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Research Tools

Even if you do not have the opportunity to visit U.S. universities before you enroll, resources are available to help you learn more about the education in the United States and to select an appropriate program. These resources include books, videos, computer-search programs, and Internet sites.


The types of books that can help you with your search range from university guides and catalogues, which provide information on specific programs in the United States, to financial aid sourcebooks, to books detailing the application process, or on how to write a college application essay.

Online Resources

The internet can provide you with virtually all the information you need—if you know where to look. You might do a quick Google search using keywords such as “US Financial Aid,” or you might want to do a more specialized search using a database like our Study in the USA School Search or College Board.

Test Prep Courses

You might also want to look into test prep courses for standardized tests like the SAT, TOEFL, or GRE, or you might want to buy a test preparation book, if you do not have the time or money to devote to a class. These can be a great resource for boosting your test scores.

Educational Advising Centers

In order to help you with your search, there are nearly five hundred U.S. educational advising centers around the world specializing in providing information and guidance on U.S. education. The American embassy, consulate, or United States Information Service (USIS) office in your country or region can refer you to the nearest such center.

Advising centers are often found in USIS offices, American libraries, bi-national centers, Fulbright commission offices, and, in some countries, at the offices of private organizations such as AMIDEAST, IREX, World Learning Inc., the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), the American Council of Teachers of Russia (ACTR), and the Institute of International Education (IIE).

Some advising centers, in addition to providing print and online resources, reach out personally to prospective students through fairs and outreach events at local schools, universities, and other public venues.

An educational advising center can carry many names: for example the terms "advisory service" and "information service" are used interchangeably. Regardless of the name, the purpose of each center is to offer comprehensive and unbiased information and advice on study in the United States. Typically the centers have a library containing a variety of resources that can help you in your search. The types of resources you may find include the following:

Books to Read

The right book can be invaluable to you in helping you to research potential schools. There are a variety of different types of books to help you in your search. Read on to find out what they are and how they can aid you.

Online Resources

The internet has a seemingly unlimited supply of information. If you know where to look and how to weed out the good information from the bad, it could be that the only tool you need to equip yourself with is a computer.

Other Resources

There are a variety of other tools available to you that can help you in your research. These include test prep courses to help prepare you for any standardized tests you might need to take, and educational advising centers to help guide you through the application process.

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