Received Admission for Fall-2023. What Next?

Students have been submitting their applications for fall 23 since October 2022. Even though many universities have deadlines until March 31, 2023, they begin processing applications on a first-come, first-served basis. As a result, students will begin receiving admissions offers in January 2023. By May 2023, all admissions decisions will be made.
If you have been accepted, you may be wondering what your next step should be after receiving admission to any university.
Let’s start with the types of acceptance that you can receive from a university.

Types of admissions:

a) In some cases, universities send an admission letter along with the I-20 form, an immigration document that is essential for obtaining a visa. This is the most convenient option for students. This type of acceptance also allows you to hold onto this letter of acceptance for some time while you await decisions from other universities. You can accept this admission and wait for offers from other universities.

b) You will receive an acceptance letter from the university, but the I-20 form will not be issued until after you have accepted the offer of admission. You can accept the offer of admission to be on the safe side, but the decision to join is still in your hands even after acceptance.

c) Some universities demand bank certificates before issuing the I-20. When you have accepted the university’s offer of admission and the documentation formalities, along with the financial documents, are complete, the university will send you the I-20. In that case,

  • Students will need to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds in their bank account (including savings and fixed deposits) to cover the annual fee.
  • The amount should be enough to cover two semesters of tuition fees in addition to a year’s worth of living expenses.
  • Funds are only required to be available on the date the certificate is issued. For this reason, many students borrow money from family and friends for a single day, then pay it back as soon as the bank issues the certificate.
  • It is recommended that students bring a bank certificate for an amount equal to the sum total of the most expensive university on their list of schools to which they have applied.
  • As you will have to send this letter to multiple universities, it is recommended that you obtain around eight copies of the bank certificates (which are valid for three months).
  • Students can also submit a letter of sanctioned education loan for the equivalent amount if he or she does not have the funds in his bank account to show. Loans are approved in principle. Such a letter is issued by a bank or non-banking financial institution (NBFC). The admission letter serves as a preliminary for loan approval.

d) Before sending an I-20 form, some universities require a non-refundable deposit as confirmation of admission. This is just another way of asking for a commitment from you. The required deposit amount can vary from USD 100 to USD 500.

  • If you aren’t confident that you want to enroll at that particular university, then you should hold off on making this payment.
  • However, some universities require this money to be paid by a certain date. In such cases, you can make payments if this university is one of your top and safest choices.

Now let’s talk about the funding.

Securing the funding:

Pursuing M.S. in the USA is often expensive, especially for international students, because unlike American citizens who pay in-state tuition fees, international students have to pay out-of-state tuition fees. For example, if the annual in-state tuition fee is $8,000, the out-of-state tuition fee can be as high as $20,000. These tuition fees are also dependent on the ranking and location of the university. Cost of education in US has also increased because of appreciation in USD value and increase in living cost due to inflation in the US. An average master’s degree from a decent university can cost between Rs. 35-45 lakhs.
Since the cost of education has increased, most students prefer to take out an education loan. Loans can be obtained from nationalized banks, private banks, cooperative banks, and private financial institutions. Rates of interest can range from 9–12%. (Nationalized banks tend to have a lower rate of interest compared to private institutions.) Female students can also benefit from a 0.5% discount on the rate of interest from a nationalized bank. To know more, read our detailed blog on this topic.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we provide detailed guidance on these processes under our Admission Counseling Services  that include, selection of universities, documentation process and visa counselling along with mock visa interviews. As India’s leading Study Abroad Consultants, we have helped more than 30,000 students to secure their dream-admits for various universities in America including MIT, Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon and other top-ranked universities.
We also offer GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, GRE Self Prep and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and UK. To enroll, call us on 91-020-67444222, 91-8007878495.

It’s not too late to apply for fall 2023

The United States is without a question every student’s first choice when thinking about studying abroad for master’s. To convert this dream into reality, many of you may have already started with your applications for the fall 2023 intake. Most universities began accepting applications in October. You might be thinking that it’s too late to apply for the fall of 2023 now that January has arrived. The good news for you, It’s not too late!

Let’s delve deeper into this topic.

  • Roughly 10% of the universities had their final deadlines on 31 December
  • Around 10% have their final deadlines on 31 Jan.
  • However, the majority (about 80%) of universities allow you to apply till March and some of them even accept applications till May.

Which means that you can still secure an admission in a good university even if you start with your applications now!

Why Fall 2023

Fall intake is usually the most preferred among Indian students and for good reasons

  • Fall intake offers a more diverse range of courses
  • Fall intake allows students a better access to funding
  • Many universities have waived of GRE requirement for Fall 2023
  • It also allows students to explore part-time on-campus job opportunities such as research assistant and teaching assistant
  • Probably the most important reason for the popularity of fall admissions is the higher availability of post-study work options for students who start their studies during fall

You must move quickly

Although most universities will still be accepting applications till march, you need to consider time required for documentation and university shortlisting. Documentation includes procuring transcripts, drafting SOPs, personal statements, diversity statements LORs and resumes. University shortlisting involves lot of research to select right universities according to your profile and interests. You also need to move quickly because even after securing an admission, securing a visa can be equally tedious considering you are already on a tight timeline.

