Last year, University of Johannesburg received more than 135 500 applications from students wanting to pursue their tertiary education. They only had space for 10 500 students. Wits University received 69 000 applications, but only had capacity for 6 000 students.
With such limited space at South African universities, it is clear that more students need to look abroad for studying options. Education USA have started a campaign to get more young South Africans studying in the United States.
We sat down with Claire Powell to get more information on how South Africans can get into universities in America.
”As Education USA, we are walking the extra mile to help eligible South African students to apply competitively to U.S. universities and colleges, and also prepare them by offering workshops on studying for the SAT, and importantly for many, how to apply for financial aid,” says the Education USA advisor.
There are 4 726 tertiary institutions community colleges and universities in America. The community colleges offer a two year programs which focus on technical and workforce skills, while universities offer 4 year degrees on specialist skills.
Whether you apply at a university or community college depends on what you would like to do after the course.
An associate degree from a community college will allow you to work in fields such as education, culinary and hospitality, business and information technology.To get into a college or university in the US, there are a number of factors that come into play.
Students are expected to take a standardised aptitude test called the SAT to show that you are fluent in English and have mathematical capabilities. These can be taken at various places across South Africa four times a year.
To get accepted, Claire advises that you need an average of 70% in matric to be a good candidate. However, students with an average of 60% are welcome to try, although admission is competitive.
While academics are the most important, the university and college boards look at a number of factors before they accept an applicant. “Personal stories are considered. What kind of school you come from and if you were active in your community and have shown any leadership skills, all of that counts.”
The average cost for tuition at a university sits at $33 000 a year, this excludes living expenses and transport.
For community colleges, the average tuition is about $4 882 per year for in-state students and about $8 635 for out of state students.
For private community colleges it costs $15 470 per year. All these costs are only tuition and excludes living expenses. Fortunately, there are financial aids scheme and scholarships available for international students which are based on merit and needs.
“You will need to show a portfolio of work when applying. They need to see why you are great at what you do, and that you deserve the scholarship,” she advises.
If America seems like a great idea, plan 18 – 24 months ahead. You need to take into consideration the visa applications, writing the standardized tests and the research to choose where to go, all of that takes a bit of time.
The EducationUSA Scholars Application is open for 2019 admission for grade 11 students. Deadline is 30 November.
For more information you can c Education USA Facebook and website or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more check the Education USA website