USA is the top destination for education and every year the number of international students joining universities and colleges in the US is increasing exponentially. Students from different countries are choosing the US to pursue higher education and broaden their horizons. The United States is home to most top colleges and universities in the world.
Offering excellent programs in almost every field, these universities utilize cutting-edge technology and provide students with superior equipment and resources. In order to build students’ long-term career prospects, they alter program content to match market demands. An enormous number of Indian students are choosing the US as their studying abroad destination. The huge number of top-class higher learning institutes with world-class infrastructure and sophisticated teaching techniques attract Indian students to pursue their studies in the US.
US Admission Guidelines:
Most Students underestimate the time required for the application process. You need to allow yourself sufficient time to thoroughly research the institution and or/program that will best serve your academic and professional goals.
Then you must meet the application deadlines as set by the universities to which you intend applying, which may be as much as 10 months before the beginning of the school term. Applicants need to follow guidelines specific to the semester they plan to begin their course. So decide whether your planning is for the fall or spring semester. Students must prepare a checklist and adhere to all guidelines.
Kinds of US Educational Institutions:
The United States has a decentralized education system based on their federal Constitution, which reserves power over education to the states and local authorities, as well as to individual schools and higher education institutions. The educational institutions in the US are a mix of state universities, private institutions, community colleges, technical and vocational colleges.
Programs/Courses in the US:
There are over 124,000 public and private schools in the United States; over 2,000 postsecondary non-degree career and technical schools; and over 4,000 degree-granting institutions of higher education. Of the higher education institutions, over 1,600 award associate degrees and some 2,400 award bachelor's or higher degrees. Over 400 higher education institutions award research doctorates. The high repute of US universities and their comprehensive course structures attract international students from all across the world. Indian students are particularly drawn to the US for pursuing their studies since they are offered a wide array of academic programs ranging from paramedical science to film production. Furthermore, graduate students are offered flexibility to design their courses as per their specific objectives or goals.
Admission Cycles for US Universities:
US universities offer two main semester intakes: fall and spring
Fall Semester (September/October)
This is the time for the main intake of students and almost all programs are offered at this time. More financial aid is available for this semester as funds are allocated for the entire year during this time.
Spring Semester (January/February)
This is the time for mid-year intake of the students. There is limited financial assistance available for this semester as most universities allocate funds to projects in the fall semester.
Some universities also have a summer intake around July.
Most US colleges and universities require international applicants seeking admission to undergraduate and graduate courses to demonstrate their subject knowledge and English language proficiency through standardized tests. These tests are valuable as a common measure of skills and abilities of people from different educational backgrounds. Your scores on these tests will play a role in determining whether or not you are admitted to your schools of choice. Prospective students must register and take the following exams:
Students should start planning 12-18 months before course start. For undergraduate studies, students should start preparing in 12th class or junior college; for graduate studies, it is better if one starts preparing around early 3rd year.
Each graduate department within a university sets its own deadline; they are usually firm about not accepting applications after the set time, particularly if a program is very popular. For the fall semester, which begins in late August or early September, deadlines are usually between January and March of the year of application. For the spring semester, which begins in January or February, deadlines are usually between September and October of the year of application.
After submitting all required documents, one should confirm with the university that the application is complete. A reasonable amount of time should be allowed before following up, probably three to four weeks after submission of documents. Students are requested not to correspond too often.
US Visa Stamping Procedure:
Most Indian students aspiring to study at an accredited US college or university enter the US on an F-1 visa. Students can start their visa process only after they receive their I-20, which is a confirmation of their admission into a college/university. You get an I-20 within 3-6 weeks of application submission.
The US consulate has a system of prior appointments for visa interviews. On the given date, the applicant appears for a personal interview. While answering the questions, one should be brief and to the point.
Student Loan Application Procedure for Studying in the US:
Students can start their loan process as soon as they receive their I-20 as that is the only proof of their admission to a foreign college. The loan amount allotted by the bank depends on the student’s annual tuition fee and estimated minimum living expense.
US Tuition Fees:
The US education system can be segregated into public or private institutions. Studying in a public (state supported) institution costs less than it would in a private (independent) one. Public universities can charge an annual tuition fee in the range of $5,000 to $15,000. The annual tuition fee in private universities ranges from $30,000 to $35,000.
Students can also apply for Scholarships. There are various resources available for searching Scholarships. There are also several services that charge you for either accessing their scholarship database or conducting a scholarship search on your behalf.
Once you are in the US on partial financial support or on a complete self-finance plan, you must still keep looking out for teacher assistantships and Scholarships.
Travel Preparation for Studying in the US:
Students preparing to leave for the US for their higher studies must prepare a checklist of all essential items them must carry with them. The list will help you in not missing anything important. Packing in a planned and careful manner is very vital for an international student and should be done with utmost care.
International students in the US receive great help from the college or university to acclimatize themselves with the new environment and culture. No wonder the number of international students joining universities and colleges in the US every year.