At the 6th ChinaICAC at Tsinglan School in Dongguan, Guangdong, admissions officers from universities worldwide, along with international education administrators and school-based counselors, gathered to discuss international trends in global university admissions and education. 

During the conference, admissions officers from three top American universities that accept DET—Ms. Nicole Zhang, Assistant Director of International Admissions at Northeastern University; Ms. Luo Jing, Director for Recruitment and Marketing at Michigan State University; and Mr. Tie Sun, Senior Assistant Director of International Admission at Rhodes College—shared insights into applying to programs and studying abroad in the United States. 

The admissions officers cited examples from their institutions to highlight the rising number of applications from Chinese students this year. There is a significant increase in applications for Rhodes College from China, mainly from cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Ningbo, and Shenzhen. Michigan State University has also seen a notable increase in applications from India and Vietnam, alongside Chinese applicants. Northeastern University's application volume remains steady compared to last year, with the majority of international students coming from China and India.

"In recent years, applying to multiple countries has become a new trend, replacing single-country applications to the UK or the US. Singapore, Hong Kong (China), and Australia have also become popular study destinations due to factors like cost-effectiveness, safety, and rankings," noted Mr. Tie Sun.

Regarding the choice of majors, the admissions officers mentioned that beyond the usual popular majors like business, engineering, and computer science, there's been a trend toward more diverse choices in recent years. What's encouraging is that many students are now selecting "niche" majors based on their interests. American universities offer students a lot of flexibility in choosing majors, allowing them to explore fields they're genuinely passionate about.

Demystifying the American university admissions process

Holistic Review is a common practice in the American university admissions process, where institutions comprehensively evaluate each applicant on an individual basis. Many parents and students often wonder if admissions officers prioritize certain requirements over others.

In response to this question, Ms. Luo Jing, Director for Recruitment and Marketing at Michigan State University, explained the review process for application materials. She mentioned that each applicant's materials go through multiple rounds of review by different evaluators. These evaluators assess factors like the applicant's personality, academic abilities, and interests. Importantly, the evaluation process isn't solely based on quantitative metrics.

Ms. Nicole Zhang further explained that the university evaluates applicants from different curriculum systems fairly. Students can relieve the concerns and anxieties from that. Additionally, there is currently a wide range of extracurricular activities and enrichment programs available in the market. School counselors can provide students with more guidance during the selection process, assisting them in exploring their true passions and overcoming any anxious thoughts they may have. Admissions officers hope to see applicants find projects they genuinely enjoy, commit to them long-term, and experience personal growth.

All three admissions officers confirmed that the universities treat all accepted language tests equally, and ensure a fair evaluation of applicants' language proficiency. 

Securing assistance with university employment

Participation in extracurricular activities and standardized testing are just a part of applying to American universities; beyond satisfying these requirements, the application process is really about self-discovery, helping applicants find the right college fit while also preparing them for success in the job market. 

American universities offer abundant resources for internships, employment, and research opportunities, such as the Career Development Office of Michigan State University and Rhodes College, and the paid internship program of Northeastern University. Students can take advantage of these resources to prepare themselves for their career journey. 

The DET team is here to help!

To provide counselors, students, and parents with more comprehensive and in-depth information on studying abroad in the United States, the DET china team will be collaborating with EducationUSA and American university admissions officers to organize more events like this one—stay tuned to learn more!