:::Gurukul on web:::
E-Learning

Why this Guide?

India is emerging as a major economy of the world. Also, the Indian education system was always considered to be one of the best in the world. We have some of the best educational institutions of the world in India. Even the Indian professors are teaching in universities all over the world. Then what is the need for studying in USA? What is it in US education that is not available in Indian education? These and many more questions may be floating in your mind while browsing through this book. It is our effort to give you the most correct and relevant information about education system in the USA so that you can make a conscious and informed decision.

Over the last 10 years the number of students going to America for higher studies have increased manifold. With globalization and Internet revolution, even students of the middle-income families find it an extremely practical and affordable option. In spite of this, we have experienced that more students lose the opportunity of studying in the USA not because they cannot afford it but because they do not have accurate and relevant information about how to go about it.

F.A.C.T. and its team have been guiding students towards higher studies in the USA through its network of offices, newspaper articles, TV programs and seminars. This book is also aimed at providing accurate guidance and up to date information about higher education opportunities in the USA. We sincerely hope that the students and more particularly the parents will find information in this book very useful while planning careers. We once again state that students lose on to the opportunity of studying in the USA not because they cannot afford but because they do not have information about the possibility.

Tushar More was an average student with only 62% marks in HSC. However, he was keenly interested in pursuing degree in automobile engineering. He tried everywhere in India for an admission but failed. Disappointed, he took an admission for bachelors program in mass management. During his first year, he attended one of our seminars and understood the opportunity of pursuing higher studies in the USA. He completed all the formalities in six months and went to pursue his dream career in Southern Illinois University. We feel happy for being of help to such students and we take pride in helping them build their careers.

Abhijeet was a brilliant student during his engineering. During his final year of B.E., he had already taken GRE and had an impressive score of 1320. Simultaneously, he also got selected in a reputed software company at the campus interview. Thinking that education in the US will be expensive, and getting tempted to a high paying job, he joined the software company as a trainee.

Six months of working in the monotonous environment, he realized that this is not the career that he can enjoy for a long time. He was however, still very skeptical about the option of pursuing MS in the US as he was reluctant to put his ageing father in heavy expenditure. He attended one of the seminars of FACT and voiced his concern. FACT assured him of admissions in the best universities where scholarships will be available. This was really not a difficult task considering his academics, GRE score and work experience. Furthermore, in order to make him feel comfortable, he was told to just apply to 5-6 universities and see the result. That would cost him only a few thousand rupees but he will atleast come to know his worth in the US universities.

He agreed and today, he is pursuing his MS in systems engineering from one of the top ranked universities in the US with full scholarship.

There are hundreds of students like Tushar and Abhijeet who have gained from the information about study opportunities in the USA. You can also go through the various chapters in this book and understand all the pre requisites for studying in USA. If you need any further information, you are most welcome to visit any of the offices of FACT. A list of FACT office addresses is given in this book. For the most up to date information about where we have our offices, visit our web site www.gurukulonweb.com.

 

Why Study in the USA?

Globalization and Internet revolution has shrunk the world into a global village. Boundaries of the nations are only politically important now. For the trade, commerce and industry, the world has become one market place. In such times, we need to have global compatibility to survive and grow. We need to have exposure to the various cultures and business practices of various countries.

Advantages of studying in USA


One must understand the advantages that America offers as a place for higher studies before investing the time and money. Also, it is not just enough to decide to study in the USA just because it is trendy. We are therefore putting forth the most distinct advantages offered by the US education system:

  • International Exposure:
    more than 500,000 international students come to study every year in the United States from different countries. No other country in the world attracts so many international students. Naturally, the international exposure that you get while being a part of such a diverse students body is one of the most important advantages of studying in the United Sates.
  • Educational Infrastructure:
    as you study higher and higher, you need educational infrastructure, which is as important as the quality of syllabus and quality of teachers. While the quality of syllabus and teachers are quite high in India, the availability of educational infrastructure is far better in the USA.
  • Research in the Universities:
    this is the most distinct advantage of American Education System. Unlike most other universities in the world, the universities in the USA are engaged in conducting practical research work for the benefit of the industry and government of the USA. These researches are conducted under the supervision of the college professors and the students get an opportunity to work on these research projects.
  • Career Choices:
    with more than 3,000 universities and colleges offering tens of thousands of different programs, the choice of careers is the widest in the United States. There is nothing which is worth pursuing a career in which is not covered by the American higher education system.
  • Flexibility:
    American education system is credit hour based. These credits are widely transferable from one university to another. Also, you can take credit hours as per your requirements and therefore the duration of completing a four-year degree may range from three to five years as per the capacity of the student.
  • Acceptability:
    this is a very important advantage from the Indian student point of view. How many times we come across a deserving Indian student not getting a career of his choice in India? Students lose their careers by a fraction of percentage and then they have no other choice but to either change their field of study or settle for an inferior institution by paying heavy donation. Such things rarely happen when you are applying to an American institution. The universities in the USA give due consideration to the desire of the students and admissions are based on a complete assessment of the students overall personality and not just the mark-sheet.

Overall, the advantages of studying in America are far too many and most of the parents and students already know about them. But most of the time they are unaware about the affordability of the courses or the exact procedure and timetable for preparation. This book will deal with these issues in the subsequent chapters.

 

Trend of Indian Students in USA:


Over the last 10 years, the number of Indian students studying in the United States has increased more than 2 times. From a mere 35,000 students in 1993-94, the number of Indian students has gone up to almost 80,000 students in 2003-04.

This significant increase is an indication of the growing confidence of Indian students in the American education system and more importantly its relevance in the current era of globalization.

                   Map

Not only that, India is the largest country sending students to USA amongst all countries of the world. Almost 13% of the total international students studying in USA are Indians.

                       

About 20% of the students studying in the USA are studying for a bachelor’s degree. Most of the students are studying in fields such as engineering, information technology, core sciences and business management programs.

Also, if we compare the popularity of different countries amongst the Indian students, once again, USA is on the top with substantial lead. A comparison of Indian students in the major four countries of the world is :                     

Al the above statistics clearly indicates that Indian students have preferred USA as their most suitable destination for higher education abroad. This trend is likely to continue in future.

