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Studying in the US

Emma Loughney
Communications Manager
Fulbright Commission / EducationUSA

Who Are We ? - Background

1946: Fulbright Program established in the US under legislation
sponsored by Senator J. William Fulbright
1991: Ireland United States (Fulbright) Commission for Educational
Exchange established by Irish legislation as a body with charitable status,
supported by the US Department of State and the Department of Foreign
Affairs & Trade
2010: Commission begins offering EducationUSA Service
Commission begins co-ordinating Irish language learning &
teaching in the US on behalf of the Irish Government

What is EducationUSA?

Global network of more than 450

advising centres in 170 countries
supported by the US Department
of State

Primary source of information for

potential under & post-graduate
students & scholars around the
world who seek access to US
higher education
EducationUSA advising centre is
based in the Fulbright Commission
in Dublin

US Higher Education
An Overview

What are the key differences?

Much longer application process
Apply directly to the university
No centralised admissions
process (Note: Common
Fees can vary significantly
Holistic review of your application
Students are notified of
provisional acceptance April/May
of the year they hope to attend
Law and Medicine are studied at
postgraduate level

US Higher Education

Types of Degrees

Associates Degree: Two year

degree, typically offered at a
community college

Bachelors Degree: Four year


Ivy League What does this

A sports conference of eight private
Some of the oldest higher education
institutions in the US
Average acceptance rates are around
10%, but often closer to 6%
Excellent, but thousands of other
schools out there

Applying to US Colleges

Typical Timeframe

Time Before

Spring / Summer - End

of 4th early 5th year


Learn about US higher education and application process

Begin choosing universities

Autumn of
6th year Before
Semester Holiday


Finalise your selection of 4-6 universities

Register for admissions exams
Begin admissions and funding applications

Autumn of
6th year After
Semester Holiday


Submit admissions applications

Submit funding applications

Spring of
6th year


Receive admissions decisions

Summer after
6th year


Aug. / Sept.



Notify universities
Apply for your visa
Read the Pre-Departure Section of Fulbright website.
Begin study in the US!

Your Five Steps to Study in the US

1. Research Your Options
2. Complete Your Application
3. Finance Your Studies
4. Apply for Your Student Visa
5. Prepare for Your Departure

1. Determine the factors that are

important to you in choosing a
university and prioritize these.
2. Narrow your search to a
manageable list by using a
search engine to help you
identify universities meeting
your criteria
3. Narrow your options to four or
six schools of interest and
research them online

How To Narrow Down Your Choices

1. Degree: Bachelors programs in Business
2. Location: Ohio due to family connections, weather
3. Extracurricular opportunities: outdoor adventure, sports ethos
4. Academic opportunities: Study abroad in major field
5. Funding: Looking to minimize up front costs and have a good
chance of receiving funding
6. Prestige: Degree that is accredited (of course) and will be
recognised as a top program

Funding Your Studies

Four Main Sources of Funding

1. Personal/family funds
2. Loans
3. Scholarships and merit and
need-based aid from US
4. Scholarships from external

How Much Does College Cost?

Average College Costs (College Board, 2013)

Community College (2 yr) = $3,131.00 / year

Public University (out of state, 4 year):
$21,706.00 / year
Private University (4 year): $29,056.00 / year

Cost of Attendance

Tuition and fees can vary significantly between universities

May be a set semester/yearly rate or calculated on a per-credit
Cost of living: books, personal expenses = $8,500 - $10,000
Awarded on basis of:
Academic merit
Financial need
Niche criteria
Athletic ability

Can students work and study?

International students on F1
visas can:
Work up to 20 hours per
week on campus during the
school year and up to 40
hours per week during
school vacations

Completing a Successful

An Application to a US

Application form with CV and 2-3 essays

Admissions exam scores SAT / ACT
Transcript and/or school report
Application fee
2-3 recommendation letters
Leaving Certificate Results

What are they evaluating?

