Guide for Applying with US Citizenship
Having a United States passport entails a few distinctions in the application process when compared to international applicants. United States colleges require that you apply as a domestic applicant rather than an international applicant if you have American citizenship. In the Common Application, where the application allows for a dual citizenship, choose your Middle Eastern country of citizenship as well. Colleges and universities look at these applicants as U.S. citizens who have lived and studied abroad.
Differences in Required Documents
U.S. citizens are not required to submit a certification of finances or banking statements. Also, most college application rates differ from international applicants to domestic applicants, and other universities waive the fee entirely. Some schools also waive the requirement of an English Proficiency test for U.S. citizens, but it’s recommended to email the school or check its admissions website to learn the respective school’s policies.
Some universities request your Social Security Number as a U.S. citizen. Complete that section if you do currently own one. If you don’t (many international U.S. citizens still have not applied for one), simply e-mail the school telling them so to make sure your application doesn’t show as incomplete. Your SSN is not a requirement, and will thus not hinder your application process if you don’t have one yet.
Your chances as a U.S. citizen are not particularly better nor worse than applying as an international applicant. However, some schools have a specific quota for international students, and so the admissions of the university don’t have to abide by the quota if they consider you a domestic student. This is a particular advantage when it comes to some schools; as you don’t have to compete for one of the limited seats for international applicants. MIT, for example, has a limit of around 10% international students for any given class.
You can fill in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid in order to apply for student loans and college financial aid. Some universities offer scholarships exclusively for U.S. citizens, and so you can apply to those as well.
Saudi-Specific Scholarship Information
The Ministry of Education (MOE) scholarship is a scholarship opportunity founded for Saudi citizens. If you have both a Saudi and an American citizenship, you can still apply for the scholarship. You have to apply as a Saudi student, but you would enter the U.S. with your U.S. passport and thus will not need a visa. Don’t be alarmed by the dual-citizenship policy, as it is written in the MOE terms that Saudi U.S. citizens do not require a visa to apply to the U.S. (they already know about your dual-citizenship).