 

Career Planning

 

As the choices of careers increase, the career planning becomes more and more important at the same time more and more complex. In such a situation, information is the key. If you have all the information, or know where to collect it from, your job is half done. The other half is to be in a position to analyze the information and make a decision. FACT has been helping the students in collection as well as analysis of the information. This book is yet another initiative of FACT to reach out to the students and parents to help them in their decision-making.

General objectives of students

At every milestone in the academic career of a student, he has to take a career decision. The choice of career you make at this stage determines your entire life ahead. Now, this choice of career is determined only when all the following factors exist simultaneously:

  • You are clear of what you want to do. (Field of Study)
  • You have all the information about the availability and acceptability criterions for this field in India and abroad.
  • Your academic performance is acceptable for admission into the field
  • Your family can afford to finance the education in the field

 

Now, let us look at each of these factors in greater detail to arrive at a proper decision:

  • Most of the students are clear on their major field of study. However, it is always a good idea to identify top three fields of your interest instead of just one. If you have a difficulty in making a choice, FACT conducts aptitude tests to scientifically identify the fields that you are best suitable for.
  •  Once you are clear of the field of study, start collecting information about where is it available, what is the condition of acceptability and what is the cost of education. This book will give you answers of these questions for opportunities in America. You can collect information for opportunities in India through various sources.
  • You can then take the relevant entrance tests for these courses conducted for different courses in India (GATE, CAT, CET etc.). or USA (GRE, GMAT, SAT & TOEFL).
  • If your performance is acceptable in the entrance tests, you have to make arrangements for the funding of your career. But since you must have already collected information about the cost of education in stage a) above, you are already aware about the budget and so you start with your chosen career.

These steps may be simple to read, but we all know that there are so many factors, which make these simple looking steps extremely difficult at times. We therefore recommend that you be prepared for alternative plans if the main plan fails at any stage. This book is an effort to give you one such alternative.

Limitations of Indian Education System

The most significant limitation of Indian education system is the uncertainty of admissions to certain select careers like engineering, medical etc. Even the most capable students are not assured of their seat in the desired college in spite of working hard for the entrance tests.
However, most students do not plan for this uncertainty in advance and as a result, they have to settle for career options, which were never their choice.
Every year we come across number of students who could not get through the Indian entrance examinations or who are not enjoying their current jobs. They decide to pursue the option of studying in America. In the whole process, they lose valuable time.

 

Who should plan to study in the USA?

We strongly recommend that the students and their parents should collect all the information about educational opportunities in America. If they find these opportunities suitable, they should take the GRE/ GMAT/ SAT & TOEFL tests one year before their intended term in USA begins. This will ensure that they get a career of their choice in America, immediately after their academic year in India is over.
Also, students who do not make it to the final list of selection of a course or a job in India, should think of pursuing careers in the field of their interest in America rather than studying a subject, or taking a job, which is not of their interest in India.
Finally, the students who have made up their mind to study in America because they are convinced about the advantages that it offers, should complete the preparation in their last academic year of India in order to ensure that they don’t lose time after their results.

 

Cost of Education

The cost of education is the most important factor considered by almost every student from India. Also, it’s a wide spread belief that the education in USA is not affordable. The complicated structure of financing opportunities and the dynamics of scholarships, in campus and off campus jobs etc. make the financial planning further more difficult. At the outset, one may think that the cost of tuition plus the living expenses is equal to the total cost that a student requires. But then, what about scholarships? What about campus jobs? What about summer jobs? Will they reduce my total cost? To what extent? What is the certainty? This and many more variables make the financial planning process absolutely difficult at times.
We at FACT, have been meticulously calculating the expected costs for different students. Our knowledge about the working methods of universities, local laws and quality consultation to the parents has helped many middle-income families comfortably manage the education of their children in America. While the cost factor has to be calculated separately for each student, we have given broad information about the various ingredients of costs as well as the funding opportunities in this chapter.

Tuition and Fees

US Universities fall under two major categories: public (state supported), and private (independent) institutions. International students’ tuition expenses at state schools are based on nonresident costs, which are still usually less expensive than those of private universities. It’s important to note that the cost of a program in a US school does not necessarily affect its quality. Similarly, it is not a rule that all public universities are good or all private universities are inferior. One has to study each university independently, regardless of whether it is a public university or a private university.

University Type Average Tuition Fees
(annual in U.S. Dollars)
Private Institutions (High Cost) $ 25,000
Private Institutions (Low Cost) $ 15,000
State Institutions (High Cost) $ 20,000
State Institutions (Low Cost) $ 10,000

The tuition fee is different for different universities and varies widely with courses. It can vary from as low as $ 7,000 a year for state universities to as much as $ 30000 a year for some private universities.

 

Living Expenses

The approximate annual living expenses are about $7,000, which includes accommodation as well as other daily expenses. However, the expenses are different for different people depending on the lifestyles and this is just a rough idea. The main expenses can be split up as:

Rent $ 400 per month
Groceries $ 100 per month
Utilities $ 100 per month
Phone $ 50 per month
Sundry $ 50 per month

So, about $700 per month is a good estimation. Most people can survive with $500- $600 a month. The key here is to share apartments/houses so that you save on the utilities, fixed charge portion of phone and to some extent on groceries

 

How to fund the cost of education

The total cost of tuition and living can be funded through the following sources:

  1. Personal Savings: this is the traditional method of funding education in India. Most parents meet the education expenses of their children through personal earnings and savings. But when it comes to financing the education in America, one should take care that the personal savings are utilized to the minimum possible extent. In some cases, we even recommend not to use personal savings at all to fund the education.
  2. Educational Loans: this is the new emerging option in the last couple of years. All the nationalized banks have a structured and uniform educational loan policy wherein loans are given up to Rs.5 lakhs without any collateral security or guarantee. If the parents are willing to offer collateral security, the amount of loan can me as high as Rs.15 lakhs for students studying abroad
  3. Scholarships: most GOOD American universities offer substantial scholarships to deserving students. These scholarships are given based on different selection criterions. The next chapter is specifically dedicated for discussing the scholarships option.
  4. Campus Jobs: the universities allow students to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week. These jobs often help the students recover their living expenses while studying at the university.
  5. Summer Jobs:  each year, the student has two vacations totaling to three to four months. During this period, the student can work full time either on campus or off campus. Students are not allowed to work off campus for the first nine months of their study. These jobs being full time in nature, help the students make more money than what they require for their living expenses. Again, one has to be careful while selecting the university. You should apply to only those universities, which have on campus jobs available.

