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US: +1 651-246-8988 | INDIA: +91 080 41234927 | WHATSAPP: +91 6366 834954
One of the best ways to find reliable information about a university is directly through the university’s website.  Here you should be able to find all of the facts and figures that you need to understand the university, its programs, its admissions requirements, and financial aid options.  While much of the information you are looking for will be found within the “Future/Prospective Student” area, don’t be afraid to wander away to explore other areas of interest!
[Click Guide to Researching Universities for a PDF version]
About Us.
The “About Us” section is a great place to start if you want to know the heart and core of the university.  The founding information might not be interesting to you, but take time to read the Mission and/or Values of the university.  In the “About Us” section you should also find information about the university’s location, student body, and faculty.  (Note: it is here that you might also find statistics about average GPAs and SAT scores as well as student-faculty ratio, etc.)
Your Program.
Next Step:  Read about your program of interest, which will most likely be under a heading called “Academics.”  Here you should be able to explore the undergraduate program options, courses that are included, and read staff bios.  Sometimes there will be links to information about the kind of careers one can have in the field as well as where their alumni are working.  There is often a listing of extracurricular or research opportunities here, too, as well as any special admission-related information or departmental scholarships.
Related Opportunities.
Intramural sports.  Internships.  Community Service.  Theatre.  Music.  Multicultural Club.  Amnesty International.  Student Government.  Honours Programs.  What is important to you?  What would you like to be involved in?  Most campuses have a plethora of opportunities for you to explore!  Sometimes this is found in the Future/Prospective Student section, sometimes it will be found under headings that point towards Student Life, Our Campus, or Community.
Admissions Procedures.
Often, the “Admissions” or “Apply” link is very prominent on the website.  If not, you will find it when you follow the link for Future or Prospective Students.  Make sure you’re researching undergraduate admission!  We encourage you to explore every aspect of the admissions website, as it holds a lot of useful information.
In the admissions page, you will most likely be able to find information about multiple aspects of undergraduate admission:

  • Admission Requirements
    • Remember that international student admission requirements is sometimes different than first-year students from the U.S.!  Even if you are a U.S. citizen, you may need to look at these since you have completed your high school outside of the United States.
    • Not all universities publish SAT/ACT score requirements.  If you’d like to know what the average scores of current students are, look for information on the current student body, often found in a “Student Profile”
    • You will most likely need to fulfill an English Proficiency Requirement, whether through the TOEFL or the SAT
    • Application Process
      • You will find a description (perhaps a step-by-step guide) on how to apply to the university.  This will most likely include information about the following:
        • Application
          • Universities using the Common Application will require the completion of the International Supplement by your guidance
            counselor or concerned school official.
      • Application Fee
      • Essays
      • Sending of SAT/ACT/TOEFL  Scores
      • Sending of Academic Records
        • Some universities may require transcripts to be evaluated
      • Letters of Recommendation
      • Proof of Financial Support (non-U.S. citizens)
      • Important Deadlines
      • Costs and Tuition
      • Financial Aid and Scholarships
      • Contact information for admission counselors
      • Maybe even the chance to read students’ stories!

Financial Aid and Scholarships.
As mentioned above, the link to financial aid and scholarship should be able to be found within the admissions webpage.  If not, it should have a separate link in the Future/Prospective Student area.
Some universities are very straightforward about the scholarships that are available.  Some are vaguer.  If the scholarships offered are listed, take time to search them to identify some that you could be eligible for, and note if you will need to apply for these separately or if you will be considered for them upon admission.  If the specific cutoffs for automatic scholarships are mentioned, be sure to list the one that you will be eligible to receive.
Many universities also link to outside scholarships – we encourage you to follow this link to outside organizations that store information about the numerous scholarships that exist!  Keep in mind that, sometimes, you must already be accepted to a university to apply for outside scholarships, so these may have to wait until after the application process is complete.
As most institutional scholarships are awarded upon admission, one cannot precisely predict the cost of a university experience before applying.  However, some websites include a cost calculator that allows you to estimate your total cost of attendance.  After admission, scholarship applications and the appropriate financial aid paperwork, the university will provide an award letter that indicates the expected family contribution, the amount of aid you will be eligible to receive (via scholarships, grants, loans, and student work-study opportunities), and the ending balance.
Career Placement.
It’s always helpful to know the rate at which students are getting jobs after graduation (although this does depend on several variables).  Visit the Career Services website to find out where students from this university are headed.  This is often where you can learn about internships, as well. What will be the most useful for you, at this point, is to read about the kind of services that are offered so that you know you will be supported in your journey of career development.
Accreditation.
If the university is one that you haven’t heard of, search for its accreditation.  The university as a whole should be regionally accredited, and we advise that you are wary of for-profit institutions.

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