Explaining the New Shorter GRE and Its Implications for Test-Takers

For many years, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) has served as a crucial first step for students planning to pursue graduate study in the United States. This year, the GRE will be shorter thanks to a series of reforms. The test will have shorter versions of each section, but will still accurately assess test takers’ verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills. If you plan to take the GRE General Test after September 2023, you should familiarize yourself with these changes and prepare accordingly. The following is a comprehensive summary of all the key modifications to the new, shorter GRE:

Change 1: Reduced Number of Questions and Shorter Testing Period

The length of the GRE General Test has been reduced from 4 hours to 1 hour and 58 minutes. This is a significant change aimed at improving test-takers’ concentration and decreasing test fatigue. The reduced time has been achieved by implementing the following changes in the test.

Reduced number of questions: The number of questions in the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning tests will be reduced. The number of questions in each section will drop from 40 to 27. These 27 questions will be broken up into 12 and 15 for for Section 1 and 2 respectively. This change applies to both quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning. Despite the reduction in total number of questions, the average time allotted for each question has remained unchanged.

Removal of ‘argument’ section: “Analyze an argument” task has been removed from the analytical writing section. Moving forward, the AWM section will only have the “analyze an issue” task. As a result, you’ll only have to write only one essay.

Removal of the Unscored section: The GRE currently has an unscored section that is used for evaluation of questions by ETS. This section will be removed from the new, shorter GRE, as it does not affect the test taker’s final score.

No Scheduled Breaks: The current 10-minute break after the two hours of the test will be eliminated because the new test time will be less than 2 hours.  Those taking the GRE at a testing center can still take unscheduled breaks; however, the clock will not stop. Exemptions to this policy will be made for test takers with disabilities or health-related needs.Online examinees are not permitted to take unscheduled breaks during the exam.

Change 2: faster Reporting of Test Results

Official GRE scores will be reported to test takers within 8-10 days after the exam. This is a significant improvement over the previous time frame of ten and fifteen calendar days. In the long run, this will save time for those filling out applications.

What won’t change as the GRE moves from its current format to a shorter one?

Despite the fact that the GRE General Test will be shorter, many features will remain unchanged. Given below are the important aspects of the test that won’t be changing:

  • The basic structure of the GRE, including the presence of Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning sections, will remain unchanged.
  • Scoring: All three sections will use the same scoring procedure, and the shorter test will use the same performance scales as the current test.
  • The shorter GRE will still be section adaptive I. e., the difficulty level of the second section will be based on your performance in the first section.
  • Although the GRE has been shortened, testing fees have not changed.
  • Graduate and professional schools will use scores from the GRE General Test similarly, regardless of the length.
  • As before, you can retake the GRE General Test up to five times in any rolling 12-month period (365 days), with a maximum of one attempt every 21 days.
  • Your GRE scores will be considered valid for five years after your test date.

Why the ETS is changing the test format

These changes are based on feedback from previous test takers and are the result of expert analysis about how a better experience could be introduced for test takers while retaining the strong validity and reliability that universities expect.

Applying to graduate and professional programs is time-consuming. While you want to show your potential in a comprehensive way, you also want to get through your application checklist ASAP. Shortening the test will help students to stay focused and reduce fatigue. The shorter test will also allow ETS to deliver GRE scores faster. Students can complete their applications sooner as well.

What is yet to be announced?

Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning have had their total number of questions cut down to 27, but how those questions will be distributed among the subsections such as sentence equivalence, text completion and  reading comprehension in verbal section, remains to be seen.

We also don’t yet have details on how the scoring algorithm might adapt to the reduced number of questions.

Which version of the test should you take- Shorter GRE vs. Current GRE

You should weigh your application deadlines against your personal preferences when deciding between the shorter GRE and the current GRE. The current GRE will be phased out on September 22, 2023, in favor of the shorter GRE. If your application deadline is early October or earlier, you should probably take the current GRE. However, if you have more time and your application deadlines are not pressing, you may want to take the shorter GRE because of its streamlined format.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, We also provide detailed guidance on these processes under our Admission Counseling Services, including a selection of universities, documentation process and visa counseling, and mock visa interviews. In addition, as India’s leading Study Abroad Consultants, we have helped more than 33,000 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

What is behind the increasing popularity of GRE among Indian students?

