How are international students evaluated?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

How are international students evaluated?

Lily Trayes
Founder and CEO Ivy League Placement

How are international students evaluated?

Here is my video response to the question.

Ainsley Parker
Regional Director of Admissions University of Pennsylvania

How are international students evaluated?

Here is my video response to the question.

Lily Trayes
Founder and CEO Ivy League Placement

How are international students evaluated?

Here is my video response to the question.

Rod Bugarin
Former Admissions Officer Columbia, Brown, and Wesleyan University

How are international students evaluated?

Here is my video response to the question.

Nina Berler
Founder unCommon Apps

International Students

Evaluation of international students is a sensitive issue, especially since it's seems shrouded in secrecy. A few things are not debatable: colleges want international students because they add to geographic and cultural diversity . . . and also that they often can pay full fare! This has bound to have many U.S. students concerned about losing out in college admissions. At the same time, many universities are expanding their outreach efforts more than ever. This includes seeking students who are the first in their generation to go to college, prospective engineers and scientists, and underrepresented students. Students in these groups are certainly not all international students. International students apply just like others. In many cases, they must attain proficiency on the TOEFL test which assesses their abilities in speaking and writing. Generally, international applicants need to submit the regular application forms, required standardized test scores (e.g., SAT or ACT), recommendations and necessary fees.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

How are international students evaluated?

Basically using the same academic criteria as for U.S. citizens and residents. In all cases, the primary consideration is the GPA and the rigor of the high school courses. High schools usually send a school profile along with the required student transcript and report. There is also an international supplement required from the high school counselor. Transcripts and recommendations as well as any other supporting materials need to be officially translated into English. There are also transcript evaluation companies whose services may be required on occasion--check with the admissions department of each college on your list.

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

Multiple-Step Process

While each individual college and university handles international evaluation slightly differently, the process will closely resemble the sample outlined below. Admission offices will begin by evaluating a student's academic credentials. Translated transcripts are evaluated within the context of the sending country by carefully trained experts in world-wide educational systems. That information is combined with standardized tests to determine a candidate's ability to successfully navigate the academic demands of the institution. Applicants who have the potential for academic success will be reviewed holistically through the general admission process. Academic eligibility does not mean that students will earn admission at competitive, highly selective institutions. A complete review of a candidate's personal statement, recommendations, and extracurricular involvement will determine the final offer of admission. After a candidate has been identified as an accepted student in the admission office, visa eligibility will be determined through a review of a candidate's certification of finances or I-94 form.

Nicholas Umphrey

How are international students evaluated?

In addition to SAT/ACT scores and grade point average, they look at the TOEFL exams.

Tyler Burton
President Burton College Tours

Each school is different however there are similarities.

Each year colleges in the US receive a huge increase over last years international applicant pool. The competition for international students is heating up. Colleges have appointed readers of international applications and these readers are skilled in determining if the student has genuinely written the application or if an agency has been paid to complete the application. Admissions officers have become wise to inauthentic applications. They know how to read past a false essay and transcripts that have been altered. I once counseled an international student who was doing a fabulous job working hard on writing her essays. Her essays were not written in perfect English, but the content coupled with wonderful grades (which were honest grades) were going to produce an application that would earn her admission to a top school. A few days before her applications were due she contacted me and told me that she had re-written her essays. I read the essays and was immediately alarmed. It was obvious that her father has paid someone to write essays for her. The essays looked nothing like the essay a 16 year old girl would write and they did not reflect the rest of her application. I had to tell her father that if she submitted the new essays that she would be denied admission at every school. The father was only trying to help his daughter, but his actions were going to hurt her. The young woman made the right choice and submitted her own writing. She was admitted to excellent schools and is a proud member of her freshman class. If she had used the essay that her father paid for she would have never been accepted to college. International applications are read more carefully than domestic applications. I predict that with the advent of skype that students will be required to have an interview at the schools that they are applying to. Their spoken English skills will need to match their written applications.

Dr. Bruce Neimeyer
CEO/Partner Global College Search Associates, LLC

How are international students evaluated?

Just as any other student, your academic credentials are always the first and most important piece of your application. Colleges want to know that you can handle the level of academic and the pace that it is delivered at their institution. You course selection, grades for each course and its relevance to the major you are seeking as well as the trend of your grades are major considerations. In addition, as an international student to the US they will assess your English skills via standardized exams such as the TOEFL. If you meet their standards on this level you have passed the largest hurdle to gaining admissions. Keep in mind that many schools will evaluate your transcript vary differently. Some have experts within their college who can do this. Other schools require you to have it translated and evaluated by and organization such as the World Educational Services (WES). It is always a good idea to understand what the process will be for you as it always takes longer for this process to happen. Therefore, careful and early planning is necessary if you are going to give yourself sufficient time to meet the deadlines.