Youth Helping Youth: Pinkpau’s Guide to US College Applications

American college applications are a strange beast. I considered applying to a few US colleges before but the sheer number of alien acronyms, requirements, and costs (not to mention the fact that I would theoretically be a “transfer” but wanted to start over) gave me too much of a headache. It is a wonder sometimes that there are international students in the US tertiary system at all!

Writer and general busy bee Su Ann, also known as PinkPau, went through this herself last year and has succeeded in getting herself a spot in a top US university (I believe Columbia but I could be mistaken). She has helpfully provided a comprehensive guide to US applications for Malaysian students, whether fresh out of secondary school or in pre-university programs. This first part of her guide also includes a sample resume for the applications (don’t let the sheer number of achievements scare you!), as well as a sample fee waiver letter – really useful as US college applications can go higher than US$50 each and many people typically apply to a few at once.

Su Ann will publish a few more guides, including one on writing the application essays. She’s also happy to answer questions till January, the end of application deadlines.

Asking a qualified college counselor experienced in US colleges is the ideal option, as is contacting the university, but Su Ann has a very friendly peer perspective and definitely makes a great start. I wish I had her guides three years ago!

HOPE: Higher Opportunities for Private Education

Just read on Education in Malaysia about the HOPE Program, where students who weren’t able to obtain places in public universities in Malaysia will be able to apply for a subsidised spot in a network of nine private universities – APIIT, LimKokWing, Segi, Life, Stamford, Putra, Inti, Mantissa, and Nilai.

The HOPE Network will also provide more funding options, such as PTPTN, to assure that students will be able to afford their education.

I like this idea. There are many reasons students get left out from being in public universities (for example, my sister was a top scorer and was very high-achieving anyway, but she couldn’t get into any public uni because she was Lain-Lain and didn’t figure into the quota system) and the cost of private universities can be rather prohibitive. This program offers a happy medium – more options for education at an affordable price.

Of course, potential students must be prepared to do their research on the universities in the network to make sure that they offer what the students need, and that the course is up to par. It can be tempting to take a place because it’s there, after facing rejection, but you still need to be careful – and besides, there’s opportunities everywhere.

Any comments from those about to take up the Program? What do you feel about it?