Frequently Asked Questions

1HOW DO AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES COMPARE TO AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITIES?

There are a number of significant differences between American and Australian universities. Of course, both offer undergraduate degrees, and most also offer Masters and PhD programs. A university bachelor degree in the US is usually a 4 year program; when in Australia many bachelor degrees take 3 years.

US universities, public and private, depend less on government support than in Australia, and most rely heavily on donations and student fees. There is a very well established spirit of philanthropy to US colleges and universities, and donations to higher learning institutions are high on the list of priorities. This wealth enables the top universities to provide superb learning environments, faculty and opportunities for their students.

2HOW DOES THE COST OF A DEGREE IN THE USA COMPARE TO AUSTRALIA?

Tuition and fees at US institutions for both domestic and international students range from $20,000 USD to $70,000USD per annum (approximate numbers only).

Merit aid, financial aid and scholarships are available for some but not all students; the list price or Cost of Attendance of a US college education is not always what the family will be expected to pay.

3WHEN SHOULD I START PLANNING?

The Study USA Group recommend that planning begin in Year 10 or early year Year 11. However, we work with students starting the university search and application process right through year 12! Standardised testing and preparing applications are a considerable drain on time, and therefore the more planning that can be completed before Year 12 the smoother the process will be. Transcripts and school reports from Year 9 onwards need to be submitted as part of an application.

4HOW MANY UNIVERSITIES SHOULD WE APPLY TO?

We advise applying to between 5 and 10 universities. If your aim is to apply for a single institution that appeals for a specific purpose, and you are happy to attend university in Australia if you are not successful, then obviously only one application needs to be made.

5IS A PLACE IN THE USA GUARANTEED IF WE APPLY TO A NUMBER OF INSTITUTIONS?

Admissions officers at US universities take pride in their “Holistic Approach” to admissions. Taken into consideration for acceptance at US universities are, in no particular order of importance: school reports, essays, art and sporting achievements in and out of school, standardised testing, letters of recommendation, academic awards, teacher references, and HSC/VTAC/QCE results, none of which are singularly responsibly for acceptance. Rather, the entire package gives admissions a broader picture of the student as a whole. The Study USA Group recommend applying to a broad range of colleges and universities that match a students criteria, making sure your final college list has schools that are the right “fit” and where you can thrive and be happy.

6WHAT SORT OF VISA IS REQUIRED AND HOW DO WE APPLY?

To study for a degree in the US, all international students need to have an F1 visa. Once a student accepts his/her place at a particular school, that school will begin the visa process and an application form needs to be completed by the student. An interview appointment will need to be made at the US consulate and the visa will then be dispatched to the student within a few weeks.