If one uses the above information carefully while applying to the universities, the total cost of education, which requires funding through personal savings or educational loans comes down substantially.
This is one area in which FACT has developed expertise through extensive research and experience. The students of FACT therefore have saved lakhs of rupees by applying to the right university, for the right program at the right time.

Scholarships

Some US schools are more likely than others to offer financial aid for international undergraduate students. The lists below indicate which schools offer aid (including grants, loans, and jobs) to the largest numbers of international students.

To be included in the following lists, the schools must have an average award that is greater than 1/5 of the cost of attendance. The financial aid may include grants, and jobs, and often includes both merit and need-based awards. Within each group, schools are listed in alphabetical order.

If a school is not listed here, it probably does not have much financial aid for international students. However, it is worth noting that some schools may have athletic scholarships that are open to both international students and US students. The lists below do not count the number of athletic scholarships awarded to international students.

Schools with Awards to More than 150 Students

Arizona State University (AZ)
Barry University (FL)
Clark Univ.
(MA)
Eastern Michigan Univ. (MI)
Grinnell College (IA)
Harding Univ.
(AR)
Harvard (MA)
Illinois Inst. of Tech. (IL)
Liberty Univ.
(VA)
Louisiana State Univ. (LA)
Macalester College (MN)
Marquette Univ.
(WI)
MIT (MA)
Mount Holyoke College (MA)
Ohio Wesleyan Univ. (OH)
Princeton (NJ)
Univ. of Bridgeport (CT)
Univ. of Houston (TX)
Univ. of Pennsylvania (PA)
Univ. of South Florida (FL)

 

Schools with Awards to 100-149 Students  

Brown Univ. (RI)
Calvin College (MI)
College of Wooster (OH)
Dartmouth (NH)
Dordt College (IA)
Eckerd College (FL)
Florida Inst. of Tech. (FL)
Georgia Southern Univ. (GA)
Graceland College (IA)
Luther College (IA)
Middlebury College (VT)
Northeast Louisiana (LA)
Oberlin (OH)
Savannah Coll. of Art (GA)
Slippery Rock Univ. (PA)
Smith College (MA)
Stanford (CA)
Texas Christian Univ. (TX)
Tri-State Univ. (IN)
Univ. of Miami (FL)
Univ. of Rochester (NY)
Yale (CT)

Performance based scholarships

Some good Universities in the USA offer merit-based scholarships each year to outstanding students. These scholarships are competitive and, unless otherwise indicated, are renewable for up to four years, provided you maintain good academic performance.
You may receive any combination of these scholarships up to an amount not to exceed the total cost of education plus $1,000. The total cost of education is determined annually by the Office of Student Financial Aid and includes tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and personal and transportation expenses.

Need based scholarships

Again, only in good universities, international students are welcome to apply for need-based financial aid. Along with university admission application, students should also submit International Student Financial Aid Application, Official letter from parent’s employer stating gross income and value of prerequisites, subsidies, and/or benefits for the previous calendar year, Certification of Finances with a supporting bank letter.

Although a student applying for aid may be academically admissible, not all students will be awarded financial aid due to the limited availability of funding. In addition, all students receiving funds are expected to contribute personally toward educational and personal expenses while attending Villanova University.
International students are notified of financial aid eligibility at time of admission; those applying early will be notified of their financial aid eligibility earlier.

Recipients are required to re-apply for financial aid each year by submitting the College Board International Student Financial Aid Application and an updated official letter from parent’s employer stating gross income and value of prerequisites, subsidies, and/or benefits.

Sports scholarships

Almost every university offers athletic scholarships according to the policies of the associations to which they belong. The types of scholarships that may be offered include archery scholarships, basketball scholarships, crew scholarships, cross country scholarships, field hockey scholarships, football scholarships, gymnastics scholarships, hockey scholarships, rifle scholarships, sailing scholarships, swimming scholarships, tennis scholarships, volleyball scholarships etc. Athletic scholarships are distributed in an equitable fashion among male and female students. Consequently, a considerable amount of financial aid is available for women with athletic ability.
Students should put together a profile of their athletic and academic qualifications. Include copies of the best newspaper clippings in which your performance is mentioned, letters of recommendation from your current coaches, and your sport’s season schedule. A short 5-10 minute video of your athletic performance may also be helpful. Send copies of this athletic portfolio to the coaches at the schools you are interested in.

Most athletic scholarships provide only partial support, and require that the student make satisfactory academic progress for renewal. Coaches can also refuse to renew an athletic scholarship if the student’s athletic performance falls short of expectations. If the student quits the team, the athletic scholarship is usually terminated. (Athletic scholarships are not terminated if the student is injured during competition.)

University Listings

 

There is a trend amongst the students to blindly follow rankings while selecting the universities that they want to apply to. We have always given importance to the overall background of the university, the quality of a particular department and the academic and financial requirement of the student before selecting the university. The rankings can be used only as a guideline. We strongly believe that more often than not, a 29th ranked university may be much more appropriate for your career than the 17th ranked university. Therefore, take these rankings as a broad guideline and not a conclusive verdict about the standing of the university.

