The United States is one of the top countries preferred by international students from across the world for higher education. Research and educational excellence offered by the universities make it a highly sought-after destination. As per a survey from Statista, during 2021-2022, approximately 948,519 international students went to study in U.S. Although admissions are taken throughout the year, the most popular session is the Fall Intake or the August/September intake.
This article gives you complete guidance on why Fall Intake is the best time to apply, which universities you should be looking at and how to plan and execute your admission process.
Overview of Intake in U.S.
There are typically two intake periods in the United States – the Fall intake that begins towards late August or early September and the Spring intake that starts in January. The Fall intake is the popular choice amongst international students who are planning to study in U.S. There is also a third intake, the summer intake, which has limited offerings in terms of university courses.
- Fall Intake starts from late August 2024 or September 2024 and duration for same will be from September-December 2024/ early January 2024.
- Spring Intake starts from January 2024 and duration is January to May 2024.
- Summer Intake starts from May 2024 and duration will be from May-August 2024
Benefits of applying during the Fall Intake in the U.S.
The Fall intake in the U.S. has a number of benefits attached to it and is considered to be the most preferred admission season for students. To get a better understanding of the benefits of applying to your preferred university during this intake, read the following:
- During the Fall intake season, universities end up accepting more students. This increases the chances of getting admission into your desired program.
- The Fall intake being the beginning of the academic year, universities have a wider selection of courses to offer to students. Considering this, students end up having more options to choose from when it comes to deciding on a study program.
- When you start your program during the fall intake, you do not need to take any break between your two courses.
- There are more opportunities for jobs and internships for the Fall intake. Students can explore these options and apply for them, thereby enhancing the overall experience.
- Universities around this time can end up offering more financial aid and scholarships. Applying for these can increase your chances of receiving financial assistance that can inadvertently make your college education more affordable.
Fall Intake Universities and Deadlines in U.S.
To make your university hunt easier, here’s a list of universities in USA that accept applications for the Fall session.
- University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
- Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona
- University of California Riverside
- University of Cincinnati, Ohio
- George Mason University, Fairfax County, Virginia
- University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Maryland
- New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey
- San Jose State University, San Jose, California
Timeline for Fall/August Intake in U.S.
The Fall session is always in demand amongst students. Therefore, it’s important to complete your paperwork and other important steps so that you can apply in time and do not miss out on the university you want to attend. Below mentioned are the timelines to help you understand how to go about your university application procedure:
- September – October 2023: – Take the standardised tests such as GMAT, GRE (for Masters), ACT or SAT (for Bachelors) & English Proficiency Tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE.
- November 2023: – Look for universities in the U.S. and shortlist them.
- December 2023: – Prepare a folder (both hard copy and soft copy) containing your transcripts, academic resume, proof of English language proficiency, letters of reference, test results, and more.
- December 2023 to February 2024: – Start applying to the universities and complete all the rounds such as interviews and documentation.
- March to April 2024: – Receive decisions from universities and confirm your admission by paying the enrolment deposit if any required by the University. Also work on financials
- May – July 2024: – Apply for student visa.
- July 2024: – Start your preparations for the session and book your flight tickets.
Some bachelor’s Universities have early deadlines in October 2023 for Fall 2024.
Entrance Exams for Fall Intake
In order to apply for Bachelors or master’s programs, taking entrance exams are required.
English Proficiency Exam
To apply for the August intake in the U.S., you need to take English proficiency tests such as TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo or PTE. These exams need to be taken not just for applying to universities in the U.S. but to any other country where English is the native language. Every university has a different admission and minimum score requirement. However, typically, the standard is a TOEFL score of 80+ or an IELTS band score of 6.5+.
At the time of applying to universities in the U.S., you will find that English proficiency tests are not the only requirement there. Universities demand that you take course-specific tests such as GMAT and GRE. For MS programs, GRE is a necessity; for MBA, GMAT is required; and for undergraduate programs, students need to submit ACT or SAT scores. The higher your score, the more chances you have of getting admission to the university of your preference.
* For M.S degrees many universities provide GRE waiver depending on a case-to-case basis
* For MBA degrees some universities provide GMAT waiver as well and in some universities, we can complete the application process with GRE scores as well.
* While applying for undergraduate degrees in the USA, many universities offer waivers for SAT/ ACT tests as well.
So do check the criteria, as USA universities are very flexible in terms of applications and entry criteria and students can avail the advantage of Standardised Test waiver while making their application to the university.
Documents Required for Fall Intake
When applying for the Fall semester, students need to prepare a list of documents. Below is the list for your reference:
- Transcripts detailing previous qualifying examinations.
- GRE or GMAT scores
- Official marksheets from grades 10,12, Bachelors
- Admission essay
- Statement of purpose
- 2-3 letters of recommendation
- Valid passport
- English proficiency test reports
- Application fees
- Credential Evaluation if required by the University.
- Proof of funds
How to Apply for Fall Intake?
- Research universities and programs prior to the application deadline.
- Take the standardised tests as early as possible so that the scores are available timely prior to the deadline.
- Gather the necessary documents as mentioned in the list.
- Fill in the online application form for the desired universities.
- Pay the application fee for each university.
- Track the status of your application through e-mail updates or online application portals.
- You will be sent the acceptance letter. Once you receive it, review it carefully and check all details with respect to financial aid and scholarship information.
- If you have been accepted, then apply for the F-1 or J-1 student visa. This can take many months to get processed so it is advised that you start early.
- Once you get the student visa, start your preparations – booking student accommodation, buying health insurance, flight booking, packing and more.
Tips for Fall Intake in U.S.
Preparing your application to study in America can be long-drawn and overwhelming. But, if you set your mind to it in a focussed and organised manner, then the process becomes very easy. To help you overcome the challenge, below mentioned are some tips that can help you to crack your application with flying colours.
- Create a list of documents to track universities you are interested in.
- Plan a schedule and execute it effectively in order to balance your studies or job.
- Track the application deadlines of every university on your list.
- Keep handy all necessary documents both in soft and hard copy format.
- Check your emails daily and respond promptly to any communication that is coming your way with regard to your application.
- Once you are admitted, make arrangements for visa, accommodation, finances and travel.
To be able to study in the U.S. is a dream for many. When you approach your application process in an organised manner, you will find yourself inching closer to the accomplishment of this dream. Planning ahead gives you sufficient time to plan your life and finances. If at any point in time you feel overwhelmed, then you can connect with KC Overseas, one of the leading studies abroad consultants in India.