Undergrad Admission Consulting

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) for Undergrad Admission Consulting

Q1. What is the job opportunity after STEM courses in the US?

A: STEM students get two and a half years to work after graduation. They can take advantage of this opportunity or choose to go back to their homeland and be productive there.

Q2. Is this process different for US citizens living in India or Indians living in India?

A. The complete application process is more or less the same. It just goes into a different department in the pool of applications. Also, the financials have to be examined because you have to provide residency and domicile. Your experiences your interests what you want to study, where you want to study none of those change.

Q3. What extracurricular activities should a child focus on?

A. The extracurriculars are very individual. Some children may be doing something on the computers another child something with the environment, so it's very individual. There is no right or wrong, just say that anything the child is passionate about he needs to take it to the highest possible level. One must open new opportunities to look up. Through your resume, the admissions committee wants to understand the student. So, it is suggested that instead of trying to do too many things find one or two things that you're passionate about and just work hard at it.

Q4. It is often said that a child should start college counselling in the 9th grade, but my daughter is in the 11th grade. So is it late to apply?

A. While it is advisable to start early, there is no late or early time to start preparing. If she's in the early part of 11th grade she still has time to add a little bit more extracurricular activities and essay building. We start working on the essays for the applications for students who are going to graduate because in general, applications are over by the end of December.

Q5. I am applying this A. While it is advisable to start early, there is no late or early time to start preparing. If she's in the early part of 11th grade she still has time to add a little bit more extracurricular activities and essay building. We start working on the essays for the applications for students who are going to graduate because in general, applications are over by the end of December. year, what kind of last-minute tips would you suggest?

A. One thing you can plan is to get the prompts and start working on your essays which take a long time. The essays are usually personal statements, which is your way of showing the university who you are. The biggest thing you have to remember about the personal statement is that it should be information about you that is not included in the transcript or your resume. Do not repeat things.

Q6. Should I take the TOEFL or IELTS exam?

A. You can opt for any of the two exams, but to be on the safer side, TOEFL is suggested as it is accepted by all universities.

Q7. Which is the most important and least important thing to consider in your application process?

A. There is no concrete answer to this. It varies from year to year and from one university to another. However, the first thing a student needs to focus on is grades. Also, make sure that your standardized test scores are high enough. The US universities want to see a balance, so focus on your extracurriculars too.

Q8. Can an Indian student directly take admitted to a US university while being in 11th grade?

A. No. One needs to complete the 12th grade and then can get admitted for graduation in the US.

Q9. Is it easy to get scholarships for graduation?

A. Financial aid is not available for international students right away. Usually, they want to see four years of funding availability. Sometimes meritorious students will get some merit scholarships from school but in general, it's never going to be free never unless you provide your criteria for need-based assistance.

Q10. How do the universities look at second attempt and third attempt on SAT exam?

A. Some universities consider super-scoring. In this, they look at English in your first attempt or they'll take the highest score of a section from the different attempts. This is great as it helps the student to focus on different parts. However, it is recommended that a student should not waste more than three to four attempts three attempts maximum on the SAT.

Q11. What does it matter which AP classes you take in a senior year if you wish to apply for Ivy League? Do you have recommendations for which specific APS we should be taking are you studying in the US?

A. Good schools usually the Ivy League schools would want to see four years of the five core subjects. This includes foreign language, English, math, science, and social studies. They want to see four years in all five subjects. So, it is not recommended that you drop a foreign language in between.

Q12. My child wants to apply for arts courses in the US. How should we plan next?

A. We have many students who want to pursue art in the US. There is so much availability getting into digital art especially there is so much growth available in this field. For example, one of the well-reputed schools in Atlanta takes AP art. They create 11 pieces to include in their portfolio. Somebody can create 11 pieces and there are many digital platforms. Also, focus on achieving a good SAT score and then prepare for applications.

Q13: I am a junior in high school. I wish to know about college essays.

