A non-political, non-profit community of Malaysian college and university students aimed at collecting and distributing information about education, opportunities and the future generation of Malaysia. Comments, suggestions, e-mails are welcome!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

SPM, STPM, US - What do US colleges look for?

This is an excerpt from a handout in my school.

[Competitive U.S. colleges and universities that offer significant financial aid are looking for students who are intelligent and independent, resourceful and motivated; students who have strong values and who get along well with others; students who go beyond what is expected academically, personally, athletically and socially; students who are respected and unique. This section provides a breakdown of where, in your application, admissions officers might be looking for evidence of these qualities.

Numerous factors determine your qualifications for admission to most North American colleges and universities, and no admissions office has the exact same admissions criteria as another. Admissions officers seek individuals who will best fit in their institution. To be sure, most colleges and universities offering full-financial aid are looking for perfect matches, and the enormous rise in applicant pools usually yields such candidates. If you were to ask several admissions officers of prominent U.S. colleges and universities to rank admissions factors in terms of importance and then average the collected results something like the following probably wouldn't surprise anyone:

A) grades,
B) standardized test scores,
C) secondary school attended and difficulty of courses taken,
D) special talents,
E) recommendations
F) personal statement
G) extra-curricular, and in no particular order
H) interviews, international experience, awards, athletic ability, ethnic or religious background
and "legacy".]

One of the factors that most Malaysians are not familiar with is the personal statement. To touch briefly on it, US colleges want to see something that is not apparent from your application. So unless you have something very profound to say, do not write about how many medals you have won, how many competitions you have been to, etc. The best essays focus on something seemingly insignificant and expands it. To find out more, check some online websites that give tips from the experts on acing the personal essay.


Blogger chenchow said...

Good Job for starting this blog. Hopefully this would be a good complement with ReCom.org in serving fellow Malaysians. Lets work together for the benefits of fellow Malaysians who are hoping to pursue further education in US.

6:19 PM

Blogger hhhcce said...

I agree with Chen Chow.I am not a JPA scholar.I am studying at HELP for A level.But I have now made up my mind to study in US,Singapore.This is a good website,esp for those who need helps for the others.

2:32 PM

Blogger Yee Hoong said...

It's certainly a great idea! I'm a JPA scholar, and prep to go US this fall. THough my comments might be rather late considering the initial post of this blog, hope it'll help.

Focus much on the personal statement. Applying to US Uni might be diff than others. Learn to sell yourself, your talents, and what that set you apart.
I'd say, personal statement carries lots of weightage in US uni admission process.


1:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a GREAT blog. It's definitely been a great help. And when i actually get my acceptance letter to cali state, i know who to thank.

6:21 PM


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