There has been a rising tide of Indian students going to the United States for higher-studies in recent years. The GRE is an entrance test that assesses proficiency in math, reading, and writing. It is required for admission to most postgraduate programs and doctoral programmes in the US and is also accepted by higher education institutions in the UK, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. The GRE provides universities with a common benchmark against which to compare applicants from around the world.

The increase in the number of Indian students taking the GRE is a significant development in the higher education landscape. Nearly 1,25,000 student visas were issued to Indians to study in the United States in 2022. This indicates a growing trend of Indian students opting for postgraduate education in the US and other countries.

Doubling of Indian Students Taking the GRE: A Significant Development

The number of Indian students taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) has doubled in the past decade to 1,14,000 which is just 10,000 examinees less than the number of test-takers in the United States.

The Educational Testing Services (ETS), a US-based organization, administers the GRE test. The organization has witnessed a 48% rise in the number of Indian test takers in the 2021-2022 academic year, with the number of examinees increasing from 68,869 to 1,02,024. This growth in GRE statistics in India has been attributed to the increasing number of Indian students opting for higher education in the US.

Hyderabad has topped the table in the number of students taking the GRE with a record 25,347 candidates. Mumbai had 5,759 candidates in 2021-22; Bangalore 5,564; Pune 3,689; Chennai 3,278; Delhi 2,845. Also, many second-tier cities are coming up. Guntur has witnessed rapid growth and the number of candidates for 2021-22 has increased to 8,983. Other Tier 2 cities like Visakhapatnam, Warangal and Nellore also performed well last year. The same can be said for many Tier 3 cities. For example, Khammam city entered the top ten following a 150% rise in the number of examinees, from 888 in 2015-16 to 2,221 in 2021-22.

Reasons for Indian Students Choosing US Universities

There are several reasons that attract Indian students to education in USA. Firstly, the US is home to some of the world’s best universities, offering high-quality education and research opportunities. Many Indian students see this as an excellent opportunity to gain a world-class education that will increase their job prospects and help them stand out in a competitive job market.

The US offers a diverse range of academic programs, giving Indian students a wide range of options to choose from. This includes courses in fields like engineering, business, technology, and the arts, among others. Also, the US offers a welcoming and inclusive environment for international students. Many universities in the US have dedicated international student support services to help students adjust to life in a new country and provide guidance on academic and personal matters.

Many universities in the US offer financial aid and scholarships to international students. This support can help alleviate the financial burden of studying abroad and make it more affordable for Indian students to pursue higher education in the US. Lastly, the US offers opportunities for practical experience through internships and co-op programs, which can help Indian students gain valuable work experience and develop their professional skills.

The GRE: An Essential Component of the Application Process for Indian Students

India’s rapid growth in GRE statistics is in stark contrast to recent trends in the US. In the US, universities are increasingly challenging the importance of standardized assessments like the GRE. However, in India, the GRE has become a critical component of the application process for admission to postgraduate programs. This growth in GRE statistics in India also makes a stark contrast against China, which has only witnessed a 20% increase in the number of test takers in the last decade. In the 2021-2022 academic year, only 50,758 Chinese students took the GRE exam, which is less than half the 1,14,000 of Indian test-takers.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we 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. 

We also provide detailed guidance on these processes under our Admission Counseling Services, including a selection of universities, documentation process and visa counseling, and mock visa interviews. In addition, 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. To enroll, call us on 91-020-67444222, 91-8007878495.

Master of Architecture (M. Arch) Education in the USA: A Comprehensive Guide

 

Pursuing a Master of Architecture (M. Arch) degree in the USA is an excellent way to advance your knowledge and skills in the field of architecture. The USA has some of the best architecture schools in the world, offering high-quality education, cutting-edge research opportunities, and access to top-notch facilities and resources. If you are considering pursuing an M. Arch education in the USA, this blog will provide an overview of the M. Arch program in the United States, covering its structure, admissions requirements, and potential employment outcomes.

