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August 2013 Student Advisor


Deborah Parris from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Deborah Parris, International Student Advisor at Embry-RiddleEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Deborah Parris is the International Student Advisor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. She has advised international students for 15 years. She is a native of Chattanooga, TN but moved to Phoenix, AZ 28 years ago and has been in the state ever since. She has five children but feels her international students are all her children.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, FL, and Prescott, AZ, and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, click the button below to learn more Embry-Riddle or visit them on social media on Twitter @EmbryRiddle and www.facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.

You asked Deborah:

Devan Johnson

Question:
When exactly should I begin the process of applying for an F1 visa, and how long should I expect the process to take?
Answer:
Hello Devan,
I am glad you are asking this question, it shows you are being proactive about your education. Each school in the US sets their own dates for applications and deadlines. It is advisable to read up on the schools you would like to attend and try to apply as soon as possible. Once you have applied, been admitted and submit proof of funding for your program of study, the school will issue an I-20 form to you. You will then pay your SEVIS fee and schedule an appointment for the F-1 visa at a US consulate near to you. It is advisable to try to have your visa appointment within 90 days of the start of your program to allow plenty time for all the processing to take place. The consulate you intend to use will have a website where you can submit forms and know approximate visa issuance timeframes. You can find a list of consulates at http://www.usembassy.gov/. Best wishes!

Abigail Ambrosine M Akwarandu

Question:
I want to know the procedures to apply for your school?
Answer:
Hi Abigail,
Thank you for your request for information about Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ! Admission requirements vary by school – the information in this response is specific for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona.
All of the information about our University can be found online at our website at: http://prescott.erau.edu
The application deadlines are July 1 for the fall semester (begins in August) and November 1 for the spring semester (begins in January). However, to be considered for scholarships, applications should be received by March 1 for the fall term and August 1 for the spring term. You can fill out our online application for admission at the website below, and find all the necessary documents required at: http://prescott.erau.edu/campus-services/international/getting-started/index.html
If English is not your native language, or if you have not had at least 4 years of schooling conducted in English only, you must complete the TOEFL and submit scores to Embry-Riddle - the minimum requirement is a 79 on the internet based test or a 550 on the paper based test.
Students not meeting the minimum English requirements can be granted PROVISIONAL ADMISSION based on completion of an accepted ESL program prior to final admission. ERAU in Prescott does not offer ESL on our campus, however we do cooperate with A.C.E Language Institutes and ELS Language Centers and can offer provisional admission to students who meet all other admission requirements beside the English requirement. Please visit http://cultural.org/esl for more information on A.C.E Language Institutes, or www.els.edu for more information on ELS Language Centers. We would love to work with you!

Ivan Ackon

Question:
I am finding difficulty in my college search in terms of financial support. Is it advisable to apply to colleges if am not financially very strong and perhaps might not be able to go in for loans?
Answer:
Hi Ivan,
Indeed financial support can be frustrating. I would contact the schools you are interested in attending and see what it takes to be eligible for scholarships. Some U.S. schools offer generous scholarships to international students, while others do not. It would be good to see what funding you might be able to receive from your government as well. You can search the internet for loans and scholarships for international students. It can take some time and work on your part to secure these. Some might require writing an essay.
Before a school can issue an I-20 for you to obtain a visa, you must prove that you have funding secured for at least one year of study. So, in the end you will need to have funding set in place before you can obtain the visa. I hope you can find the resources to help you!

Peach Chu

Question:
I am a second year student at West Valley College in California. I intend to transfer to one of the universities state of Texas or other states. I wonder about the tuition fee, is it the same, lower or higher than in California? Besides, can you give me some advice choosing a good school for a business major?
Answer:
Hello Peach,
I apologize but I am not able to give you a detailed answer about other universities because tuition costs vary from state to state and school to school. You should contact the schools you are interested in attending and ask what the costs would be for you, and also about the admissions requirements.
As for choosing a good school for a business major – what you should consider, primarily, are things such as:
  1. Location – is the school in a place you like? Do you prefer a large city or a smaller town? Urban or rural setting? Hot climate or cold climate or a little of both?
  2. Size – do you prefer a large school or a small school? What is the average class size and student to faculty ratio?
  3. Degree choices – does the school offer the specific degree or courses you are interested in taking?
  4. Responsiveness – does staff at the school respond to your inquiries in a timely and helpful manner?
  5. How do you FEEL about the place – do you feel good about the school and all the interactions you have with them?
To make a decision, try not to focus on arbitrary “rankings” – these are often based on things that do not apply to most students. The most important factor is whether you feel good and confident in your choice. Rankings very often have little to do with the actual education or student experience, and more to do with reputation among university presidents or how much a school paid to be included in those rankings. Don’t buy into the rankings hype.
Good luck in finding the right school for yourself!

Mengistu Yismaw

Question:
I am an Ethiopian undergraduate student of Pharmacy. I am looking for a masters course in health profession abroad. Can u help me with the top universities?
Answer:
Hello Mengitsu,
Unfortunately, I do not work at a school with a master course in health, so I am not much help in pointing you to a “top university” for this purpose. However, there are many resources to help prospective students find a school that is the right fit for them. One very helpful resource is Education USA. Their website https://www.educationusa.info/ is quite helpful and you could see if there is a center near you that you could visit and consult with the advisors. You can also look up schools in the US at http://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/.
All the best as you pursue the next stage for your education!

Jenny Marie Estrada

Question:
If I want to study in the US as an international student what common exams do you suggest I take? I hear that even though I come from an English speaking country I still need to take the TOEFL, is this true?
Answer:
Each U.S. school sets its own standards as to the exams they require as well as English proficiency. It may also vary with the degree program.
Some schools waive English proficiency exams for students from countries where English is the official language. However, every school has a different policy on TOEFL testing, so you will need to contact individual schools to ask, but at Embry-Riddle in Arizona, if you have been educated in an English system for your entire primary and secondary schooling and if English is the native language of your home, we would not require the TOEFL.
The tests most often suggested for undergraduate students are the SAT or ACT.
Best wishes on your exams and as you apply for schools!

Cincinnati Cinci

Question:
I'm student in Cincinnati State College I m not eligible for grant because I have a bachelor in my foreign country .Is there another way to get help from the government or state to help my tuition?
Answer:
Hi Cincinnati Cinci,
International students are generally not eligible for any US federal or state funding. Each state has different regulations, however. Check with the admissions office of any school you may want to attend and ask for the possibilities of your obtaining scholarships from them and what other funding is available to you. Good luck on your search!

Yadel Gunjo Mulugeta

Question:
Can international students apply in an Early Action basis?
Answer:
Hello Yadel,
You may see a theme running through the answers we have provided here, it depends on the school you plan to attend. It is best to search for the schools in which you have interest and look at their websites for their admissions requirements. If the school has an Early Action program, ask if you are eligible. Not all schools have Early Action, but they do have ranges of dates and deadlines for applications. The general answer, however, is the earlier you apply the better.
Best wishes!

Adel Jones

Question:
Hi, I'm finding it hard to get a loan if I'm not yet residing in the US…any suggetions?
Answer:
Hi Adel,
Loans from U.S. lending institutions can be difficult to obtain even beyond residence in the U.S. Most lending institutions in the U.S. will require a co-signer unless you have lived in the U.S. and have a well-established credit history. If you have relatives or trusted friends in the U.S. who would be willing to co-sign a loan with you, that may help. The co-signer must also have a good credit history to be eligible among other things, but if you default on the loan, they are responsible for the debt. This is why people may be reluctant to be a co-signer.
You might try to see if you could arrange a loan in your home country. I wish you the best as you search for loans!

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