The US Higher Educational System: 5 Key Points You Have to Be Aware Of
Every to-be student in the world dreams about enrolling into one of the US universities and leading a real college life with all the interesting lectures and never-ending parties. After all, according to the general opinion, it’s not that difficult to get accepted and quite easy to study. But this is an image created mostly by Hollywood. The US higher education system is much more complicated and demanding than you could imagine, and to be prepared for the reality, you need to keep in mind some key facts that characterize the whole process of getting a degree.
Right now there are over 4600 accredited higher education institutions on the territory of the USA that include public/private universities, for-profit colleges, community colleges or liberal arts establishments. They all can be characterized by 5 important features:
There isn’t one program accepted on a federal level that would define the direction for all institutions out there. It means that each university or college has different forms of education, courses, and benefits to offer. This fact adds to the diversity and flexibility of the US educational system and makes it even more attractive for domestic and international students.
2. Expensive Tuition
After comparing 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 years, there is a noted 3.1% growth in tuition fees in the public sector, and there are indicators that the price will keep rising. However, there are grants, scholarships and student loans that you can avail of to handle the fees.
3. Complicated Admission Process
Some colleges and universities comply with Common Application – a website where you register one application and send copies to several establishments (there are over 700 members) that you want to enroll into. It requires you to include some basic information about yourself as well as to write an essay choosing between special prompts. The universities that don’t participate in the Common App program develop their own admissions processes with essays and tests. So, it’s not that easy to pass all the examinations and get liked by the board.
But that’s not the end of the story. Even if you do great during the admissions, you need to have a good GPA and SAT/ACT score in the first place. So, you must start sweating way before applying for college.
4. Peculiar Grading System
The works of students are evaluated with the help of letters A-F (without E), with A being the highest and F being the lowest. They also have numerical counterparts: A equals 4, B – 3, C – 2, D – 1, F – 0. Of course, the scale may be more detailed like A- which stands for 3.67, or D+ with the numerical value of 1.33.
5. Credit System
There is also such thing as a credit system which implies that students need to earn credits during the semester – these are acknowledgments that you have undergone some specific courses (and have spent a certain number of hours on them) enough for you to graduate.
If you’re planning to enter the college or university, keep in mind that you need to start preparing beforehand. The success of your application depends on how ready you are for all the tests and checks.