Application Channels, Schedule and Other Integrated Information

Applying for the universities in America is usually the primary goal forthose who want to study abroad. However, the process can be tough and complicated to go through. Hence, Valour has designed this article, “Application method for American Universities for Dummies”, to help you understand the application channels, schedules, and the required information to better conquer this tedious process.

What are the applying channels?

While some schools like MIT has its own unique application system, most schools utilize the following 3 channels :

1. Common App
The most common system when making an application, currently there are about 800 universities collaborating with Common App. Pupils can fill out their personal information, upload transcripts and finish submitting their personal essay. In addition, some universities require students to answer some exclusive questions. After completing all the processes, pupils may submit applications for up to 20 universities at once.

Pupils can use Common App to search for the colleges they’re interested in, and put them into the application list. The system will then show the requirements, deadlines and other information relevant to that university for references.

Click here to browse the collaborated schools on Common App

2. Coalition App
A system that was mutually built by more than 150 colleges. Although it covers less schools than Common App, it allows students to apply for higher ranked schools such as Harvard, Yale, or Columbia, etc. It also allows students to gradually upload their learning data, extracurricular activities from Grade 9, which could easily exhibit pupils’ personal characteristics by tracking their experiences step by step. In short, Coalition App is a much more comprehensive system.

Click here to browse the collaborated schools on Coalition App

3. UC App
UC App is a platform exclusively for 9 Californian universities like UCLA, UC Berkeley etc., no matter how many of the UC campuses students are about to apply for, there’s only one unified application that pupils have to complete, and the deadlines are on the same date. What differs from the Common Application process is that “essay doesn’t play a role” , as the UC App only requires students to fill out 4 college-relevant questions.

Click here to browse the collaborated schools on UC App

Application Process, what are EA/ED & RA/RD?

The authorities will open vacancies for Early Action (ED) and Early Decision (ED), which are methods for those who want to send in applications in advance. While some schools’ EA/ED acceptance rates are higher than the rate of Regular Decision (RD), EA/ED are slightly different in their regulations and limitations. Thus,those who apply should carefully evaluate which channels they want in order to better pursue their dream schools.


The deadline of EA is around Nov. 1st, and the result will be released in December.

1.Students applying for EA do not have to enroll after receiving the offer, they only have to reply whether they are coming to the schools or not before  May 1st.
2.Normally, a student can apply for EA to multiple universities simultaneously. (Non-restrictive Early Action)
3.If students applied for EA, they still can do Regular Decision (RD), and when they are accepted by EA, there’s no need to retrieve applications in other schools.
4.Single-choice Early Action and Restrictive Early Action are  special EAs where  students must not  apply for  EA and ED to other schools at the same time, which means if students choose to use Single-choice Early Action or Restrictive Early Action, students may not apply for any other schools within the Early timeframe.  If students are rejected from EA, they can apply for ED2 and RD as a second chance.

  • EARLY DECISION (ED) (Including ED1 and ED2)

Compared to Early Action, there are more restrictions in Early Decision. For example, students can only apply for one school, and they MUST register if they are accepted. Hence, pupils should be aware before they take an ED plan.

Deadline will  be around November 1st, and the result will be announced in December.
During the application process, students can only select one school(two or more are not allowed).

1.If the students are accepted by ED, they must finish the enrollment process, and if the regulations were violated,  authorities possess the right of canceling your ED entrance.

2.While applying for ED, students can still apply for other schools’ RD; however, if one is accepted by ED, RD applications must be cancelled.


Deadline will be around January 1st, and the result will be announced in the middle of January or February.

1.The only difference between ED2 and ED1 is it’s time frame.. In other words, if one was rejected by ED1 from university A, he/she still has the opportunity to apply for university B’s in ED2.

2.The regulations are the same as ED1’s.

  • What is RA/RD?

Deadline will  be around January 1st, and the offers will be distributed between the middle of March and the beginning of April.
RD is a normal application channel, students can select multiple universities simultaneously, and can decide whether to register after being accepted.

There is no limitation on deadlines and applications, and all applications are accepted until the RA quota is met.

What do we need to prepare for before we apply for the universities in America?