Top Engineering Schools

1 Massachusetts Inst. of Technology
2 Stanford University (CA)
   University of California–Berkeley *
4 California Institute of Technology
   U. of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign *
6 Georgia Institute of Technology *
   University of Michigan–Ann Arbor *
8 Carnegie Mellon University (PA)
   Cornell University (NY)
   Purdue Univ.–West Lafayette (IN)*
11 University of Texas–Austin *
12 Princeton University (NJ)
   Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison *
14 Johns Hopkins University (MD)
   Northwestern University (IL)
   Texas A&M Univ.–College Station *
   Virginia Tech *
18 Pennsylvania State U.–University Park *
   Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. (NY)
   Rice University (TX)
   Univ. of Minnesota–Twin Cities *
22 Duke University (NC)
   Univ. of California–Los Angeles *
   Univ. of California–San Diego *
   Univ. of Maryland–College Park *
   University of Washington *
27 Columbia University (NY)
   Ohio State University–Columbus *
   University of California–Davis *
   University of Pennsylvania
31 Harvard University (MA)
   North Carolina State U.–Raleigh *
   University of Florida *
   Univ. of Southern California
   University of Virginia *
36 Brown University (RI)
   Case Western Reserve Univ. (OH)
   Iowa State University *
   Univ. of California–Santa Barbara *
   University of Colorado–Boulder *
41 Arizona State University *
   Dartmouth College (NH)
   Lehigh University (PA)
   Michigan State University *
   University of Notre Dame (IN)
   Vanderbilt University (TN)
   Washington University in St. Louis
   Yale University (CT)
49 University of Arizona *
   University of California–Irvine *
51 Colorado School of Mines *
   Rutgers–New Brunswick (NJ)*
   University of Delaware *
   University of Iowa *
   University of Missouri–Rolla *
   Worcester Polytechnic Inst. (MA)
57 Clemson University (SC)*
   Colorado State University *
   Drexel University (PA)
   Illinois Institute of Technology
   Michigan Technological University *
   Rochester Inst. of Technology (NY)
   University at Buffalo–SUNY *
   Univ. of Massachusetts–Amherst *
   University of Pittsburgh *
   University of Utah *
67 Auburn University (AL)*
   Boston University
   Northeastern University (MA)
   Polytechnic University (NY)
   SUNY–Stony Brook *
   Syracuse University (NY)
   Tufts University (MA)
   University of Illinois–Chicago *
   University of Tennessee *
   Washington State University *
77 Brigham Young Univ.–Provo (UT)
   Clarkson University (NY)
   Kansas State University *
   Oregon State University *
   Tulane University (LA)
   University of Connecticut *
   University of Houston *
   University of Kansas *
   U. of North Carolina–Charlotte *
   University of Rochester (NY)
87 New Jersey Inst. of Technology *
   Oklahoma State University *
   Southern Methodist University (TX)
   Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ)
   Texas Tech University *
   Univ. of California–Riverside *
   University of Cincinnati *
   Univ. of Missouri–Columbia *
   University of New Mexico *
   University of Oklahoma *
97 CUNY–City College *
   Louisiana State U.–Baton Rouge *
   Univ. of California–Santa Cruz *
   University of Kentucky *
   Univ. of Nebraska–Lincoln *
102 George Washington University (DC)
   Marquette University (WI)
   New Mexico State University *
   Ohio University *
   San Diego State University *
   SUNY–Binghamton *
   University of Alabama *
   University of Miami (FL)
   University of Rhode Island *
   Univ. of South Carolina–Columbia *
   University of Texas–Arlington *
   Univ. of Wisconsin–Milwaukee *
   Utah State University *
   Wayne State University (MI)*
   West Virginia University *

 

* denotes a public school.

