The guide features a variety of information and advice including assessing English skills, applying for a visa and financing the cost of the education.
“The previous version of the guide included little guidance that specifically addressed the unique needs of those students”
Eddie West, director of international initiatives at NACAC, said that supporting international and transfer students are “new strategic priorities” for the organisation.
“The previous version of the guide included little guidance that specifically addressed the unique needs of those students,” he told The PIE News.
“And some of the other chapters include information that’s inapplicable and therefore potentially confusing to them.”
West said that understanding the costs of US higher education is something international students can particularly struggle with in the college application process.
“Be proactive and seek out scholarships, fellowships or grants,” the guide advises.
It also suggests that when students calculate their costs, “be sure to factor insurance, living expenses, and travel to and from your home country”.
“Often times the so-called “sticker price” of tuition isn’t in fact what most students end up having to pay, after discounting,” said West.
“And it’s frequently difficult for international students to know ahead of time how long they’ll need to take preparatory English language classes before being eligible to enrol in credit-bearing and degree-applicable courses.”
“Students seeking admission to highly selective US colleges or universities need to be nearly fluent in English,” the guide points out.
It does acknowledge that some US universities “will offer conditional acceptance to talented international students with low English language scores”.
The guide will be marketed at NACAC’s annual conference taking place this week in San Diego. This year has also seen the most participants attend, with over 7,000.
“It was important to dedicate attention to both international students and transfer students,” added West.
“Particularly given how fast those populations are growing in the US.”
At NACAC’s annual conference two years ago, the governing assembly voted in favour of allowing its members to recruit international students using commission-based agents.
This updated guide acknowledges that “private businesses also specialise in advising students who are interested in attending a US university”, defining the difference between agents and independent educational consultants.