The GET- A Higher Education Academic Program (GET-AHEAD) at the Institute of International Education (IIE) works with international students to navigate the admissions and scholarship award process for applying to university in the United States.
Why study in the United States?
- A liberal arts education
- Research opportunities and strong engineering programs
- The ability to explore different areas of study
- Become fluent in English
- Participate in extracurricular activities and make new friends
- Network and build your resume with international experience
- Gain a global perspective
- Become independent
- Travel the USA!
Through GET-AHEAD, IIE works with over 450 U.S. institutions in all 50 states to place international undergraduate and graduate students from around the world!
Map of GET- AHEAD Program Network Institutions
Please note that GET-AHEAD helps you to realize the wide variety of possibilities for undergraduate and graduate study in the United States. Students should keep an open mind about U.S. universities. This program is not intended for students who only wish to attend one specific institution. IIE looks at your application and financial need in order to identify schools that are the best fit for you!
Interested in applying for the GET- AHEAD Program?
Make sure you fit these requirements:
- You must be a citizen of the country you are applying from.
- You must have superior academic abilities, a well-rounded personality, and participate in extracurricular activities.
- Transcripts should show a consistently high level of performance, indicative of good academic potential.
- You must take the TOEFL exam and score a minimum of 79 (internet based), 213 (computer based), or 550 (paper based).
- For Undergraduate - You must take the SAT I exam and score a minimum of 550 on each section. In addition, it is recommended that you take the SAT II exams in a subject related to your proposed major.
- For Graduate - You must take the GRE General exam. The GMAT exam is also accepted for MBA program applicants.
- As most scholarships and awards that are offered by universities through this program are not full awards, it is required that you provide complete and accurate proof of the funding you have available to provide per academic year (minimum $14,000 USD for undergraduate studies and $18,000 for graduate studies).
- If you are currently enrolled in a university in your home country, you are still eligible to apply for the program, as long as you have not completed more than two years of study in your home country.
- Candidates with US or dual citizenship of the United States and another country are NOT eligible for this program.
- Candidates already accepted to, or enrolled in, a university in the US are NOT eligible to apply to this program.
Important Exam Information
79 (Internet based)
550 Critical Reading
SAT II (Undergraduate)
GMAT (Graduate - MBA)
Test score reports must be sent directly to the Institution of International Education using the codes listed above.
Are you interested in attending a university in the United States at the undergraduate level for a 4 year degree program or non-degree program for 1 year or 1 semester? Are you a graduate student interested in pursuing a masters or doctoral degree program, visiting student researcher program, or non-degree program? All GET-AHEAD candidates are screened by IIE's cooperating agencies abroad then must complete IIE’s application package for consideration by institutions in the U.S.
The EducationUSA office in your home country or a similar advising center is your #1 source to determine if studying in the United States is the best fit for you! Based on their expertise of both the American education system and that of your home country, they can help to give you specific advice and guidance on your academic profile. The GET-AHEAD Program can then provide guidance on your best options of universities in the United States.
EducationUSA is a US Department of State network of over 400 international student advising centers in more than 170 countries!
Steps to Participate in the GET- AHEAD Program:
- Find the advising center nearest to you on the EducationUSA website: http://educationusa.state.gov/find-advising-center
- Meet with an advisor there and discuss your academic goals and the GET-AHEAD Program.
- Email GETahead@iie.org to let us know of your interest in the program and provide us with the contact information for your EducationUSA advisor.
- Begin the process of applying for university in the USA with the GET-AHEAD Program!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is the GET-AHEAD Program a university or institution?
A. No. GET- AHEAD is a program and service administrated by a non-profit organization, the Institute of International Education (IIE). IIE is a reputable organization in the United States that works with American colleges and universities across the country.
Q. Can GET give me a scholarship?
A. No. IIE uses its relationships with American universities in order to help GET students receive consideration for scholarship awards. The universities to which you will apply award all scholarship awards or tuition waivers. The GET-AHEAD Program does not contribute to or take from the funds awarded to you by any universities.