A. College essays play an important role in your application. The school aims to test your critical thinking skills. It is important to add a list of things about your profile in a narrative essay.

Q14. How often does the counselor meet with the students?

A. Depending on what time you sign up with us, early on the students have advantages as they get more time to interact. We schedule evaluative meetings where we meet and we discuss the grades. We also help with determining the path that the student should take before the semester starts.

Q15. How do you help with scholarships?

A. For students with American and Canadian citizenship (both have the same status), we offer al-carte services. For Indian students, we will see and evaluate if we can apply for need-based or merit-based scholarships.

Q16. Is a 4-year duration necessary in a foreign language?

A. In the case of foreign languages, 4 years are mostly needed, however, it should match the school's requirement (has to be mentioned in the transcript).

Q17. You mention that 4-year grades are the deciding factor, but when the school starts, only 3 years grades are considered. How is the 4th year evaluated?

A. The university sees the general trend. The submitted scores from your school are going to be shared by the end of the 11th grade. Some applications start early, so most current grades for the 4th year are taken into account.

Q18. AP schools go for college board. What to do if the school does not offer AP?

A. In this case, a student can enroll for AP online. Once the student has a legitimate account, the scores will be counted.

Q19. In Texas, the schools consider a student’s rank in school. Is this the same for other areas too?

A. Many universities do. The ranking or number has to be validated by your school counselor.

Q20. In Texas, they have acceleration programs for foreign languages. In this, the student gets a credit score by just attempting the exam. Will this be valid?

A. This acceleration program score is okay as long as the transcript shows the merits.

Q21. I'm a rising Junior, and I want to ask that your take is on self-studying for an AP. My school is a charter school, so it is only IB so, by the end well when I'm going to be graduating, I would have been taking seven years of Spanish so would it be ideal for a student like me to go ahead and also take AP Spanish by self-studying.

A. Anything that you have studied before the 9th grade becomes null and void. So there is no need to take it further unless you wish to pursue the foreign language ahead.

Q22. If I go to the USA University portals will I get the expected SAT cut-off marks for all the universities?


Q23. I am planning on doing Community Service. Will this be helpful?

A. Community service will enhance your profile uh so please continue doing it. Eventually, it all depends on what program and what degree you're looking at. For example, in science then all of this will not have that kind of a direct impact. to have a direct impact, show your intent and passion towards it.

Q24. When you mention about H1B visa, will all particulars be considered like whether a child has studied in a top-notch college or university or not?

A. Yes, so the basic fields of people are filtered out and then it goes for a lottery system. So yes, it does get considered. The second thing, the more important thing is that many seats go empty because people themselves decide not to stay back.

Q25. What are the other challenges that you a child can face apart from the conventional ones?

A. Two major challenges consultants identify are parents. Parents are very rightful in their way, but they put so much pressure on the child and we understand that it is fine. You need to trust your counsellor as we professionally have been doing it for a long and are completely aware of the requirements. The second challenge is that most students are extremely busy giving time to their counsellor. They find everything too overwhelming to do everything in two years or one year. So it is requested that parents be more understanding and let the children have some downtime or force them into some down downtime.

Q26. Are debates and MUNs good enough extracurriculars or should I take part in more activities?

A. Debates and MUNs (Model United Nations) are part of your school-directed activity, so no, they are not enough. We need to do a lot more things outside of school and that should be ideally covered in your passion project.

Q27. Could you please explain college essays?

A. What colleges are looking for is your critical thinking ability and how well you write. It is about how well you express and say things about yourself. One of the important things for you to remember is to add information in your college essays that a university will probably not be able to see in your resume. Repeating the points does not give any added value so definitely look in between the lines and write something that that tells them more about you. The main Common App essay is mostly narrative. Read as much as you can. Reflect on it, think a little bit about what you are reading and what you want to showcase about yourself. What is so significant about you that the colleges want to know?

