When applying to a University, you need to include certain items as part of your application package. Each college has its own set of requirements, but the checklist given below should satisfy the needs of most colleges.
1. Application FEE
A banker’s draft (US dollars) should be prepared for the required application fee in favor of the University
2. Application Form
Use the right application. International students are required to use a different application or they are asked to provide additional information then asked in the normal forms. If you are using a hard copy of the application the address where you are to send the documents shall be mentioned there.
If you are applying online then you need not send a hard copy of the application. However, when you submit the online application you will get an acknowledgement with your student ID. When sending the documents include a copy of this receipt. Mark all your documents with the student ID. The acknowledgement shall also tell you the address where your documents are to be sent.
Do keep in mind that some universities accept only online applications. Others offer some incentive in the form of lower application fee for applying online. The third category says it makes no difference whether you apply online or send a paper application.
In all these cases you have to send the documents by mail only. So whether you apply online or use paper application you will have to incur the postage/courier charges.
Ascertain whether the program of your choice requires any special application and if it is asked send this separately to the department. This envelope should also carry any additional material asked by the program. You should check the department’s address from the web site of the university.
Official Transcripts of Undergraduate Coursework
Prepare transcripts of all undergraduate coursework completed at the time of applying to the US, and have all copies sealed and stamped by your undergraduate university to make them ‘official’.
Three Letters of Recommendation
Get recommendation letters from Professors who are familiar with your undergraduate academic work. Many Universities also ask you to include a ‘Student Evaluation Form’ along with your recommendation letters. Learn how to write a good recommendation letter by following the tips given in the messages of the group.
Personal Statement of Purpose (SOP)
Your mark-sheets & score reports speak for themselves, therefore a ‘Personal Statement of Purpose’ is the only means you have to communicate to the admissions officer why you deserve to be admitted to their University. Go through the Personal Statement section for detailed information.
At the time of applying, you need to indicate sufficient funds to support your education. Request your bank to issue a certificate as proof of the same.
Letter of Support
If a relative or friend is sponsoring your education, then you have to include a signed letter of support from them, indicating their willingness to fund your study in the US.
Copy of GRE & TOEFL score reports
You can include a copy of your GRE & TOEFL score reports, but you should also make sure that you ask ETS to send your scores directly to the Universities you are applying to.
Most colleges don’t value certificates for extra curricular activities unless they are directly related to your chosen field of study. But, if you have work experience or have completed projects in your intended field of study, you should definitely include a letter/certificate from your employer or supervisor.