U.S. Fulbright Fellow Steffaney Wood advising two students at a study abroad fair

EducationUSA Resources

The United States has a lot of academic opportunities for a student; there are over 4 000 accredited colleges and universities to choose from. Unlike many countries, U.S. higher education institutions are not centrally organized or managed but are accredited on a national or regional level by independent accrediting bodies.

The U.S. Educational System

Familiarize yourself with the educational system in the U.S. before starting the university application process.

Special Features of U.S. Higher Education

Did you know that...

  • there are universities that offer “need-blind” scholarships and/or financial aid to international students. These universities are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, Dartmouth College, Bowdoin College, and Amherst College.
  • you can transfer from one university to another and still graduate with a bachelor’s degree. You can also transfer from a 2-year community college to a 4-year university and graduate with a bachelor’s degree.
  • you can apply for one 12-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) visa per each F-1 visa and completed degree and work post-graduation in the U.S.
  • you can receive an athletic or academic scholarship that will cover your tuition costs.
  • you can graduate with multiple majors and/or minors. You do not need to decide your major until the end of your sophomore year.
  • your academic GPA is not the only determining factor for being admitted. Many U.S. universities have a holistic admission process that tries to consider all factors of the applicant.

Do you know...

  • the difference between a university and a college?
  • what a community college is?
  • the difference between NCAA division one, two, and three conferences?
  • what is an Ivy League college?
  • what SAT, ACT, and/or TOEFL stand for?
  • what does “graduating with honors” mean?

Read more information on U.S. higher education-specific terminology in the EducationUSA glossary. You can also reach out to the Fulbright Finland Foundation's EducationUSA advisers or read the Study in the U.S. Guide (in Finnish).

Lue lisää korkeakoulutuksesta Yhdysvalloissa suomeksi. 

The Application Process in a Nutshell

Getting accepted to a university or college in the U.S. and starting your studies can be a long process and requires lots of planning. Factors to consider are where to study, how to choose the major field of study, and how to finance your studies. The list below will help you plan your journey.

5 steps to take:

  1. Find the university that best fits YOU: field of study, available majors, faculty's specialization/research focus, type of institution, location, cost of attendance, available funding, sports, extracurricular activities, etc.
  2. Make a realistic funding plan: do you qualify for a scholarship, financial aid from Finland or from the U.S. university, KELA, family savings and your own savings, make use of the rahoituslähdelista, etc.
  3. Complete your application: what are the admission requirements; SAT, ATC, or TOEFL tests, GPA, personal essay, recommendation letters, translating your grades, credential evaluation, etc.
  4. Apply for a visa
  5. Prepare for your departure: flights, insurance*, passport, bank account, housing, phone etc.

    *Includes general tips for acquiring insurance, but also specific information for Fulbright Finland Foundation grantees only.

More detailed information about the steps: https://educationusa.state.gov/your-5-steps-us-study

Useful Resources

EducationUSA logo
Please give your consent to the use of marketing cookies by clicking the cogwheel in the bottom left corner to see the content.
Study on the U.S. Info Session, April 18th, 2024 - Case Examples Brown, Vanderbilt, and Yale University
Statistics on Finnish students in the U.S.

Do you work in a school in Finland?

Reach out to the Fulbright Finland Foundation if you are interested in having our Outreach Ambassadors promote study opportunities in the U.S. at your institution!