Top

Top Management schools

 1 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
2 Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (Sloan)
3 University of California–Berkeley (Haas) *
   University of Michigan–Ann Arbor *
5 Carnegie Mellon University (PA)
   New York University (Stern)
   U. of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler) *
   University of Texas–Austin (McCombs) *
9 Univ. of Southern California (Marshall)
   University of Virginia (McIntire) *
11 Indiana University–Bloomington (Kelley) *
12 Cornell University (NY)
   Purdue Univ.–West Lafayette (Krannert) (IN)*
   U. of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign *
   Univ. of Minnesota–Twin Cities (Carlson) *
   Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison *
   Washington University in St. Louis (Olin)
18 Emory University (Goizueta) (GA)
   Ohio State University–Columbus (Fisher) *
   Pennsylvania State U.–University Park (Smeal) *
   University of Arizona (Eller) *
22 Michigan State University (Broad) *
   Univ. of Maryland–College Park (Smith) *
   University of Notre Dame (IN)
   University of Washington *
26 Arizona State University (Carey) *
   Babson College (MA)
   Georgetown University (McDonough) (DC)
   University of Florida (Warrington) *
30 Boston College (Carroll)
   Case Western Reserve Univ. (Weatherhead) (OH)
   Texas A&M Univ.–College Station (Mays) *
   University of Georgia (Terry) *
   Wake Forest University (Calloway) (NC)
35 Brigham Young Univ.–Provo (Marriott) (UT)
   Georgia Institute of Technology *
   Southern Methodist University (Cox) (TX)
   University of Colorado–Boulder *
   University of Iowa (Tippie) *
40 Boston University
   Syracuse University (Whitman) (NY)
   Tulane University (Freeman) (LA)
   University of Arkansas (Walton) *
   University of Pittsburgh *
   Univ. of South Carolina–Columbia (Moore) *
   Virginia Tech (Pamplin) *
47 Bentley College (MA)
   College of William and Mary (VA)*
   CUNY–Baruch College (Zicklin) *
   Florida State University *
   George Washington University (DC)
   Georgia State University (Robinson) *
   Miami University–Oxford (Farmer) (OH)*
   Univ. of Missouri–Columbia *
   University of Oklahoma (Price) *
   University of Tennessee *
57 Auburn University (AL)*
   Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. (Lally) (NY)
   Santa Clara University (Leavey) (CA)
   University of Alabama (Culverhouse) *
   University of Kansas *
   University of Kentucky (Gatton) *
   Univ. of Nebraska–Lincoln *
   University of Oregon (Lundquist) *
   University of Utah (Eccles) *
66 Baylor University (Hankamer) (TX)
   DePaul University (IL)
   Louisiana State U.–Baton Rouge (Ourso) *
   North Carolina State U.–Raleigh *
   Northeastern University (MA)
   Pepperdine University (Graziadio) (CA)
   Rochester Inst. of Technology (NY)
   United States Air Force Acad. (CO)*
   University of Connecticut *
   University of Illinois–Chicago *
   Univ. of Massachusetts–Amherst (Isenberg) *
77 Clemson University (SC)*
   Iowa State University *
   Rutgers–New Brunswick (NJ)*
   San Diego State University *
   Temple University (Fox) (PA)*
   University at Buffalo–SUNY *
   Univ. of California–Riverside *
   University of Denver (Daniels)
   University of Miami (FL)
   University of Richmond (Robins) (VA)
87 American University (Kogod) (DC)
   Colorado State University *
   Fordham University (NY)
   Lehigh University (PA)
   Loyola University Chicago
   Marquette University (WI)
   Oklahoma State University *
   St. Louis University
   Texas Christian University (Neeley)
   Texas Tech University (Rawls) *
   University of Alabama–Birmingham *
   University of Delaware *
   University of Louisville (KY)*
   University of Mississippi *
   U. of North Carolina–Charlotte (Belk) *
   University of San Diego
   University of Texas–Dallas *
   Villanova University (PA)
   Washington State University *
106 George Mason University (VA)*
   James Madison University (VA)*
   Kansas State University *
   Loyola Marymount University (CA)
   University of Cincinnati *
   University of Houston (Bauer) *
   University of Texas–Arlington *
   Univ. of Wisconsin–Milwaukee *
   Virginia Commonwealth University *
   Washington and Lee University (VA)
116 Ball State University (IN)*
   California State U.–Los Angeles *
   Creighton University (NE)
   Drexel University (LeBow) (PA)
   Hofstra University (Zarb) (NY)
   Northern Illinois University *
   Ohio University *
   Oregon State University *
   Pace University (Lubin) (NY)
   Rutgers–Newark (NJ)*
   San Jose State University (CA)*
   Seton Hall University (Stillman) (NJ)
   Southern Illinois U.–Carbondale *
   SUNY–Albany *
   SUNY–Binghamton *
   Trinity University (TX)
   University of Central Florida *
   Univ. of Colo.–Colorado Springs *
   University of Dayton (OH)
   University of Memphis (Fogelman) *
   Univ. of Missouri–Kansas City (Bloch) *
   University of New Mexico (Anderson) *
   University of San Francisco (McLaren)
   West Virginia University *
   Wichita State University (Barton) (KS)*
141 Bowling Green State University (OH)*
   Cal Poly–San Luis Obispo *
   Florida International University *
   Gonzaga University (WA)
   John Carroll University (OH)
   Kennesaw State University (Coles) (GA)*
   Kent State University (OH)*
   Loyola College in Maryland (Sellinger)
   Loyola University New Orleans (Butt)
   Mississippi State University *
   Rutgers–Camden (NJ)*
   Seattle University (Albers)
   St. Joseph’s University (Haub) (PA)
   University of Alabama–Huntsville *
   University of Colorado–Denver and Health Sciences Center *
   Univ. of Missouri–St. Louis *
   University of Nebraska–Omaha *
   U. of North Carolina–Greensboro (Bryan) *
   University of North Texas *
   University of Rhode Island *
   University of South Florida *
   University of Tulsa (OK)
   Xavier University (Williams) (OH)

 

* denotes a public school.

Top

Pre-Departure Information

 

Travel Tips

1. After getting the visa the next thing to do is booking tickets.

2. Days before the flight, call the airline to confirm your reservation and to cross-check everything the travel agent may have told you.

3. Indicate whether you want Asian Vegetarian Meal (AVM), etc. This can be done at the time of booking the tickets with the travel agent.

4. Some airlines offer Frequent Flier programs (e.g. Air France, TWA, United Airlines) implying that after a certain number of miles of flying with that airline you get a free ticket. Enroll in such programs.

5. Avoid transit of airline at airports A direct flight is the best. If change of airline can’t be avoided, make sure that there is at least 4-6 hours gap between the scheduled arrival of one flight and the scheduled departure of the connecting flight.

6. Baggage is usually safe with a single airline while change of airline sometimes leads to misplaced luggage. Some airlines don’t take care about baggage transfer. You may have to personally carry it (check this while booking)

7. Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before the check-in time.

8. Drink lot of fluids on the flight. This will help you recover the jetlag very fast.

9. Many airlines are fussy about the weight of your cabin baggage. It is always better to check with your travel agent regarding this.

10. Always keep a photocopy of your passport, tickets, I-20, contact info of your school in every baggage including your cabin baggage.

11. Always keep original copies of your CA certificate, bank statements, sponsor’s affidavit, passport, admission letters in your cabin baggage. Sometimes, the immigration officials may ask you to present them at the airport.

12. Ideally, a student can bring $ 500/- in cash, $ 1000/- in travelers cheques and a personal draft of the amount equal to one semester’s expenses. You may check your I-20 to determine this amount.

Top

Things to be done in advance

1. Learn typing.
2. Learn driving.
3. Learn to cook.
4. Make your passport valid for 6 months more than your stay indicated in your I-20
5. All other changes are best made in the U.S.
6. Make outstation purchases (sweater, thermal underwear, cassettes.)
7. Have a complete medical checkup done.
8. Get prescriptions & medicines for all common ailments
9. Get your eye-sight checked - get a new prescription. Buy at least one extra pair of glasses, lenses.
10. Get requisite immunization done (especially MMR). Fill in the Health and Immunization record form that has been sent to you with the I-20 packet.

Packing

1. Start your packing at least two days before departure date.
2. Buy two strong boxes - they should be able to withstand a lot of mishandling. They should be as large as possible within the size limitations (however most airlines are not very strict about baggage size).
3. Put identification marks and labels both inside & outside the boxes (apart from this, the airlines will also provide you with adhesive labels). Boxes with independent top & bottom are preferable.
4. Box specifications, As an example the Air India economy class baggage specifications to the USA are given below. Note the specs. may be different for other countries/airlines. 2 pieces of baggage with total linear dimension (l+b+h) not exceeding 270cm (106”). Moreover the total linear dimension of each piece should not be over 158cm (62”).
5. The weight of each bag should not exceed 32kg (70lb).
6. Carry on baggage : In addition you can carry a bag with linear dimension not exceeding 115cm (45”) onboard (fits on overhead compartments).
7. For most other airlines the baggage specifications are similar. If you are taking a break outside USA/Canada contact your travel agent or airline for details.

