June 22, 2015
Many international students approach U.S. applications having already familiarize themselves with the U.K. application system. It’s crucial for them to recognize, and appreciate, the differences between the two. The UCAS system dominates British admission, enabling students to submit a single statement of purpose and predicted A Level scores. Oxford and Cambridge universities rely largely on interviews, granted to students whose A Level scores meet their minimum requirements.
American universities require a great deal more information, both subjective and objective, about their applicants. Applications include academic marks (in the form of predicted A Levels), standardized tests (the SAT exam), teacher reference letters, resumes of extracurricular activities, and more. The competitiveness and diversity of American universities – of which there are 4,000, each with their own personalities and offerings – compels them to get to know applicants on multiple levels. They want to ensure that accepted students are not only academically fit but also well aligned with the values, personality, and academic offerings of their respective institutions. This process places a considerable burden on students. Equal measures of planning, ambition, and enthusiasm can ensure that the process is a fruitful one.