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The basics
THE USA: Applying to University

Sri Lankan students applying to a US university

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Every year, students from all over the world are applying to US universities in order to further their education. The United States boasts some of the best schools in the world as well as a very diverse multitude of subjects to study and as such, it is the number one choice for Sri Lankan students who are looking to study abroad. If you’re thinking about studying abroad in the United States but aren’t quite sure where to begin, reading this guide will help put you on the right track.


Getting Started

The first thing you will need to do when applying to a US university is research. It’s a good idea to look at the individual websites for the schools you want to apply to. Each school is different and choosing the schools that are right for you is an important first step. It’s also a good idea to start thinking about what you would like to study, however, it is not necessary to apply for your course of study right away. This can be done even after the end of your first year of undergraduate studies. If you are applying for graduate school however, you will need to know exactly what course of study you are applying for when you begin your application process.


After you’ve decided which schools you’d like to apply to, you can begin your application process. Applications can be filled out online directly through the university’s website. It is always recommended that you apply to more than one school so that your chances of being accepted are higher. If you are not accepted to your first school of choice, you could potentially be accepted to your second or third school of choice.


In addition to your online application, you will also need to submit certified copies of your school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. Minimum scores that are considered for acceptance vary from campus to campus. Additionally, you will need to submit test scores for an English language proficiency exam such as the TOEFL. As an international student, you will also need to submit proof of sufficient funds to cover the cost of attendance. All materials should be mailed directly to the schools admissions office.


In addition, depending on which schools you choose to apply for, you may need to submit additional materials in order to be considered for admission. This might include writing samples, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, teacher evaluations, or examples of your work. Some schools may also invite you to participate in an interview.



There are two application periods to consider when applying to US universities; Regular decision and early action. Regular Decision candidates should plan to have all of their application materials submitted by January 1. Notification as to whether or not you have been accepted will typically be given in late March. Students who wish to apply for early action should have their materials submitted by November 1 in order to be considered. These students will be notified of their admission status in December. Only students who are very serious about attending a specific school should apply via early action, as once you have been accepted you have to decide right away whether or not you plan to commit to that school. As an international student, it is recommended that you begin your application process as early as possible in the application period, as once you have been accepted, you will need time to apply for and acquire a visa. Once you have been accepted to a school, you can begin your visa application process.


Making the decision to study abroad can really expand your potential for intellectual and professional growth. The US is known for providing many options to students and young professionals and as such is an excellent place to choose to study. Applying to a US university is as simple as knowing what you need to apply, and submitting all of your application materials in a timely manner.


Use our search tool below to see which universities take your pick and start your study in the States adventure today!

Study in the USA


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