Thursday, October 27, 2016

American Education Partners (AEP) is happy to announce its partnership with Educational and Cultural Experience (ECE), a Southern California-based organization that provides international students in the USA with complete academic, post-academic, and living support services. 
The AEP-ECE alliance combines the significant experience and resources of both organizations to create a "one-stop shop" for international students seeking both personalized American school advising and placement services and comprehensive post-arrival support services in the areas of academics, living skills, immigration, insurance, legal, medical, post-graduation employment, etc.
The combined AEP-ECE services will help each student achieve strong academic performance, make fast progress towards reaching their education goals and provide 24-hour connection to an extensive network of professionals ready to assist in emergency situations and every possible aspect of their daily living experience in the USA.
For more information about ECE, visit their website at:   

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions About Conditional Admission To American Universities

Through our communications with overseas advisors and students seeking admission to American colleges and universities, we have found that there are some misconceptions and misunderstandings about the concept of "conditional admission" to American colleges and universities. In this week's entry, we provide a straightforward explanation of what conditional admission is and answer several of the most frequently asked questions about it.

What is "Conditional Admission"?
OCC CampusConditional admission is an early admission for academically and financially-qualified students who do not have the minimum English skills required for a regular college or university academic program at the time they apply.
Conditional admission is helpful to show international students that they have a guaranteed space in a college or university program after they have reached the necessary English level. It is also helpful to show U.S. visa officers that they have a clear plan for their education program in the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions About Conditional Admission:
1) Do all colleges and universities offer conditional admission? - No. Colleges and universities offer conditional admission for two main reasons: A) To attract more students to their English language program and B) To fill the extra space they expect to have in their programs. Colleges and universities that are highly-ranked and have low acceptance rates will almost never offer conditional admission to their programs.
2) Do all college and university-based ESL programs offer conditional admission to bachelors and masters degree programs? - No. Each college and university-based ESL program decides with the school's regular admissions office whether to offer conditional admission or not and what requirements the students will have to meet in order to change from conditional to regular admission status.
Because university graduate departments each have their own admission requirements, conditional admission may not always be available to each graduate program at the university.
3) Do all college and university-based ESL programs allow students to skip the TOEFL or IELTS exam if they complete the highest ESL level? No. Members of the school's regular admissions office and faculty decide how well the English skills students learn in the ESL program prepare them for academic study in the college/ university and whether a standardized test like TOEFL or IELTS is needed to confirm their English ability. Before choosing a college or university-based ESL program, it is important to find out whether the students will be required to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam before they can be fully accepted to the degree program.    
4) What kind of application documents are needed to get conditional admission? - Students applying for conditional admission must complete and submit all of the regular application documents needed for the degree program EXCEPT the TOEFL or IELTS exam score reports (for graduate students, the GRE or GMAT exam score may also be submitted later in most cases). 
5) Are students required to attend the college or university's ESL program in order to be given conditional admission? - In some cases, yes, in other cases, no. Each program has its own policy about this so it is important to check before choosing an English language program. If it's not required and another nearby English program has more convenient starting dates, lower prices, or other benefits,
 your students may want to consider these alternatives. 

6) Are students required to enroll in the college or university they received conditional admission to?
- No. Conditional admission means that the students have a space at the college or university when they finish their English studies, if they want it. There is no legal requirement, however, that students can only attend that college or university. Students can choose to apply to any other college or university that they want, but this will require completing a new application, paying additional application fees and getting a new set of original academic and financial documents from their home country. 

7) If a student does not have high enough grades can he/ she still get conditional admission? - No. Conditional admission is only given to students who have provided documentation that they meet the college or university program's academic and financial requirements or have some kind of correctable deficiency at the time they apply. Having grades that are below the school's admissions standards and is something that is not easily or immediately correctable except by taking more classes and getting higher grades.

About American Education Partners:

American Education Partners (AEP) is a U.S.-based service that helps international students find, apply, and get accepted to hundreds of carefully-selected, high-quality education programs throughout the USA. More information about AEP programs and services can be found on our website at:
Follow AEP on Twitter at: @americanedpart
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Monday, May 9, 2011

The Importance of Test Scores When Applying to American Universities - PART 1

The "Entrance Test Mentality", which many international students and parents seem to have, is a strongly-held belief that strong entrance test scores are the absolute most important factor in gaining acceptance to top-ranked universities.

In order to clearly understand the requirements of gaining acceptance to American universities and become a top candidate, this way of thinking, and the narrow focus and efforts that accompany it, must be set aside in order to be the type of well-rounded applicant that is most attractive to the top universities. Getting students, and particularly their parents, to change their approach, however, is no easy endeavor. It usually consists of nothing less than undoing, or at least loosening, beliefs that their academic institutions have deeply-embedded into them their whole lives.

When preparing to apply to an American university, it is important for international students to learn early how tests scores are weighed alongside many other factors by admissions officers.  First, it's important for students and parents to understand that English proficiency tests like IELTS and TOEFL are merely indications of how well a student can understand English as may be used in an academic environment. Second, it's important for students to know that a good IELTS or TOEFL test score does not determine which classes they can register for in their first term at university. All American colleges and universities give new students, American and inernational alike, an English placement test after their arrival at school. The results of this test, NOT the IELTS or TOEFL test score, determines which classes students can/ cannot take in their first term.  Also, students need to be aware that the TOEFL and IELTS tests are limited in their assessment of their ability to communicate in everyday situations and function well in an American college or university classroom environment. Among the many important skills these tests cannot evaluate are the students' ability to take notes, do oral presentations, have classroom debates, and do research for projects and reports. Students can develop these and other academic skills by enrolling in a college or university-based Intensive English Program. These programs put students in English-only environments on American campuses and help them quickly develop their general English proficiency skills in a variety of situations in and outside of the classroom. Additionally, many of these programs allow the students to gain conditional admission to bachelors and masters degree programs without taking the IELTS or TOEFL tests if they complete the necessary course in their program.

