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.

David Allen
Managing Director Global College Counselors Ltd

Carefully and fairly

Each college will have thier own international qualifications experts, often the admissions officers who travel to those countries - for those that are unfamiliar then there are agencies around who will offer US equivalences to every national system out there in order to calculate a GPA - it is still wise to make sure that some kind of equivalence to a US 4 point GPA scale is on your school transcript though.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

How are international students evaluated?

International students' applications are evaluated in much the same way as other students' applications. However, special attention will be paid to your English language proficiency -- especially if your first language or the language in which your schooling was conducted -- was not English. In addition, because extracurricular activities and sometimes essays can be difficult to compare and assess across cultural boundaries -- there can be more of a reliance on standardized test scores. More and more colleges are becoming aware of the difficulties in confirming the accuracy of information on international applications so there may very well be more intense scrutiny in the near future. This is especially the case for some applications in certain parts of Asia. So -- write your own essays and be diligent about your test preparation. Put your best foot forward -- and above all -- present yourself with integrity and honesty. That way -- you'll have an application of which you can be proud.

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.

Patricia Krahnke
President/Partner Global College Search Associates, LLC

How are international students evaluated?

Short Answer: International students are evaluated the same way American students are evaluated: by the strength of their academic record and test scores. Detailed Answer: Most major colleges and universities have individuals in the admissions office who are experts at analyzing international transcripts and test scores – whether it’s TOEFL or IELTS, or O-Levels, etc. We have a saying here: The best predictor of success is past success. This means that if you did well on your academics before, you will probably do well in the future. So we look to see past academic success. What admissions counselors often see are students who present very strong math scores on tests, but their English language skills are weak. Students whose academic work is strong and who present strong scores on the TOEFL will be considered good candidates for admission. However, an increasing topic of concern at colleges is the difficulty that international students have with verbal communication –in other words, they often don’t understand what is being communicated in the classroom by the professor. The professor may use idiomatic expressions that are unknown to international students, or speak too quickly, or their fellow students may communicate in a shorthand manner of speaking that is mystifying. This is something that the IELTS evaluates, and why these scores are sometimes requested. An interview via Skype or phone may be requested, as well. This is why many international students opt to begin their studies at a smaller, less pressure American college. At a smaller college with fewer international students, they may have as many opportunities for language and cultural immersion as they would at an elite institution, but they will have the more relaxed challenge of improving their English skills via one-on-one interaction with their professors. In addition, I want to make sure you know the following: If you do opt to begin your studies at a small college, make sure they have adequate academic and social support programs for their international students. Many American colleges are beginning to actively recruit international students, but they do not have the infrastructure and student life programs to support you in a strange new culture. It is important that wherever you decide to attend college in the U.S., make sure they don’t just want your money: They want YOU, and they care enough about you to take care of your needs once you arrive on campus.