Education in USA

 
 

Studying in USA

Studying in USA
Irrespective of problem – areas, the United States of America (USA) will (most probably!) be the hottest destination for Indian and international students. It is not difficult to determine why. The quality of education, wide-ranging specialties, flexibility, large campuses, friendly professors, funding and international opportunities are only but a few of the reasons for attracting the elite students from throughout the world. It is not so easy to dislodge the pre-eminent position of US as the ‘land of opportunities’.

There are more than 3,800 universities and colleges in the USA, offering right from short-term certificate programs to Post-Doctoral level degrees. Most students prefer to study in the USA at either the Bachelors level or Masters and beyond.

Master’s level is the most popular among Indian students who would like to chalk their career plans for higher education. More than 78% of Indian students apply for Master’s level programs in US universities.

At this level, Engineering and its specialties (MS) are most popular, followed by Management (MBA) and other subjects like Pharmacy, Public Health, Physiotherapy and other programs.

Each of the specialties has its own typical requirements for application, admission and all aspects further education in USA.

Through the links on this pages and elsewhere on our site, IIEC will demystify the process of studying in USA.

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Education System

Education system in the USA is different from the British system of education as practiced by India and from other countries.

After the Nursery school and Kindergarten, primary or elementary education starts, which will be from first to sixth grade. Grades from 7thto 12th is known as secondary education in which seventh to nineth are known as Junior High School grades and 10thto 12thare known as Senior High School Grades.

One could join the first year of college, either in a community college which offers a two-year Associate degree or a technical institute of similar duration programs. Completion of this level will make one eligible to take up two more years of the undergraduate program at a four-year college or a university, on completion of which leads to a Bachelor’s degree.

A Master’s degree after that could be between one to two years. And Doctoral level education could be simultaneous along with the Master’s or additional, which can be another 3-4 years.

On completion of two years in college (first two years of Bachelor’s program) one could join a first professional degree, which will be an additional four years. First professional degrees are normally offered in Pharmacy, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Law, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine etc. In some fields, the master’s degree is the next highest degree awarded after completion of the first professional degree.

Finally, once a student earns his doctoral degree, he could pursue further research/study as a Post-Doctoral Fellow, which is the highest level of education anywhere in the world.

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Employment – as a student

Students at any level are not allowed to work full-time, while studying in the USA. However, employment of international students, who reached USA on a non-immigrant visa such as F-1, is strictly regulated.

If such students maintain their visa status and be in good standing, they could work part-time and on campus only for upto 20 hours a week. During holidays and college breaks, students could work full-time, if they maintain the good standing.

Under special circumstances, students could seek approval from the Department of Homeland Security (through their respective college) to work full-time in case of ‘economic necessity’ or if they experience unexpected financial crises. Such full-time work is possible only after one year of stay in the US and after proper endorsement on the I-20 by the International Student Adviser of the university where the student is enrolled.

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Even Off – campus employment must be authorized in writing

After completion of education, any student could take up Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or internship, for a period of one year with companies in the USA, which is normally the first step to seek a more regular employment under H1B category, for further stay.

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IELTS in USA

Over 2,000 US universities and professional bodies accept IELTS scores as proof of English language skills. Over 1,000,000 people a year are now using IELTS to open doors throughout the English-speaking world and beyond.

Bachelor’s in USA

Bachelor’s in USA
Bachelor’s level education in USA normally starts after the completion of 12 years of primary and secondary education. Hence, education beyond class XII is also known as ‘post-secondary’ education, in USA.

Bachelor’s programs are of four years duration, and are offered by different types of colleges.

Liberal Arts colleges offer a general education in Arts and Sciences that develop general knowledge and reasoning ability. Most of these types of colleges are privately owned and have limited number of programs.

Upper-Division colleges are those that offer the last two years of undergraduate programs, which are specialized. Community colleges are those that offer Associate Degrees of two years duration. On completion of such two-year Associate degrees, students join either upper-division colleges or universities to complete the balance two years for obtaining the Bachelors degree. Most community colleges are publicly owned ones and offer technical programs that prepare students for entry into job market, with Certificate and Diploma programs of six months to one year.

Specialized programs like Engineering are also offered, that are equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree. These are known as ‘transfer’ programs.