We are here to help you

We at Dilip Oak’s academy are here to help you.

  • We are the best when it comes to admissions counselling. We will provide you with a well-balanced list of universities with safe as well as ambitious options, thus increasing your chances of admission.
  • We offer counselling for SOPs (statement of purpose), LORs (letters of recommendations) and resumes and help you prepare everything from personal statements to diversity statements
  • We also provide guidance for visa along with mock visa interviews

Dilip Oak’s academy can be your perfect guide into this often confusing admission process. We have been in this business since 1996 and we have more than 30,000 success stories to attest to our expertise in this field. Our counselors are experienced professionals who interact with every student personally to understand his/her unique requirements and provide guidance accordingly.

Best Wishes and Happy applying!!

As India’s leading Study Abroad Consultants, we offer GRETOEFL, and IELTS coaching, GRE Self Prep and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and UK.

Should I Apply For MS With GRE Waiver?

Around 35% of universities in the USA have given waivers for GRE

The GRE score is still one of the most important selection criteria considered by graduate admissions committees.

Why should I take the GRE test?

Colleges typically use the GRE (for STEM fields) to assess your quantitative ability.

  • Every applicant is evaluated holistically; your GRE scores, academic scores, internships, research papers, and projects are considered. But those who give GRE will have a clear advantage over those who don’t.
  • If your undergraduate GPA is lower than expected, your GRE test score is your chance to demonstrate quantitative skills beyond your transcript.

GRE is recommended as it is required for scholarships.

Though scholarships based on GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS exam scores are limited, you must score at least

  • 165 in both the quantitative and verbal sections of the GRE,
  • 4.5 in the writing skills section of the GRE, and
  • above 100 in the TOEFL and 7.5 in the IELTS to be eligible for one.

A good GRE score demonstrates your potential in analytical and critical thinking skills.

How do I decide whether to take the GRE?

If the website explicitly states that GRE scores are required, you must take the GRE.

If the university website mentions that it is recommended, it is advisable to take the GRE.

If the university you are applying to has stated on their websites that they have waived the GRE, you are not required to send your GRE score reports in your admissions packet. However, if your GRE score is more than 300, we still recommend that you send the GRE scores.

Education Loans: Everything you need to know

After applying successfully for the Fall 2023 intake of your dream American university, many of you might be busy planning to arrange the finances for the program, right? Applying for a student loan is one such popular option preferred by many students and their parents. However, it is necessary to have the right advice before making a choice. 

This article is aimed to give you a broad overview of the student loan process and will also answer many of your queries about the same. So, let’s get started! 

What is an education loan?

An education loan is funds borrowed from a bank or a financial institution to cover the cost of tuition fees, allied expenses such as living and insurance costs.

Who is eligible for an education loan?

The eligibility for availing loan is determined by each bank/ institution independently, and several variations can be seen in them. However, the common requirements are as below:

  • The applicant and co-applicant should be citizens of India over 18 years of age
  • The student should have secured a minimum of 50% marks in HSC, and a bachelor’s degree
  • The student should have a confirmed admission from an overseas university (if applicable)  
  • The co-applicant should have a regular source of income 

What is the maximum amount of loan one can avail of?

There is no straightforward answer to this question, as it depends on many factors. But, many institutions offer loans with no upper limit if the collateral is provided. In the case of unsecured loans, usually, the upper limit would be around 45 to 50 lakhs.   

What are the applicable interest rates on education loans?

Various institutions, including public and private sector banks, offer a range of choices to students aspiring for education loans. Most of these loan schemes have a floating rate of interest calculated based on the repo rate and a spread decided by the respective institution. The interest rates are generally seen to move from  9.55% to 13%.  In addition,  a few nationalized banks also offer a concession of 0.5% for women students. However, please note that every institution has a different schedule for revising the rates; , it is advised to consult the representatives of such organizations to find out the exact cost of the loan. 

What is the tenure of a student loan? 

Education loan is generally offered for a period ranging from 10 to 14 years. 

How much time is required for the processing of an education loan?

Under normal conditions, student loans are processed in 15 to 25 days.

How to repay an education loan?

The terms of repayment of an education loan vary from bank to bank, and it is difficult to generalize them. But, as a common practice, a grace period of 6 to 12 months is provided after completion of the program.        