 

Things to be kept in the boxes

1. Copy of all certificates/documents (originals in hand baggage).
2. Necessary books/notebooks (some suggested books are - Clark’s Tables, a good dictionary/thesaurus, a booklet for units conversion) [note: there should be no legal hassles taking photocopies of books - but don’t flaunt them to around campus.
3. Copy of address book/telephone book/diary.
4. Some stationery and related items suggested (not absolutely necessary - just for the first few weeks) are : Rubber stamp with house address, airmail covers, few Indian razor blades for cutting work, screw driver, Indian postal stamps for sending letters through someone coming to India
5. Medical history file.
6. At least one pair leather chappals, two hawai chappals (extra straps).
7. Soap (bath), toothbrushes (slightly costly in the US).
8. You may want to bring audio cassettes, CDs of your favorite music.
9. You may want to enquire with the travel agent regarding valuable items on which custom duty may be levied.
10. All Indian groceries, pickles and other food stuff MUST be sealed completely else they may be removed by the US customs.

Clothes

1. Usually clothes are machine washed once every two weeks hence two weeks supply of clothes is needed. Get all clothes little loose - clothes may shrink in machine wash or you might probably grow fat.
2. 14-15 sets of undergarments, 6-8 pairs socks, handkerchiefs.
3. Good swimming trunk, few shorts, T-shirts may be brought.
4. At least one tie, 1-2 belts.
5. Two ordinary towels (Turkish ones start stinking).
6. One bed sheet, lungi/dhotis/pajamas, thermal underwear (2-4), extra woolen sweater.
7. Don’t worry yourself if you can’t bring any of the items listed above most of them are available pretty cheap in the US (made in China). Exceptions are leather goods, formal wear.

Vessels
1. Big pressure cooker (with spare handle, 3 safety valves, 2 weights, 1 base plate, 3 gaskets).
2. Dosai turner, charani (server with holes), rice server & other servers
3. Pair of tongs, small bowls (kinnum), rolling pin ( Belan), knife, kadaie (optional). 3-4 dishes, Spoons, 2 frying pans ( tava ), 1 chopping board, 2-3 storage vessels ( tapeli )
4. Cooking book will always be handy. Note: Try to share & bring the vessels with others coming to IIT. Non-stick kitchenware is cheap in the US and you can buy a full set.

 

Things to be kept in Hand Baggage

1. I-20, passport, ticket, financial documents (CA certificate, Bank Statements), admission letter, affidavit of sponsor, all college or school marksheets and related certificates.
2. First aid medicines. For example, tablets for headache, nausea, fever, loose motion.
3. Novel/magazines/books for in-flight reading, sweater. If you are coming in Fall, the weather will be hot enough, thus you would NOT need to wear any warm clothing then. Else you MUST be prepared to face extremely cold temperatures if you are arriving in Spring.
4. Address book/phone book (Indian & US)
5. Copies of your photo (passport size)
6. Things to survive for a week in case luggage gets misplaced (two sets of clothes, valuables like addresses etc)

Things to be left at home

1. List of addresses/phone numbers at which info about you can be obtained.
2. One copy of all your important documents.
3. A copy of all relevant parts of Medical History files.
4. Arrange to collect/redirect mail from your room/hostel.
5. Arrange to apply/collect/mail your transcripts (about 10 in number preferable)
6. Your tailoring measurements.
7. Few blank signed papers - so that your parents can be authorized to look after anything on your behalf.

 

To do in the last week before the flight

1. Call up & find if there is any delay or change of schedule of the plane (inform the people coming to pick you up of any such change).
2. Rest well - ready to face the long journey / jet lag and bid bye to all concerned.

On the day of the flight, in-flight and later

1. As it is going to be a long flight wear something comfortable preferably cotton full hand shirt and trousers. Wear your shoes

2. Be at the airport at least one hour before check in time.

3. Relax during flight, sleep as much as possible.

4. For vegetarians, watch out before you eat for you may get non-vegetarian food even if you had asked for vegetarian. Veg. food is generally bland - fruits/juice are good choices.

5. Never hesitate to ask questions.

6. Once out of India be very careful (from sheer experience of seniors). Don’t trust anyone. Don’t hire a taxi (unless emergency) till you reach your destination. If required don’t hesitate to spend money.

7. Don’t hesitate to talk to people to ask questions. Usually people will answer all your queries satisfactorily.

Port of entry procedures
1. Sometime before landing the flight attendant will distribute customs declaration forms & immigration forms as mentioned below. Fill these out on the plane (you will submit them to the appropriate authorities when you land). Do not hesitate to take the flight attendant’s help.

2. You can indicate that you have nothing to declare & total value of all goods you carry is less than $100 on the customs form.

3. Fill form I-94 in the plane. After seeing your documents, immigration officer will indicate length of stay, university, etc. This will be attached to your passport. You must retain this I-94 form, else you will face trouble in leaving USA later.

4. Form I-20 ID copy - all transactions regarding your non-immigrant status will be recorded in this form. This should be retained at all times (not surrendered when you temporarily leave the US). Your admission number will be given - memorize it & note it elsewhere.


5. Just before you land the correct local time will be announced set your watch [dual time watch will come in handy here] Chicago is 10:30 hours behind India from 31st April to 31st October and 11:30 hours behind India for other times.

6. Once you are out of the plane go straight to the immigration counter rush for them to beat the queue. It might take half to one hour here.

7. Keep your I-20, passport, admission & aid letters ready. They might ask few questions like - is this your first time in the US? -Are you a student on F1 visa? -Which University are you joining? 

8. The immigration officer will attach an I-94 card on one of the pages of your passport usually against the visa page

9. Be very relaxed and answer all the questions that the officer will ask. Sometimes the officer may ask you to present financial documents or letters from your sponsors. Thus it is advisable to carry these along with you in your cabin baggage.

