If you want to study abroad, it’s best you get cracking as applications have already opened. Photographer: Michael Fein/Bloomberg
If you want to study abroad, it’s best you get cracking as applications have already opened. Photographer: Michael Fein/Bloomberg

When and how you can apply to study at universities abroad

By IOL Reporter Time of article published May 13, 2021

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Matric students who want to study in the United States and United Kingdom next year need to start preparing their applications now.

Global admission trends are showing a record increase in applicants for the class of 2025 with students competing for places at top universities abroad.

Country Manager at Crimson Education Rebecca Pretorius said: “When it comes to applying to top universities, there’s no such thing as being too prepared. Ideally, you should give your application at least an 18-month lead time, but matrics who are only starting to think about their applications now, still have a chance of gaining admission – provided they stick to deadlines.”

Crimson Education is a global mentorship company that focuses on building the candidacy of high school students who wish to study at top-ranked universities in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

According to data collected by Crimson Education, the 2020/2021 admissions season saw applications to universities increase by 30%. At the same time, universities saw a 7% drop in admission rates overall, due to the number of students who had deferred their offers as a result of Covid-19 in the previous year. With the extension of test-optional policies at top universities, turbulent admissions are predicted to persist into the 2021/2022 admissions cycle.

Pretorius said applications for international universities open as early as August.

“A key component of the application process is deciding which universities to apply to. In between juggling Grade 12 exams and activities, and making decisions about courses, majors, and future careers, students will also need to sit for admissions tests, write personal statements, supplementary essays, and in some cases activity lists,” said Pretorius.

Here’s a breaks down an admissions roadmap for US/UK admissions in 2022:

May 2021 – Familiarise yourself with the application process and research the universities you want to apply to. You should have a good idea of the various courses, accommodation deadlines, and fee requirements.

July 2021 – Finalise your course and university choices and start your personal statement and essay writing. Secure your letters of recommendation from your teachers.

June to September 2021 – Register and prepare for standardised admission tests including the SAT, the ACT for the US, the BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) for UK Medicine courses, and LNAT (Law National Aptitude Test) for applications to UK Law, among others.

October 2021 to November 2021 – Submit applications to Oxford/Cambridge and UK medicine courses, and Early Action/Early Decision applications for US universities.

December 2021 to January 2022 – Submit your Regular Decision applications by 1 to 15 January. Prepare for personal/video interviews which take place between January and March.

December 2021 to April 2022 – Get your results. Once you’ve received your offer from a university, get the paperwork ready, apply for your student visa, book your flights, and you’re off!

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