Deferred Admission: Why and How

Manit Shah Blog

The average high school student typically plans to attend college after graduating high school. But for various reasons, some students do a “gap year” that is, take time off between their high school graduation date and subsequent enrollment in college. Reasons for deferring college entrance may include age (some programs, such as medicine in the United Kingdom do not matriculate students who …

What’s an MMI?

Manit Shah Blog

If you’re an applicant to any kind of health program, whether it be medicine, nursing, dentistry, or veterinary science, you’re probably going to encounter the term ‘MMI.’ What’s an MMI anyway? MMI stands for Multiple Mini Interview, which as the name implies, means that you will go through a succession of multiple interviews. In each mini interview, you’ll be challenged …

student-faculty ratio university hall

Student-Faculty Ratio? Yes! It’s Essential

Maija Blog

Spend enough time looking for the perfect college, and you’ll start to feel bombarded by facts and figures: The graduation rate. The post-graduation employment rate. The number of students. The number of majors. The rankings. The cost. One of the numbers that you’ll definitely want to pay attention to is the student-faculty ratio. Here’s why: The student-faculty ratio tells you how …

Top 5 reasons to study in Canada

Sooyeon Blog

International students who apply to American higher education institutions might want to consider applying to Canadian universities as well. Higher education institutions in Canada have a later deadline compared to the US, earliest starting from January while the majority is due in March. Here are the top 5 reasons to study in Canada: Multicultural society Canadians are well known for …

princeton top best college

The World’s Best College

Maija Blog

Do you know what the world’s best college is? Is the best college Harvard? Stanford? MIT? In fact, the answer lies in reframing the question: the best college for what?!? Is it a school that very few students are able to get into? Or a school that many fail out of? As a senior in high school, you may not have taken a …

talking about yourself

Ace the Interview: Talking about Yourself

Maija Blog

One of the topics you can be sure to discuss in your college interview is yourself. Talking about yourself might sound easy, but in fact it can be quite difficult. Here are a few tips to decode the questions and make sure you are prepared: “So, tell us about yourself…” Often the interviewer will ask you just to talk a bit about yourself. …

rejected college woman

Rejected? 5 Steps to Break the News

Maija Blog

Hopefully you’ll be accepted to every school you apply to, but you might also receive a few rejections. If you applied mostly to top-notch Ivy Leagues, then you are very likely to get rejected. This can be hard to accept, and telling your friends and family the bad news can be a challenge. Initially, you may be asking yourself if you …

How to prepare for the alumni interview

Sooyeon Blog

US universities have increasingly adopted the admissions interview in their application process. All the ivy league institutions have alumni interview programs. However, 7 of the 8 universities only recommend prospective students to interview with their alumni. Since the alumni groups may not be able to accommodate all prospective students, the schools do not make the interviews a requirement. Cornell is …

what not to include in your college essay

5 things NOT to include in your college essay

Maija Blog

Your college essay should be open and honest. With that in mind, almost any story can be appropriate to include in your college essay if it helps to explain your motivations. Maybe a great teacher turned you on to psychology, or a good book made you decide to study English. You may also have been motivated by something less positive. For …

graduate early

Want to graduate early? Take a CLEP test.

Maija Blog

Maybe you didn’t have AP/IB class options in high school. But that doesn’t mean you didn’t have really good teachers, and it certainly doesn’t mean you didn’t master some concepts at a college level. Maybe you learned a skill outside of school. Perhaps you learned some French at home, or by spending summers in Paris. Maybe you read up on macroeconomics in …

recommendation letter

What does a good teacher recommendation look like?

Maija Blog

Many universities ask for teacher recommendations along with the essays and test scores that accompany your college application. So, you may be asking yourself — what is a teacher recommendation? And what does a good one look like? If you went to school in a country where teachers are accustomed to writing recommendations, the solution is simple. All you have …

Why You Don’t Need to Fill Out the FAFSA

Manit Shah Blog

If you’re an international student applying to U.S. colleges, you may have noticed the “FAFSA” mentioned on school admissions and application materials. What is the FAFSA anyway? The FAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it is required of all U.S. citizens and permanent residents who wish to receive financial aid. If you are an international …

How to transfer to a UC campus

Sooyeon Blog

Following my previous post on 4 reasons to attend a community college, this post will be on how to transfer from a community college to a UC. At Prep Zone, we continuously have students interested in applying to community colleges but are unsure of how to transfer. Here is an example of one of our past students, Jane*, who applied …

college costs around the world

College costs around the world

Maija Blog

The cost of a college education varies greatly depending on the country. Since you can find excellent, English-only programs in multiple countries, it’s important to take a look at college costs around the world. Don’t be fooled by averages Of course, understand that the above-listed costs are simply tuition averages. What exactly does “tuition” mean? For example, $585 is the average cost of one year in a French university. …

Understanding Tuition

Manit Shah Blog

In Singapore, the term ‘tuition’ is used to refer to academic enrichment classes held outside a school’s regular curriculum. But if you were to tell someone that you were headed to tuition after school in the U.S., you would most likely be met with a puzzled face. In the U.S., what Singaporeans understand as ‘tuition’ is instead described as ‘after-school …

4 reasons to attend a community college

Sooyeon Blog

High school students who grow up in the US have heard about community colleges, however most international students have no idea what a community college is. According to CollegeBoard, a community college is defined as “the most common type of two-year college. These colleges offer many types of educational programs, including those that lead to associate degrees and certificates. Certificates …

good TOEFL score dictionary

What is a good TOEFL score?

Maija Blog

When you apply to college in an English-speaking country such as the U.S., the U.K. or Australia, you may have to prove that you speak English well enough to keep up with coursework. Taking the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a great way to do that. But– what is the TOEFL and what’s a good TOEFL score? What is …

psat as an international student

Taking the PSAT as an international student

Maija Blog

The PSAT is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship. Unfortunately, National Merit is only awarded to students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. That’s why taking the PSAT as an international student may not seem obvious. After all, why does the PSAT matter if you aren’t going to get National Merit? Even if you are not a U.S. citizen, it …

extracurricular activities football soccer sports

The importance of extracurricular activities

Maija Blog

How do you define extracurricular activities? Extracurricular activities are things that you are involved in outside of your normal classes and high school curriculum. Examples include clubs, band, sports, community art courses, and local internships or volunteering experiences. Family commitments are also great examples. “There are many [students] who spend a great deal of time helping to run their household, preparing …

advantage international students us

Do international students have an admissions advantage?

Maija Blog

Many colleges take a vested interest in being able to claim that their student body is diverse. This begs the question: Do international students have a college admissions advantage in the US? International students aren’t rare If international students were truly unique, colleges might jump at the chance to have foreigners join their classrooms. In reality, though, the US is #1 in …