10. Then go to the conveyor belts to fetch your luggage. Pick up a cart to carry the bags. Then pick up your bags as they come out on the conveyor (suitable eye-catching labels help here). If you don’t get your baggage inform the enquiry section.

11. Cart your baggage to nearby Customs. If asked, tell the officer that you are a student on F-1 visa, school, department and coming to USA for the first time. If asked to open the baggage do so slowly but do not mess up the place. Note : In most cases you will NOT be asked to open your boxes at all & will be simply waved through.

12. Never leave your baggage unattended. Don’t go out of the airport until somebody comes to receive you. If you have doubt the person who has come to receive you, don’t hesitate to ask for his/her identification paper.

13. Once you reach your house (or other desti ination) call home & inform them of reaching safely.

Testimonials

Many a times, we are asked how can we work with so much intensity and still don’t burn out. The answer to this question can be found in the following feed backs that our students have given. If we can be a source of inspiration and happiness of this high quality to so many students, we can do our work with so much intensity for atleast hundred more years!

KAPIL R. KURHADE :

To, AVINASH VEER

I look forward to your class
When I come to FACT.
You're an awesome teacher;
I think you're very cool.
You're smart and fair and friendly;
You're helping all of us.
And if I got to grade you,
From me you'd get A+!

 I'm happy that you're my teacher;
.As my role model you inspire me
To dream and to work and to reach.
With your kindness you get my attention;
Every week on Saturday you are planting a seed
Of curiosity and motivation
To know and to grow and succeed.
You help me fulfill my potential;
I'm thankful for all that you've done.
I admire you each day, and I just want to say,
As a teacher, you're number one!

When I began FACT class I think I knew
The kind of challenges you'd make me face.
You gave me motivation to pursue
The best, and to reject the commonplace.
Your thinking really opened up my mind.
With wisdom, style and grace, you made me see,
That what I'd choose to seek, I'd surely find;
You shook me out of my complacency.
I thank you now for everything you've done;
What you have taught me I will not outgrow.
Your kind attention touched my mind and heart;
In many ways that you will never know.
I will remember you my whole life through;
I wish that all my teachers in Texas will be like you.


BY : yours obedient.......
       KAPIL R. KURHADE.  

Shreya Mehendale
Sunil Sir and the entire team at FACT have been a beacon through the entire admission and VISA process. The whole process has been a cakewalk in spite of the initial few obstacles. Sunil Sir and Katre Ma'am have given me all the time in the world with my difficulties and have been an excellent support system.
FACT probably does the best job at counselling and VISA training. Everyone in FACT is like a part of a big family. Thank you Sunil Sir for helping me step up to realizing my dreams. You'll are truly the best and that's a FACT.

Prithviraj Bhosale
“You can call him without any hesitation even at 11:00 in the night if you have a query.” The sentence says it all. Sunil Shah Sir has always shared a very special relationship with not just me, but all his Students. He is a person who will not only solve your education related queries, but also guide you at personal level. The comfort level he shares with his Students is really amazing. When I went to Shah Sir with my GRE score and told him about my Masters Program, without referring to any book or the Internet, he had a list of Universities ready for me, which I had to shortlist. And I am proud to tell that I short listed 5 Universities and got admission in 4 of them. The amount of excel he has acquired in Education counseling is far beyond this page. He owns a deep knowledge in his profession and it always keeps your confidence level high when you have Sunil Shah Sir standing besides you. Apart from his friendly and jolly nature, at times he has been strict too when students don’t take up sincerely. Sunil Shah Sir has helped me and guided me in one of the most critical stages of my life and without him, my task would had been so much difficult. I will recommend his name to each and every person who seeks my advice on Education Counseling. I know he is the best and will always be.
On a final note just one thing to say, “The more I write about him, the less I describe him!” Three cheers to Shah Sir. Thank you for everything

Abhijeet Ransing
From calling 20 times when in need to none when happy. Yes, I know it may seem selfish. But Sunil Sir and FACT have taken it all in stride and helped me through thick and thin. And the most important thing was that his cell was never out of coverage or switched off, which inevitably would have lead to some excuse!!!!
Sunil Sir has given all the students of FACT all of his time when we needed it the most at the crucial times of the application process.
Katre Madam has been a prime support through the VISA process. She's a friends, guide, a motherly figure who looks only at the benefits of the student.
Sunil Sir and FACT's employees like Nandini took due care of our progress. Not to forget Ajay and Shreya who have helped me in every way possible for my VISA process. I must say i initially came to FACT just to chill but the FACT team initiated me into the process in a very subtle and nice way.

THANK YOU ALL
P.S (to all students): BE COOL & YOU WILL LAND IN FLORIDA!

Abhishek Paranjape
I was associated with FACT and Mr Sunil Shah for the purpose of getting proper guidance in pursuing MS course in Mechanical Engineering in the USA.

Mr Shah has thorough knowledge of the curent scerario regarding higher education outside as well as inside India. the faculty members working with MR Shah are skilled, professional and polite. Getting appointments and things like that was never a problem.

It was very reassuring to be in his company when at FACT. I had completed my Engineering from an autonomous university , and so i was skeptical about my admission prospects. Mr Shah , was of great help to me then, he personally handled my case and crafted my SOPs , RECOs etc to the best of his abilities.

The result : i got an admit .after all result is what that matters.

Mohit Singhania
" Sunil sir is the best choice as an advisor for your admissions to universities in US”

I was really worried about my admissions in a good university and Sunil sir was the only man who made it possible to have it in one of the best university in US. i would like to say he is the man on whom students can blindly trust for their admissions. i would like to mention that he used to work on my documents even upto 3 o clock in morning

he is great man and a good friend to his students

thanks sir"   

Akshay Siddha
"Probably...err...not probably but the best place to get guidance from for your educational plans. It is the place which guides you perfectly and helps you realise your educational plans. They have guided a confused person like me for getting the best possible university in USA for my MS. Believe me they are the best in this field and are more than eager to help you out in any problem. DO NOT forget to knock on their door before taking any decisions in your educational careers."

