Preparation Tools

The TOEFL and the Common Application are the two most important qualifying factors for GLI Scholars to gain admission into colleges in the United States. Student GLI Applicants: please take advantage of the following resources to prepare for the TOEFL exam and for U.S. College Applications:

Supplemental Essays

In addition to the essay required by the Common Application, students must write supplementary essays for specific schools.

This past year, the three schools of focus were Amherst, Bowdoin and Brandeis, in part because they do not require the SAT test (although they do require the TOEFL), and in part because they are supportive of international students getting financial aid. Students should look up the supplementary essay questions for these three schools, and e-mail drafts to GLI advocates for support. Students and staff should also check in to make sure the list of participating GLI schools is the same, as it may change.

Suggested Timeline of Activities for GLI applicants

10th Grade

  • Student should take the diagnostic TOEFL exam in the 10th or 11th grade. Top TOEFL diagnostic performers should be picked out as possible candidates for GLI, as long as they also have exemplary grades, an outgoing personality, and commitment to the Tibetan cause.
  • Students should start thinking about their recommendation letters and making sure to keep in touch with teachers

11th Grade

  • Midway through 11th grade, top candidates should contact the GLI and begin the application process.
  • Serious prep for the TOEFL exam must begin midway through 11th grade.
  • At the end of 11th grade, students should request 1-page college recommendation letters from their 11th grade faculty (one in math, one in humanities, and one from a school administrator).
  • The Common Application process should begin over the summer when the student finished 11th grade. Drafts of two essays from Common App prompts must be completed by the end of the summer. The student should also gather recommendations and required documentation at this time.

12th Grade

  • The TOEFL exam must be taken by September when the student begins the 12th grade.
  • If the student scores 100 or above on the TOEFL, they will be eligible to complete the Common App essay, (with the help of the GLI). This process will run from September to the end of November of the student’s 12th year.
  • The GLI will assist the best candidates in applying to specific schools. Supplementary essays will be completed and submitted in November.


Logistics and Documentation 

If you are selected to be a GLI scholar, you will need to make sure you have documentation ready for the college application and US student visa process.

1. IC (high-resolution scan)
2. Greenbook (high-resolution scan)
3. RC (high-resolution scan)
4. Academic transcript(s) since 9th grade (high-resolution scan)
5. Passport (high-resolution scan)
6. Address and International Phone Number