Frequently Asked Questions

Go to and follow the links to learn about the high quality, flexibility, great choice of programs, and value for money offered by U.S. universities. Under the International Students tab you will find information on the 5 Steps to U.S. Study, including 1. Research your options, 2. Complete your application, 3. Finance your studies, 4. Apply for your student visa, and 5. Prepare for your departure.

Studying in the U.S. can cost upwards of $20,000 per year including cost of living. This is why it is important to assess your need for scholarships ahead of time. Student visas do not allow employment except part-time on campus, and that income cannot be factored into the visa application.

There are over 3,600 accredited colleges and universities in the United States. There are many different criteria that one should consider when deciding which schools to apply to and ultimately attend – including the quality of individual departments within a university, the type of financial and academic scholarships available, and the areas of research offered. Other factors that many students take into consideration include the location of the school, size, and type of facilities offered. Research your options

The application deadline differs from university to university and depends on whether you start in the “winter” semester (January / February) or “fall” semester (August / September). It is  most common to start in August, which means applying in december or January of the previous year. It also depends on whether you are seeking early admission. It is crucial that you research each university’s deadline and meet them accordingly.

You must have a minimum of “C” or above including Math and English if you wish to apply for an undergraduate degree. Your acceptance will be based, in part, upon your overall grade average along with the results of U.S. college entrance examinations (TOEFL, SAT, GRE, GMAT), which can be taken in Botswana. Those who have ‘A’ level credits may be given advanced standing; however, this will be determined by the particular institution and the appropriate department. These are some of the things admission officers look out for:

Competitive academic record and college entrance examination results. Judging from past experience, students that have subjects with a majority of ‘A’s, high ‘A’ level passes and respectable SAT test results (composite score of 1200 plus) have the best chance of being offered a scholarship.

Students who can demonstrate extracurricular leadership and involvement in sports activities, clubs, hobbies, and community projects.

For students with exceptional abilities in a particular sport, usually marked by participation on a national team, a sport scholarship could be an excellent way of financing his/her education.

Many U.S. universities offer scholarships, as well as financial aid, that are open to international students. Scholarships are usually grants for which repayment is not required, and they are based on academic or sporting merit. All types of academic scholarships are extremely competitive and require outstanding academic records (at least 80% aggregate). Sports scholarships require good grades and demonstrated excellence in a given sport, usually at the regional or national level. Financial aid is based on financial need, but may also be based on academic merit. These funds may be grants, but more commonly are either work/study funds (payment in return for work on campus) or loans that must be repaid. Loans usually require an American citizen co-signer, and can become a larger burden than expected due to the fluctuation in the dollar/Pula exchange rate. Students generally apply to these directly with the university they are accepted to.

There is no set pass mark. The U.S. universities’ admission process is more holistic and takes many factors into consideration, including grade point average, your extracurricular and leadership activities, and volunteer experiences. Your entrance essay means a lot, so spend significant time on this! Having said that, if you are hoping for a full scholarship you pretty much need to have an A aggregate, and you will be competing with students from around the world. There is never a guarantee that even a straight ‘A’ student will get a partial scholarship.

Sports scholarships are a wonderful way to attend university in the U.S., and some schools award these directly. Other schools factor sporting merit into the application. Check out for more information on how to qualify for sports scholarships and to locate schools that have teams.

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 the most compelling applicants. Other awards made by graduate schools include fellowships for the most outstanding students. Outside agencies, such as the Fulbright Program through the U.S. State Department, also offer funds. You can find out more information on the Fulbright Program here:

TOEFL : Test of English as a foreign language. This test may be required if English is not your native mother tongue, even if English is the medium of instruction at your school. Registration fee and payment is done online.

SAT:  The Scholastic Aptitude Test/SAT II Subject Tests. The SAT measures your verbal and mathematical aptitude. The subject tests measure your abilities in particular subject areas, and is offered 6 times a year. The registration is done online.

GRE : The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) measures verbal, quantitative and analytical abilities of graduate school applicants. Registration fee is and payment is done online.

GMAT : Graduate Management Admission Test measures the general verbal and mathematical skills of graduate applicants to schools of business or management. Registration fee is done online.

If you are applying as a transfer student you usually don’t have to take the SAT tests, if you have a certain number of credits. Generally, it is more difficult to gain admission as a transfer student, especially if you need funding. You may want to consider completing your Bachelor’s degree and going to the U.S. to complete a Master’s degree.

Not all universities require the SAT. For a list of these universities go to

It depends on the university. An average score is about 525 on each of the three sections; however, some universities expect much higher scores, others will accept lower, and some don’t require the SAT at all.

Begin researching your options early, at least 12 to 18 months before the deadline to apply.