Documents required for applying for an education loan:

  1. Duly filled application form
  2. Passport-sized photographs of the applicant and the co-applicant
  3. Photo ID: PAN/ Passport/ Driving License/ Aadhaar / Voter ID of the applicant and co-applicant
  4. Residence proof: Passport / Driving License/ Aadhaar / Voter ID of the applicant and co-applicant
  5. Academic documents:
  • HSC Mark sheet           
  • Mark sheet of subsequent years of graduation
  • Mark sheet of entrance exams like GRE, IELTS, TOEFL etc. 
  • Scholarship documents (if applicable) 
  1. Proof of admission: Printed admission letter from the college or university (if applicable) 
  2. Bank statements of co-applicant: Usually statements of the last 8 to 12 months 
  3. Income proof of co-applicant:
    • For a salaried person:
      • The last  three  salary slips
      • Form 16 of the last two years
    • For a self-employed person:
      • Income Tax returns of the last two years
      • Financial statements of the last two years certified by CA
      • Proof of office (Lease deed, a Title deed, Utility bill etc.) 
  4. Collateral documents:
    • Property title deed
    • 7 / 12 extracts in case of land
    • Registered sale agreement etc.

The list shown above is representative only. The requirements may vary depending on the financial institution under consideration. Thus, it is always better to cross-check the requirements from the authorized representative of the concerned organization.

Additional Information:

Can I apply for a loan even if my admission is yet to be confirmed? 

Fortunately, the answer to this question is yes! Almost all banks accept loan applications even if admission to a university still needs to be confirmed or is in process. In such a case, the application is assessed based on the overall student profile, including academic performance and other criteria, such as the credit profile of the co-applicant. The bank may also approve the loan by issuing a sanction letter with the condition that the admission must be confirmed before its disbursal. 

Is there any tax benefit on availing of student loans? 

Yes. Under section 80E of the Income Tax Act of India 1961, an individual can claim a tax deduction on the interest paid on such loans. The maximum deduction that one can obtain is Rs. 40,000.

What is acceptable as collateral?

Collateral acceptable is either a movable asset or an immovable property. Financial assets such as fixed deposits in the respective bank are acceptable in the former category. The latter category of immovable property includes a flat, a house or a plot of non-agriculture land.

I hope this clears most of your doubts about education loans. I wish you all the very best! 

Is This the Best Time to Pursue a Master’s Degree in the US?

With their impeccable quality of education, well-designed coursework and on-campus placement programs offered by the US universities, the US is one of the most sought destinations for higher education. Why US? (read blog). But the current uncertain economic scenario has posed many questions for these prospective graduate students, thus making it difficult for them to decide their future plans. Let us try to address these concerns:

Is the US on the verge of recession?

Recession alarms are being sounded in the US, predicting an economic downfall and, consequently, an increase in unemployment. According to statistical reports, in January 2022, the unemployment rate in America was 4%. which currently is 3.7%. In fact, it has been consistent in recent months, and the Fed is making efforts to ensure that it does not exceed 4%. More specifically, the tech unemployment rate is only 2.1%, indicating a continuous demand for technical skills. Technical jobs have always dominated the job market. So pursuing a graduate program to make yourself technically proficient will help you easily secure these job opportunities.

Layoff/Hiring freezes by tech giants:

This year has witnessed many layoffs and hiring freezes by companies like Facebook, Twitter etc., to implement cost-cutting. Marc Zuckerberg explained the reason for this extreme step in his message to the Meta employees. According to him, the online market had received a boost during the pandemic, and the surge was expected to continue. Consequently, huge investments were made; however, the returns were below expectations, thus resulting in economic losses. Moreover, various cost-cutting strategies implemented to combat these losses were inadequate, leading to downsizing and suspension of new hiring. Of course, the other companies could have a similar reasoning, but should this affect your decision to pursue a graduate program?

Even amidst these adverse circumstances, the available data shows that the aggregate demand for technical expertise is still strong enough to counterbalance the slowing economy. Nonetheless, this is the correct time to equip yourself with the latest skill set so you will have an edge over your peers when the scene changes.

Is there inflation in the US?

Post the 2008 recession, the US economy had revived within three years and continued performing well until the pandemic shook it again. However, it quickly revived within two years. But in mid-2021, the inflation rate started rising and was at its peak in June 2022, reaching 9.1%. As this was well above the targeted 2% inflation rate, the Fed is making desperate efforts to alleviate the inflation rate or ensure that it does not escalate. Interest rates have been increased to encourage the flow of capital, and manufacturing activities are being promoted. Consequently, the average annual inflation rate has stooped down to 7.7% in October, the lowest since Jan 2022. The recent data trends are definitely encouraging and indicate signs of improvement. (Optimistically, we believe it will soon change). More importantly, you will complete your program in 2 years, so making any hasty predictions about the future is not logically justified.

Now what?

So when this cloud of uncertainty is looming over our heads, how do we decide? As mentioned earlier, this would be the best time to pursue higher studies. On a more philosophical note, remember that change is the only thing constant in this universe. Indeed, we cannot predict the future, but we can prepare for it. One of the things that the pandemic has taught us is to be prepared for the unpredictable. Remember, amidst all these cyclical changes, highly skilled technical manpower will always be in demand. So, if your decisions are firm, take this calculated risk and pursue your dreams of studying in the US!

 As a trusted study abroad consultant for nearly three decades, Dilip Oak’s Academy will be with you through every step of your journey! Wishing you all the BEST!!!

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