance exams and personal essays can be overwhelming, especially for a high school junior who’s tackling a full raft of classes, extracurricular activities and volunteer obligations. Students facing the daunting battle of college admissions usually don’t face this challenge alone; college admissions counselors help guide students through the process, simplifying and streamlining the intimidating college application.

Understanding the College Admissions Process

When it comes to college admissions, achievements inside and out of the classroom are equally important. Colleges are looking for candidates who perform well consistently, or show a record of steady improvement in their enrolled courses.
Even well-written essays can be rendered ineffective by lack of adherence to word limits, incomplete answers, and other careless errors. Read and reread, and ensure you’ve followed the instructions. Yes, it is that simple!🎓

Not all admissions decisions are made based on an applicant’s record. When you apply—priority, early action, early decision 1, early decision 2, regular decision, or rolling admission—is one variable. Finances—“need-blind schools” versus those that consider a student’s need for financial aid in decisions—are another. Demographics and institutional priorities also play a role in outcomes.

While some of the above are beyond an applicant’s control, a shrewd student will consider them all to be key parts of the college admissions process. A successful college application strategy takes into account all the factors that schools use and the application pools to maximize the odds of gaining acceptances from the most coveted.

Paying for U.S. College Education

According to data submitted to U.S. News by 1,093 ranked schools, only 15% of students receive merit aid on an average. All Ivy League schools, as well as several other very selective schools like Harvard, Stanford, MIT or Caltech, do not give any academic merit scholarships. No matter if you discovered a cure, created the world’s greatest invention, won an Academy Award or an Olympic gold medal,” says Mandee Heller Adler, founder and president of International College Counselors.
For some students and their families, the cost of paying for a U.S. undergraduate education degree is a key factor in the college admissions process. That’s where we at Jupiter Education Services offer the additional edge. We advise students and their families to not make the mistake of coming up with the college list without considering the cost of attendance (CoA) or applying for college admission first, and then figuring out how to pay for it! To avoid the disappointment of gaining admission but not having enough funding, include the cost of college as an additional dimension besides college’s academic stature, size of college, student to faculty ratio etc. An understanding of the finances required for applying for admission, as well as for every year of study is essential. As the cost of higher education increases everywhere, it is important for parents and students to know what costs to expect and to develop a plan to cover these.

Finding funding for undergraduate study in the U.S. is a challenge for both American and international students alike. The key is starting early choosing universities appropriately and putting in the necessary time and effort to seek out and apply for scholarships. Also keep in mind, International students will need to demonstrate access to funding for the first year of study in order to apply for a visa.
Tuition and fees rates vary significantly from university to university. The cost of living can vary based on location. Annual undergraduate tuition costs at U.S. schools range from $5,000 to $50,000. Annual living expenses depend on local conditions and range from $10,000 to $30,000.
Thanks But No Thanks: While friends, family and coworkers have good intentions, their advice can either at best be sub-optimal or worst case, be misleading! Your planning needs to be based on your child’s / family’s unique situation only!
Generally speaking, there are four types of funding for study in the U.S:
  • Personal/family savings – Even if you receive a scholarship from a U.S. university, you may still have to pay for your visa or airfare (although a few colleges provide yearly travel home allowance).
  • Loans from a lender
  • Scholarships from universities
  • Scholarships from external funding bodies (i.e. Tata Group, Intel, Cognizant etc)
  • Athletic scholarships
If college affordability and maximizing financial aid is an additional key consideration for undergraduate college / university selections, you may want to talk to us because most of the “regular” counselors do not have the knowledge or the success that we have!

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