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How to Study Bachelors in the USA without SAT and save upto Rs 25 lakhs! • AdmitAbroad

How to Study Bachelors in the USA without SAT and Save up to Rs 25 lakhs!

Admit Abroad -  How to Study Bachelors in the USA without SAT and Save up to Rs 25 lakhs!
Table of contents:


Why Studying at Top Universities for Bachelors in USA is Difficult

Pursuing an undergraduate degree from the USA from a top university is a dream for many. In 2022 alone approximately 30,000 students went to the United States for their Bachelors degree.

But what stops more students from flying to the USA for their Bachelors degree?

Four things make it difficult:

  1. High SAT / ACT scores required.

  2. High GPA required.

  3. High Tuition Fees.

  4. Highly Selective Universities.

High SAT / ACT Scores required

Most top universities in the USA prefer students who take the SAT or ACT entrance tests. These entrance tests are like the CET and JEE Mains exams in India. The average SAT and ACT scores required to get in to a top 50 university in the USA is approximately 1400/1600 and 31/36 respectively. The average scores at some top universities are as follows:

University Average SAT Score (out of 1600) Average ACT Score(Out of 36)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1535 35
Stanford University 1505 34
Harvard University 1510 34
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) 1550 35
University of Chicago 1520 34
Princeton University 1505 34
Cornell University 1485 34
Yale University 1515 34
Columbia University 1530 34
University of Pennsylvania 1505 34
Duke University 1505 34
University of California Berkeley 1505 34
New York University 1490 34

High GPA required

The average high school GPA required for admission to top 50 universities in the USA is around 3.5/4.0. This translates to approximately 90% in the 12th grade. This is more difficult than it seems because most Indian students score less than 90% in the 12th grade.

High Tuition fees

The average tuition fee at a top 50 university in the USA is Rs 35 lakhs. For Private universities it is around Rs 50 lakhs and for public universities it is about Rs 30 lakhs. So, just the cost of tuition for four years of an undergraduate degree in the USA is between Rs 1.2 crore and Rs 2 crore!

Highly Selective Universities

Top universities in the USA are highly selective. Universities look at everything: Grades, Test scores, Co-curricular achievements, Extra-curricular achievements, recommendations, and culture fit. Because universities are looking for near perfect candidates, the selectivity for the top 50 universities is very high. It’s estimated that the selection rate for candidates at the top 10 universities is just 5% and at the top 50 universities is just 20%. Consequently, 19 out of 20 candidates are rejected at a top 10 university and 4 in 5 candidates are rejected at a top 50 university.

The Solution: ACLA’s Preparatory Program to Top Universities

The American Collegiate, Los Angeles (ACLA) has developed a unique two-year preparatory program which acts as a pathway to top universities in the USA. Students complete the first two years of their undergraduate education at ACLA and then transfer to a top university for the final two years of their education. The final undergraduate degree that the student gets is from the university they transfer to. For example, if you transfer from ACLA to New York University (NYU) – then your final undergraduate degree would be from NYU, not ACLA.

Students can start their education at ACLA and then complete their degree at a top university in any area of their choice. The most popular choices are areas:

  1. Computer Science

  2. Business

  3. Engineering

  4. Social Sciences

  5. Film Studies

The first year of the program at ACLA consists of general education courses and career exploration courses like:

  1. Pre-Calculus / Statistics

  2. Philosophy

  3. Political Science

  4. Anthropology

  5. Literature

The goal of the first year of the program is to expose students to different areas of learning and help them identify what they would like to major in.

The second year of the program focuses on subjects that the student would like to major in. Students graduate with upto 90 credits worth of courses on completion of the program (i.e. half the credits required to earn a bachelors degree) and then transfer to another university to complete the remaining two years of the program.

The Solution: ACLA’s Preparatory Program to Top Universities

There are multiple reasons why students should consider enrolling with the ACLA program:

No SAT / ACT Required

Getting admission to the ACLA program does not require students to take the SAT or ACT exams. Their 12th grade board marks and passing certificate is enough.

UCLA Alumnus Status

Because the program is conducted at the UCLA Extension campus, you get UCLA alumnus status on graduating from ACLA. UCLA is ranked within the top 50 universities in the world. As a UCLA alumnus, you have access to the network of students in UCLA, access to career development services such as exclusive networking events, workshops and career coaching sessions.

Easier to Get Into

While getting into top universities in the USA is difficult because of how selective they are, getting into the ACLA program is easier.

What’s more is that AdmitAbroad helps students who wish to get into this program for free!

If you want to apply to this program and need help getting in, feel free to contact us.

Lower Cost [Save Upto Rs 25 lakhs]

The average annual tuition fee at top universities in the USA is Rs 35 lakhs. The annual tuition fee for the ACLA program is Rs 30 lakhs. However, ACLA offers scholarships to students upto Rs 8 lakhs per year. This brings down the annual tuition fee to Rs 22 lakhs. Doing the math – the first two years at ACLA cost Rs 44 lakhs while the first two years at a top 50 university cost Rs 70 lakhs – a saving of Rs 26 lakhs!

Customized Career Support

While at ACLA, students receive customized career support including:

  • Guaranteed internships related to their intended major

  • Mentorship from industry professionals

  • 1:1 career coaching and resume building

  • Access to local guided or virtual volunteer / community service events

Customized Support to Transfer to Top Universities

Once students arrive at ACLA, they receive customized support to transfer to their dream university. Counsellors at ACLA help students:

  • Select the right university and program to transfer to

  • Apply to universities to transfer

  • Build their portfolio

Guaranteed Transfer Agreements

It is extremely rare that a student does not get to transfer to a university of their choosing for the final two years of their undergraduate degree. This would only happen if a student did not act on the advice given by their ACLA counsellor when at ACLA. But even in such cases, ACLA has articulated agreements with universities like University of Pacific, California State University and San Francisco State University where they would be accepted if they have successfully completed their coursework at ACLA.

