This month’s article features Heather Augar, Director of International Admissions, Fairleigh Dickinson University (NJ)
Describe your institution in five words?
What is FDU best known for overseas?
FDU prepares students to succeed in a world marked by interdependence, diversity, and change by integrating global education in all phases of university life.
New Jersey’s largest private university, FDU has campuses in the metropolitan New York City area; Vancouver, Canada; and Wroxton, England. Over 100 BA, MA and PhD degree programs are offered in our four academic colleges.
What are your top academic programs (undergrad & grad)?
Undergraduate: Business, Engineering/Computer Sciences, Sciences, Liberal Arts, Hospitality Management, Theater, Filmmaking
Graduate: Engineering/Computer Sciences, MBA/Business, Hospitality Management, Public Administration, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Psychology
What are the top five countries represented at FDU?
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
As of fall 2015, FDU had 1,703 international students from more than 80 countries out of our total population of 12,000 students at our two campuses in New Jersey.
How does your institution use IELTS in the admissions process? How valuable a tool is it in evaluating prospective students?
IELTS has become one of the most frequent tests submitted and is widely accepted amongst U.S. universities as proof of English proficiency, as it is as FDU.
Post-Admissions Next Steps
If international students are admitted to more than one institution, what are the most important next steps they should take?
Students should carefully check their letters of admission to verify the date by which they must confirm their intent to enroll. For most students applying to U.S. universities for the fall term, this will be May 1. However, universities with spring or multiple terms as well as those with rolling admissions may have different confirmation deadlines.
Once the final university choice has been made, students must contact the other universities that they’ve applied or been admitted to in order to inform them that they no longer plan to attend.
What advice would you give to students making their final decision where to attend?
It is important to do as much research as possible. Take advantage of every opportunity to connect with faculty, staff, current students and alumni of the university whether in person or via social media.
Make sure that the final decision is the university that is the best match-academically, financially and socially.
Can international students receive financial aid from U.S. universities?
Many U.S. universities, including Fairleigh Dickinson, offer scholarships and other types of aid to international students. It is important to do research about each university of interest to learn what types of scholarships or aid programs are available.
Is a deposit needed to secure a place at the college or university students choose?
This varies by the institution. In some cases, a financial deposit is required to confirm enrollment. In other cases, a matriculation/intent to enroll form is required without a monetary deposit. It is important to read admission materials carefully to learn what is required and the deadlines for submission.
What is an I-20, and how can international students get theirs?
An I-20 is also known as a Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status. It is a document issued by a Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) approved U.S. educational institution certifying that a student has been admitted into a full-time study program and that they have demonstrated sufficient financial resources.
Students who have obtained an I-20 form are eligible to apply for a non-immigrant student visa to the U.S. Some U.S. universities issue the I-20 at the time of admission whereas others issue this upon confirmation of intent to enroll.