Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
What is EducationUSA?
EducationUSA is not a scholarship provider but rather an advising service that assists and offers advice to students through the process of applying to U.S. Tertiary institutions.
Where does the Embassy provide educational advising services?
What are the admission requirements for an undergraduate program in the United States?
In the United States, application requirements can vary greatly from one institution to another. It is very important to check the specific requirements on the website of each institution’s international admissions office. In general, to be eligible for admission to a U.S. college or university, students must meet certain minimum entry requirements. These include a secondary/high school diploma or examination results, English language ability, and in many cases a score from one of the U.S. standardized tests (either the SAT or ACT and TOEFL).
What are the English language proficiency requirements to study in the United States?
Being able to communicate in English is a basic requirement for successful study in the United States. If English is not your native language, U.S. colleges and universities will ask you to take an English language proficiency test before admission. Almost all institutions require either the TOEFL or IELTS. Check the websites of the institutions where you plan to apply for detailed information. You may be granted conditional acceptance with the understanding that you will attend English language classes at the institution before beginning your degree program.
What is the TOEFL?
The Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL, measures the ability of non-native English speakers to communicate in an academic setting. The TOEFL tests reading, speaking and listening skills in the English Language, and expects a certain level of proficiency as a starting point.
What is the SAT?
The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized test required for undergraduate admission by many colleges and universities in the United States. It measures your critical reading, writing, and mathematical abilities. Some colleges and universities require certain SAT Subject Tests for admission; others allow applicants to choose which tests to take. These tests are important because they are used in combination with other parts of your college or university application and serve as good predictors of your future college performance.
How Can I obtain a full Scholarship
Colleges and universities in the United States vary considerably in their admission standards and requirements. To be considered for admission in American universities, a student must be qualified to enter Tanzanian universities. To compete successfully for financial aid, students must have A’ and B’s on their A-level exams. A student with 3 strong A-levels and similar O-level record and high standardized test results has the best chance of being offered a scholarship. In addition, to the academics, a student must demonstrate extracurricular interests (sport activities, clubs, and community projects) to be a stand a good chance of being awarded a scholarship.
What types of financial aid exist for international postgraduate students?
Many Graduate students work on campus to pay for the cost of their education. Teaching assistantships and research assistantships are the most common means of financing graduate study and are offered by most universities to their strongest applicants. Other awards made by graduate schools include fellowships for the most outstanding students.
What types of financial aid exist for international undergraduate students?
There are two basic types of financial aid offered by U.S. colleges & universities merit-based and need-based.
Merit-based: is based on your achievement in a particular area; for example, outstanding academic performance, special talent in sports or performing arts, community service or leadership.
- Scores on standardized admissions tests such as the SAT and ACT
- Special talents in areas such as music, art, and so on
- Athletic Abilities in Certain Sports
- The students potential for leadership – typically demonstrated through activities outside of the classroom
- And other personal characteristics like community service/volunteerism
Need-based: is based on the student’s financial need, as documented by family income, assets, and other factors. This may also take certain merits as listed above into consideration as well.
How can you know if an institution is accredited?
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. For accreditation information, refer to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education (www.ope.ed.gov/accredidation) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (www.chea.org).
Do U.S. medical schools consider applicants with an undergraduate degree received outside of the United States?
Admission to medical school in the United States is extremely competitive. Medical school acceptance rates show that fewer than 50% of U.S. citizens and 3% of international students who apply to medical school are accepted. Many medical schools in the United States are public—that is, funded largely by taxes raised in the states where they are located— and admissions preference is usually given to residents of that state.
To determine if medical study in the United States is the best option, international students interested in an MD degree should think about: the level of difficulty of entrance requirements; the length of time involved; and recognition of a U.S. medical degree and licensing qualifications in their home country.
How can I obtain a scholarship?: (Undergraduate)
Public Affairs Section of the American Embassy, Dar es Salaam offers no undergraduate scholarships. We have no funds available for study in the U.S., Tanzania or elsewhere.
American universities and private foundations may offer limited opportunities for exceptional candidates. The admission office of the university you wish to attend will be the best source of information on these opportunities.
Consult books in the library for information on financial aid for international students.
College Board International Student Handbook and Peterson’s applying to Colleges and Universities in the United States, then visit the websites of the universities that interest you for further information.
When you write directly to a university or college for admission application materials, also request information on financial assistance. At some institutions your academic ability is considered together along with your financial need. At others your application for admissions and your financial need are considered separately.
Colleges and universities in the United States vary considerably in their admission standards and requirements. To be considered for admission in American universities, a student must be qualified to enter Tanzanian universities. To compete successfully for financial aid, students must have A’ and B’s on their A-level exams.
A student with 3 strong A levels, good O-level record and high SAT test results has the best chance of being offered a scholarship. In addition to the academics, a student who can demonstrate extracurricular interests (sport activities, clubs, hobbies, community projects) is also much appreciated. It will be up to the student to convince the admissions personnel of the institutions to which he/she is applying that he/she will be a real asset to that institution.
