Studying in the United States

How the American College System is designed.

Content Guide

Why Study in the United States

Studying in the United States provides international students with a multitude of benefits, from a high-quality education and diverse student body to professional opportunities and personal growth. It offers a multicultural environment that promotes cross-cultural understanding and appreciation, while improving language skills and providing access to a broad range of academic programs and courses. 

Studying in the United States is not just an educational experience, but a life-changing opportunity to develop new skills, make lifelong connections, and explore a diverse and fascinating country

The United States is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the world, with a strong focus on research and innovation. An American degree is highly respected and recognized globally.

American colleges and universities attract a diverse student body from all over the world, providing international students with the opportunity to learn and interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

American colleges and universities attract a diverse student body from all over the world, providing international students with the opportunity to learn and interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

The United States is home to some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, providing international students with access to professional and networking opportunities.

The United States is a melting pot of different cultures, religions, and ethnicities. International students can experience this diversity firsthand and learn to appreciate different perspectives and ways of life.

Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience that challenges students to step out of their comfort zones and develop new skills, such as independence, adaptability, and resilience.

Studying in an English-speaking country like the United States can improve international students’ English language skills, which can be valuable in both their personal and professional lives.

 International students can share their own culture and traditions with their American peers, promoting cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.

 The United States is a large and diverse country with many travel opportunities, allowing international students to e

American colleges and universities have strong alumni networks that can provide international students with lifelong connections and support.

The American Educational System

The American Educational System is split into 6 Accreditation Regions of Governance

Generally, the American education system is slightly similar to most western school structures, divided into primary, secondary, and higher education levels. Primary and secondary education are mandatory for all children, while higher education is optional and typically requires a high school diploma or equivalent for admission.

Most international students will be interested in Higher education in the United States, including colleges, universities, and vocational schools, and is often referred to as “post-secondary education.”

The American Educational System is split into 6 Accreditation Regions of Governance listed below

This region includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The New England region is known for its prestigious universities, such as Harvard and Yale, and its strong liberal arts and sciences programs.

This region includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The Middle States region is home to some of the oldest and most respected universities in the United States, such as Columbia and Penn, and has a strong focus on research and innovation.

This region includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The Southern region is known for its vibrant culture, warm climate, and diverse student body. It is also home to some of the country’s largest public universities, such as the University of Florida and the University of Texas.

This region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The Midwest region is known for its strong emphasis on agriculture and engineering, as well as its commitment to research and development.

Includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The Northwest region is known for its stunning natural beauty, as well as its strong programs in environmental science, technology, and engineering.

Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. The West region is home to some of the most prestigious universities in the country, such as Stanford and UC Berkeley, and is known for its commitment to innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship.

Regional Accreditation for Colleges

Each of the 6 regions has its unique features, including climate, culture, and academic programs. However, all regions offer a wide range of educational opportunities for international students, and students should choose a region and institution that aligns with their academic and personal goals. See the table below;

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Region States Included Unique Features Accredditation Organization
New England Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont Prestigious universities, strong liberal arts and sciences programs New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
Mid Atlantic States Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands Oldest and most respected universities, focus on research and innovation Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE):
Southern Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia Vibrant culture, diverse student body, largest public universities Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Midwest Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin Strong emphasis on agriculture and engineering, commitment to research and development Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Northwest Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington Stunning natural beauty, strong programs in environmental science, technology, and engineering Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
West Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Wyoming Prestigious universities, commitment to innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)

Admission Requirements *

* Critical Information for Students

As an international student interested in studying in the U.S., it’s important to understand the admission requirements before applying to American colleges. You’ll need to meet the requirements set by each institution as well as immigration rules, which are generally straightforward. However, keep in mind that admission requirements may vary from college to college. In general, international students must meet certain admission requirements to be considered for acceptance.

International students must provide transcripts from their previous academic institutions, including a secondary school diploma or equivalent. Students may also need to provide proof of language proficiency, such as TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Colleges may require international students to take standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT to assess their academic abilities.

International students must complete the application process for their chosen college or university, which typically includes

An application form
An Essay to describe your intentions
A letter of recommendation.

International students must demonstrate their ability to pay for tuition and living expenses in the United States. This may include providing documentation of financial support, such as bank statements or scholarship letters.

International students must obtain a student visa to study in the United States. The specific visa required depends on the length of the student’s program and the type of institution they plan to attend.

Once admitted, international students must comply with the policies and regulations of their chosen institution, which may include maintaining academic standards, following rules and regulations, and complying with visa requirements. American colleges and universities offer a wide range of academic programs and courses, and international students can choose from a variety of majors and fields of study.

Top 50 American Colleges per Region

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Popular International Students Courses

The most popular courses for international students in the United States vary from year to year, but according to recent data from the Institute of International Education (IIE), the top fields of study for international students in the US in the 2020-2021 academic year are listed below.