In Part 2 of this topic, we will discuss other undergraduate entrance test scores (SAT/ ACT), which students need to take them, and how they are weighed against other admission criteria.

To learn more about college and university-based Intensive English Programs and getting conditional admission to bachelors and masters degree programs, contact American Education Partners' School Placement Team at:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

High School Location and Acceptance to Top-Ranked Universities - Is There Any Connection?

When helping overseas students decide on the best American high schools to apply to, we find that many are strongly attracted to schools in the Northeast. When asked "why?", most reply that it is because most of the Ivy League universities they eventually hope to attend are located in that region. Some students have actually opted to sit out a year of school rather than apply to one that's not in the Northeast.

Does location REALLY have an influence on a students' chance of getting accepted to Ivy League or other top-ranked universities? Do Ivy League schools emit "smartness" that students who are within close proximity are able to absorb?
While students at Northeastern schools are able to visit top Northeastern universities more easily and frequently than students who attend schools farther away, they do not have all of the advantages that many students believe they do. The main reason for this is summed up in one word, "diversity".

One of the common strengths of America's top universities is a diverse, well-rounded group of students who provide diverse and positive contributions to the school. Because of this, students accepted to top-ranked universities come from a wide variety of public and private high schools throughout the USA and the world. Because maintaining student diversity is an important, on-going effort of the universities' admissions efforts, students from elite Northeastern boarding schools with high grades and test scores, may not necessarily have an advantage in getting accepted to an Ivy League school over a student from a rural Southwestern high school with lower grades and test scores, but a different set of experiences, knowledge and skills.

The following Harvard University Gazette article provides further information about the commitment that America's top universities place on maintaining student diversity in their admissions processes (scroll down to the bottom of the article to see the list of universities):

The main things that university-minded international students should look for when selecting an American high school are:

1) Safety of the campus and local area
2) Quality of the teaching curriculum and instructors
3) Unique extracurriculuar opportunities and experiences offered
4) What kind of college counseling is provided
5) The list of universities its students have recently been accepted to

American Education Partners works with a wide variety of public and private high schools throughout the USA that have helped many students get accepted to top-ranked universities. Contact our School Placement Advisors at: for a free assessment of educational opportunities available for Fall 2011.

Friday, April 15, 2011

MBA Applicants - Here's 7 Mistakes to Avoid

Thinking of applying for an MBA program? Before you start (or before you finish), read this insightful article recently written by Kaneisha Grayson, a recent graduate of Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

U.S. Public High Schools Welcome International Students

Many public high schools throughout the USA have welcomed international students on the J-1 High School Exchange Program sponsored by the US Department of State for the purpose of introducing students to American culture and allowing them to share their culture with the schools and host families they spend the year with.
Over the past several years, a growing number of public high schools have started welcoming international students of the F-1 student visa program. There are some similarities between attending a public high school on the J-1 and F-1 visas, but there are also many differences. Depending on the student's purpose and goals, one program may be more suitable than the other.

Here are the main similiarities:

1. Participation is limited to one school year
2. Students can join school clubs and sports
3. Students live with local homestay families

Here are the main differences:

1. Students on the J-1 program must return to their home country at the end of the school year and are usually excluded from returning to the USA on any kind of student visa for at least 2 years. Conversely, students with F-1 visas may continue their education for additional years at a private high school or begin their university education without having to change their visa status or return to their country.
2. Students on the J-1 program can only apply through a specially-licensed U.S. organization that can only place a limited number of students each year. Because of the limited number of students that can apply, getting accepted to this program is a very competitive process that must be started almost one year in advance.
3. Fees for the J-1 program are low compared to the F-1 program. The reason for this is that the J-1 program is sponsored by the US government - students do not pay for school tuition fees and they live with volunteer homestay families. The main costs are airfare and placement and monitoring fees that students will pay to the J-1 placement organization. F-1 programs are not sponsored by the US government so students must pay school tuition and room and boarding fees with their own family funds.
4. Students on the J-1 program usually do not have a choice on which location or school they will attend. Students on the F-1 program, however, can choose which state, city and school they would like to attend depending on their qualifications and space availability.
5. The J-1 program application process is long and complicated and the rules are very strict. F-1 visa programs, on the other hand, require a much simpler application and fewer supporting documents. This allows students to begin the application process earlier, and get accepted to the school of their choice much sooner.
6. Students on the F-1 visa program may be able to graduate and receive a diploma from the high school they attend (if they are accepted to Grade 12 and have enough credits to graduate within one school year). Students on the J-1 visa cannot graduate or receive a high school diploma, regardless of the number of credits they have earned.
7. Students with an F-1 visa may continue their education for additional years to complete their high school and university education.

For details about the visa regulations for F-1 students who wish to spend a year in an American public high school, click on this link from the U.S. Department of State website:

American Education Partners (AEP) helps students applying for the F-1 visa to select and get accepted to public high schools throughout the USA. Other AEP services include airport pick-up, housing placement and student service support. For advice and assistance in applying to a public high school for the F-1 visa program for Fall 2011, contact AEP's School Placement Team at: