Application timeline for Spring 2023

Are you planning to go for MS in Spring 2023? 

The right time to apply for the spring semester is around June or mostly July, which means if you haven’t already started working on your applications, you need to start right now! 

We strongly recommend that you write the GRE and TOEFL before the 15th of July so you can submit all your online applications and courier the necessary documents before the 25th of July.

Of course, many universities accept applications even till the second week of August, but if you want admission to a good university, it is better to apply before July 2022. Submitting your application early will also help you to get your I-20 early and thus you will be able to apply for a visa by October or November, or at least in early December.

Therefore start preparing for GRE and TOEFL now and book your test date at the earliest.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we have begun enrollments for admission counseling for Spring 2023. Click here to enroll and get complete assistance in drafting your Statement of Purpose (SOP), transcripts, and recommendation letters, sending applications, university selection, visa documentation, and mock visa interview! 

For further details, contact us on 020-67444222 or email us at support@dilipoakacademy.com.

Advantages of Pursuing a Master’s degree in the USA

Here are top 7 reasons why you should pursue a Masters in America:

  1. The strong American economy: America is the largest economy in the world, with a GDP of $ 20.54 trillion, which is 24% of the world GDP. For this reason, they have the capacity to absorb thousands of immigrants and offer those with good technical skills high paying jobs.
  2. Shortage of technical manpower: America is the world leader in technology, especially in the field of IT as can be seen by the dominance of tech giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple in this field. However, they are in constant need of technical manpower. Since there are not enough Americans to fill these technical positions, Indians students are always in great demand.
  3. No discrimination: The American social system is unbiased. American universities and corporates welcome people of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. Hard working, intelligent and innovative students can prosper in the American corporate world. Good examples are Sunder Pichai and Satya Nadela.
  4. Updated university syllabi: American universities keep updating their syllabi to keep pace with industry trends and the latest technologies. This enables their alumni to get good job opportunities all over the world.
  5. Research-based education: This is perhaps the most important reason why the American education system is so popular. Universities in America lay a strong emphasis on research. Most of their professors are constantly engaged in active research. Likewise, they encourage students also to take up the thesis option and carry out independent research during their programs of study. Their labs are also outfitted with the most advanced equipment and facilities. The overall exposure that students receive greatly builds up their practical skills.
  6. Scholarships and funding opportunities: American universities are non-profit organizations funded by the government and private donors. They offer financial assistance to students in the form of scholarships, Research, Teaching and Graduate Assistantships, campus jobs and internships. This makes education in America very affordable.
  7. Special quota for H-1B Visa: STEM students with a master’s degree have an additional quota of 20,000 for the H-1B visa or work permit over and above the general quota of 65,000.

Considering all these benefits, we strongly recommend that students consider pursuing graduate degrees in the US.

To help you get started with your preparation, we offer GRE Coaching and also Admission Counseling through which we provide guidance on selection of universities, application essays and visa counselling.

7% country cap on green cards likely to be removed; great benefit to Indians students and H1-B visa holders

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Following the US presidential elections, a major turnaround of events has taken place in favor of Indian students and immigrants with the new bill passed by the US Senate last Wednesday, December 2, 2020. The bill eliminates the 7% per country cap on the employment-based immigrant visa (EB-2 and EB -3 categories) green cards. The bill has proved to be a huge relief for Indian immigrants stuck in the green card backlog for years.

Every year, the US grants more than a million green cards for the following types:

  1. Family-sponsored Green cards: This type of Green Card is given only to immediate family, such as spouses, children, siblings, or parents of a US citizen or a US permanent resident.
  2. Employment sponsored Green cards: This Green Card is given to you if you have found a job in the US and your employer is going to pay for the forms and application procedure and sponsor your stay in the US.
  3. Returning resident Green Card: This Green Card is for those who previously had a Green Card but travelled outside of the US and did not come back for more than one year for unavoidable reasons.
  4. Diversity Visa Green Card: Every year the US holds a visa lottery for citizens of countries with low immigration rates to the US.

