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The American University - How Does It Work?

The American University - How Does It Work?

The American University

Tips and good plans to start University study in United States.

The American higher education makes dream, the more it is organized. In view of the significant differences between the public and the private sector, and insofar as it is implied, the facsimile of the United States of America and the United States of America is a matter for the United States. Terminology of the academic America, medium finance, choice of subjects ..., here is what you need to know about the University in the United States.

The educational system

High School, College, University ... What's the difference?

When they leave the middle school, the pupils enter the High School where they study 4 years.

Each student then passes the SAT that tests reading, mathematics, and writing, ACT gold for English, math, reading and science.

Entry to the American High School

Undergraduate, do what you please ...

The school is compulsory until the High School, and the student can then choose to enroll in the College as undergraduate for 4 years to obtain a Bachelor Degree (BA for Arts, BS for Science).

A teenager does not have to make a quasi definitive choice as to career guidance from high school; The choice of materials in undergraduate school does not necessarily define the borrowed route later. A student can therefore study astronomy or anthropology as "major" at undergraduate school later integrating a law school. Each adolescent can thus change the major as much as he wishes, in order to take the time to explore the potentials of the inner self.

Graduate, you have to choose

To the graduate school, a student chooses the major he will study and can attain a Master Degree after 2 years of studies, and even then PhD (Doctorate) if he wishes to continue.

Attention, it is possible to integrate the Schools of Law, Medicine and Business directly after the undergraduate school, without doing a Master.
Then comes the long awaited moment of the Graduation: the famous jetty of the Mortarboard celebrates the completion of American schooling ... and has a great moment of emotion and celebration.

Public vs Private

A first American feature is the federal system allows each state to decide its own policy. A public school receives funds from the Government's share in the State, and this allows the students of the same State to pay tuition fees less than if they went to a school Situated in another State or in a private institution.

Private schools - some of which are religious - do not receive State aid; They are not subject to governmental regulations of the state. The tuition of these schools is however much higher - a real investment which amounts to tens of thousands of dollars for a single year.

The budget

How to finance studies in United States?

Scholarships and grants

For more information on American scholarships, read our article on this subject.

There are three main systems of financial assistance:

- scholarships,
- subsidies (grants) and
- borrowing (loans).

What are the differences? What do you prefer? How to benefit? Brief analysis of their operation to know which system to choose.

Scholarships and grants are not refunded, unlike loans. Their difference lies in the source from which money comes; For scholarships, it is either from the school itself or from private donors (who usually give their name to the scholarship), and for grants it is from the State or from institutions.

The scholarships are awarded according to the student's needs, merits or belonging to a certain category of individuals (single mothers, members of an ethnic minority, families in extreme financial difficulty).

Each school manages its own resources, so there will be scholarships awarded to students in schools of engineering, law, medical, aviation ...

Institutions are based on the academic results of the student of course, but also on the involvement with associations, the status as a top sportsman or the artistic abilities. Some schools are real prospects of potential talents, which cultivates a competitive atmosphere.

If you do not come to you, you can always apply - the sooner the better - and the qualification criteria are quite rigid. It is advisable to check beforehand on the site of the establishment if it offers many scholarships.

Subsidies are granted by the State or institutions. All US students must first complete the FAFSA form  Fafsa.ed.gov in order to determine the financial assistance available to it. The FAFSA website also offers extensive information on all possibilities for financial assistance.

Grants are also awarded according to needs, merits or belonging to a minority. One of the most renowned is the Pell Grant, granted by the Government:

The other possibility to finance the studies is to contract a student loan. State loans are more advantageous than those from banks or private financial institutions because they are more easily payable.

First, their refunding begins to run only six months after the graduation, which leaves the student time to find a job (but not too much either). These loans also have a fixed interest rate and different payment terms; Work for the government for 10 years and it will be "forgotten", or repay by affecting only 10% of the salary ...

For more information, here is the official website:

The freshly active student may also subscribe to a monthly payment of the tuition, after inquiring at the school.

Unfortunately for the portfolios, the budget is not limited to the tuition but also includes the various expenses necessary for its survival in the capitalist jungle of the campus (insurance, books, parking, pocket money ...).

Attention, private universities usually automatically include insurance in the necessary expenses, and it is up to the student to cancel it if he already has protection.

With regard to books, there are Internet sites in most universities in order to buy them from former students or just eBay or Amazon. Sometimes difficult months? Campuses offer many jobs for their students, in almost every field.

Foreign students

All this information concerns American students (American student life) with the necessary visas to study on American soil. For foreign students, it is recommended to go to the site of the future university in order to study the conditions. One of the most well-known financial aid programs is Fulbright, see more info on Fulbright.State.gov

These requests are generally to be made each year, in particular for state subsidies because the income of a family varies from year to year.

Entries: We do not idle! The school year usually begins in August and ends in June. 

How to choose your school? You can check the ranking on the site

Make a search for ranking universities of law:  Top-Law-Schools.com/Rankings

Or on the paid site USNews UsNews.com/Rankings

Top 5 USA Universities

Having done an undergraduate school in one state and coming to college in another does not pose any problem; However, it must first be ensured that the requirements for registration (in particular in terms of credits) are fulfilled.

Beware, however, of future students who are still abroad and who wish to come to the United States only from the university. They must provide a transcription of all their diplomas and all their marks, all done by a sworn and approved translator by the American government (usually the list of these interpreters are on the site of the US Embassy, You can also see our article dedicated to

The equivalence of diplomas in the United States). It is advisable to allow a few months of preparation in order to have all its papers in order.