Applying to American colleges as a dual citizen

ABD lisans

Photo licensed under creative commons. Courtesy of ccarlstead.

While not particularly rare in general, applying to US universities as a dual citizen is somewhat uncommon. Guidance for dual citizens with US citizenship is sometimes hard to find and this status can confuse applicants to US universities, especially with regard to language, transcripts, and financial aid. This post explores dual citizens application approach.

Impact of dual citizenship on college applications

Dual citizens are rare within a typical applicant pool and they often provide interesting cultural perspectives that other students do not have. Dual citizenship can enhance an application’s strength for this reason.

  • Most universities do not offer “need blind” admission to international students so your ability to pay will be a factor in the admissions decision.  This alone reduces the chance of admission for many international applicants.
  • International students are required to maintain their status as full time students when classes are normally in session, whereas US citizens are not. This is potentially important if you have unexpected circumstances that could require you to leave school or take a reduced load.
  • Applying for Federal, State, and (often times) university financial aid, requires applicants to submit the FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This is only possible for US citizens and Permanent Residents (“Green Card” holders).

University policies on dual citizenship

Whitman College

students with dual citizenship with the United States and another country are not required to submit any additional information beyond that of a domestic applicant. When applying, please do include any applicable information about citizenship or foreign education. Admission applications, including transcripts, must be provided in English translation.

Americans abroad and dual citizens are considered eqaully with regular domestic applicants in the admission pool.

Yale College

I have dual citizenship.  Am I better off applying as an American citizen or an international student? 

The same application is used for all candidates, and it asks you to list your country or countries of citizenship. We are interested in your citizenship chiefly for reporting purposes, but it has no bearing on your chances of admission.

Bates College

An “international” student at Bates is someone who is not a U.S. citizen. If you are a U.S. citizen living outside of the United States, you should follow the same procedures as U.S. citizens when applying for admission or financial aid. The same applies if you are a permanent resident of the United States (holder of a “Green Card”) or a dual citizen (of the United States and another country).

Foothill College

You are not considered an international student for application purposes and you will need to fill out a domestic student application form if you are:

  • permanent resident (hold a green card)
  • U.S. citizen or a dual citizen
  • Currently in the United States holding a visa other than F-1 (such as B, J, H or other) and you are not planning to change your status to F-1 to study at Foothill

If you are not considered an international student by the above criteria, you should not apply through the International Student Office. This is true even if your academic records are from another country, your native language is not English and you have lived abroad most of your life. We are happy to give you some general guidance and direct you to the right resources so that your admission to Foothill is smooth and successful.

Syracuse University

How do I apply if I am a dual citizen?

  • Students with multiple citizenship which includes citizenship to the United States should apply as U.S. citizens.