Select A College

If you plan ahead and do your research carefully, you will come up with a manageable shortlist of colleges that match your needs. Every student is different, and when making your choices you should consider carefully the factors that are important to you in both your education and your lifestyle. Educational Information and Advising Centers U.S. educational information and advising centers can be found in almost every country around the world, and they are the ideal starting point for your research. Centers usually have a library with directories, university catalogs, introductory guides such as this one, handouts, and reference books to assist you in applying to study in the United States.
Many centers have developed guides, videos, and Web sites specifically tailored to students applying from your country. In many parts of the world, private agents or agencies work to recruit international students into U.S. colleges. There are also private educational consultants who charge a fee for assisting you with the process of choosing U.S. colleges and putting together your applications. Often these educational consultants and private agents are graduates of U.S. colleges or people who are dedicated to promoting the benefits and advantages of the U.S. education system. However, sometimes they are not, and so it is important to check the credentials and past performance of educational consultants or agents before using their services
Academic considerations
An important indicator of the quality of any U.S. college or university is its accreditation status. Unlike many other countries, the United States does not have a central government office that approves educational institutions. Instead, it relies on a system of voluntary accreditation carried out by non-governmental accrediting bodies to ensure that schools meet standards.
While almost all U.S. colleges hold widely recognized forms of accreditation, it must be noted that accreditation in the United States is a complex area; there are different types of accreditation and a large number of accrediting bodies. There is also no legal requirement that degree-offering institutions be accredited or hold a particular form of accreditation.
Because of this complexity, you should check carefully well in advance whether a degree from the institutions you are applying to will be recognized by your home country government and any relevant professional associations, ministries, or employers in your country. Also, talk to graduates who have returned to your country to see if they have been successful in applying degrees earned from such institutions to their chosen professions. If you think you might wish to transfer from one U.S. college to another during your undergraduate studies, or if you might want to pursue graduate study in the United States, you should also check whether other U.S. universities will recognize credits and degrees from the colleges you are considering.
U.S. educational information and advising centers can advise you regarding recognition of U.S. degrees in your country and tell you whether a U.S. degree-offering institution is appropriately accredited. Admission officers look at a variety of factors, including essays, prizes, community service and work experience, hobbies, and special talents, as they review applications to try to determine your potential for success at their institutions.