Guide to Study in the USA 2023

Do you want to study in the United States of America (US)? This country, one of the largest in the world, is one of the top destinations for international students, with over 1 million students from other countries choosing to pursue higher education there.

The US also has some of the largest number of universities and among the greatest diversity of programs. With over 5,300 universities, you can definitely find the perfect option for you and your studies.

US universities are among the top-ranked in the world and a model for higher education worldwide. Almost 25% of the top 200 universities in the world are located in the US. This makes a US degree extremely valuable in every country, as the prestige of US education is globally renowned.

How can you study in the US? Get ready with our admissions guide here!

15 Reasons to Study in the USA

  1. World leader in elite higher education
  2. Top country for graduate employability
  3. Highest investment in universities
  4. High average salary for graduates, beginning from $55,000+ USD
  5. Study opportunities in cities, suburbs, and rural areas
  6. Incredibly diverse society
  7. Freedom of speech and religion
  8. World-class research opportunities
  9. Specialize in 1000s of majors
  10. Unique schools such as art, music, culinary, religious, etc
  11. 10,000s of scholarships available
  12. Beautiful natural landscapes from east to west
  13. Work-study opportunities
  14. Immerse yourself in a globally influential culture
  15. Liberal-arts curriculum for well-rounded graduates

Read More: UK vs USA: Where Should You Study?

Study in the USA Admissions Timeline

The USA university school year runs from September to May, with a three-month summer break and short winter break, usually over Christmas into January. Applications for US universities are usually due a year before the academic year begins (even transfer applications). Thus, if you want to study in the USA in the fall of 2023, you should apply in the fall of 2022.

USA University Application Timelines

The deadlines to apply to US university are as follows:

  1. September-October: Early Decision Deadline
    1. Only apply to 1 university for this round–your Early Decision university should be your top #1 choice
    2. If you get into your ED school, you must attend and cannot apply to other schools or withdraw your application
  2. November: Early Action Deadline
  3. January 1: Regular Decision Deadline
    1. Most universities in the US are due on January 1
    2. You can apply to as many universities as you want
    3. You will be notified of the results in May

Cost of Living and Tuition in the USA

The US is one of the three largest countries in the world, and it has a huge diversity of living areas, costs, and tuition prices.

Additionally, each state in the US is free to set their own laws, so you may find that prices are very different from state to state.

Generally, living in large cities will always be more expensive than living in a small town or rural area. However, outside of cities there is very little public transport in the United States as most people use cars. If you want to study or live in a small town/rural area, you need to consider additional transportation costs/restrictions if you do not have a car or a US drivers license.

Here are some popular universities and their undergraduate tuition prices, as well as the cities they are located in and the cost of living there.

study in the usa- cost of living and tuition

US universities are often among the most expensive in the world, you can find cheaper options or pursue scholarships/financial aid to help cover the cost of attendance. Scholarships are often the best way for students to graduate from US universities without any debt.

How to Pick a US University 

With over 5,300+ universities in the United States, how can you find a university that is right for you?

US universities fall into several categories. It is also important to note that in the US, college and university are the same thing. In some countries, “college” means “secondary school” or “high school,” but in the US these terms are used interchangeably.

There are basically three main types of university, and many smaller types…

  • State/Public Schools
  • Private Schools
  • Community Colleges
  • Religious Universities
  • Women’s Universities
  • Art, Culinary, Music Universities
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)–popular among Black/African descent students

study in the usa

While you are researching universities in the US, you should answer these questions first…

  • Do you want to study in a city, small town, or rural environment?
  • Do you want a large or small student body?
  • What is your tuition budget?
  • Do your grades and test scores meet the minimum requirements?
  • What do you want to major in?
  • What schools have the best departments for your major?
  • Do you want a university with lots of school spirit and sports?
  • Or, do you want a quieter, academic experience?
Image from the College Board

You can search for US universities on Global Admissions–we are adding new programs every day!

You can also use these resources:





Documents to Apply to the USA

You will need the following documents when you apply:


  1. Passport photo page
  2. Autobiographical information
  3. Lists and descriptions of a student’s achievements, activities, employment and summer activities
  4. Personal Statement
  5. University supplemental essays
  6. Official high school transcript from all high schools attended
  7. One or more high school counselor’s recommendation and school profile
  8. English proficiency exam if necessary
  9. One or more recommendation from a teacher
  10. Application fee
  11. Affadavit of Financial Support (unis may have their own form to fill)
  12. Resume/CV
  13. English Translations of Non-English Documents, submitted alongside the originals

Masters: All of the above except high school guidance counselor letter, and…

  1. GRE/GMAT exam (for STEM courses)
  2. Bachelor’s diploma *if not at an accredited university, have your 4-year experience evaluated using WES ( or ECE (
  3. Statement of Purpose/Research plan
  4. 2+ Letters of Recommendation
  5. Bachelor’s degree transcripts, original language + English translation

PhD: All of the above except high school guidance counselor letter

The Personal Statement

The Personal Statement essay is probably the most important document you will need to prepare for applying to the US. You should spend 1-2 months brainstorming, writing, and editing the personal statement.

Of course, you should not have any English grammar or spelling mistakes. But you should also focus on your personality, motivations, and emotions. Here are some dos and don’ts for the USA personal statement:

Personal Statement tips
Avoid: Include:
– Rewriting your CV/talking about grades or test scores – Information not included elsewhere in the application
– Simple self-introduction – Moments/people of significance in your personal development
– Talking only about yourself – Community service, leadership, teamwork
– List of courses you want to take – Goals you want to reach on campus
– Career goal is to make money – Why are you drawn to this major/career path
– Make yourself sound perfect – OK to admit flaws BUT demonstrate you grew through them


Here are some sample essay questions that you may need to answer for the personal statement:

  1. Share a story that reflects what kind of person you really are.
  2. Write about a work of literature or art that deeply influenced your life.
  3. Students have a background identity, interest, or talent that differentiates them from other people. Discuss those elements sharing interesting details.
  4. Why would you be a good fit at XX University?
  5. Talk about a challenge you faced in your personal or academic life and how you overcame it.

Apply to US Universities

You can search universities and apply on Global Admissions.

It’s easy to apply–

  1. Make an account on Global Admissions
  2. Choose a program to apply to here, or add a program not listed
  3. Submit the required application materials
  4. Get feedback from our admissions counselors
  5. We will help submit your application package to the university
  6. Get accepted into your dream school!

Get personalized help from our award-winning team: Book a Free Call here!

Have any questions about studying in the US? Leave us a comment on this article!

Fun facts about the USA


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