Q. Will the GET-AHEAD Program give me a visa?
A. No. Your final choice university will act as your visa sponsor throughout your studies in the United States. GET-AHEAD students come to the United States on F-1 visas.
Q. Which colleges and universities accept students from this program?
A. IIE surveys all colleges and universities nationwide every year to determine what financial aid opportunities are offered and what the eligibility requirements are for international students. We work with the full range of accredited post-secondary educational institutions. ALL institutions are invited to review candidates through the program. IIE staff evaluates each candidate application and researches appropriate programs and majors for each student. We work with the student, the advisor/center/foundation until the student/advisor/center/foundation and IIE are satisfied and agree with the list of schools for submission. Most students we work with have limited finances at their disposal and, therefore, each application is submitted to several US institutions to allow for more choice and opportunity. IIE receives no commission from US universities to place students in any institution.
Q. Can I only apply to only one university through the GET- AHEAD Program?
A. The GET- AHEAD Program helps international students to broaden their university search in the United States by offering suggestions that fit both your academic and financial aid profile. We recommend that you take full advantage of the opportunity to apply to 5 universities through this Program.
Q. What is the cost of applying and attending university in the United States with the GET- AHEAD Program?
A. In the pre-application stage, you will need to work with your local EducationUSA or independent advising center to determine the costs of translation services, as well as the costs of any exams that you will need to take, such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE and GMAT. IIE charges an administrative fee to participate in the GET- AHEAD Program. However, by applying through the Program, you will have most university application fees waived, as well as have a larger chance of gaining scholarship awards to meet your financial capacity. During 2016, the 26 GET AHEAD applicants received a total of close to $2 million USD in scholarship funding!
Q. What are the Program benefits?
A. IIE uses its resources and strong partnership with US institutions to match your application with schools where you will be most competitive. IIE presents your application to universities after a careful review of your competitiveness for scholarships. Your application will be submitted to those participating institutions that have provided IIE with the scholarship eligibility requirements. Those requirements, your study objectives and financial capability determine which of those institutions your application is submitted to.
Q. I’m interested in applying, what do I do next?
A. Contact your local EducationUSA or advising center to determine if applying to study in the United States is right for you! Next, you and your advisor must contact IIE at GETahead@iie.org to apply through the GET- AHEAD Program. Our services will help you to choose the right university options and obtain funding that will make your dream of studying in the US come true!
We may just know each other via emails but I believe you have helped me in one of the longest and hardest processes in my life. I finally have accomplished what I truly desired and I would not have done it without your help. Thank you very much and the whole IIE for making my vision come true!
– Andrea Barreda, Peru ‘15, University of Kansas, Physical Education
I want to deeply thank you for all you´ve helped me with; for aiding and guiding me through the most important time of my life so kindheartedly and efficiently. I wouldn´t have made it this far without you. I cannot begin to imagine the amount of hard work you all have had to go through in order to help me and a few other people get into college! It is very hard for me to express how grateful I am (and always will be) towards all of you, but I hope this humble thank you will be enough.
– Maria Caroline Noguera Moscati, Brazil’15, DePaul University, Psychology
I think that this Program is an excellent tool to make the dream of an international student to go to college in the United States possible. In my case I learned a lot about the types of universities and the process of admission. It is quite different from the way we go to college in my country…I really appreciate the help given because now I imagine how difficult it would be to go through all this process on my own. This process is very simple and is excellent for people that are miles away.
– Melissa Camacho, Costa Rica ‘10, Wayne State University, Pre-Medicine
I really appreciate IIE helping me through the admission process. IIE helped me select schools based on my interest, both academic and personal. It helped me to narrow down my options of institutions and I was able to be more focused on choosing my major. Once I received the admission decisions, I could choose which school I want to go to. IIE guided me through the paper work process. It was a lot of paper work, but with their help, I could finally be one step closer to achieve my goal.
– Mita Putri, Indonesia ‘09, Beloit College, Japanese/Architecture