For Nigerian students who are looking to further their education in the States but find it hassling and sometimes overwhelming, fear not: these steps and information will help make the process smoother and faster.
Universities and colleges in the United States vary from state-to-state but the process for transfer international students is the same. Transfer candidates are individually reviewed with consideration given to both academic and personal potential. Universities and colleges consider a student's college record, academic references, personal statement, high school record, test scores and co-curricular activities. Emphasis is placed on the work done in college (as represented by grades and recommendations.)
Nigerian students must present evidence of having an educational background equivalent to an American Secondary School education by providing documentations of their WAEC , SAT and college courses they have already completed. In cases where educational records are submitted in a language other than English, an admissions decision will be delayed until the record is translated. Each candidate must present satisfactory credentials to be offered admission.
Once the student has figured out the various universities/colleges that he/she wants to attend they would have to gather information regarding the school application process as an International student.
International students applying for transfer admission from colleges and universities outside the United States are required to submit their academic records to a credit evaluation service. Since overseas educational systems, requirements and credits differ from those in the United States, candidates are asked to contact these agencies in order to assist in being granted appropriate transfer credit. Applicants who fail to submit their academic records to an evaluation service will be considered incomplete and will not be considered for admission.
Suggested Credit Evaluation Services:
Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
Education Evaluators International
World Education Services
Center for Educational Documentation
Nigerian students who are transferring from various universities in Nigeria will need certain documentation to apply to certain universities/colleges. Nigerian students will have to provide their passport and confirm a meeting with a consular officer to attain a visa to travel out of the country, if not already done so.
Once candidates have submitted their application and have been accepted into the university/college, they need to fill out an I-901 which is a Student Exchange Visitor Paperwork that can be handled online with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Another important document that needs to be submitted in the application process is the TOEFL or the IELTS. The TOEFL or IELTS is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. These tests are given worldwide. There is a fee for the examination. A minimum score is required for all undergraduate programs and varies from institution to institution.
The following exceptions apply:
1. Applicants who completed 4 years of high school in the United States or other English-speaking countries.
2. Applicants who hold an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution within the United States or other English-speaking countries
Once the candidate’s application has been received by the university/college of their choice and the student has gained admission, the Declaration and Certification of Finances will be mailed to the applicant. It must be completed and returned to the Office of Admissions. Students with Internet access can complete the DCF form online (CLICK HERE ).
3. A Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) will be issued once the applicant has been found admissible to the University and the Declaration and Certification of Finances has been approved. The University is required by immigration authorities to carefully check the financial resources of each applicant prior to issuing the Form I-20. Therefore, it is important that applicants are aware of the cost of attending the University and have the necessary support funds for the period of enrollment.
Applicants should refer to the Annual Estimate of Cost Chart. The total funds available for the student for the first or second academic year, or both, must equal the total estimate of institutional costs and living expenses. All items in the Declaration and Certification of Finances must be accurately answered to avoid unnecessary delay in processing. This document along with proof of sufficient funds must be received by the Office of Admissions two months prior to the anticipated entry date
Once the candidate has all the documents needed, the final step is to pay the application fee that varies for universities and colleges. There are several ways to make a payment to an institution:
Pay online through the Common Application Web site.
Send a check made out to “University” to the Admissions Office address at the top of their home page.
Submit fee waiver request from a school official to the Admissions Office address at the top of their home page.
Nigerian students will also need a letter of sponsorship if the candidate is a dependent or if they are filing independently. The sponsorship letter has to state the family financial earnings to prove the family is capable of providing for the candidate as well as their school cost.
After everything has been cleared and the student receives their welcome package the next step is to finalize airline and lodging accommodation.
Don't forget to read our article on scholarships you can apply for without a Greencard or Citizenship.
Are you an international transfer student from Nigeria? How did the transfer process go for you? What else should new transfer students know? Share with us by commenting below!