The employment sponsored green cards are further categorized into the following types:

  1. EB-1: Employment-based first preference, priority workers with a 40,040-annual cap.
  2. EB-2: Employment-based second preference, professionals with 40,040 workers with offers of employment in jobs requiring an advanced degree or higher.
  3. EB-3: Employment-based third preference, skilled workers: 40,040 workers with offers of employment in jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree and skilled workers with at least two years of experience.
  4. EB-4: Employment-based fourth preference, special immigrants: 9,940 religious’ workers, broadcasters, US government and military employees, and abandoned juveniles.
  5. EB-5: Employment-based fifth preference, investors: 9,940 foreign investors who made investments in a new commercial enterprise in the United States.

Out of these, the EB-2 and EB-3 visas apply to students pursuing masters and bachelor’s degrees in the US. Every year, as the number of applicants for green cards kept increasing, the backlogs also kept accumulating due to the 7% country cap.

As of November 2019, the backlog for EB-2 and EB-3 green card applications for India is a whopping 706,097 and only around 8000 green cards are being cleared annually because of the 7% country cap. Considering these figures, it might take 89 years to clear this backlog. As of December 2020, EB-2 applications up to 15th May 2011 and EB-3, applications up to 1st January 2014 have been cleared.

But there are chances that the clearance process for these backlogs will now accelerate if the 7% country cap is removed, and the number of green cards cleared annually will increase from only 8000 to 1,40,000, thereby benefiting H1-B visa holders and aspiring students.

However, even if the Senate has passed the bill, the chambers must reconcile their differences before the bill goes to the president. It is not yet clear whether President Trump would sign the bill into law, as the White House has previously expressed opposition to the concept of removing per-country caps and anti-immigration groups are publicly opposing the bill.

 

Impact of COVID-19 on American universities & admissions: An overview by SUNY Binghamton

IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES & ADMISSIONS (1)

Last week, Dilip Oak’s Academy conducted a webinar on the current scenario in American universities, the impact of COVID-19 on admissions for Master’s degree, and funding opportunities in the USA. The webinar was presided over by Maggie Wolford, director of graduate admissions and recruitment, SUNY Binghamton. Here is an overview of her valuable insights into the scenario in America concerning several important pointers viz.:

  1. Location: Universities in the major cities like San Francisco, Chicago and New York have been more affected by the pandemic as compared to those in remote areas, like SUNY Binghamton, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, University of Oklahoma, Norman, etc.
  2. Financial impact: High class, Tier 1 research universities (those offering STEM courses) can sustain the effects of the pandemic, but liberal arts and other smaller universities have incurred significant losses.
  3. Factors for resuming in-person instruction: Universities will decide whether to start the in-person instruction soon or wait, depending upon the number of COVID cases in the area, cost of testing, and testing policies. (whether they have compulsory testing, voluntary testing, or symptomatic testing, and the budget for each)
  4. Spring semester schedule: The majority of the universities are quite likely to push their spring semester start dates. Usually, the spring semester commences in January, but universities might extend it to February. In that case, students will have extra time for project completion, but their holidays will be reduced.
  5. Impact on funding: Due to online instruction, positions for Teaching Assistantships are likely to reduce. Research Assistantships will also depend upon whether the university is funded by the government or by private agencies. Government funding has been reduced significantly for other fields, but a few like Supply Chain Management and Healthcare Management will still receive enough funding. Graduate Assistantships won’t be affected since university jobs like web page development, networking, etc. will continue.
  6. Impact on CPT and internships: CPT is activated only after completing two on-campus semesters. If you join in the spring semester, you cannot work on the CPT in summer. In that case, you can utilize the time for summer courses and graduate early, or take campus paid internships which don’t require CPT. For example, lab assistant jobs, office jobs, admin jobs, etc. You can also take up certification courses free of cost, which will add to your résumé.
  7. Impact on admissions: Presently, the examination system all over the world has been disturbed due to the pandemic. Many universities have waived the GRE requirement, and they are accepting unofficial transcripts as well. But the situation will remain uncertain for a few more months.

