Studying in the US


The admission system is more complex than the Australian system, as other criteria are taken into account beside the results of the SAT and ACT standardised tests. A personal application to the university, a written essay on a topic chosen by the university, an overview of transcripts from Year 9 and any extra - curricular activities such as volunteering, are all highly regarded and have weight in any admission consideration.

The most popular undergraduate degrees offered are Liberal Arts and Sciences, a general degree, where a student may specialise after the first two years. Other popular course are Engineering, Business, Pre Law and Pre Medicine. Most of the undergraduate degrees are more general and less vocational than in Australia and form a pathway to specialised graduate programmes and career direction. The acceptance rate of a university of all applications is a really important statistic. For example Stanford University may have 36,000 applications from which 33,000 applications have the grades that fit the criteria for admission, but only 3-7% of those qualified applications are accepted for admission. (So even if you are a very bright student you may have a 93-97% of being rejected.) On the other hand Arizona State University, which attracts less numbers of qualified applications has an acceptance rate of 88%.

download-icon Click here to download a breakdown of admission requirements for some of the top US Universities. (PDF 31.8KB)

In the SAT test results CR = Reading, writing and language and  M = Maths. Each test is out of 800

In the ACT results each score is between 1-36. 

What to do next

PLC Sydney graduates who are interesting in visiting and/or studying at US universities, should read the attached documents that have been developed and updated by the Sydney Education USA Advisory Service.

The one page 'Quick Guides' provide an overview of the key elements of the US undergraduate application process and sports scholarships that we hope will be of assistance to Year 12 graduates. 

If you would like assistance in identifying appropriate US uni’s to apply and support through the application process, please contact Internationally Educated 

Please click on the links below to download information about the process.

Undergraduate Information

download-icon Quick Guide – US Undergraduate Admission Requirements (PDF 80.8KB)

download-icon Quick Guide – University Application Essay Writing (PDF 112.5KB)

download-icon Quick Guide – Letters of Recommendation (PDF 86.1KB)

download-icon Quick Guide – SAT / ACT comparison (PDF 526.4KB)

download-icon Quick Guide – Year 12 Countdown to US University Study (a narrative sheet + a tick sheet) (PDF 82.4KB)

download-icon Quick Guide – Useful Websites  - Undergraduate Study (PDF 97.4KB)

download-icon EducationUSA Sydney contact details (PDF 71.6KB)

download-icon College Board – International Student Financial Aid Application 2015-16 (PDF 484.7KB)
NB Students applying for Financial Aid will find this form on the website of the university to which they are applying.

Sports Scholarship Information

download-icon Quick Guide – The ABC of Sports Scholarships (PDF 209.5KB)

download-icon Quick Guide – NCAA (PDF 116.7KB)

download-icon NCAA Eligibility: Are you ready? (from the NCAA website) (PDF 956.9KB)


For further information about the program please contact:
Mrs Sue Arnaudon
Director of Vocational and Tertiary Pathways