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Our team of consultants has guided thousands of students through the process of applications. Accurate information and astute analysis are the key factors that help students find a career and university of their choice. At the same time, our competency in understanding funding/scholarship/assistantship issues has helped parents save Lakhs of rupees on the educational budget.

The application process to American Universities is a long and complicated affair. It involves extensive research on the net, knowledge about the working method of American universities, accurate documentation and correct timing, to list just a few factors. Admissions Consultants at FACT will guide through each of the following applications stages.

a)      Selection of Universities 

b)      Selection of Program   

c)      Academic Documentation (Editing of Essays/Statement of Purpose , Recommendations and Resume preparation as per U.S Standards)

d)     Financial Documentation

e)      After applications

         Charges for Admissions Consulting alone are Rs. 14,800

         Charges for F1 Visa alone are Rs. 8000/- .

         Special Offer of Admissions Consulting + F1 Visa Consulting at Rs. 18,800/-

 

a. Selection of Universities

Selecting universities is a very time consuming and important process not only from the admission point of view but also because applying to universities is expensive by Indian standards. The application process itself costs about Rs. 25,000/- to Rs. 30,000/- towards examination fees, postage, university application fees etc. Therefore, be very careful while applying to the universities.

The best university for you may not be the famous ones, but those that offer you your field of study as well as meet the other criteria important to you. The range of academic options as well as available universities is so wide that it is not possible to select the best in one go and it may take some time.

The basic steps involved in the process of selecting universities are

         Decide on the field of education in line with your likings and past academic background

         Assess your financial ability and budget

         Now, select 20 to 30 universities based on the following criterion:

o    Program Offerings

o    Research programs

o    University Rankings

o    Program Length

o    Cost Tuition, living expenses etc

o    Availability of Financial Assistance to International Students

o    Entrance Requirements

o    Tests (SAT , TOEFL etc and minimum scores)

o    Accreditation status (Professional accreditation for some programs)

o    Student Profile

o    Enrollment Total available seats and the size of the school

o    Location (climate, semi-rural, metropolitan city etc)

o    Facilities Library, housing, student associations etc.

o    Type of Institution Public or Private

These are the usual criteria. You could prioritize your criteria out of this list and shortlist the number of universities on that basis to about 10. You could further shortlist your choice on basis of specific issues like tuition fees, availability of financial etc.

Your past academic record is one of the most important deciding factors in getting admission to a college abroad. Most schools require you to have a reasonably good academic record especially for technology programs and courses. Each university has its own minimum requirement for its programs, which are flexible depending on the candidate profile. It is advisable not to convert your marks in the Indian system of grading to the American Grade Point Average system or any other system since the conversion may not be accurate. You may attach an explanatory note from your college to indicate your rank in your class and/or university. The letter may also indicate your place as compared to the class and the university average and the number of students in the class and the number of colleges and students in the university. You may also provide any other information or documents that you feel may help you in the admission process.

Every university has its own minimum requirements and scores with respect to standardized tests. Check out the requirements of the universities and short-list the ones that will accept your scores.

Most Indians are concerned about the high cost of education abroad and seek information on opportunities for financial assistance. The expenses for education abroad include tuition fees, living expenses, health insurance, transportation etc. This is an important criterion for selecting the courses as well as universities.

It is important to understand that most universities offer financial assistance to international students based primarily on merit and rarely on need. The amount, and type of assistance offered varies based on the university, department and level of study.  Also funds are more likely to be available in fields like Engineering, Physical Sciences and Biological sciences.
Once you start receiving application forms and material, go through in detail for the various requirements and deadlines like the application deadline, minimum scores required in the standardized tests, recommendation letters needed and other such information. 

 Tabulate all these requirements and compare them with your objectives. FACT can help you select universities that are best suited for your requirements.

b. Selection of Program

Selection of university and selection of program usually go hand in hand. But one must remember that even the best-known universities are not the best for every single program offered in that university. Similarly, a particular university may not be very high ranked, but a particular program in that university may be excellent for your requirements. Therefore, it is necessary to study each program very carefully.

c. Academic Documentation

Transcripts, Recommendations and Statement of Purpose are the academic documents required for application process.

Transcripts: Students who are applying to American Universities would be required to submit a detailed report and transcripts (report cards) of all the years of higher studies in India. The report form should be filled out by a college official like the principal, counselor or headmaster. This form should introduce you in the context of your whole school experience in relation to the other students in your class. Admission committees will be interested in learning how you have performed in your own educational system. The transcript should talk about your accomplishments and provide a prediction of your chances for success in university-level studies.

Since there is a variation between the styles of scoring used abroad and the ones used in India, ask your college to include a guide to the grading standards used in your educational system and your school. If your college ranks students by their level of academic achievement, make certain that the ranking is included with the other details. Also send the school / junior college leaving certificate as and when it is available. The transcripts must be in English only.

Recommendations: Letters of reference or recommendation letters play a very important part in your admission. A recommendation letter is a signed statement from a person who has taught you in a subject that is related to the course you are applying to. It should list your positive and negative qualities, strengths and other such information. The teacher must indicate his position, how long he/she has known the applicant and in what capacity. He/she should briefly discuss the need, importance and usefulness of the study the applicant proposes to undertake. Authors are usually asked to rank applicants in their letters of recommendation, which helps admission officers to interpret the academic credentials of foreign students. Students should obtain letters of recommendation from teachers who know them as a person as well as a student. You may like to request your author to give concrete examples that may show your qualities.

Statement of Purpose
: The personal essays, and/or statement of purpose, play a very important role in the process of evaluating your application for both admission as well as financial aid because it gives the faculty assessing your application their most significant impression of you as an individual. This section is the key to distinguish your application from other suitable candidates and a chance to market yourself. A personal statement should include your reasons for choosing a particular course, the suitability of your education and experience for the chosen course, your personal interests and career goals. Some courses like Business school courses will have their own essay questions and format. Others may ask for a resume or reasons for applying to that particular course.

d. Financial Documentation

You must submit a financial aid application if you desire financial help for your studies in a US university. Financial assistance for non-US citizens is very limited. The evidence of financial support is required by universities to issue the documents needed for visa application. Although it is a requirement for application, it is usually not taken into consideration into factors that determine admission. Most universities make their admission decisions without regard for the source and amount of financial support. You would be required to submit documentation of your family's financial resources to help schools assess your need. Most of the universities have their own financial aid form, which you would have to complete. You would also be required to submit a bank statement demonstrating your financial capacity to support your education in US. Some US state institutions offer tuition waivers to international students in return for some type of educational contribution.

e. After Applications

Universities usually inform students of their admission decisions well in advance of the beginning term. If you have received admission in more than one university, you will have to decide which one you want to attend. At this stage, you should compare a few objective and mostly more subjective criteria. The points you should focus on are program curriculum, length of program, choice of courses, funding offer or best program with respect to costs, Cost of living, Strength of related departments/program etc.

f. Once you have been accepted: -

Each college will tell you exactly what steps to follow to confirm your acceptance of their offer of admission and how to prepare for your first term.  This information will be included with the letter of admission or in materials that will be sent to you shortly thereafter. You must respond with a "Yes" or "No" for each offer of admission. You may also be required to submit a financial deposit to the institution that you plan to attend. This is to guarantee your place in the class. Make sure you do not miss any deadlines.