For the full webinar, you can visit our YouTube channel:

and subscribe to it for regular updates and videos on higher education in America.

For detailed guidance on higher education in America, Canada and Germany and assistance on university selection, drafting SOPs and LORs, join our admission counseling today!

 

 

 

 

Application timeline for Fall 2021

 

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If you are applying for fall 2021 the clock has begun to tick. So, don’t delay. Here is a detailed Timeline to help you start and streamline your application process:

October-December 2020 

Register for the GRE and TOEFL examinations – these examinations should preferably be taken by 15th December 2020.

October 2020

  • Make a preliminary list of universities which meet your requirements considering:
  1. Broad specializations you are interested in
  2. Expected GRE score
  3. Academic record
  4. Budget
  5. Recommendations by seniors studying in American universities

November 2020

  • Documentation
    1. Start working on your Statement of Purpose (SOP). SOP is a crucial document that provides insights into your purpose of joining the course and university, your personality, experience in the field and long-term goals. It should be around 500 to 800 words long, precise, interesting, grammatically and technically sound.
    2. Arrange for 4 sets of college and university transcripts.
    3. Choose your recommenders (preferably college professors/project guides/employers) and keep recommendation letters ready.

  November-December 2020

  • Test and application process
  1. Take the GRE and TOEFL exams latest by 20th December 2020
  2. Shortlist your final 8 to 10 universities.
  3. Complete online application process latest by 30th of December and send the required documents by courier. Of course, universities accept applications even till 31st March, so you can send them by January too in case of any delay.
  4. Request the ETS to forward your GRE and TOEFL scores to the universities you are applying to. (scores take minimum 2 weeks to come)

 After sending the applications

You will most likely receive admission decisions from Feb/March. Once you receive the decisions, email your acceptance. This is very important especially when you are offered funding.

  1. When you have accepted the university’s offer of admission and the documentation formalities are complete, the university will send you the 1-20, an immigration document, which is essential for obtaining a visa. Some universities send I-20 along with the acceptance letter.
  2. Prepare the visa documentation according to the total cost of one year mentioned on the I-20
  3. Study the visa application formalities specified on the official website of the applicable US Consulate.
  4. Apply for a visa interview date – you can apply for a visa interview 120 days before the joining date mentioned on your I-20. Generally, students start applying for a visa from the third week of April. Once you get the visa date, proceed with the interview and complete the remaining formalities until your departure date.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we provide detailed guidance on these processes under our admission counselling services that include, selection of universities, drafting SOP and LOR, documentation process and visa counselling. Till date, we have sent 30,000 students to various universities in America including MIT, Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon and other top-ranked universities. To enrol, call us on 91-020-67444222, 91-8007878495.

 

 

 

 

Why Indian students planning for bachelors in the USA should take AP exams

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While the standardized tests like SAT and ACT are very popular among Indian students aspiring to pursue bachelors in America, the Advanced Placement (AP) Test is often disregarded by most due to complexity of its courses. A lot of students consider them challenging and shy away from taking this exam. In today’s blog, we aim to address these misconceptions about the AP and throw light on how Indian students can actually benefit from this exam.

What is AP? (Advanced Placement) 

AP Exams are standardized college-level exams designed to measure your mastery over a specific subject and help you earn credits.  Under this, there are 38 courses from various disciplines to choose from like AP Calculus AB, AP Computer Science, AP Chemistry, AP Physics etc. You can choose the course for subjects related to your career of choice and your expertise. AP exams are scored on the scale of 1 to 5, where each score corresponds to a college course grade equivalent.

Are AP exams really challenging?

Yes.