Universities offer a broad range of both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The size of universities varies greatly – right from a two-bedroom apartment to campuses in thousands of acres! The range and diversity of programs offered are quite large. It is only possible to take up research work in universities and not in any other types of colleges.

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Admission

Most colleges provide admission opportunity to international students without any prejudice. While make admission decisions, some may consider Early admission for those who have not yet completed their 3rd year bachelor’s degree.

Some colleges/universities offer an Early Decision admission, for which the admitted students need to commit to enroll at the college. Normally, such colleges take ‘Early action’ in notifying the students of ‘Early Decision’ based on which the students have to accept the admission offer and make a deposit.

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Required Tests

In addition to very good academic background from Class 10thto 12th, international applicants are expected to have very good scores in TOEFL and SAT, for admission into decent US universities at the bachelor’s level. Some better universities require even scores from SAT Subject Tests, before they make an admission decision. For more details on these tests, please visit, TOEFL, SAT There are several other issues with regard to Bachelor’s study in USA – like the location, size, majors offerings, admission requirements, deadlines, costs, financial aid, housing, student life, academic programs, latest technology on campus etc.

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Cost of Education

Bachelor’s level education in USA is costlier than Master’s level. Students are expected to take more credits per semester, which leads to an increase in costs.

Average cost of tuition and fees is approx. 10,000-20,000 $ per year, depending upon program, institution and location. Living expenditure would add up to another 8,000-10,000 $ per year, according to the student’s lifestyle.

Financial Aid is very rare for Bachelor’s level international students. While there are several options like Federal Stafford Loans and others for domestic students, such facilities are not available for non-domestic applicants.

Since Bachelor’s is a four-year program, the costs tend to be very high overall. This is one of the reasons why most students prefer studying from the Master’s level in USA or elsewhere. Of all the international students, only 19% of them went for the Bachelor’s level as against 79% for Master’s level!

It is not easy to support oneself with part-time employment since the program is intensive and students hardly find time to work beyond their study schedules. Also, Teaching and Research Assistantships are available for Master’s level and not for the Bachelor’s. Thus, part-time employment options are limited and returns from the same, meager.

In order to offset the costs, IIEC assists with educational loan programs like IELI’s. Organizations like IELI provide educational loans for up to 45,000 $ per year, without mortgage or guarantor. For more details about this exciting loan program.

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Accreditation

Accreditation of colleges/universities is very important in choosing the right institution, since that ensures uniformity in curriculum, proper designing of courses, meeting the infrastructure needs, proper faculty and facilities etc.

Six Regional Accrediting associations provide accreditation in six regions of USA – Middle States, New England, North Central, Northwest, Southern and Western.

Whereas, National Accrediting Associations such as ACICS, AABC, ATS, DETC etc., provide specialized accrediting for various programs in technology, biblical studies, distance education etc.

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Applying for a visa

After securing admission into the University one must start with the visa formalities.

Visa process for USA is relatively simpler, and yet, tough to obtain! For those who are fully prepared with the required documentation and interview preparation, the process becomes easy. However, professional guidance and careful planning of the whole process is very important for success!

For a personalized plan of action to obtain your F-1 visa and do your Bachelor’s in USA, the resources at IIEC are second-to-none. Visit our offices, contact our counselors in person, online or by phone and we will be pleased to help you join the big league.

MBA in USA

MBA in USA
USA is considered to be the birthplace of professional management. While it is possible that other countries might have professional management at different stages of their evolution, aggressively promoting the field of management practice and education has been highlighted by the US. Naturally, the study of business management at various levels has also been pioneered by US universities, which started educating managers of all nationalities for the future.

Management education has thus caught on throughout the world and is second only to the study of Engineering, globally.

Most universities elsewhere have been doing good work in the field of management education. However, because of their pioneering status and extensive usage, US universities have expanded the scope and scale of management education. The range of specialties, the number of institutions, the amount of research, the number of training programs and the popularity of all these put together has made Management education in USA the very best. If we consider at the wide range of management programs, the diversity is mind-boggling and options, unlimited. One could take up specialized study in traditional fields such as Marketing, HR, Finance, General Management etc., and non-traditional ones such as Market Research, E-security, Hospital Administration, Hospitality Management, Sports Management and several others.

