Studying in America and Canada  

3.3 Admissions and Financial Aid Process

As we said at the beginning of this chapter, the admissions process in America and Canada is not much different from that in India. In this book, we are describing the typical approach, requirements, and criteria. These however vary across colleges. You can not discount variations, since you will be applying to individual and specific colleges, and not a generic college. You should get college-specific information either from its website or by writing to its admissions office.

You will be required to indicate your desire for consideration for financial aid at the same time as you apply for admission. In fact, the application form will contain a separate section or a separate form for financial aid.

You must take the time to complete the application form and supporting documentation. Once you send in the completed application and the required documents, the waiting game begins. Make sure that your Letters of Recommendation, if your recommendors are expected to send them directly to the college, have been sent. You will receive notification from the governing body that conducted the entrance exam, when it transmits your entrance exam score to the colleges that you selected. The college will acknowledge the receipt of your completed application soon after your file is complete. The college assumes that you will automatically furnish the information explicitly outlined on its website or in its prospectus as a part of the admissions requirements. You may not hear from the college if you fail to complete your file, because schools typically acknowledge the receipt of your application only when it is complete. You should communicate with the college, if you have not received an acknowledgment, a month or so after you believe your file was completed. The college may also request additional information before making the decision. Colleges evaluate applications only when they are complete. So, it is your responsibility to ensure that your application is complete, with all supporting required documentation, in a timely fashion.

The college will take anywhere from 1 to 3 months to communicate its decision to you. Should you be accepted, you are expected to communicate your decision - acceptance or rejection of the offer - by a specified deadline.

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