In order to make your applications competitive and convincing, use the guide books in our library, such as “Presenting Yourself Successfully to Colleges”
For the student with exceptional ability in a particular sport, a sports scholarship could be an excellent way of financing his/her education. Write to the coach at a particular institution and correspond with him directly. The student should be aware that acceptance by the coach or even the offer of a scholarship does not guarantee admission into the university/college. The regular admissions procedure must still be followed. The student should also be aware that he/she would still be expected to carry a minimum course load and maintain a certain academic average in addition to participating in the sports program.
Consult books in the library for in-depth information on how to apply for a sports scholarship.
How do I pay the college application and test registration fees?
For application fees and test fees, you should approach any bank’s foreign exchange department so that an application can be made in order to obtain a U.S. bank draft.
After gaining admission to an U.S. college/university, what college expenses will I incur?
There are several types of expenses which you will incur. A rough estimate is given below:
- Tuition and fees this could range from $12,000 to $75,000.
- Books and supplies $2,000 and above
- Student’s room & board (meals) $6,000 to $10,000
- Personal (clothing, laundry, recreation, medical) $4,000 to $6000
- Transportation (If you do not live on campus.) $1500 to $3000
Which are the best schools?
You should decide which university is the best for you, i.e., one that offers your field and meets the other criteria important to you, such as location, housing, and facilities for international students.
How can I be assured that the degree which I obtain at an U.S. University is acceptable in Tanzania?
You should apply only to accredited universities. These universities/colleges are accredited by various national and regional accrediting groups that are recognized as meeting accepted levels of quality and performance. These colleges are listed in Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education, a publication of the American Council of Education available in the Library. You can also check the accreditation of a school on the following website: www.chea.org.
Consult the Ministries of Higher Education to find out if these institutions are acceptable to them. Seek advice from lecturers at the Universities in Tanzania or various professionals and speak to established professionals already working in your area of interest. Consult professional association in Tanzania, such as the bar association, pharmacy, engineers, etc., to ascertain the acceptability of American professional qualifications.
How do I apply to colleges in the U.S.?
You must first possess the necessary academic qualifications: good grades at A-levels. After you have selected universities that meet your criteria, obtain their application forms by downloading them from each university’s website.
Which college entrance examinations do I have to take?
Many colleges and universities require prospective undergraduate students to take ACT or SAT 1 and/or TOEFL exams. Consult books in our library or admission information for international students on each university’s website for their requirements. The centers for these examinations are Computing Center of the University of Dar es Salaam for TOEFL and ACT; International School of Tanganyika, Upper School for SAT; and Haven of Peace Academy for ACT. All of these centers are in Dar es Salaam.
- TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test is often required even if English is the medium of instruction in your school. IT is a computer based test.
- SAT – The SAT I Reasoning Test measures your verbal and mathematical aptitude. The SAT II, the Subject test measures your abilities in particular subject areas.
- ACT – The ACT measures your knowledge in English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning. It also has an optional Writing section. Because the ACT measures subject knowledge, many universities waive their SAT Subject Test requirements for students who have taken the ACT Plus Writing.
- GRE – The Graduate Record Examination measures verbal, quantitative, and analytical abilities of graduate School applicants.
- GMAT – The Graduate Management Admissions Test measures the general verbal and mathematical skills of graduate applicants to schools of management (MBA programs).
All registration forms for these tests can be obtained from the Educational Advising Center at the American Embassy. You can register online if you have access to a credit card:
How can I obtain a student visa?
What is the deadline for application to a university?
It differs from university to university. Look in the International Student handbook or one of the college directories under “Application Deadline” to find each university’s deadline.
How can I find out what the courses are like at the various universities?
Go to their website.
When should I apply for financial aid?
If you need to apply for financial aid, you should do so at the same time that you apply for admission.
How do I find college/university names and addresses?
The Educational Advisor at the American Embassy offers a complete library of materials on U.S. education. If you are not familiar with the geography of the U.S. use a map to guide you in choosing states and/or institutions.
Use the following outline to guide you:
The Index of Majors: this manual lists nearly 600 fields of study alphabetically. Under each heading you will find an alphabetical list of institutions by state, which offers that field of study. A Associate Degree (2 year diploma), B Bachelor’s Degree (4 year degree), M Master’s Degree, DF Post Doctorate or First Professional Degree. Doctorate, and
Graduate (post graduate) study is applied to only after the Bachelor’s has been obtained. If you do not have a first degree, you cannot apply for any kind of Masters degree.
The College Board International Student Handbook: this manual offers information of particular interest to a non US citizen and should be studied carefully. Responses are given from colleges/universities regarding test requirements, deadlines, costs and financial aid for foreign students.
After compiling a list of names, the college/university manuals can be used to:
- Confirm the degrees offered
- Get an idea of the location and environment
- Review the admissions procedure
- Find out about academic programs offered
- Obtain addresses.
The manuals, which can be used for this, include:
- Peterson’s Guide to Four Year Colleges
- The College Handbook