Masters in Architecture is offered as M. Arch, Masters of Science (M.S) or Masters of Arts (M.A) in US universities. As one can expect, an M.S in Architecture degree offers a more research and technology-oriented focus while M.A in Architecture degrees are more art-focused and generally specialize in design. The Master of Science (MS) in Architecture and Master of Arts (MA) in Architecture programs are typically research-oriented degrees that provide students with a theoretical understanding of architecture. On the other hand, the Master of Architecture (M. Arch) degree is a professional degree that prepares students to become licensed architects.

Fortunately, a master’s degree in architecture in the United States is considered a STEM degree (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics). STEM degrees allows you to work on OPT (optional practical training) for 36 months after graduation. (compared to the 12-month OPT period allowed to other graduates)

M. Arch Program Overview

M. Arch programs in the USA are designed to provide students with advanced knowledge and skills in architecture and related fields. These programs typically take two to three years to complete and offer a comprehensive curriculum that includes both theory and practical coursework. The curriculum covers a wide range of subjects, including architectural design, history, theory, building technology, sustainability, and professional practice. In addition to coursework, students are required to complete a design studio project, which allows them to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world design problems.

Master of Architecture (M. Arch) degree programs in the United States offer various specializations. Some of the most common specializations offered in M. Arch programs in the USA are:

  • Sustainable Design and Green Building
  • Urban Design and Planning
  • Interior Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Digital Technologies in Architecture
  • Building Information Modeling (BIM)
  • Construction Management
  • Real Estate Development and Design

These specializations enable students to focus on a specific area of interest within the field of architecture and develop their skills and knowledge in that area.

Requirements for Admission

Students will need the following: 

  • A bachelor’s degree in architecture or a related design field is required.
  • Most universities require a GRE test scores.
  • A resume or CV is required.
  • Proof of English language proficiency in the form of IELTS or TOEFL test results.
  • A SOP, or Statement of Purpose, is required for universities.
  • LOR or Letter of Recommendation, depending on the institution.
  • Portfolio: A portfolio of your design work is usually required. This should showcase your creative and technical abilities and may include drawings, sketches, models, photographs, and other relevant materials.

Career Prospects

To become a licensed architect in the USA, you typically need to earn a professional degree in architecture from a program that is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The most common degree is the Master of Architecture (M. Arch), but some states may also accept a Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch) degree.

M. Arch graduates in the USA have a variety of career options in the field of architecture. Many graduates choose to work as licensed architects in architectural firms, where they may be involved in designing and overseeing the construction of buildings and other structures. Others may work in related fields, such as urban planning or interior design. Additionally, some graduates may choose to pursue careers as Project managers, design architects, senior project architects, landscape architects, urban designers and urban planners. There are job opportunities in a variety of private industries, including design, construction, urban development, and infrastructure.

The annual income of M. Arch graduates in the USA can vary depending on experience, geographic location, and the specific industry or sector they work in. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for architects, including those with M. Arch degrees, was $82,320 as of May 2020. salaries ranging from $49,790 to $139,120.

Jobs for trained architects will continue to grow in the United States, with steady demand from corporations and planning organizations. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 8.4% increase in employment for architects between 2018 and 2028. The United States is a top choice for architecture students due to its globally acclaimed universities, engaging curriculum, emerging technologies and design trends, and readily available employment opportunities.

Conclusion

Overall, pursuing an M. Arch degree in the USA can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for those interested in the field of architecture. The programs provide students with a strong foundation in the theoretical and technical aspects of the discipline, as well as opportunities for hands-on design experience and exposure to real-world contexts. If you’re considering an M. Arch degree, be sure to research the various programs available and their specific admission requirements to find the best fit for your academic background and career goals.

 

Want to pursue a Master’s of Finance Degree in the USA?