Academic achievement Junior Certificate,
Leaving Certificate, final results from all 4 years
Academic potential: Admissions exam scores
Extracurricular involvement do not
underestimate this!
Reason for attending institution / personal

Interest in your academic field of choice

Leadership abilities
Why you fit

Common Application
The Common Application is used
by over 450 American universities.
You will save time by being able to
complete information and essays
that you can submit to multiple
Approx 2/3s of universities ask for
supplemental information
Confirm admissions requirements
on the schools website

Admissions Tests

Admissions Tests

Admissions Tests are intended to supplement, not replace, high school

records. Leaving Cert is still important and typically required.
Sit SAT/ACT in 5th Year, if possible, and again in 6th Year if a higher score
or subject tests are required

- SAT Subject Tests
- ACT & ACT with Writing
- English-language proficiency exam (if required)

Reasoning test sections : Critical
Reading, Math, Writing

Cost: $50 registration fee plus

international processing fee of $31

Time: 3 hours 45 minutes

Upcoming Dates:

Scores: 3 sections marked 200-800.

Max is 2400

June 7 / Apply by May 9

Test Centres:
Dublin: St. Conleths,
Dublin: St. Andrews College,

NOTE: SAT will be changing! See

the website for more details.

ACT Test:

Sections in: English, Math, Reading, Science, Optional Writing
Exam Fees: $74

Testing sites:
Dublin City University


F-1 Student Visa or J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

Generally, straight-forward process in Ireland:
Once accepted receive your I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019
(J-1) from the US university
Complete SEVIS application (I-901) and pay fee
Complete visa application and pay fee online
Schedule an interview at the US Embassy in Dublin

Refer to US Embassy for visa enquiries:

Post-Graduate Study in the USA


+ 1,700 universities awarding postgraduate degrees

No pure research degrees - combination of research & taught
Academic Masters degrees are generally completed in 2
academic years and usually lead to a career in academia or
Professional Masters degrees are designed to prepare you for a
particular profession (e.g. business administration, architecture,
social work, public policy/administration, etc.)

Doctoral degrees typically require between 4 & 6 years of study, varies

by university, department, topic of study and student.
JD/LLM degrees in law: Law is a postgraduate degree in the US.
International students, with a Law Degree generally do a 1 or 2-year LLM
- Masters in Law. LLM degrees offer specialized study in a particular
area of law, such as international law or tax law
MD degree in medicine: Medicine is also a postgraduate degree in the
US. Students typically complete a first degree in a science-related field
before completing a four-year medical school degree

How to Fund?
Tuition and fees vary significantly between universities and
even degree programs
Can be set semester / yearly rate or calculated on a percredit / quarter basis
Factor in cost of living, books and personal expenses =
$10,000 - $12,000
Average cost of attendance:
Masters: $21,900 (public) - $34,100 (private)
Doctoral: $28,600 (public) - $40,200 (private)

How to Fund?
Personal/family funds
US universities: tuition waivers, teaching assistantships (APPLY at time
of application)
External funding bodies
Online scholarship searches:
Fulbright Awards

Fulbright Awards 2016-17

What do We Offer ? - Awards

Fulbright Awards for Irish / EU & US Citizens
Summer Institute for 1 Irish 3rd year undergraduate
to study social entrepreneurship in the US
Ireland United States Commission for
Educational Exchange Awards for US Scholars
and US learners / teachers of the Irish language

Fulbright Awards - Overview

Fulbright grants = monetary award, visa administration, insurance and
For Irish citizens & EU citizens for postgraduate research, study, and or
lecturing in the US. Applicants apply to Ireland and are shortlisted /
interviewed in Ireland.
2016-17 Competition open August 2015
Categories of Awards:
1. Student Awards: visiting researcher or degree-seeking all disciplines
2. Irish Language Foreign Teaching Awards
3. Scholar Awards: post doc / professional all disciplines
4. TechImpact Scholar Awards: post doc / professional

Fulbright Awards How to Apply?

Applicants must:
be an Irish citizen or E.U. citizen living in the Republic for 3+ years
not be a dual U.S.-Irish citizen / green card holder /currently living in the U.S.
not already have extensive experience of studying or living in the U.S
must demonstrate academic and personal excellence, a strong rationale for
going to the United States, a robust program of study, research or lecturing,
strong leadership skills or potential, and an understanding and commitment
to the ethos of being a Fulbrighter
Find full information on
Application for 2016-2017 Awards opens August 2015

Commission Staff & Contact

Colleen Dube, Executive Director

Emma Loughney, Communication & Information Manager

Lisa Nic an Bhreithimh, Irish Awards Officer
Sonya McGuinness, US Awards Manager / EducationUSA Advisor
The Fulbright Commission
Brooklawn House, Crampton Avenue, Shelbourne Road
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
T: + 353 (0) 1 660 7670 Twitter: @fulbright_eire