Lifestyle

Investing in an American education with U.S. School Accept

Families with children looking to go to university in the US, look-no-further

May 20, 2017 | By Robbie Wilson

An American company U.S. School Accept, set up by veteran marketing and communications expert Karri Simmons, is assisting applicants from overseas and enabling them to enter some of the best schools in the country. Their skills and expertise are second to none and their ability to offer a well-rounded programme for students that includes areas outside of assisting you to get into a school really makes the process easier and more efficient. These areas include helping you find a home, English language courses, visa and immigration issues to name a few. We discuss with Karri Simmons what makes U.S. School Accept a leader in supporting students heading to the States.

Why did you start U.S. School Accept? 

We saw a large number of international students coming to study in the US and not being supported academically or socially. On several occasions, we were asked to step in and find safe living arrangements, assist with additional academic support or provide English help. All of these activities took place on an informal basis. At that point, we felt like we could do better than some of the large agencies where we saw hundreds of students coming into their programmes, spending years at a community college, not transferring to a four-year programme, and not completing their degrees.

What is the biggest draw of the US that makes students want to study there? 

The US has excellent academic programmes with numerous world-renowned universities and colleges that offer many different academic paths from which to choose. Attending college in the US provides students access to conferences, networking opportunities, and many kinds of professional experience to supplement what they learn in the classroom. I think there is still this idea that an American education is a gateway to a better life.

How do you assist students? And what services do you offer? 

We offer a variety of services and look at the unique needs and goals of each student, providing them with a roadmap to their future. Some students will be entering a university right out of high school, while others don’t have the grades or have not prepared to take any of the exams like the TOEFL or SAT. For the latter, we place them into a community college 2+2 transfer programme to a four-year university. Some students have the academic record, but need a plan with financial assistance. Whatever the case, we work with each student and assist them with all aspects of the process. These activities include pre-application planning, English skills, SAT preparation, transcript review, college list, application strategy, packaging of application, essay topic selection, brainstorming and editing, letters of recommendation, activities list and résumé, final application review, interview preparation, and decision support. We manage the entire process, including regular check-ins, establishing deadlines and tracking student progress, while providing a safety net when they are in the US.

Advantages of using U.S. School Accept over applying directly?

We help students identify and apply to colleges that fit them personally. We understand the nuances of the process, what colleges are looking for, and how students can best position themselves to gain admission to their top-choice schools – whether that is through the application right out of high school, a gap year or a 2+2 programme. It’s not just about having the right grades and test scores. It’s also about students exploring their interests and reaching their full potential inside and outside of the classroom. Attending school in a foreign country is more than just an academic adventure. U.S. School Accept supports our students so that they focus on their academic achievements and accomplish their goals.

Which nationalities represent the largest portion of students heading to the US?

India, China and Saudi Arabia.

What different types of universities can students go to and what programmes are offered?

There are two main types of schools available. You have your two-year institutions, which are typically referred to as community or junior colleges and award the associate degree, Associate
of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.). Alternatively, there are the four-year college or university bachelor’s degree. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.).

Which cities and universities have been the most popular? Why?

Our 2+2 programme is the most popular for the Santa Barbara area. Not only is it a great place to live, but the Santa Barbara City College has no TOEFL or English requirement like the other community colleges in California. It also offers an automatic transfer to some of the best science and engineering programmes at University California Santa Barbara and University California Irvine.

Do you assist with student housing?

Yes! We help students find safe, comfortable living arrangements either to rent or to buy.

Are students and their families purchasing places to live during their studies?

Yes, many students are finding that buying is a great financial investment. Some markets have experienced an 11-20% price increase year over year.

This article was first published in PALACE

 
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