Do you want to further your education in the field of finance? Do you dream of attending a U.S. university for your Master of Science in Finance? Read on to find out how you can study abroad to build a successful career in finance.

A master’s degree in finance in the United States is considered a STEM degree (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics). STEM degrees allow students to work on OPT (optional practical training) for a period of 36 months post-graduation. (as compared to the 12-month OPT period granted to non-STEM graduates on a student visa)

Finance is the bedrock of all commercial activity. In today’s dynamic global economy, a strong financial team is essential for every company. This has created a worldwide demand for highly skilled and educated financial specialists. Those with a Master’s Degree in Finance from the US are considered highly valuable employees for any financial institution, whether they work in banking, financial research, or investments. The latest Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6% increase from 2021 to 2031 in jobs related to Finance. Despite the competitive employment market, especially for international students, the United States is a great place for finance majors to launch their careers.

Overview: MS in Finance

The Master of Science in Finance is also known as Masters of Finance degree in some universities. The course is offered from 10 to 24 months, depending on the university. This course is offered in around 50 universities across the United States. Study of the principles, processes, and practices of investment analysis, portfolio management, corporate finance, financial risk management, quantitative methods, financial data analytics, and valuation are some of the core subjects covered in a typical US Master’s of Finance program. Financial Engineering, Real Estate Finance, Hedge Funds, Mergers & Acquisitions, Fixed Income Securities, and many more electives are available to students. Graduates will be equipped to take on leadership roles in a wide range of finance-related fields, including but not limited to: corporate finance, financial institutions, investment banking, risk management, capital markets, financial modeling, behavioral finance, econometrics, investment management, and more.

Advantages of pursuing MS in Finance

  • It’s a more practical and efficient way for students to become financial experts in a short amount of time.
  • Unlike an MBA, a Master of Science in Finance focuses primarily on financial planning and risk management and does not typically require work experience for admissions.
  • Following is a list of high paying jobs available to graduates with an advanced Finance degree :
  1.  Investment banking
  2. Hedge fund management
  3. Financial Analysis
  4. Information technology auditor
  5. Financial software developer
  6. Private equity associate
  7. Chief compliance officer
  8. Chief financial officer

The average salary starts at more than $75000 per year and can range up to as high as $125000+ per year

Admission Requirements for MS in Finance

Prospective students with a bachelor’s degree in finance or a quantitative subject will have a better understanding of the subject. As a result, candidates with a good bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, engineering, mathematics, science, business economics, or a related quantitative field are ideal for the MS in Finance program. A typical MS in Finance program does not require work experience; however, applicants with some industry experience (ideally 12-15 months) are encouraged. Applicants possessing a CFA Degree (Chartered Financial Analyst) have an added advantage for getting admitted into high ranked US universities. Some universities also require applicants to submit their GRE scores. Candidates must also demonstrate strong academic potential, with a decent GPA.

To meet the English language requirements, international students are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS test. In addition to the aforementioned requirements, many programs require applicants to complete pre-requisite courses in calculus, statistics, business finance, accounting, investments, micro and macroeconomics, and other related subjects before enrolling. Those with undergraduate degrees in finance will have most likely completed these courses during their undergraduate degree term; however, those with time constraints should check with universities, as many offer pre-requisite programs that can be accessed and completed online.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we provide detailed guidance on these processes under our Admission Counseling Services, including a selection of universities, documentation process and visa counseling, and mock visa interviews. In addition, 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.

F1 Visa: Basics and application process

The United States administration offers a variety of non-immigrant visas for foreign nationals. For instance, the United States issues B-1/B-2 visa to visitors and businessmen, and H-1B visas to those who have been granted permission to work in the country. An M-1 visa is issued to students enrolling in short-term vocational programs like flight schools, language institutes, etc. However, students going to an accredited university for a full-time academic program, require an F-1 visa stamp.