This data should be used as a general guide only, as salaries can vary significantly based on a variety of factors. Always research the specific job market or geographic location for the most accurate information on potential earnings

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Field of Study Specializations Industries Popular Job Titles Salary Range (USD
Business and Management Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Operations Management Finance, Retail, Consulting, Manufacturing Marketing Manager, Financial Analyst, HR Manager 45,000 - 100,000+
Engineering Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Chemical, Aerospace Construction, Energy, Automotive, Technology Civil Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Mechanical Engineer 55,000 - 120,000+
Computer Science Software Development, Data Science, Cybersecurity, AI Technology, Finance, Healthcare, Education Software Developer, Data Scientist, Security Analyst 60,000 - 150,000+
Medicine and Healthcare Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy Hospitals, Clinics, Pharmaceutical Companies Nurse, Dentist, Pharmacist, Physical Therapist 50,000 - 200,000+
Law and Legal Studies Corporate Law, Intellectual Property, Criminal Law, International Law Law Firms, Government, Corporations Lawyer, Legal Advisor, Corporate Counsel, Paralegal 50,000 - 200,000+
Economics and Finance Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Financial Planning, Investment Banking, Insurance, Consulting, Government Economist, Financial Planner, Investment Analyst 50,000 - 120,000+
Education and Teaching Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary, Special Needs, Adult Education Schools, Universities, Training Centers Teacher, Educational Consultant, School Administrator 35,000 - 85,000+
Architecture and Urban Planning Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, Sustainable Design Architecture Firms, Government, Real Estate Architect, Urban Planner, Landscape Architect 45,000 - 100,000+
Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Big Data, Natural Language Processing Technology, Finance, Healthcare, E-commerce Data Scientist, Machine Learning Engineer, AI Researcher 70,000 - 150,000+
Environmental Science Ecology, Climate Change, Conservation, Renewable Energy Environmental Consultancies, Government, NGOs Environmental Scientist, Conservationist, Climate Analyst 40,000 - 90,000+

Community Colleges

An Affordable Option for International Students

Community colleges, also known as junior colleges, are institutions of higher education that offer two-year associate degree programs, as well as vocational and technical training programs. Community colleges are typically open enrollment, meaning that students can apply and enroll in classes without going through a competitive admissions process.

Community colleges are generally less expensive than four-year colleges and universities, making them a more affordable option for many students

Community colleges often offer classes during the day, evening, and on weekends, making it easier for students to balance work and family responsibilities with their academic studies.

Community colleges often have smaller class sizes, which means that students can receive more individualized attention from their instructors and have more opportunities to ask questions and participate in class discussions.

Many community colleges have transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities, allowing students to transfer their credits and continue their studies towards a bachelor’s degree.

Community colleges offer vocational and technical training programs in fields such as nursing, automotive technology, and computer science, providing students with the skills and knowledge needed to enter the workforce in high-demand industries.

Scholarships Considerations

There are numerous scholarship options available for international students who wish to study in the United States. These scholarships can help cover tuition fees, living expenses, or both. Some scholarships are merit-based, while others are need-based or given for specific achievements or backgrounds. Here are some popular types of scholarships and resources for international students in America:

Many American universities offer scholarships specifically for international students. These may be based on academic merit, leadership potential, or financial need. To explore these opportunities, visit the websites of the universities you are interested in and search for their international student scholarships.

The U.S. government provides several scholarship programs for international students. Some notable examples include the Fulbright Foreign Student Program and the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program. These programs offer financial support for graduate students, researchers, and professionals who are interested in studying in the United States.

There are numerous private foundations and organizations that offer scholarships for international students. Some examples include the Rotary Foundation, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, and the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program. Research these organizations and their scholarship programs to determine your eligibility and application requirements.

Some scholarships are specifically designed for students from certain countries or regions. These scholarships may be offered by the U.S. government, American universities, or private organizations. To find such scholarships, research opportunities for students from your country or region.

Some scholarships are available to students pursuing a specific field of study or research. These scholarships may be offered by universities, private organizations, or professional associations. Research scholarships in your chosen field to identify potential opportunities.

There are online resources and databases that can help you search for scholarships available to international students. Some popular options include International Scholarships, EducationUSA, and Fastweb. These databases allow you to search for scholarships based on your nationality, field of study, and other criteria.