Q28. What extra current equation activities do we need to focus on in our middle and high school to ensure we have good essays for college applications?

A. How they want to look at extracurricular activities and what the purpose of the extracurricular activity gives you that edge it tells the college a little bit more about you and obviously, if you do an extracurricular activity for one month you will not have in-depth knowledge on that as much as you would if you did it for five years. So the sooner you start the better. We would encourage parents to an eye on the strengths of the student and encourage the student to build on that.

Q29. How important is profile versus SAT high score to apply for Ivy League?

A. All students who apply to Ivy League schools are exceptional. Their academics and their prowess in academics are taken for granted. Pretty much everyone is at the top of the class. The SAT scores are way up there, the transcripts are way up there, and the school GPA is way up there. So that's taken for granted. Now, what the university is looking for is to see how unique you are and what can you contribute to the school, so that you stand up and you can create diversity in the class. Definitely what you do and who you are and what you bring to the table is going to make a difference but that doesn't replace your SATs or your school transcript. You cannot be a below-average student with an exceptional profile and expect admission. That is one of the reasons they don't give merit scholarships.

Q30. What are some examples of extracurricular activities for tier-one colleges in the US?

A. One is, extracurricular activities depend on what your school offers. Your school may have a robotics team, your school may have a debate team amongst others. It would be good if you can take part in that and show a long-term commitment. Other than that, you can join some non-profit organizations, and you can do volunteering. Anything is okay as long as you show commitment, dedication, and something that makes you stand apart.

Q31. I was wondering if internships are good.

A. internships give you a different set of information. Most school knowledge that you learned in the classroom is very theoretical. An internship gives you some application-based information. So definitely internships are an asset and will look good on your resume.

Q32. What are some disadvantages for an international student applying in the US?

A. So language is the first barrier. If you have already crossed that then it helps you a little bit. Your personality is another factor. How social you are, how quickly you make friends etc, is important. Further, your financial situation, as most universities do not give financial aid to undergrad students. Also, a college education in the US is quite challenging, so preparedness is important. Also, immigration and government dependence regulations are another burden for international students.

Q33. My question is whether 9th-grade scores are also equally important.

A. Yes, as the universities will look at 4 years of high school transcripts. Also, you have to keep your 12th grade consistent, or else your admission can be revoked.

Q34. Is HL-level computer science taken as a subject good preparation to apply for Computer Science programs at the university?

A. Yes.

Q35. Do you think the COVID situation will have some bearing on ED specifically for international students aspiring for Ivys? If so, then in what way is possible?

A. It will impact, but cannot say up to what extent. We will only suggest students apply to ED if they are certain that they want to go there. If they do get in and you say no, the student can get 'Blacklisted’.

Q36. How many schools can we apply for ED?

A. We can only apply to one school for ED (Early Decision).

Q37. I recently relocated from Toronto, Canada to Dallas, Texas. This transition was during grade 11 and there were some students there who had been dedicated to specific clubs for four or five years when I try to join they would have certain requirements like how much time you have to be there so I was hoping how could I fill in that gap?

A. Talk to your club representative and join a similar organization at school where you have worked in the past. Because years of experience is important. You will have to push yourself because it is hard to change schools.

Q38. I am a national-level tennis player. Can you suggest some good colleges with tennis in the focus?

A. You can mail us separately as we help with athletic placements.

Q39. Is getting a job in high school counted as extracurricular?

A. It will be taken up as work experience, which is a good thing.

Q40. Is volunteering counted as extracurricular?

A. No, it is a different category of work, so will be counted as volunteering.

Q41. The student is from Pakistan and studying in UAE. She doesn't have many options for extracurriculars and is aiming for Ivy. Does she need to give both SAT1 and SAT subjects to be eligible? She will not sit for AP or IB exams.

A. If you have to show your transcript strong, you will have to include some AP courses. So, SAT subject test, is definitely what Ivy Leagues will ask for.

Q42. If I get a good SAT score, do I have to give the ACT? Is it mandatory?

