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Gear Up for Undergrad College Admissions in the U.S. (Part 2/2)

Updated: May 14, 2022

If you are planning to apply to a U.S. college this academic year, this is the second part of a

two-part series curated just to make your admission process easier. In part 1, we discussed

the pros and cons of the two most popular centralized application systems. However, even

though most of the colleges in America accept either of the two applications, a few of them

are independent and have their own application processes. But these universities are big,

renowned, impactful, and worth investing extra time and effort. Let us take you through

each of them and their admission processes:

1. University of California: Undergraduate Application

The University of California has a pretty straightforward admission process, especially for its

international applicants. Each year UCLA alone admits students from nearly 90 countries.

a. Academic Requirements:

When applying as a freshman, you have to meet the college’s country-specific academic requirements. For e.g. if you are an Indian, you need to have an average of 70 percent and above in all subjects and below 60 in no subjects to qualify for UCLA. Click here to check out the academic requirements of other countries. The University of California does not require SAT and ACT scores because of Covid-19 limitations.

b. Language Requirements:

English language proficiency is a mandatory requirement for a successful UC application. Students are required to take TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test (For fall 2021 and 2022).

c. Financial Information

UCs do not award scholarships or financial aid to non-U.S. applicants. International students must demonstrate financial sufficiency and bear the cost of education and living.

d. Transcripts and Records

UCs have a mandatory requirement of academic records of the secondary school performance showing the subjects and the grades scored on each of them.

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Undergraduate Application

a. Application

To apply to MIT, you need to use the MyMIT portal by simply creating an account. Once the

account is created, the portal lets you finish and track your application, join the MIT mailing

list and get your interviewer’s name and contact information. The application is categorized into two parts. Part 1 is all about biographical information and Part 2, focuses on your essays, activities, and test scores. What’s interesting about the MIT application is that it doesn’t require one long essay.

Instead, it gives 5 prompts for short write-ups.

b. Transcripts and academic records

MIT requires you to submit your official high school transcripts.

c. Standardized Test Scores

From 2020, MIT has made SAT/ ACT scores optional.

d. Letters of recommendation

For MIT, you will need two letters of reference, one from a math/science instructor and the

other from a humanities/language teacher.

e. Interviews

Interviews are optional but important. While the phrase may sound oxymoronic, MIT does

value interviews even though it has stated them as optional. Very few applicants have been

admitted without interviews.

f. Application fee

MIT has a mandatory application fee of $75.

3. Georgetown University: Undergraduate Application

a. Application

Begin by filling out the Georgetown initial application form that includes your basic details, information regarding your parents, etc. This application will let Georgetown University create an admission profile for you. Within 24 hours, you will receive a message about the next step which is to create an application account. This account will enable you to track your recommendation requests and save your work on the Application Supplement.

b. Academic details and recommendation

You will need the name and email id of your high school counselor and teacher who can give a letter of recommendation for you. The university then approaches the two teachers and seeks the LOR from them along with your academic transcripts.

c. Application supplement

The supplement is where you will submit information about your extracurricular activities, declare your major, and compose your essays. This is again a very important step that may decide the fate of your application.

d. Standardized test scores

In the pre-COVID scenario, Georgetown had mandated test scores from all settings. But from 2020, it has relaxed the rule and accepts any one SAT score.

e. Alumni interview

Georgetown does not have campus interviews, instead, the college alumnus living in the same area as the applicant can call and conduct an interview. If there are no alumnus near the applicant, this requirement becomes null and void.

4. California State University: Undergraduate Application System

With 23 campuses and thousands of courses to choose from, California State University

System is a great place to begin your undergraduate journey. The admission process is fairly

straightforward. Below mentioned are some mandatory requirements of the college

- Transcripts ad academic records

- English language exam records

- Application fee

5. Questbridge

Questbridge is another important admission portal that helps students from low-income

backgrounds secure admission to leading colleges. Some of its mandatory requirements


● Academic records, hobbies, and financial background

● Two essays and short answers

● Two recommendations

● School Report from your high school counselor

● School Profile (optional, but recommended)

● Current high school transcript and additional transcripts (unofficial transcripts are accepted)

However, Questbridge does not allow non- U.S. students to apply unless they’re living in the

US for at least 3 years prior to their application.

While we have covered a lot about U.S. undergraduate college admissions in this two-part

blog series, we will be happy to answer additional queries.

At Writers Qi, we strive to make your journey to the college of your dreams smooth by

giving you expert guidance on the application process. Book a free consultation with us to

know how we can help.

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