AP exams are definitely challenging and demanding because they require you to dive deep in the subject, beyond the set purview.

Does that mean you should skip them?

No.

Though AP exams are rigorous, they are definitely worth taking, especially for Indian students, due to the following reasons:

Higher chances of getting into a top-ranked university: Taking AP exams adds weightage to your college application and helps you stand out among hundred others. Top-ranked universities prefer students who give AP exam because performance in AP demonstrates your thoroughness in the subject and ability to manage university-level studies.

Early graduation and reduced tuition cost:  Taking AP exam during high school helps you to earn college credits even before starting with the college. A high AP score of 4 or 5 allows you to earn enough credits so as to skip a semester or even a year. In that case, you can graduate almost 6 months to 1 year early and save on your tuition fees by thousands of dollars. Some universities also allow you to skip introductory courses and jump to upper-level courses and even bag internships.

Scholarships and funding opportunities: Most US universities offer good scholarships to high AP scores. This enables the student to further save up on the tuition cost. Some universities also offer an Advanced Placement International Diploma (APID) to Indian students who score exceptionally well in more than 5 AP exams. Hence, even if you have a humble financial background, your AP score can help you complete your bachelors in a high ranked university at a relatively low cost.

What is the ideal time to give the AP?

The ideal time to give the AP is in your 11th or  12th grade, depending on the number of exams you want to take and your level of preparation. You can find the details of AP exams on https://www.collegeboard.org/.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we offer guidance on these pre-requisite examinations for bachelors in America and also conduct online SAT coaching to help you ace your prep!

To know more about bachelors in America, examinations, the application process, visa and other requirements for bachelors in America, attend our free webinar on 20th September. Register for the webinar today!

 

 

 

Step-by-step guide to obtain a Canadian Study Permit (Student visa)

QUICK GUIDE ON GETTING YOUR CANADIAN STUDY PERMIT (1)

In continuation with our blog published on 17/07/2020 where we briefly discussed the admission and visa requirements for Canada, we will now take you through the step-by-step process for obtaining the Canadian study permit for MS, the application timeline, and the required documents.

Before we proceed, let us first understand the difference between permit and visa. Often, students get confused between the two.

Study Permit Vs Visa

A Study Permit allows you to stay in the country until completion of your course at any of the Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) in Canada.

A Visa allows you to enter the country. You must therefore remember that the study permit is not a visa and it doesn’t let you enter Canada. For entry, you need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) which is issued by the Canadian government once your application for the study permit is approved.

Timeline and documents required for Canadian Study Permit

Your application process should begin as soon as you receive acceptance letter from your desired university. The fee for a study permit is CAD 150, which is around Rs 8400.

If you are planning to go for fall intake (September), you should begin the process around June. The documents required include:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Acceptance letter from the university
  3. Proof of funds (CAD 10,000 per year without tuition for those outside Quebec. For those in Quebec, CAD 11,000 per year)
  4. Passport size photographs
  5. Immigration Medical Examination (ideally to take a week before starting the visa process)
  6. TOEFL/IELTS scores
  7. Statement of Purpose
  8. Credit card

Step-by-step application process for a study permit:

Your application process might take three to four weeks to complete hence you should start the process with some margin in your hand. Once you decide, you can either apply online or apply in-person.

To apply online, you require scanned documents and a valid credit card for payment. Before you start the application, read the instruction guide HERE. Fill out the application and pay the biometrics fee. Once you submit the application, you will receive a letter specifying the time and place to give your biometrics. From receiving the letter, you have up to 30 days to give your biometrics.

To apply in person, you can download the application kit and the instruction guide from the official website of the government of Canada,  fill the VFS consent form and attach it to the application, pay the processing fee (in addition to VFS Global services charges), and submit the documents at the nearest VFS office.

While you can go with either of the ways, we recommend students to apply online as the process is faster and easier.