A. No It is not. You have to give one of the two tests.

Q43. I have done O and A levels. My school did not offer IB/SATs etc. Are they considered in the US?

A. Yes they are considered as a part of Western education. The SATs are not offered by schools but by college boards. So you can always look up their site and register.

Q44. How to choose which exam to give, SAT or ACT?

A. Both tests measure college readiness. So we tell our students or students to give a diagnostic test to see which one they're comfortable with. Start training yourself how to take the test, train on the subject matter and train yourself to sit still and stay focused for three-plus Hours.

Q45. What is the basis for scholarships?

A. For international students, it is need-based. Very rarely you will see international students getting scholarships based on merit. Some schools do have it, but it is very competitive.

Q46. Can you explain the process of financial aid and scholarships for people in the US?

A. So when you reach senior year, you and your parents have to fill out a form that is related to federal aid. So, your needs will be assessed on the form. As for scholarships, few need to be applied to, few are automatic. US University Admission Consulting Session: Aarti Kukreja

Q47. Would be able to help me gain volunteer ship and increase my volunteer Hours?

Yes, we do have a lot of partnerships and tie-ups and we help people get work. If not, we have a lot of brainstorming sessions to come up with ideas that you could further implement to get volunteer ships.

Q48. What are some of the top colleges for aerospace engineering in the US or India?

A. To give you an insight into aerospace engineering programs, if you're looking at the United States in aerospace engineering, please be aware that after you graduate, there are very limited number of jobs for aerospace engineering if you are not a citizen of the United States. This is because aerospace engineering is safety and defense-related and hence they prefer their citizens.

Q49. If we are to do paid internships would those count in the profile and if they would count what significance would they have?

A. It does not matter to the university whether you were paid or it was unpaid they're just automatically going to assume it's unpaid because 11th and 12th spare young. Absolutely yes, it does matter.

Q50. Do you have options for only opting for specific CVs like only opting for CV building or scholarships?

A. No, we do not offer stand-alone service.

Q51. While applying for a specific major how does admission work into that college?

A. In the case of the US, there are two types of batch bachelor's degrees on a large scale that you can do. One is an undecided bachelor or an open bachelor is what they call it where you are not sure what you want to do. The United States still lets you do two years the first two years of your bachelor's pursuing any subjects. In the common app essays, you can choose to write your specific major and questions will come to you accordingly.

Q52. How do we generally differentiate between honours awards and extracurricular sections?

A. Honors is what academic accomplishments you have had, for example, from a state government, while studying at school. Extracurriculars are everything you accomplish outside the classroom.

Q53. What are some extracurriculars required for admission in the UK?

A. Any top 100 universities you want to go to, irrespective of the location, UK, Europe, and Canada, you need a range of extracurricular activities to show to the school that you're not just studying and you are not just an academic and an aptitude scorer. There is no specific extracurricular for the UK, just ensure that you make the most of your passion.

Q54. When we see the future depends on the H1B and in the present circumstances why parents should be excited to send children to the US owing to such uncertainty?

A. For a student who does a bachelor's degree in an accredited university in the US, gets an option for three years. You just need to prove that you've been going to job interviews and you have potential interviews lined up or job prospects lined up. So, as soon as your student visa is expiring you get three months. You get to start applying for jobs as soon as your exams are over. You could also opt to do a master's and or you could opt to do an MBA and apply for an H1B visa. It is like a lottery system. If your plan in life is to settle in the United States or to work there for 10 odd years, please ensure you go to a top 20- 30 university because chances of H-1B are very high when you go to an academically highly reputed university.

Q55. What are some budget countries to pursue undergrad?

A. Firstly, there is no concrete answer to this. All countries have different variations. For example, the UK is much cheaper, but the problem is that UK's living expenses are very high. Canada is also much cheaper 40 to 60 lakhs cheaper for four years degree but again a lot is dependent on the currency exchange rate.