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Admission

Admission at the master’s level is normally into the Master of Business Administration program (MBA) and some universities offer the study of management as Master of Arts and Master of Sciences too. Nevertheless, MBA is the most popular degree amongst those offered, in US universities.

Because of the quality and focus of the programs, admissions are quite competitive and the process, quite lengthy. For good B schools, the process could take between 8-12 months for the application process.

Cost of MBA education could range between $ 20,000 and $ 80,000 , depending upon the program and where and when it’s offered. In addition to full-time two year MBA program, many universities offer part-time programs of 3-5 years duration and Executive education programs of 2-3 years duration. Admission requirements vary from one university to another and from one type of program to another.

Unlike a simple ‘Statement of Purpose’ as required for M.S admission, most B schools ask for a set of ‘Essays’ to be prepared and submitted for application consideration. The essay topics could be multiple – from three to eight – and could be on different predictable and sometimes typical issues. For example, one B school could ask an applicant to respond if he (the applicant) were marooned on an island all alone how he would react and what would he do? There could be several other difficult topics. The whole idea is to see the type of response and the quality of presentation, style, approach, flow and precision from applicants.

There are several other important aspects for admission, like strong recommendation letters from employers, sponsorship etc., which keeps differing from one B school to another. IIEC endeavor is to unravel the complexities of studying Business Management by offering a broad range of services.

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Required Tests

In addition to a four-year bachelor’s degree, applicants are expected to have good scores in TOEFL and GMAT, along with work experience (preferably) in relevant field of study/focus. Unlike Australian universities that mandate work experience for MBA applicants, US universities are not so particular about the same. However, admission into top-tier universities require at least 3-5 years of work experience, strong recommendation letters and top-class essays, in addition to other requirements as mentioned above.

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Cost of Education

MBA programs in USA are costlier than in other countries. Unlike in India, further study of business management is considered as an investment’. And, most applicants are either middle or top level managers who have work experience to take advantage of MBA education. Hence, ‘return on such investment’ is carefully considered and therefore, the MBA program in USA is globally competitive and focused – to provide world-class curriculum, best infrastructure, reputed faculty and career enhancement opportunities. Top-tier and Ivy league schools like Harvard, MIT, Kellogg, Wharton, NYU etc., cost anywhere between $ 40,000 to $ 80,000 per year in tuition and fees.

There are other universities that offer the same program for lesser fee – between $ 20,000 and $ 40,000 per year.

With the addition of other expenditure like living, cost of a lap-top, study-abroad programs, books, insurance etc., the costs are bound to be quite high and only those who could afford this level of expenditure are expected to ‘invest’ in an MBA program. Financial aid is very rare for management-related programs.

In order to offset the costs, there are several loan programs like CitiAssist. Organizations like IELI provide educational loans for up to $ 45,000 per year, without mortgage or guarantor. For more details about this exciting loan program.

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Accreditation

Accreditation to AACSB is considered to be prestigious for US Business schools.

Accreditation of colleges/universities is very important in choosing the right institution, since that ensures uniformity in curriculum, proper designing of courses, meeting the infrastructure needs, proper faculty and facilities etc.

Six Regional Accrediting associations provide accreditation in six regions of USA – Middle States, New England, North Central, Northwest, Southern and Western.

Whereas, National Accrediting Associations such as AACSB, ACICS, AABC, ATS, DETC etc., provide specialized accrediting for various programs in technology, biblical studies, distance education etc.

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Applying for a visa

After securing admission into the University one must start with the visa formalities.

Visa process for USA is relatively simpler, and yet, tough to obtain! For those who are fully prepared with the required documentation and interview preparation, the process becomes easy. However, professional guidance and careful planning of the whole process is very important for success!

For a personalized plan of action to obtain your F-1 visa and do your Bachelor’s in USA, the resources at IIEC are second-to-none. Visit our offices, contact our counselors in person, online or by phone and we will be pleased to help you join the big league.

Master’s in USA

Masters in USA

The Master of Sciences and Master of Engineering programs in U.S universities are second to none in the range of specialties, quality and popularity.

Master of Science (MS) degrees are normally research-oriented and non-research oriented. If a student opts to pursue research at the Doctoral level, he could choose to prefer the research-oriented option. Alternatively, if the student wants to stop his education after Masters and look for employment or other avenues, he may choose to take up the non-research oriented degrees. Most good universities offer both these orientations.

