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How to Get Into Top US Universities with Your HND and WES Credential Evaluation

Are you an international student with a Higher National Diploma (HND) looking to further your education at a university in the United States?

The good news is that many US universities accept HND transcripts, especially when accompanied by a World Education Services (WES) evaluation.

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What is an HND?

How to Get Into Top US Universities with Your HND and WES Credential Evaluation

An HND is a higher education qualification awarded by colleges and universities in various countries, including the UK, Nigeria, Ghana, and more. It is roughly equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program. HNDs are vocationally focused and prepare students for a specific career path.

What is WES Evaluation?

World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit organization that provides credential evaluations for international students planning to study in the US or Canada.Nursing Abroad feature article are postgrad students happy with their degree 838x484 2019

A WES evaluation converts educational credentials from any country into their US equivalents. Most US universities require or recommend a WES evaluation for international students, as it provides a clear and standardized representation of your academic achievements.

Why Get a WES Evaluation for Your HND Transcript?

While some US universities may accept HND transcripts on their own, many require or strongly prefer a WES evaluation to accompany the transcript.

A WES evaluation adds credibility and clarity to your HND transcript, making it easier for admissions officers to understand your qualifications in a US context. Getting a WES evaluation can significantly boost your chances of acceptance into US degree programs.

Step-by-Step Guide: Applying to US Universities with an HND and WES Evaluation

Follow these steps to successfully apply to US universities as an HND holder:

Step 1: Obtain Your HND Transcript

Contact the college or university where you completed your HND and request an official transcript.

You will likely need to provide identification and pay a small fee. Make sure the transcript includes all courses taken, grades received, and the date of graduation or expected graduation. You may need multiple sealed copies of the transcript to send to WES and universities.

Step 2: Apply for a WES Evaluation

Go to the WES website and create an account. Select the type of evaluation you need – for US university admissions, choose the “WES International Credential Advantage Package.”

Fill out the application, submit your HND transcript and any other required documents, and pay the evaluation fee. WES will review your credentials and send you and your designated recipients an official evaluation report.

Step 3: Research US Universities that Accept HNDs

Many US universities accept applications from HND holders, especially with a WES evaluation. Some universities may grant transfer credit for HND coursework. Use university search engines like Peterson’s or US News & World Report to find institutions that fit your criteria. Check university websites for their specific international admissions requirements and whether they accept HNDs.

Step 4: Take Standardized Tests

Most US universities require international applicants to submit scores from standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT, depending on the degree level. They may also require proof of English proficiency through exams like the TOEFL or IELTS. Research the testing requirements for each university you plan to apply to and register for the appropriate exams well in advance.

Step 5: Prepare Your Application Materials

In addition to your HND transcript and WES evaluation, you will need to submit various other materials with your US university applications. These typically include:

  • Completed application form
  • Application fee
  • Personal statement or essay
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Portfolio (for certain programs like art or architecture)

Carefully follow each university’s application instructions and deadlines. It’s a good idea to have someone proofread your materials before submitting.

Step 6: Apply for Scholarships and Financial Aid

Studying in the US can be expensive, but there are many funding opportunities available for international students. Research scholarship options through databases like International Scholarships and Fastweb. Check with the universities you are applying to about their available scholarships and financial aid for international students. Many have dedicated funding for students from specific countries or regions.

Step 7: Apply for Your Student Visa

After receiving an acceptance letter from a US university, you will need to apply for a student visa to legally study in the United States. The most common student visa types are F-1 (for academic studies) and M-1 (for vocational studies).

The visa application process involves submitting various documents, paying a fee, and attending an interview at a US embassy or consulate in your country. Start the visa process as early as possible to ensure you receive it in time for your program start date.

Top US Universities that Accept HND Transcripts with WES Evaluation

While many US universities accept applications from HND holders with WES evaluations, here are some top institutions known to be welcoming to HND students:

1. University of Southern California (USC)

USC is a prestigious private research university located in Los Angeles, California. They have a large international student population and accept HND transcripts with WES evaluations. USC offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs across disciplines like business, engineering, arts, and more.

Apply to USC

2. Northeastern UniversityNursing Abroad College students

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern is a top-ranked private research university known for its experiential learning opportunities. They welcome applications from HND holders and offer transfer credit for some HND coursework with a WES evaluation. Northeastern has strong programs in fields like computer science, business, and health sciences.

Apply to Northeastern

3. University of Houston

The University of Houston is a public research university and the flagship institution of the University of Houston system.

They have a diverse student body, including many international students, and accept HND transcripts with WES evaluations. UH offers over 100 undergraduate majors and 200 graduate programs.

Apply to University of Houston

4. University of Central Florida (UCF)

UCF is a public research university located in Orlando, Florida. It is one of the largest universities in the US by enrollment. UCF accepts HND transcripts with WES evaluations and offers some transfer credit for HND coursework.

They have strong programs in engineering, computer science, and business.

Apply to UCF

5. Arizona State University (ASU)

ASU is a top-ranked public research university with multiple campuses in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

They are known for innovation and have a large international student community. ASU accepts applications from HND holders with WES evaluations and offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs.

Apply to ASU

Tips for Strengthening Your US University Application as an HND Holder

As an HND holder, you can take several steps to make your US university application as competitive as possible:

  1. Get a strong WES evaluation. Make sure to submit all required documents and follow instructions carefully to ensure an accurate and favorable evaluation.
  2. Highlight your HND coursework and achievements. In your personal statement and other application materials, discuss how your HND has prepared you for further study and your future career goals.
  3. Demonstrate your English proficiency. Most US universities require international applicants to submit proof of English language skills. Take the TOEFL or IELTS and aim for scores above the university’s minimum requirements.
  4. Get involved in extracurricular activities. Participating in clubs, volunteer work, internships, or other activities related to your field of study can strengthen your application and show your dedication.
  5. Apply to a variety of universities. Don’t limit yourself to just a few highly selective institutions. Include a range of universities in your application list, including some that are known to be welcoming to HND holders.
  6. Start the process early. Applying to US universities as an international student takes time, especially with the added step of WES evaluation. Begin researching universities, taking standardized tests, and preparing your application materials well in advance of deadlines.


Applying to US universities as an HND holder can seem daunting, but with careful research, planning, and a strong WES evaluation, it is definitely possible.

By following the steps outlined in this guide and taking advantage of resources like scholarship databases and university international student services, you can successfully navigate the application process and achieve your goal of furthering your education in the United States.Nursing Abroad Untitled design 2021 01 26T153614.153

Remember to start early, gather all required materials, and tailor your application to each university’s specific requirements. Highlight your unique strengths and experiences, and demonstrate how your HND has prepared you for success in a US degree program.

With persistence and hard work, you can join the many HND holders who have gone on to earn bachelor’s, master’s, and even doctoral degrees from top US universities. The opportunities are out there – it’s up to you to seize them.

Additional Resources

  • WES Website
  • EducationUSA – US Department of State network of international student advising centers
  • International Student – Online resource for international students studying in the US
  • TOEFL and IELTS – English proficiency exams accepted by US universities
  • Common App – Centralized application system used by over 900 US universities

By utilizing these resources and following the guidance in this article, you will be well on your way to achieving your educational goals in the United States. Best of luck with your applications!

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