by extramarks - Academics - March 13, 2020 5 Big Myths about US College Applications Debunked! Lakhs of students chase their study abroad dreams and move out of their comfort zones, for which they inevitably undergo the struggle with anxiety and fear when they leave their home countries. Despite, meticulous preparation, certain misconceptions remain embedded in the student’s mind. It’s time we cleared some out; thus making study abroad a memorable experience. Myth #1: “Big Brand” Colleges are the Best “Big Brand” always entices us, however, this is not in the case of college admissions. If you have shortlisted the world’s most powerful country the United States, it means you have made a big choice. So be well informed about the course, faculty, and culture rather than just following the brand name. Official rankings might be useful to a certain extent to give you a sense of tiers, but otherwise, they are not helpful. Pick the ones with the best educational and campus culture fit for you. Do not undermine the well- known, excellent undergraduate programs at smaller liberal arts colleges or lesser-known regional universities. Segmentize the colleges according to the courses that you would like to pick rather than going with brands. Don’t let a name sway you away, especially because you might have a better shot at admission because those schools often have fewer international student applicants. Thus be wise while shortlisting the colleges. Myth #2: Studying in US is a Costly Affair When it is the US, the question that hovers – how can I afford it? Indeed the US remains the world’s most popular destination for international students; it is a costly affair although it is affordable and manageable. There are numerous ways to make an entry: scholarships for students, opportunities for work-study (jobs for students), and financial aid. Additionally, most colleges and universities have departments that assist students with financial aid and scholarships. Students can check for more affordable options within the public sector in other US states. Private universities tend to be much smaller than public universities and have a more diverse student population because tuition is the same price for all students. Hence do not get intimidated by the price you see for tuition. Thus explore multiple options for admission. Myth #3: US Courses are same as Indian Courses Students generally have a myth that the US Education system is similar to the Indian Education System with courses and subjects you undertake, although it is different. Remember, you should always feel free to experiment with your choice of courses. Mix and match your subjects wisely so that you can choose a subject of your passion like music, fine arts, photography etc. You can use your credits along with the core mechanical modules. Additionally, U.S. colleges and universities are known for their excellent student services. Free tutoring, academic advising, and study sessions are available to students. Not to mention the most important aspect of education: the teachers! U.S. professors are some of the best in their fields of study. Imagine taking a class with the professor who is teaching and has also written the same text book you are using. This is common in the U.S.! Myth #4: All-Rounders are Highly Preferred in US colleges This is an overrated expectation from an international student. The universities look for a dynamic incoming class. The phenomenon these days is that colleges are seeking to admit students who are more passionate and incredible in what they love to do rather picking well rounded individuals. The colleges are looking for future expertise in specific areas where the student possesses an extreme and extraordinary skill set. Colleges are looking for students who bring different perspective, knowledge and experiences to the zone. Eventually, this enriches the education fraternity by building a class of students. Myth #5: It’s Hard to Make Friends From your native country, “Abroad” appears to be a nomads land. ‘Making friends’ is not a daunting task as there would be pool of international students who would be sailing in the same boat of homesickness and apprehension. Luckily, most universities host an array of programs and events specifically aiming to connect international students from all around the world. Before you know it, you’ll be making weekend plans with your new acquaintances and your worries of spending the semester alone in a foreign country will be quickly forgotten!