Master of Engineering (ME) degrees are not as popular as the MS degrees, but are mostly terminal degrees for those who are professionally employed in respective fields. If one wishes to obtain additional qualifications at the Masters level in order to improve his knowledge or for employment/business growth, ME degrees are suitable for such applicants. Most often, completion of ME degree will not enable further application to the Ph.D level.

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Admission

Admission into MS, ME or MA programs are based on academic background, test scores, recommendations and the Statement of Purpose (SOP). While good academic background at the Bachelor’s is a must, it is important to have consistent performance all throughout one’s academic career, starting from 10thclass onwards. Additionally, good scores in TOEFL and GRE are required for admission into decent programs.

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Required Tests

There are no hard and fast rules as regards to the minimum or maximum scores in these tests. However, for good admits, the average scores are 230-240 in TOEFL and 1100-1200 in GRE. Better and higher-ranked universities require much higher scores. Please note, however, that admission is possible into many universities with scores lesser than those indicated. IIEC will provide you with the right inputs and guidance in this aspect.

Equally important are recommendation letters that have to be provided by lecturers/professors or guides who have taught you at your undergraduate level. It is not important to have the recommendation of the head of institution (Principal) if he has not taught you. Recommendations must reflect the observations of your recommender academically and even personally. Most often, recommendations play a crucial role in determining financial aid for applicants.

Highly crucial is the SOP, which has to be prepared by you, outlining your academic and personal backgrounds, your performance, your career goals and your reasons for studying in a particular university. Quite often, admission decisions are made on the strength of a good (or bad!) SOP!!

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Cost of Education

Educational costs are quite reasonable at the master’s level inUSA. There are universities offering programs at $ 6,000 – $ 8,000 per year and at the same time, some universities have a fee of around $ 30,000 . Costs vary, depending upon the program, university and location.

Interestingly, financial aid is comparatively easier to obtain at this level. Aid could be in several forms – partial or full tuition waiver, in-state tuition, scholarship, assistantships etc. are awarded to international students based on merit – and not on need. Since most applicants cannot demonstrate comparable and measurable merit while applying, universities prefer to consider aid from the second semester or second year onwards, based on funding availability.

Almost 75% of Master’s level international students get aid in some form or the other, mainly in tuition waivers, scholarships and tuition & research assistantships.

In order to offset the costs, IIEC assists with educational loan programs like IELI’s. Organizations like IELI provide educational loans for up to $ 45,000 per year, without mortgage or guarantor. For more details about this exciting loan program.

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Accreditation

Accreditation of colleges/universities is very important in choosing the right institution, since that ensures uniformity in curriculum, proper designing of courses, meeting the infrastructure needs, proper faculty and facilities etc. Six Regional Accrediting associations provide accreditation in six regions of USA – Middle States, New England, North Central, Northwest, Southern and Western.

Whereas, National Accrediting Associations such as ACICS, AABC, ATS, DETC etc., provide specialized accrediting for various programs in technology, biblical studies, distance education etc.

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Apply Yourself!

In addition to other packages, the ‘Apply yourself’ package being offered by us will make the work of applicants easy, smooth and productive. Right from selecting the appropriate universities that suit one’s requirement/profile to evaluating essays, recommendations, resume etc., till applying for the visa, IIEC will be with you all the way when you enroll for this highly useful package. For more details about the package and to know how IIEC can help you realize your MS/MA dreams.

IIEC provides total guidance on preparing the total documentation like recos., SOP and application material, along with samples, guidelines and personalized help, at every stage till you complete the application process. Please visit our Services section and get in touch with us. We will be with you all the way!

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Applying for a visa

After securing admission into the University one must start with the visa formalities.

Visa process forUSAis relatively simpler, and yet, tough to obtain! For those who are fully prepared with the required documentation and interview preparation, the process becomes easy. However, professional guidance and careful planning of the whole process is very important for success!

For a personalized plan of action to obtain your F-1 visa and do your Bachelor’s inUSA, the resources at IIEC are second-to-none. Visit our offices, contact our counselors in person, online or by phone and we will be pleased to help you join the big league.

 
 
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