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Admission to an American institution is never automatic. No certificate or diploma guarantees admission.

Applicants are considered on the basis of their academic record, English proficiency, school references, admission tests, previous experience, proposed project of study, etc.

Since admission is not automatic, it is wise to apply to as many as 5 to 10 American institutions simultaneously (even more, if the applicant does not have a good academic record).

Listed below are several factors for consideration when choosing a college or university:

  • Relative selectivity. How competitive is the university? What percentages of applicants are actually accepted? How important is “prestige” or “reputation” in the choice of university?
  • Courses of study. Students wishing to pursue a degree in a professional or more specialized field (such as engineering, forestry or teaching) must look for universities or professional schools that offer these degrees.
  • Size of the university. In the U.S., enrolments can vary from under 1,000 students to about 35,000. Some international students prefer smaller communities or feel lost in very large institutions.
  • Residential facilities.
  • Religion. Many private institutions in the United States are affiliated with particular religious orders
  • Geographic location. Some students wish to live in a particular city or near family or other friends in the United States. Popular destinations for international students include California, New York and the Northeast Seaboard. Students may increase their chances of admission by applying to institutions in less popular areas of the USA. Location can also be linked to particular fields of study.
  • Costs.
  • International students who can go to the United States to visit campuses may find this helpful in deciding where they prefer to study and live. Such visits do not influence the universities' decision regarding eligibility for admission.