English Proficiency Requirement
TOEFL, IELTS, & More!
US Colleges and Universities require non-native English speakers to meet English proficiency requirements in order to be considered for acceptance to US schools. Amber Lights will help you to evaluate which test or criteria will be best to use for your application.
Need Blind or Need Aware?
Colleges are either "Need Blind" or "Need Aware" when evaluating international student college applications in the USA. Find out more about this, deadlines, types of documents required, and sponsorships.
Scholarships and Financial Need
CSS Profile & Applications
Need-based and Merit-based scholarships vary across the USA for international students. Amber Lights will help students find resources that help you make the best decisions for your future.
Creating Your US College List
How to Narrow your Choices
With so many colleges in the USA, Amber Lights will work with families to determine which colleges and universities match your values, educational and career goals, and desires for cultural exploration.
Amber Lights has the knowledge and experience to meet and exceed your expectations, and offers a variety of services customized to fit your specific needs. We have worked with international students both in the university and high school setting for 15 years and will guide you throughout your US College search and application process from beginning to end. Check out the options and let's get started today!
Choose this package if you are at the beginning of your high school experience. Amber Lights will help you to but a spotlight on what really matters to you. We will review your academic plan, extracurricular activities, and career goals. Using online tools, we will help you to better understand how your interests and values match up with majors and careers. This package will focus on goal setting and decision-making that will best position you for college in the USA.
Choose this package if you are two years away from graduation. Many students have said that this is one of the busiest years of high school. As you look ahead, Amber Lights will be a beacon to you as you begin to navigate the uncertainties of the college processes from a distance. In addition to providing an overview of the US College application cycle, Amber Lights will help you to develop a plan for SAT, ACT, and English proficiency testing, creating a college list, understanding US college academic tracks and majors, and more!
Choose this package if you are in the final year of your high school experience. We will guide you as you carry the torch to the finish line by helping you to finalize your college list, complete applications, apply for scholarships and financial need available to international students, and much more. Get started on discovering US College and University options and your next best step today!
Amber Lights is ready to help you explore, discover, and plan for this next educational journey. Contact us to get started today!
Resources and Links
Transcript Evaluation Companies
US Colleges and Universities may require you to have your transcripts sent to a credential evaluation company. Here is a list of well-known companies used by US Colleges and Universities to evaluate transcripts.
English Proficiency Testing Sites
US Colleges and Universities vary on requirements related to English Proficiency. Check with each university to know what they will accept. In some cases, you may even be exempt from having to take any of these tests. Contact Amber Lights to find out more!
Apply to Many Schools Using One Platform
Streamline your approach and save you valuable resources by using shared college application platforms. You can also apply directly to many colleges using their unique applications. Amber Lights will help you decide what works best for you! NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list.
Common App (used by more than 800 colleges and universities)
Coalition for College (used by more than 150 colleges and universities)
Common Black College Application (CBCA) (used by 60 colleges and universities)
applySUNY (used by many colleges in the state of New York--included Fashion Institute of Technology, Stony Brook University, and many other state universities and colleges)
University of Minnesota's "Share My App" (used by 5 Universities in Minnesota, but you must begin your application with the Twin Cities first)
Financial Documents Required for International Students
CSS Profile for International Students. Some colleges and universities have institutional funds to give financial assistance to international students. They may require you to complete the CSS Profile for International Students at the time of application. See participating college or universities here.
There are global scholarship programs that may help you pay for college and are worth investigating. Here is one example of such programs: Breakthrough Junior Challenge for students who are 13-18 years old. Open to all students across the world! Application opens April 1.
Affidavit of Support and other Bank Documents may be needed at the time of application. Other schools will only have you complete these documents after you have been accepted to their program. Amber Lights will help you sort out your required financial documents and deadlines for submission.
Building Your College List
To build your college list, it's important to consider a number of factors, such as, size of school, majors offered, research and internship offerings, location of school, scholarships and financial aid, student life, extracurricular opportunities, and values and/or religious perspectives to which the school espouses. Start doing your research today with these resources below.