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Type of Scholarship Institution URL Amount of Funds (USD)
University Scholarship 1. Stanford University https://financialaid.stanford.edu/undergrad/ Varies, up to full tuition and living expenses
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) https://finaid.mit.edu/ Varies, up to full tuition and living expenses
3. University of California, Berkeley https://financialaid.berkeley.edu/ Varies, up to full tuition and living expenses
U.S. Government Scholarship 1. Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) https://www.globalugradprogram.org/ Covers tuition, living expenses, and travel
2. EducationUSA Opportunity Funds https://educationusa.state.gov/your-5-steps-us-study/finance-your-studies Varies, need-based financial assistance
3. Gilman International Scholarship https://www.gilmanscholarship.org/ Up to 5,000, additional 3,000 for critical language study
Private Foundation 1. Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program https://mastercardfdn.org/scholars/ Varies, usually covers tuition, living expenses, and travel
2. Open Society Foundations Scholarships https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/ Varies, depending on the scholarship program
3. Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program https://www.fordfoundation.org/ Varies, usually covers tuition, living expenses, and travel
Country-based Scholarship 1. Aga Khan Foundation https://www.akdn.org/our-agencies/aga-khan-foundation Varies, usually covers tuition and living expenses
2. German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) https://www.daad.de/en/ Varies, depending on the scholarship program
3. Australian Awards Scholarships https://www.australiaawards.gov.au/ Covers tuition, living expenses, and travel
Field-specific Scholarship 1. American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Foundation https://foundation.aapg.org/students/scholarships/ Varies, up to 5,000
2. Google Women Techmakers Scholars Program https://buildyourfuture.withgoogle.com/scholarships/ Up to 10,000
3. Microsoft Research Women's Fellowship https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/academic-program/womens-fellowship-program/ Up to 20,0

African Based Scholarships

Students from African Countries can benefit from Scholarships designed to carter to their specific needs. The list below includes some scholarship programs designed for International African students. Please not that many U.S universities offer their own scholarship programs, which may be available to African students as well

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No. Scholarship Name Institution URL Amount of Funds (USD)
1 Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Partner Universities (Arizona State University, Duke University, etc.) https://mastercardfdn.org/scholars/ Varies, up to full tuition and living expenses
2 Zawadi Africa Education Fund Partner Universities (Yale University, MIT, Smith College, etc.) http://www.zawadiafrica.org/ Varies, up to full tuition and living expenses
3 African Leadership Bridge Scholarship Partner Universities (The University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, etc.) https://www.africanleadershipbridge.org/scholarships/ Varies, up to full tuition and living expenses
4 African Women's Public Service Fellowship NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service https://wagner.nyu.edu/admissions/financial-aid/fellowships/african-women-public-service-fellowship Varies, up to full tuition and living expenses
5 Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) Program Yale University https://africanscholars.yale.edu/ Outreach program connecting students with potential financial aid and scholarships
6 WAAW Foundation Scholarship for African Women in STEM Accredited universities in the U.S. http://waawfoundation.org/scholarships/ Varies, up to $500 annually (renewable)

Private Loan Lenders

Securing private loans for international students in the U.S. can be challenging, as most lenders typically require a U.S. citizen or permanent resident as a cosigner to mitigate the risk involved. However, there are some options available specifically tailored for international students. Here are a few possibilities:

International Student Loans: Some private lenders offer loans specifically designed for international students studying in the U.S. These loans may not require a cosigner or collateral, but they often have higher interest rates compared to traditional student loans.

Loans with a U.S. Cosigner: Another option is to apply for a private loan with a U.S. cosigner. A cosigner is someone who guarantees the loan and is responsible for repayment if the borrower is unable to pay. Having a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident as a cosigner can increase your chances of loan approval and may help you secure more favorable interest rates.

Institutional Loans: Some colleges and universities have loan programs available exclusively for their international students. These loans are often offered by the institution itself or in collaboration with a private lender. It’s recommended to check with the financial aid office at your educational institution to inquire about any available loan options.

Scholarships and Grants: While not loans, scholarships and grants are financial aid options that do not require repayment. They can help offset the cost of education for international students. Research and apply for scholarships and grants specifically designed for international students studying in the U.S.

When exploring private loan options, it’s essential to carefully review the terms, interest rates, repayment plans, and any associated fees. Comparing multiple lenders and loan options will help you make an informed decision. Additionally, it’s important to have a solid understanding of your financial situation and create a budget to ensure responsible borrowing and repayment.

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Loan Provider Type of Loans Loan Amounts URL
Prodigy Finance Graduate loans, MBA loans, Medical School loans Varies depending on program prodigyfinance.com
MPower Financing Undergraduate loans, Graduate loans Up to $50,000 per academic year mpowerfinancing.com
Stilt Student loans, Personal loans Up to $25,000 stilt.com
Global Student Loan Corporation Education loans, Career training loans Varies depending on program globalstudentloan.com
Discover Student Loans (with a U.S. cosigner) Undergraduate loans, Graduate loans Varies depending on program discover.com/student-loans/
Sallie Mae (with a U.S. cosigner) Undergraduate loans, Graduate loans Varies depending on program salliemae.com
SunTrust Custom Choice Loan (with a U.S. cosigner) Undergraduate loans, Graduate loans Varies depending on program suntrust.com/home-loans/student-loans
Citizens Bank Student Loan (with a U.S. cosigner) Undergraduate loans, Graduate loans Varies depending on program citizensbank.com/student-loans/

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