Once your application is approved, you will receive a letter of introduction. This letter is not your study permit. You need to show it to an officer when you arrive in Canada. Along with the letter, you will also be issued an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa (temporary resident visa) to enter Canada.

On arriving in Canada, you are required to present all these documents to the border services officer, who after validation, will issue you with the study permit.

MS in Canada: Work Permit process and PR opportunities (Part 3)

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In the last blog dated 17/08/2020, we learnt about the admission requirements and visa process for masters in Canada. In this final part, we will cover vital information on how to obtain a work permit and apply for a Permanent Residency in Canada.

Work Permit

A Work Permit, or a Work Visa, is issued to eligible international individuals to work in that country for a specific time period (3 years). Unlike the US, you don’t need a job offer in order to apply for a work permit. You can apply for it within 180 days of receiving the post graduate degree. In order to be eligible for a work permit, you need to meet the following criteria:

1) You must complete MS from a Designated Learning Institution (A designated learning institution is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students.)

2) Your course should be at least 8 months long

3) Your study permit should be valid at some point within the 180 days of receiving your MS mark sheet. If you stay in Canada with an expired study permit, you must apply to restore your status as a student before applying for a work permit.

4) You must maintain full-time status as a student. Part-time status does not qualify you for a work permit.

Permanent Residency (PR)

International students can apply for PR while studying in Canada or after completing their MS. Most students apply for the PR while studying. This is popularly called ‘dual intent’ application and is readily accepted by the Canadian immigration law. For PR, each applicant is scored out of 100 on the basis of his/her age, qualifications, English language proficiency and experience.  Generally, applicants who score above 67 get their PR faster than others. Broadly, there are three types of PR programs you can apply for as a student:

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

To qualify for this, students must have at least 12 months of work experience in Canada. While the requisite work experience gained by applying for a work permit is considered, any part-time work experience earned during the program like internships and co-ops does not count as valid work experience for a PR.

Quebec Experience Class (QEC)

Students who have completed their program in Quebec and who have passed intermediate level of proficiency in French can apply for this. This type does not require prior work experience in Canada.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

To be eligible for this, a student must meet the minimum requirements of that province he/she intends to settle in, must have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary education program, and must have a relevant work experience. (This requirement varies for different provinces)

After receiving the PR, you should complete at least 4 years of stay in Canada before applying for the citizenship.

MS in Canada: Admission and student visa requirements (part 2)

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In the last blog dated 10/08/2020, we discussed the benefits of pursuing masters in Canada and saw how fast the country is becoming one of the most sought after destinations for higher education. In this blog, we will focus on the admission and visa requirements for MS in Canada and breeze through the top Ten Canadian Universities for STEM courses.

Admission requirements 

Academic credentials

Majority Canadian universities require you to have completed 16 years of education (12+4), i.e. – a four- year Bachelor’s degree before going for MS. This is applicable to all the technical background students like Engineering, Pharmacy, and Architecture etc. For non-technical fields like Arts and Management, a student is required to complete 17 years of education. (12+3+2)

Canadian universities have a very high cutoff percentage. Hence, you need to have a minimum of 65% to 70% in your degree course and an equivalent CGPA of a minimum of 7.0 to 7.5. Top universities especially give a lot of emphasis on the performance of the last two years of your degree course. (3rd & 4th year)

If you are planning to pursue MS in Business Management, Finance, and Business Analytics; you are required to have relevant work experience of minimum 1 to 3 years.

Qualifying examinations

TOEFL/IELTS: English Language Proficiency Test scores are a mandatory requirement of Canadian universities. A minimum of 6.5 to 7 band score in IELTS or 90+ score in TOEFL is required to get into the best Canadian universities. At Dilip Oaks Academy, we offer online TOEFL and online IELTS coaching along with rigorous practice sessions and mock tests.

