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Your definitive guide to Study Abroad in USA

Scholar Strategy is India’s leading Study in USA guidance community. For last 9 years, our candidates have gone on to study at MIT, Stanford, UIUC, Cornell, Berkeley, CMU, and other top universities. Not only that, we take pride in helping our candidates be prepared for landing internships at companies like Tesla, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and more.

Are you harboring dreams of world class education and studies abroad for career opportunities? USA has been the leading destination for ambitious students worldwide. Here, we cover all the information you need to realize your dreams.

Why Consider Study in USA

History of Innovation

The United States of America is called the nation of explorers. It is the birthplace of many inventions that changed the world.

From inventors like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison to industrialists like John D. Rockefeller were born in the US. 

Cultural Diversity and Opportunity to Grow

The nation is renowned globally for its multicultural environment, its opportunities, and what has become a common phrase – “American Dream.” 

Don’t know what the American Dream is?

Investopedia defines the American dream as “the belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their version of success in society. It is achieved through sacrifice, risk-taking, and hard work, rather than by chance.”

The US is revered for its infrastructure that promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology. No wonder, it is the number one study abroad destination.

World’s Best Universities

It has some of the world’s oldest universities: Harvard, Stanford, MIT are all based in the US.

As per QS world rankings 2021, five universities in the Top 10 are all based out of the US.

American universities provide a great learning experience, opportunity to grow like no other country.

QS Global RankSchool
1Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
2Stanford University
3Harvard University
4California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
9University of Chicago

Recruiters of top-notch organizations pay high salaries to students of American universities. 

The schools receive huge donations and are well funded to invest in research and development areas.

Courses to Target

Study in USA allows you to choose from a plethora of courses. The country will probably have a course/degree on every subject you can imagine.

  • MIT, the California Institute of Technology, John Hopkins University, and Carnegie Mellon University are famous for STEM education.
  • Apart from STEM, courses on Psychology, Journalism, Medicine, Business & Management, Social Sciences are also top-rated. 

Indian students mostly enroll in American university programs to study Engineering and Management. The courses like MS and MBA attract Indians applicants due to the high standard of education and the possibility of getting a high-paying job in the world’s largest economy–United States of America.

Undergrad

Colleges in the US offer a four-year Bachelor’s degree. Students aspiring to study at the undergraduate level in American colleges have to give the SAT exam.

The higher the score, the better are your chances to get an admission letter from schools like Harvard, MIT, and Stanford.

MS (Science & Engineering)

Studying MS (Master of Science) in the US is a dream for students passionate about Science and Technology. 

It has the world’s best universities that offer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education.

The country is a leader in Research & Innovation sectors and is the home to many tech behemoths like Facebook, Amazon, and Intel. 

Where did you find this article?

The chances are you found it on Google Search (or Gmail), Facebook, or LinkedIn–all of these companies were founded in the US.

The Top-5 universities for MS in the US are:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Stanford University
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  4. The University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
  5. Columbia University

See our page on all about MS in USA.

MBA

MBA courses in the US are among the best in the world. 

Studying at top universities in the US allows you to network with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and nationalities. A network built during your time at a B-School can be leveraged later when you are looking to form business partnerships.

As per QS global MBA rankings, four out of the Top-4 MBA programs are taught in American universities. 

QS Global MBA RankSchoolDurationAvg. Salary(USD)
1Stanford Graduate School of Business21 months152,503
2The Wharton School21 months150,000
3MIT Sloan School of Management24 months140,000
4Harvard Business School21 months148750
8Columbia Business School20 months150,000
Top MBA programs in US

Application Process for Study in USA

Most top American universities and colleges have the authority to decide their standard and admission criteria.

The most common aspect of applying to study in the US is standard competitive exams like GRE, GMAT, and SAT. GRE is usually accepted for admission in MS programs, GMAT for MBA, and SAT is the standard test students give for undergraduate courses. 

The below sequence of steps may help you speed up your application process:

  1. Decide five to ten universities you’re planning to get into for the subjects of your interest. 
  2. Search for ways to finance your education. This may include eligibility for a loan, scholarships, and grants. We’ve written a comprehensive article that will give you more clarity on ways to finance your education abroad. 
  3. Prepare for and give the English proficiency exams like TOEFL, IELTS, and degree-specific exams like GRE and GMAT.
  4. Prepare for the colleges based on your exam scores.
  5. Prepare and polish the documents common for admission in most colleges: SOP, Essay, Letter of Recommendations.
  6. Appear for the personal interview with the admission officers.
  7. If you receive an acceptance letter, confirm your intent to take admission to that university. 

The universities require you to pay a non-refundable fee to confirm admission.

If you’re struggling during any phase of admission, we at Scholar Strategy can help you. Click here to contact us.

Main Challenges

Student Visa

The US government allows non-American citizens to enter the country only with a valid visa.

Without a relevant Visa, you won’t be allowed to study in the US if you’re an international student aspiring to study in the country.  All your hopes of studying in the US will go in vain if your visa application isn’t approved.

The US government offers three student visa types, including F, J, and M.

  1. F Student Visa: For study at the university level or to study English at an institute that teaches English.
  2. J Exchange Visa: It is applicable for an exchange program at the university and high school level.
  3. M Student Visa: It is applicable for vocational study or training in the US.

Before you can apply for an F, J, or M student visa, you must have an acceptance letter from an American university or higher education institute.

Read our detailed post on all about the student and work visas in the US

Competitive Admissions

If you aspire to study in top American universities–ranked among the best in the world–the admission process would most probably include an exam. 

These exams are conducted to test your English proficiency or examine particular skill sets needed for a course you’re applying to study. 

ExamPurpose
TOEFLTo test the applicant’s English proficiency. 
IELTSTo test the applicant’s English proficiency. 
GMATFor admission in MBA/Management courses
GREFor MS/MBA courses

Please note that a good score in such exams doesn’t guarantee an admit and is just a tool to filter out applicants. 

If you’re planning to study at these top universities, your work experience and extracurriculars help you stand out among the applicants.

Getting admission into a top school is a dream for many, but not everyone can pay the price to afford it–not talking only about money. The admission process is highly competitive.
For example, The acceptance rate of admission to Stanford MBA is around 7 percent, and for MIT, it is 6.7 percent. 

Cost of Study in USA

The cost of education is one of the critical factors that influence a study-abroad aspirant’s ability to choose a country, courses, and universities for foreign education.

The US is the world’s most popular destination for international students and the most expensive. The tuition fee and living expenses vary based on the student’s university choice and the university’s location. 

The tuition fee for public universities and community colleges is lower as compared to those of private universities. The low cost doesn’t imply that public universities’ quality of education is lower than private universities. 

For example, The University of California–Berkeley is one of the best schools globally despite being funded by the government.

Average fees at US universities 2018-19

 Public two-year collegesPublic four-year colleges (in-state fees)Public four-year colleges (out-of-state fees)Private non-profit four-year colleges
Tuition & Other fees $3,660$10,230$26,290$35,830
Room & Board$8,660$11,140$11,140$12,680
Total (per year)$12,320$21,370$37,430$48,510
src: TopUniversities

The values given in the table above are an estimate, and the actual cost may differ based on the university and city you plan to study in. 

Click here to know more about the cost of college education in the US.
Also, Read the Cost of MS in the USA in INR – how you can afford it.

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