What Should A Student Consider When Applying to University?

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Applying for university can be a stressful process as it involves a lot of things to consider and what you include in your application. For students, it’s a big task to carry out as they’re nearing the end of their high school careers. As for parents, it’s considered a big milestone to be able to guide them through their next big step. So what can you really add to your application to increase your chances of getting accepted?

Read on to find how to make the application process easier for your child.

A significant item to consider when applying to university is your child’s interests. Since your child’s focus of study will also be part of their future career, it’s essential to have them choose a major depending on their interests. Discussing with your child about their interests and what kind of career they want to have will narrow down the options of the major and where to apply, which is another crucial factor to consider. Different universities have different rankings in terms of expertise in offering courses. While most universities offer a wide variety of majors you can choose from, some, like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), focus more on engineering and science courses.

Speaking of where to apply, it should be noted that different parts of the world have various requirements for university applications. For example, universities in the United States care to refer to academic transcripts, AP scores, SAT scores, extracurricular activities, recommendation letters by teachers, and a personal statement about a personal story, belief, or a random topic. On the other hand, applying to universities in Asia is usually simpler and may only requires academic transcripts and taking either the IELTS or TOEFL exam.

However, SAT, AP, and specific subjects may still be required, so it is important to do your research to make sure you know what specific requirements are needed. You should also consider that some majors may rely on occupation location in the future; thus, narrowing down the options further to the country your child should apply to. For instance, applying to study Law in the US when your child believes they want to be a lawyer in the UK is pointless because they have different legislations and regulations.

Once you have selected a few candidate options to apply for, it all comes down to what to include in your application. As mentioned, US universities want to look at what kind of person is behind their academics in the personal statement. Allow them to write whatever comes to their mind, such as their favorite thing to do or what they feel about a certain topic, but it’s important to write an exemplary essay that will stand out. Other universities may have different requirements for the personal statement, such as the UK universities requiring the personal statement to talk about why they chose the major they’re applying for.

At Raffles American School, with the help of our college guidance counselors and teachers, we have guided many of our students to prestigious universities around the world. Our guidance counselors help find the right fit for a major with the help of Cialfo, a college guidance platform, and other resources which are shared with students in choosing potential universities. They assist students with courses selection and advice on the requirements for selected countries and majors such as AP/IB, SAT, and CCAs. Our teachers also assist students by providing advice on what to include in their applications and encouraging them to take on activities. Our students have applied to and have been accepted to universities such as Penn State in Pennsylvania, Monash University in Melbourne, the University of Toronto in Canada, New York University, Tsinghua University in Beijing, Columbia University in New York, Manchester University in the UK, Poly U in Hong Kong and UTM in Malaysia to name just a few.

To learn more about Raffles American School, contact our admissions team at Inquiry [email protected] or visit our website at

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