GRE: Though a majority of universities in Canada do not require GRE scores, some of the top universities do ask for it. We recommend you to give the GRE and keep your scores ready if you aim to get into one of the top universities. Our Online GRE Coaching will enable you to prepare for the GRE in a hassle-free manner.

Crucial student visa requirements:

Once you receive admit from a Canadian university, you need to apply for a study permit that requires you to fulfil four crucial criteria:

1)      Admit should be from a recognized university

2)      Proof of funds to support yourself. At present this is equal to the tuition fee for one year and CA$10,000 as living expenses.

3)      Proof of no criminal record

4)      Fitness certificate from the doctor as recommended by the Canadian High Commission

Lastly, a quick glance at the Top 10 Canadian Universities:

  • University of Toronto
  • University of British Columbia
  • McGill University
  • McMaster University
  • University of Montreal
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Waterloo
  • Western University

Kick-start your prep for MS in Canada NOW!

Enrol for our admission counselling services and start planning your Canadian endeavour the right way!

Top 6 benefits of pursuing masters in Canada (Part 1)

TOP 6 BENEFITS OF PURSUING MASTERS IN CANADA

With its international student population touching 6.4 lakhs this year, Canada has become the 3rd leading destination of foreign students, especially Indians, who constitute 34% of this number. Since 2014, the Indian student population in Canada has grown by a whopping 350%.  Premier affordable education, internationally recognized degrees, and opportunities for Permanent Residency have led to a large number of students to apply for Masters in Canada. Additionally, a small population of 37 million, and steady growth of the economy have opened multiple job avenues over the last decade, especially in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec, and have made them the most sought after areas for settlement.

Given these facts, let us explore in detail what makes Canada one of the ideal destinations for higher education:

Quality education and internationally recognized degrees: To date, Canada houses around 30 high-ranked universities offering degrees that are recognized internationally as being equivalent to US degrees. These universities have highly qualified professors, mostly Doctorates with enormous experience in their fields. Secondly, the teacher-student ratio is as low as 1:20. This allows personal attention and interaction. As per the current rankings, the top three universities in Canada are the University of Toronto, McGill University, and University of British Columbia.

Affordable tuition fees and living costs: Compared to American universities, Canadian universities have a very affordable fee structure; in fact, the lowest among other English-speaking countries. This is because the Canadian dollar (1 Canadian dollar (CAD) = 56 INR) is much cheaper than the American dollar (1 USD= 74 INR) and the Euro (1 Euro= 88 INR). As for the living costs—the total housing, food, and other expenses usually do not exceed 1,000 CAD per month. Additionally, students can take on-campus jobs for 20 hours/week and make u to 800 to 900 CAD per month. They can also apply for full-time jobs during summer and winter breaks and earn a substantial sum to cover their tuition costs.

Easy immigration and PR laws: Unlike the US, there is no annual quota for immigrants in Canada. In fact, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently published their Canada Immigration Levels Plan for 2020-2022 according to which, they plan to admit around 1,053,000 new permanent residents till 2022. Also, under the new system, international graduates from Canadian study programs can obtain up to 30 additional CRS points. Thus, pursuing MS in Canada increases the chances of securing Permanent Residency.

Job opportunities: Canadian curriculum is designed to meet the changing industry demands. By the time students finish their masters; they are well-versed with the latest trends and manage to land a good job within 6 months of course completion.

Research-based education:  Canada ranks 4th in the world for its quality scientific research. Canadian universities actively encourage students to conduct research. University of Toronto and University of British Columbia have been recognized as the best Canadian universities due to their high research impact. A student applying for Masters can choose either a professional master’s program (MEngg) or opt for a research-based master’s program (MaSc) emphasizing on original scientific research. The industries and government institutions in Canada also extend support by organizing learning programs and workshops.

Cultural diversity:  Canada has a rich cultural diversity of people from various ethnicities. Universities also conduct a lot of cultural programs that help students to develop a broader and global perspective.

In the next part, we will talk about admission requirements for MS in Canada.