What are the application requirements for international students?
You apply for admission at one university, which becomes your home university. Most universities require you to complete an application, pay a fee, and submit transcripts of previous college credits. Additional requirements may include GRE scores, a resume, a statement of objectives, and letters of recommendation.
At many universities, the application process will look mostly the same for everyone, but applicants from outside the U.S. sometimes have a few additional requirements. Great Plains IDEA member universities each have their own application process and expectations for international students. Visit our Directory of Application Information to access links to international admissions websites at member universities.
If you have trouble finding the information you’re looking for, contact the campus coordinator at the university where you wish to apply.
Is my degree from my country equivalent to a degree from the U.S.?
In the U.S. educational system, bachelor's degree recipients have 16 years of formal education — 12 years of elementary and secondary education plus four years of post-secondary study — which qualify them for admission to advanced degree programs. This is the benchmark most of our member universities use to evaluate foreign educational systems.
Visit our Directory of Application Information to access links to international admissions websites at member universities.
Do I have to be proficient in English to be admitted to a U.S. advanced degree program?
Applicants seeking admission to U.S. universities who are non-native speakers of English must meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement for admission at the university they wish to attend. Our member university requirements will differ, and we encourage you to visit our Directory of Application Information to access links to the international admissions websites at member universities.
Will I need to travel to the U.S. to complete part of my degree program?
All courses are taught online so you will not need to travel to the university campus. You may choose to travel to campus for the optional graduation ceremony.
Once admitted to a degree program at a Great Plains IDEA university, will I be eligible for a U.S. Visa?
No. Acceptance into an online bachelor’s or master’s degree program does not necessarily make you eligible for an F1 Visa (this is the visa for international students enrolled in U.S. college).
If you plan to take online courses from your home country, you do not have to follow the university’s immigration criteria. However, if you are an international student living in the U.S. and would like to take online courses you must comply with the university’s visa criteria.
Is the application process the same if I’m applying for a graduate certificate rather than a master’s degree?
Yes, the application process is the same whether you’re applying to pursue a graduate certificate or a master’s degree. At many institutions, there are different requirements for undergraduate students than for graduate students. Visit our Directory of Application Information to access links to international admissions websites at member universities.
Are there scholarships or financial aid available to international students?
Funding for an advanced degree typically comes from one or more of the following sources, personal or family sources, a government sponsorship from the student’s home country, or scholarships.
Your home university likely has scholarship resources on their international student's website, or your campus coordinator can also direct you to scholarship information at your home university. We have numerous resources and tips on our Finding Scholarships page.
The Great Plains IDEA Student Excellence Award is granted to a limited number of students annually. This $1,000 award may be used for educational expenses such as tuition and books, or towards other costs of attendance like childcare or educational technology. Applications are accepted in the spring semester.
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