  1. English Graduation Diploma
  2. English transcript (with GPA)
  3. English language certificate: IELTS or TOEFL
  4. Entrance exam score card: SAT or ACT
  5. Completed Applications
  6. Completed Essays
  7. Supplement essay (University requirements)
  8. Application fees
  9. Copy of passport
  10. English recommandation letter : 2
  11. English Financial Statement

Admission requirement and rankings of Universities in the U.S. (Top 50s)

Ranking Department TOEFL requirement IELTS requirement SAT requirement
Princeton University N/A N/A 1440-1570
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Minimum: 90
Recommand: 100
Minimum: 7.0
Recommand: 7.5
3 Harvard University Report card required,
not specified
N/A 1460-1580
3 Stanford University Minimum: 100 Minimum 7.0 1440-1550
3 Yale University Minimum: 100 Recommended minimum: 7.0 1470-1560
University of Chicago Not compulsory,
but suggest providing one
Not compulsory,
but suggest providing one
7 Johns Hopkins University Minimum: 100
(Recommanded:R/L 26、W: 22、S: 25)
Minimum: 7.0 1450-1560
7 University of Pennsylvania Not specified Not specified 1440-1560
California Institute of Technology Not specified Uncounted 1530-1570
10 Duke University Recommand: 100 Minimum: 7.0 1450-1570
10 Northwestern University Not specified Not specified 1450-1540
12 Dartmouth College Minimum: 100 Recommended minimum: 7.0 1450-1550
13 Brown University Recommended minimum: 100 Recommended minimum: 8.0 1420-1550
13 Vanderbilt University Recommended minimum: 100 Recommend: 7.0 1450-1560
15 Rice University Minimum: 90 Minimum: 7.0 1450-1560
15 Washington University in St Louis Minimum: 90 Minimum: 6.5 1470-1570
17 Cornell University Recommended minimum: 100 Recommended minimum: 7.5 1420-1540
18 Columbia University Minimum: 105 Minimum: 7.5 1450-1560
18 University of Notre Dame Recommended minimum: 100 Recommended minimum: 7.5 1400-1550
20 University of California, Berkeley Minimum: 80
Recommend: 100
Minimum: 6.5 1300-1530
20 University of California, Los Angeles Recommended minimum 100
(Minimum: 22 per subject)
Recommended minimum: 7.0 1290-1510
22 Carnegie Mellon University Minimum: 102
(Recommand: 25 per subject)
Minimum: 7.5
(per subject)
22 Emory University Minimum: 95
(Minimum: 21 per subject)
Uncounted 1350-1520
22 Georgetown University Minimum: 100 Minimum: 7.0 1370-1530
25 New York University Recommended minimum: 100 Recommended minimum: 7.5 1370-1510
25 University of Michigan–Ann Arbor Minimum: 80 Minimum: 6.5 1340-1530
25 University of Southern California Minimum: 100
(Minimum: 20 per subject)
Minimum: 7.0 1350-1530
25 University of Virginia Not specified Not specified 1340-1500
29 University of Florida Minimum: 80 Minimum: 6.0 1280-1440
29 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Recommended minimum: 100 Recommended minimum: 7.0 1300-1470
29 Wake Forest University Minimum: 79 Minimum: 6.5 1310-1470
32 Tufts University Recommended minimum: 100 Recommended minimum: 7.0 1390-1540
32 University of California, Santa Barbara Minimum: 80 Minimum: 6.5 1230-1480
34 University of California, Irvine Minimum: 80 Minimum: 6.5 1180-1440
34 University of California, San Diego Minimum: 83 Minimum: 7.0 1250-1470
36 Boston College Minimum: 100 Minimum: 7.5 1370-1490
36 University of Rochester Recommended minimum: 100
(W/L: 25、S: 24、R: 26)
Recommended minimum: 7.5 1340-1500
38 University of California, Davis Minimum: 80 Minimum: 6.5 1150-1410
38 University of Texas at Austin Minimum: 79 Minimum: 6.5 1240-1470
38 University of Wisconsin–Madison Minimum: 95-105 Minimum: 6.5-7.5 1300-1480
41 Boston University Recommended 90 up,
minimum in 20 per subject
Recommended minimum: 7.0 1339-1500
41 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Not specified Not specified 1220-1480
41 College of William and Mary Minimum: 100 Minimum: 7.0 1230-1510
44 Brandeis University Recommended minimum: 100 Recommended minimum: 7 1280-1500
44 Case Western Reserve University Minimum: 90 Minimum: 7.0 1350-1520
44 Georgia Institute of Technology Minimum: 80 Minimum: 6.5 1390-1540
44 Northeastern University Not specified,
but 75% of the students accepted were at the minimum of 99
Not specified,
but 75% of the students accepted were at the minimum of 7.0
44 Tulane University Minimum: 95 Recommended minimum: 6.5 1350-1490
49 Ohio State University Minimum: 79 Minimum: 6.5 1300-1420
49 University of Georgia Minimum: 80 Minimum: 6.5 1240-1410
51 Lehigh University Recommended minimum: 90 Recommended minimum: 7.0 1300-1430
51 Purdue University Minimum: 80-88 (Different in every dep.)
Recommended minimum: 20
Recommended minimum: 6.5
(Recommended minimum 6 per subject)
51 Rensselaer polytechnic institute Minimum: 88 Minimum: 7.0 1330-1500
51 Villanova University Not specified Not specified 1330-1460

Application Schedule for Universities in America (12th Grade)