EdElevate

EdElevate Tips for a successful application

Are you planning to study abroad? Well, for starters, great thought. Think of study abroad as an investment, one that comes with a solid ROI. A successful application is one that takes a holistic assessment of your profile and covers each and every aspect comprehensively. It is comprised of several stages like Profile Assessment, Shortlisting, Application, and Documentation, Essays/Statement of Purpose/Common App essays, LORs, Resume, Interview, Scholarship, Visa formalities, and so much more.

No matter at what stage you are, be it applying for a UG program, Master’s, or a Ph.D., the process can seem daunting at first. Which is why we are laying out some of our tips for a successful application at each stage. Following these, you can ensure that you always put your best foot forward, maximizing the chances of a successful admit to that dream university.

Tips for UG applicants

  • We urge students to start their admission processes as early as possible
  • While choosing universities and programs, keep in mind your personality, interests and aptitude.
  • Evaluate the activities you have been participating in right from class 9th and think what you are good at!
  • Even if your SAT score or other test scores are low, don’t be disappointed. Sometimes students with excellent academic backgrounds and extracurricular activities are still admitted if their essays are good.
  • Do not apply for early decisions if you are not sure about where you want to go.
  • A deadline missed is a chance lost! Keeping track of the deadlines is crucial.
  • Don’t base your Common App essay on what you think the admission committee wants to hear. Rather tell them what you want them to know.
  • Universities really appreciate students who have attended summer camps or exchange programs to garner leadership experiences. If you get a chance! Please do so.
  • Letter of recommendation should be taken from those teachers who know you well and not someone from a higher position.
  • When it comes to interviews, collect your thoughts on the frequently asked questions before the interview and have some mock sessions.
  • Many universities offer special scholarships like Women’s Leadership Scholarships, so definitely look out for these if you fit the bill!
  • Make sure you ask the University for your I20 Document or CAS letter on time.
  • When the visa officer asks you why you are going to the University you have got admission in, please don’t say ‘because it’s the best’ unless you are going to an MIT or Harvard. Be subtle and say because it suits your credentials the best.

Tips for Masters/MS/PhD applicants

  • Make sure that the University you are selecting offers the specialization in your areas of research interest. There is no point in picking a course if it cannot offer you the specialization you are looking for.
  • Always remember, universities abroad do not just consider your test scores for admissions. If you have a lower test score but prolific job experience, publications, extra-curricular, you can still make it to your dream university. So don’t get disappointed and eliminate your options in the first go!
  • It is a great idea to maintain a log of your applications; what is done and what needs to be done.
  • The SOP must highlight what makes YOU unique? How you stand out among the pool of applicants? What makes you different? Think, why MS now? What influenced you? Why this field? Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Ten years?
  • Expectations from the program and school must be addressed in the SOP. What can the program teach you which a job or any other program can’t?
  • The SOP must highlight how you intend to contribute to the University; how your life experiences will help make the study experience more interesting for you as well as others.
  • So you know the CEO of the company or the Dean of the college….so what? The important question here is, do they know you too and do they know you well enough to write about you or your achievements? While choosing your recommenders choose people who know you and not whom you know.
  • Information like your home address, marital status, high school background, languages known and other personal information that is already there in your application form can be skipped.
  • Action words are needed to create an impact. Example- Supervised, Led, Mentored, etc.
  • Collect your thoughts on the frequently asked questions before an interview and have some mock sessions.
  • The most common means of obtaining financial aid from the universities include Teaching assistantships, Research assistantships, Fellowships and Scholarships.
  • Please take your Visa form seriously and make sure all information is accurate. You cannot have the officers think you are trying to misrepresent any information.
  • Always be well informed about the facts & figures like the location of your university, tuition fees, modules, course duration etc. as these questions might be asked in the Visa Interview.

Tips for MBA applicants

  • Think hard! Why an MBA now? Career switch? Career development?
  • Your short-term and long-term goals- A thorough analysis is required.
  • The GMAT score tells us a lot! Chances of admission to a university should be weighed after adding and subtracting 30 to the average GMAT cut off for its applicants. For example- If xyz University accepts students with an average GMAT score of 650, applicants with a GMAT of 680 will have a very good chance and those with 620 still stand some chances.
  • International universities do not just consider test scores for admissions. Even if you have a lower test score but prolific job experience, international experience, extra-curricular and community engagements, you can still make it to your dream university. So don’t eliminate all risky options in the first go!
  • For MBA students, some universities may waive off English requirement tests like TOEFL and IELTS. It is a good idea to check with the University to know the options.
  • Few universities require all international students to get their undergraduate degree evaluated by a NACES approved agency like WES or ECE. A careful check for this requirement is advised. The evaluation can take up to 3 weeks, so time it properly.
  • Personal incidents are NOT a ‘put-off’. Essays speak out your story. Be it a special circumstance or a broken relationship- anything worth sharing is a MUST TELL!
  • Talking about university specifics such as clubs, student organizations, faculty, projects etc. in the essays make them stronger.
  • Everyone values assets! The essays must highlight how you intend to contribute to the University; how your life experiences will help make the study experience more interesting for you as well as others.
  • Community service engagements must be an integral part of the essays. If no prompt allows you to shine through your community engagements, the additional essay must be used to show your inclination to contribute.
  • Never forget to highlight in your essays how keen you are to pursue the chosen program.
  • So you thought if you once shook hands with the CEO of your company you should get a recommendation from him. Please do not commit such a mistake. You are advised to obtain LORs from someone who has directly supervised you like your manager, and NOT form powerful people. The person should know you at individual level, only then can he recommend you effectively.
  • So you think you wrote all your personal information and everything you know and you have aced the resume? WRONG. For MBA purposes, your resume needs to be single paged, with no irrelevant information.
  • Most scholarships are granted on the application essays, so they need to be powerful.
  • Scholarships are granted on the lines that how much of a contribution you can make to the University. Hence, the essays should showcase your profile well.
  • Just like your essays, don’t hesitate to talk about personal issues in the interview. Broken relationships, life changing experiences or other compelling stories you want the admission committee to know, just share!
  • The admission committee is there to know more about you, not to judge you for personal choices.
  • Please take your Visa form seriously and make sure all information is accurate. You cannot have the officers think you are trying to misrepresent any information.
  • When the visa officer asks you why you are going to the University you have got admission in, please don’t say ‘because it’s the best’ unless you are going to MIT or Harvard. Be subtle and say because it suits your credentials the best.
  • Always be well informed about the facts & figures like the location of your university, tuition fees, modules, course duration etc. as these questions might be asked in the Visa Interview.
  • Be prepared for questions like ‘Why this university?’ and ‘Why have you chosen this particular course?’
  • Have a fair idea about the income, savings, turnover and the method of financing your education.

We hope that these tips would go a long way in helping potential applicants take the best decisions for their future. For more guidance, enrol for our admissions consulting packages and leverage end-to-end service where we create value for you at every step of the way. Connect with us today!

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