A U.S. high school diploma opens the doors towards pursuing degrees from a U.S. college or university as well as offering preparation for careers all around the globe, opportunities to travel and chances to network and intern with business and industry leaders from all over the world.
A U.S. high school diploma checks the boxes that many post-secondary institutions and employers expect from candidates, and simplifies the process of taking these exciting steps.
If your son or daughter is planning on pursuing a degree from a U.S. college or university, here are a few things you’ll want to consider.
Why a U.S. high school diploma is important for international students
- Students need a high school diploma to attend a U.S. college or university.
To best understand how to get your child ready for admission to a U.S. college or university, it’s important to know a little bit about how the system works.
- American students log 12 years of study before earning a high school diploma.
- American students start school at the age of five. They attend primary (elementary) school for five years, then go to middle school (also known as junior high school) for two to three years, and then spend four years in high school.
- A diploma is awarded after successfully completing high school. Students are usually 17 or 18 years old when they complete high school.
- The schools in your city may or may not meet the educational or admissions requirements of U.S. colleges or universities.
American colleges and universities not only judge the grades your child receives in secondary school but the quality of that educational experience. These institutions will also expect a competitive student to have taken certain, specific type of courses before beginning the college experience.
To increase your child’s chances for getting accepted at the U.S. college or university of his or her choice, StudyUSA offers the following tips:
- Make sure that the official transcripts of your child’s academic work are available. You’ll be required to submit these documents with these college application.
- Understand the U.S. grading system. For example, two students with a 4.0 GPA — considered excellent in American schools! — may be evaluated differently based on the academic difficulty of the school they attended, or the courses he or she takes.Anna Wulick of PrepScholar notes that students should plan, at a minimum, to take four years of English, three to four years of mathematics, three years of science and two to three years of history.At the same time, colleges and universities will want assurance that the academic rigor of the school your children attended prepared them for the challenges ahead.
- Ascertain the U.S. equivalent of the last level of education that your child attended in your home country. Did your child complete the equivalent of four years of U.S. high school?
- Be aware that admission requirements vary among colleges and universities and even among individual degree programs. Don’t assume that the requirements are the same from one college to another. Competition to get into post-secondary schools is red-hot, and the funnel narrows to a trickle for the top colleges and universities.Your child should plan to take on leadership roles at a young age: participation in sports and clubs, community volunteerism and business internships are great steps for your young student to take.
- Encourage your child to meet regularly with his or her academic adviser. Make sure that he or she is staying on track to meet the admission requirements of his or her chosen college.
- International students make up a large percentage of U.S. college and university students…and that number is growing.According to Project Atlas, 974,926 international students attended U.S. colleges and universities during the 2014-2015 academic year. The majority of these students come from China (304,040 students), India (132,888 students), South Korea (63,710 students), Saudi Arabia (59,945 students) and Canada (27,240 students.)
Project Atlas also reported that more than 65 percent of these international students concentrated their studies in five areas:
- Business and management (20.2%)
- Engineering (20.2%)
- Math and computer science (11.6%)
- Social sciences (7.8%)
- Physical and life sciences (7.6%.)
While nearly every U.S. college and university has at least a few international students, some schools have a higher concentration than other. The five U.S. colleges and universities with the largest number of international students are New York University, the University of Southern California, Columbia University, Arizona State University and the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign campus).
- Follow the checklist for college-bound international students seeking a U.S. high school diploma.
In summary, international students seeking to enter a U.S. college or university should take the following steps:
- Make sure that you meet the basic entrance requirements for a U.S. high school or college. These can generally be found in the school’s admissions material.
- Take advantage of the school’s guidance counselor or college counseling service to help your child prepare for the sometimes-complicated college application process.
- Encourage your child to sign up for advanced placement courses while still in high school to give him or her a head start on college coursework and earn college credits.
- Suggest your child get to know American students and socialize with them prior to entering college.
- Help your child Improve his or her English language skills.
Want a more competitive education – and a U.S. high school diploma?
If you want to ensure that your children receive the type of competitive education that prepares them to compete at U.S. colleges and universities as well as the American job market, consider an online private school.
Students from all over the world attend K12 International Academy online to earn a U.S. high school diploma before moving on to some of the top post-secondary educational institutions in the country.
For more information, visit K12 International Academy online today.