Harshad Kulkarni
" A TRUE FRIEND PHILISOPHYER & GUIDE"
I came in contact with FACT (Pune), last year when I have decided to peruse my masters abroad. But believe me that was the very tough journey until I came to know about FACT.
FACT was the only Institute in Pune or may be in India which has given me the assurance that “Yes the guy with my kind of bag round (12+3 Engineering Dropout) is also eligible to peruse masters in USA & that’s it.
The destitution was fixed then it was time for preparation in that respect also FACT has helped me a lot with the appropriate test materials, test series & what not ,just to make sure that I must excel in these tests(GRE ,TOFEL).
After that comes the real important task of documentation here is the real strength of FACT.
The documentation was done in very scruples & customized manner in which the minute things like word count, font size, even font type, etc are being taken care of.
The most important thing is Mr. Sunil Shah`s 24/7 availability Believe me I have received his e-mails at 1.30am, such is the dedication of this person.
Today there are three admits in my hand my VISA process is going on, & this entire credit goes to Mr. Sunil Shah & his wonderful team called as FACT

Manasvi Thawani
Gurukul is an excellent organization which not only offers service to its students but a complete solution to enable them prepare for their further studies in a structured and systematic manner. Mr.Sunil Shah, the CEO, was personally looking after my case. Each student is treated exclusively and personalized solutions are provided to them. I was quite unsure about where I would finally end up because most B Schools at the US prefer high work experience where as I only have two years but it was Gurukul and specifically Mr. Shah who made me believe that I could make it to a ranked school. It is largely due to their efforts that today I find myself going to a ranked school with financial aid as well. Gurukul is an excellently structured organization which offers customized support to all its students. I rate Gurukul as one of the best in client service.

Nakul Deshpande
"I joined FACT in November 2005 to secure addmission in an American university for doing MS. With FACT's help I have received admits from two universities.

The faculty at FACT is very helpful and are always there for you. Whenever I wanted an appointment to meet any faculty members, I always got it. Mr Sunil Shah knows all the students quite well and he ensures that all their problems are solved.

I see FACT growing as an organisation in the years to come."

Juee Kotwal (San Diego state uni.)

    It was very smooth process thanks to the guidance& support of FACT.

     Visa guidance was Simply Best.

 

Dr.Manyank Rao (TAMU)

    FACT provided very practical approach towards the Goal.

    HATS OFF to KATRE Mam.she was angle to me in the whole process.

 

Aniket Shah (NYIT)

    BEST Consultancy.

    Thanks FACT for helping me till VISA and ahead……….!!!!!!!!

                  ALL THE BEST.

 

Deepti Sathe (Uni. Of Massachusetts, Lowell)

        FACT – ONE of the best things that happened to me!!!!!!!!!

          It couldn’t have been better!!!!!!!!!!

            Lot of Love.

 

Nikhil Sonawani (Montana state uni. Bozeman)

It was lovely experience with balaji, Katre mam, Shah sir,& all Staff

  “They made my dream come true.”

    No Other better place than FACT.

 

Tejaswini Mogal (Uni. Of Houston –Clear Lake)

        FACT helped me a lot in achieving my goals.

 

Dhananjay Nawandar (Uni. Of Nebraska @ Omaha)

     I got fantastic Guidance & Counseling from FACT which helped me lot

     To attain my goals.

              Sunil Sir Rocks!!!

 

Mangesh Sasane (Texas Tech Uni.)

  FACT: VERY PROOF.

    ORGANISED CONSULTANCY, TAILOR MADE APPROACH AS PER

     REQUIRMENT OF STUDENT TO ACHIEVE THEIR GOAL.

             THANK YOU VERY MUCH SUNIL SIR & TEAM.

 

Abhishek Dekhane (Oklahoma State Uni. at Stillwater)

        Thank you   FACT.

        For Making My Dream Cum True.

        “Thank you Avinash Sir, Balaji, katre mam, S. Shah sir, Chetana mam.”

 

 

Ginia Patel (California State uni.)

     A Real back up in achieving my GOALS.

        Thanks a lot. Balaji sir, Sunil sir, chetana mam, katre mam

 

Arjun Gujar (Texas A & M Uni.)

We Students give our career into the hands of our study abroad counselor and

I am very much happy the FACT Team, because they made my dream come true.

      Thank You Sunil sir, katre mam, avinash sir & FACT team.

 

                                              Spring -2008

 

Chetan Jadhav (Uni. Of Houston - Clear Lake)

    It’s FACT and the only FACT that is Best place to kick- Start your career.

        Thank you Sunil sir, Avinash sir, Katre mam, Chetna mam, Vijay sir, Ram.

 

Rahul  Aggarwal  (Suny Binghamton)

For me FACT Stands for

F - Fantabulous.               

A - Affable                                                 .                                                          

C- Co-operative.

T- Team.

               The complete long journey was very smooth & Enjoyable,

                     Because of invaluable guidance & Support of FACT.

Thanks a lot of Chetana mam, Avinash sir & Katre mam.

          Complete FACT staff Rocks.

 

VikrantSing Rajput (Texas Tech Uni.)

   Thanks Avinash sir & Vijay Sir for help me.

      It was nice counseling………FACT.

      Two thumbs up for them.

 

The Last Words…

If you have reached up to here by reading all the material in the previous chapters, you might have realized that the option of studying in the USA is extremely advantageous, affordable and practical. What you require is accurate guidance and a need of a friend, philosopher and guide in the whole process.

This is the precise role played by FACT for the last 10 years. With the Internet, the world has come much more closer. This is the time when the geography has become history. More and more parents are willing to send their children to the land of opportunities. The liberalized policy of the governments towards international mobility of students, increasingly affordable educational loans from the nationalized banks and the generous amount of funding available at the right American universities for the right students has made all the difference.

However, before making the final decision, it is always a good idea to collect as much as information as possible. What is more important is to analyze this information efficiently to help you in taking a well-informed decision. FACT will be glad to help you in this regard.

 


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