Undergraduate studies in the United States: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q. What are undergraduate studies?
A. After high school, there are four years of undergraduate study resulting in a Bachelor's degree. The level following this is called "graduate school" and results in a Master's degree or a Ph.D.
Q. Where can I find detailed information about undergraduate studies in the U.S.A.?
A. The Educational Advising Center (EAC) maintains a library of reference books about studies in the U.S., including information concerning B.A. and B.Sc. programs at colleges and universities. Using these materials, you can construct a list of schools by area of studies or by geographical location.
Q. What is a B.A.? What is a B.Sc.? What is a B.F.A.?
A. The B.A. is the Bachelor of Arts degree; the B.Sc. is the Bachelor of Science degree; the B.F.A. is the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Each of these degrees is usually completed in four years.
Q. What is the difference between a college and a university?
A. A "college" is any institution of higher learning which grants B.A. or B.Sc. degrees; a college may be part of a "university" which grants advanced degrees as well. Both colleges and universities are commonly referred to as "schools".
Q. What qualifications do I need in order to apply to study in the U.S.A.?
A. Ukrainian students should have at least a complete secondary education. Anyone who is not a graduate of an English speaking high school must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Many schools also require foreign students to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), and some also require standardized Subject Tests. Registration forms for all these tests are available at the EAC.
Q. How do I apply to study in the U.S.A.?
A. Send in your registration forms for the necessary examinations (TOEFL, SAT) and at the same time send a "Request for Application Material" (available through the EAC) to the admissions offices of several institutions which might suit you. They will send you back packets with information, application forms, and details about personal materials you will need to submit: certificates, letters of recommendation and so forth. Also, you may be asked to pay an application fee at this point. Be sure to conduct all correspondence by airmail or fax.
Q. How long does it take to complete the application procedure?
A. One year to eighteen months, usually. Most colleges and universities notify applicants during the spring months whether or not they have been accepted for the studies in the fall.
Q. How much does it cost to study in the United States?
A. Tuition fees range from about $ 5,000 to $ 20,000 per year, depending on whether the school is state-supported or private. Cost is not necessarily an indicator of quality. Living expenses for a single student range from about $ 7,000 to $ 14,000 per year, depending on geographical area. It is almost impossible for foreign undergraduate students to receive financial aid from colleges and universities in the United States, and it is illegal for persons in the U.S.A. on a student visa to work outside the institutions at which they are enrolled as students.
Q. How do I get a visa to study in the United States?
A. First you must receive an official notice of acceptance (I-20) to a recognized institution of higher learning. Then you must present appropriate documentation to the U.S. consul at the Embassy, who will determine whether or not to grant you a visa. It is nearly impossible to hange from a tourist visa to a student visa once you are in the United States; most applicants are asked to return to their home countries in order to complete the procedure.