Credential Evaluation for College Admission

College admission is a complex process that requires preparation of various documentation. International students face additional requirements. Among the unique aspects of college admission for international applicants is the necessity to meet immigration and visa regulations, demonstrate language proficiency, and present their academic achievement in a format that is easily understood in the home country.

This final component – the necessity to demonstrate academic aptitude – is what causes the most challenges for applicants and admissions professionals alike. Education systems are diverse, documentation standards vary, and grading practices are not linear. For this reason, credential evaluation becomes a process that is at the same time necessary for- and unique to- international applicants.

A credential evaluation is most commonly prepared by organizations like Scholaro that for use by schools, colleges and universities to help them convert foreign academic credentials to an easily understandable format. There are typically two types of evaluations – General and Course by Course. For admissions purposes, a Course by Course evaluation is most often required because it includes an assessment of coursework, credits, and performance in the form of grades and a GPA. With a Course by Course evaluation report, an admissions officer can read and assess an international performance in the same format as domestic applicants. Having an evaluation report prepared when beginning the college admission process eliminates any chance of misunderstanding or incorrectly assessing educational achievement from a foreign country. Simply put, it gives international applicants the piece of mind that their academic accomplishments are accurately and fairly presented for college admissions purposes.

How to get into a selective college or university

Selective colleges and universities, like those in the Ivy League and other highly ranked institutions typically have stated admission requirements that, once met, must be supplemented by a demonstration of fit for the institutions. Simply put, even though you may meet the minimum admission requirements, you are competing against many candidates who also meet these requirements. The admission process involves a holistic review of candidates. Those determined to be the best overall fit are then offered admission. A holistic review consists of grades, performance trends, school and coursework rigor, an essay or portfolio, recommendations, and in some cases standardized test and English proficiency scores. In this type of review, and admissions committee makes the difficult decision of which highly qualified applicant will be the best fit for the institution.

Preparing an application package for selective institutions requires thorough documentation of academic performance. If the institution requires a credential evaluation report, a Course-by-Course report is always necessary to show grades and credit for each course, as well as a GPA calculation. In addition, it is highly advisable to review any essay questions with a college counselor, if available, or with peers. The essay or personal statement is an opportunity to describe any qualifications that are not readily evident from the academic records. Finally, it is essential to meet any and all application requirements by the stated deadline because applications that are incomplete or late will not be reviewed, regardless of their quality.

How to get into a good college with an average GPA

The United States system of education provides many opportunities for higher education for all graduates, as long as they can successfully complete their existing program of study. Colleges and universities have various levels of selectivity, and there are many opportunities available for average students. When selecting colleges and universities, the admission threshold is typically reported in the form of a GPA. A GPA, or Grade Point Average, is a mathematical average of the point values of each grade earned, factoring in the weighting of each class. International students who do not know their GPA prior to applying should obtain it from a credential evaluation.

How are community colleges a good bargain

Community colleges in the United States are open enrollment institutions, which means that they will admit anyone who has the benchmark secondary school completion credential or a high school diploma, regardless of their GPA. In order to demonstrate that they have the equivalent of a high school diploma, international students usually just need to obtain a General evaluation report that just needs to show a high school diploma equivalency and they are eligible for admission. The real value propositions comes from the various transfer mechanisms in place for community college graduates to transition to universities. A community college is the opportunity for students to demonstrate that they can be successful in college-level studies. Therefore, it is much easier for them to transfer to selective institutions, because their proof of college success is already demonstrated by their community college work.

How to get into graduate school

The graduate admissions process is closely related to that of selective colleges and universities. The main difference is that graduate admission requires on more involvement from the academic department and faculty. In Master’s and Doctoral programs, students will be working with faculty to generate new knowledge in their chosen field, and these faculty will have a say on the admissibility of candidates. Getting into a graduate program of your choice therefore requires demonstrating academic success and aptitude in a specific academic field and related disciplines. Although the minimum admission requirement to graduate school is a bachelor’s degree, the likelihood for admission is greater if your undergraduate degree is in a related discipline. The best advice for prospective students interested in graduate school is to research the academic department, not just the college and university. It is also important to highlight academic aptitude and any professional experience that can make a case for admissibility.

In summary

College admission is an intensive process requiring thorough preparation. International students face additional requirements because of the need to translate and evaluate their academic documents as well as proving English proficiency and meeting legal requirements to be eligible to study in the United States. There are many types of higher education institutions, and the admissions processes of each type of school varies. Community colleges require meeting minimum benchmarks like a high school diploma, while highly selective students make selections form the most highly qualified applicants. The level of education matters as well. First year applicants use their high school education while transfer candidates already have college work to prove their competencies. Graduate applicants, while also having college experience, must demonstrate such interest to be deemed eligible to do research and generate new knowledge in their field. Although the options and variations seem endless, through and timely preparation is the best strategy for college admission.

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