The application cycle for international students applying to study in the USA can be a lengthy one. It is advisable to start the process at least twelve months before your studies are due to begin to avoid making mistakes and missing deadlines.
Staying organised is essential - print out regular checklists of the different application steps so you know what you have done, and what is still left to do.
Applying to between five to ten colleges or universities is normally advised. Where possible try and make your choices a balanced mixture of 'dream', 'probable' and 'safety net' institutions.
Entry requirements tend to vary between institutions. It is always advisable to check the websites of any colleges and universities you are interested in applying to, to ensure you are on the right track. If you are still unsure, contact the international/admissions department to ask further questions; they will be more than happy to help.
Always ensure your emails are polite and presentable - bad manners, spelling mistakes and abbreviations will not make a good first impression on the people who will potentially be deciding if you are the right applicant for their institution.