Why Choose USA?
Over several decades, the United States of America has become the Promised Land for everyone seeking to pursue higher education. The wide acceptability and high quality of US institutions, coupled with the chance of continuing to work and stay there after completion of the course, makes it the most favored destination for aspirants. The costs might be high, but they are offset by two factors – there are opportunities for getting partial or full aid for the tuition costs, and the expected high salaries there after the course is completed. That’s why most students consider it a good value for money proposition. There are a large number of institutions you can apply to, because more than half of the top 100 universities in the world are in the US. You also get opportunities for part time work (20 hours per week when classes are on, and 40 hours a week during vacations) to take care of some of your living expenses. These are some of the reasons why a degree in US is so highly regarded by students seeking an education abroad.
How Much Would It Cost?
You might need to spend a minimum of INR 10 lakhs per year for your tuition fees. Depending on the institute you choose, the tuition fees could go up to INR 40 lakhs. This is only for the tuition fees, and living expenses would add up another INR 10 lakhs per year, which means you need to have the provision for at least INR 20 lakhs before you can start applying. But that’s not the end of the story. One of the reason why US is a preferred destination is that there are several ways in which you can ease the burden of these costs. First, all international students have the option of applying for fee waivers based on the quality of their earlier academic performances. The quality of reference letters and the Statement of Purpose also is a factor in deciding how much aid an applicant can get. A student can qualify for a fellowship if his academic performance is very impressive. Second, a student could enroll for becoming a teaching assistant (where he would need to take undergraduate classes) or a research assistant. They could be paid a stipend for this work, or some part of their tuition fee could be waived off. Finally, just like Indian Universities, the universities in US also have sports scholarships for applicants who have a high degree of athletic ability in one or more sports. If you choose to do an undergraduate program, you would pay between INR 7 lakhs and INR 12 lakhs a year. For post graduate courses, your costs for tuitions would be INR 15 lakhs to INR 20
lakhs a year.
How and When To Apply?
Applications are accepted in two cycles – Fall and Spring. Most of the admissions are done in the Fall cycle, since almost all courses are open for choice at that time. In Spring, not all courses are available. For the Spring cycle, which begins in January, applications should be sent by middle of October. For Fall, which begins in August, the applications need to be in by March. The importance of letter of recommendation (from teachers and professors) can’t be emphasized enough. Along with this the Statement of Purpose is also looked at very carefully. The mark
sheets of your previous education also need to be provided (some universities insist on your previous school sending directly to them in sealed envelopes). Some institutes also ask you to write a few essays in order to assess your grasp over the language, and also your ability to distil your thoughts and convey them clearly. Finally, you need to provide evidence of your financial records (bank statements) which will assure the university that you have the money to support yourself.
Some Of The Best US Institutions
There are too many quality institutes in the US for us to name them here. But you can be assured that even if the selection criteria or cost at any of the Ivy League universities are too difficult for you, please be aware that there are so any good universities in the US that you can easily choose another one.