Typical Universities ACLA Students Transfer To

ACLA students typically graduate to universities like:

  • University of California Berkeley

  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbour

  • New York University

  • University of Southern California

  • University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

  • Purdue University

  • Indiana University, Bloomington

  • Rutgers University

  • Northeastern University

  • University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

  • University of Wisconsin, Madison

  • Emory University

  • Boston University

  • Boston College

  • Ohio State University

  • Syracuse University

  • Penn State University

  • Stony Brook University – SUNY

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst

  • Babson College

  • Pace University

Eligibility Criteria & Documents Needed

To get into the ACLA program, students must have secured the following:

  • At least 60% in 12th Standard

  • At least 80 on the TOEFL iBT, Band 6.5 on the IELTS

  • A Statement of Purpose indicating why the student wants to apply to ACLA

  • Two Letters of Recommendation

If you need help with TOEFL / IELTS prep or need help in creating the documents listed above, feel free to contact us.


The Cost for the two year ACLA program is as follows:

Cost Head For the Whole ACLA Program (2 Years Cost)
Tuition Fees Rs 60 lakhs
Scholarship* Rs 16.5 lakhs
Net Tuition Fee Rs 43.5 lakhs
Living Expenses** Rs 30 lakhs
Total Cost Rs 73.5 lakhs

*The scholarship is provided to students on a first-come, first-served basis. Those who complete their application first have a significant chance of getting the scholarship.

**Students can work part time upto 20 Hours and earn upto Rs 20 lakhs in two years reducing the total expense from Rs 73.5 lakhs to Rs 53.5 lakhs for two years.

Application and Transfer Timelines: Fall 2023 Intake

Though ACLA accepts students for the Summer, Fall, Spring and Winter intakes – it is recommended that students apply either for the Fall intake. 12th grade exam results are declared by June and so the apt time to apply is after that – just in time for the Fall intake which starts in September.

The timeline for the Fall 23 intake is as follows:

Month & Year Phase
June / July 2023 Apply to ACLA
July 2023 Receive Admit
July 2023 / August 2023 Apply for Visa & get funding in place
September 2023 Start Term at ACLA in the USA
September 2025 Complete ACLA program & transfer to a university of your choice
June 2027 Graduate with an undergraduate degree from a top university

It’s important to note that once students complete their two years at ACLA, they only need to complete the remaining two years after transferring to another university. So the total time to graduate with an undergraduate degree remains the same i.e. 4 years.

If you have further questions about the program or are interested in applying or if you have any general study abroad questions – feel free to Contact us. We would be happy to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I guaranteed admission to the ACLA program if I apply?

The ACLA program is not too selective. Students who apply early and do a good job with their SOP, Recommendations and Resume have a good chance of getting selected.

Am I guaranteed a scholarship at ACLA if admitted?

No one is guaranteed a scholarship but scholarship is given to students on a first-come, first-served basis. If you apply in June, chances are high that you will receive a scholarship.

What happens if I don’t get to transfer to a university of my choice at the end of my ACLA program?

Such a situation is extremely rare. In most cases, students transfer to a program and university of their choice. In the rare event that a student doesn’t get into a program of their choice, they can transfer to any university which has an Articulation agreement with ACLA – like University of Gonzaga, University of Pacific, California State University etc.

Do I have the same post-study work visa rights as others if I participate in such a program?

Absolutely! On graduation, students are eligible for the same OPT (optional Practical Training) as other students who go for a direct undergraduate degree. While on OPT, students can work full-time in the USA and earn back the money they have spent on education.

Do I get any credential after graduating from the ACLA program?

On completion of the two year program at ACLA, students get a certificate of completion from ACLA.

Which university’s name will be printed on my undergraduate degree certificate?

On graduation, you will get a degree certificate from the university you have transferred to after ACLA. For example, if you transfer to UC Berkeley – then your undergraduate degree certificate will be from UC Berkeley.

Because I am transferring from ACLA to another university, will graduating take more time?

No. A student who directly applies for an undergraduate degree completes their degree in 4 years. If admitted to the ACLA program, you will complete the first two years of your undergraduate degree at ACLA and the final two years of your degree at the university you transfer to.

Is there any difference between a traditional UG degree in the US and a degree awarded to a student who transfers through ACLA?

No. Both degrees are the same. When students complete their undergraduation, their degree only mentions the name of the university they transferred to. There is no mention of ACLA on this final degree. So, this degree is equivalent to the degree a student who takes direct admission at the university would get.

How do I apply for the program?

Contact us to apply for the ACLA program. Our counsellor will walk you through the entire application process – and provide you with application assistance.

What assistance will AdmitAbroad provide me to apply for this program?

In the application phase we will help you draft the Statement of Purpose, Resume, get the right recommendations. On receiving an admit – we will connect you to partner banks to get loans to fund your education. We will also help you apply for the visa. To date, our students have had a 100% visa acceptance rate.

I have more questions about the program. What should I do?

Contact us if you have further questions. We will be happy to answer your questions. Our counselling session is completely free.

If you have additional questions about travelling abroad, need help with arranging a travel card or have any questions regarding the study abroad process, feel free to contact us. Our counsellors would be happy to help!

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