Currently, student visas are being processed faster than other types. Those who already hold a B1/B2 visa can obtain a visa by appearing for VFS appointment and by submitting their application via drop box. In other words, they get an interview exemption.
Students are allowed to apply for the F-1 visa 365 days before the start date of the program mentioned on their I-20 form. The I-20 form is an official document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The following important details are mentioned in the document:

  • the name as printed on the passport of the student
  • the name of the university which the student is joining
  • the program to which the student has been admitted
  • the date of commencement of the program
  • the date by which the program has to be completed
  • the total cost of education for one year.

The fall 2023 semester generally begins in the third week of August. So, if you plan to attend an American university this fall, you can begin applying for your visa now.

How to Apply for an F1 Visa?

  • Get your I-20 from the SEVP institution
  • Apply online by filling the DS-160 form
  • Pay the general visa application fee ($160)
  • Pay the SEVIS fee ($350)
  • Schedule your OFC appointment followed by F1 visa interview date
  • Attend the F1 visa interview on the scheduled date

Keep in mind that you should have adequate liquid funds to cover the total cost of one year of education – this is mentioned in the I-20 form. Many students are under the wrong impression that their sponsor needs to deposit this entire amount in the bank and that otherwise their visa can be rejected. Contrary to popular belief, this is not the case. Bank deposits (savings, fixed deposits) and other liquid assets like shares, mutual funds, Public provident fund and employee provident fund etc. education loans are all acceptable forms to prove financial capability. The following are additional points are also taken into consideration by the consulate officer:

  • Accreditation and reputation of the university to which you have been admitted (this shouldn’t be an issue if you go through Dilip Oak’s academy; we only recommend accredited universities)
  • your academic background is good along with a satisfactory GRE score
  • Annual income and financial stability of your sponsor
  • Your communication skills along with your ability to give convincing and honest answers to the consulate officer’s questions

If your Visa Application gets rejected in the first attempt, you can apply again. You have to go through the same process again, except the SEVIS fee.
Start preparing your financial documents now and apply for an F-1 visa as soon as you get your I-20 form from the university you desire to attend. 

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.

MS in Spring 2024? Here’s what you need to know! 

MS in Spring 2024? Here’s what you need to know! 

If you are planning for the January 2024 intake, this blog will help you plan systematically to fulfill your dream of MS in the US. 

Before we get into the details, for those of you who are still on the fence about applying for the upcoming Spring semester because of the misinformation available online, the section below will allow you to confidently make your decision.

Should I Apply for the Spring Semester?

 Some common misconceptions: 

  • Spring enrolment is lower at most schools. Not really! Nearly all colleges and universities in the United States accept new students for the spring semester. The only caveat is that some universities only offer certain classes in the fall semester, so new students who enroll in the spring miss out. 

  • Financial aid is scarce. Again, this is not correct. Financial aid opportunities in the spring are comparable to those in the fall. Also, most universities only give financial aid to students who have already completed one semester with a very good GPA in the form of Research and Teaching Assistantships, tuition waivers, etc. (Grade Point Average). Accordingly, it makes little difference whether you enroll in the fall or spring semester.

Now that you are better informed, the timeline mentioned below will help you plan your entire application process.

What is the Best Time to Apply for the Spring Semester?

The optimal time to submit an application for the spring semester is between June and July of the preceding year. While many schools continue to accept applications through September, ensure that you confirm your specific program deadlines. 

Step by step guide to spring 2024 applications 

Here is the application schedule for the upcoming spring semester. The following instructions are universal and should be followed by all students applying for the spring intake. There’s no time to waste now, so hurry up and get to work.

February – March 2023 

  1. Review your goals for MS education and choose some specific areas in which you would like to specialize
  2. Register for the GRE and TOEFL/IELTS examinations – these examinations should preferably be taken by mid-June in order to have time to complete all of your online applications and courier the required documents by the end of July.
  3. Start preparing for GRE and TOEFL/IELTS, as it will take approximately 2-3 months to achieve your target score. 

April – May 2023

  1. Make a preliminary list of about 30 universities that meet your requirements considering:
    • Location
    • Costs
    • Broad specializations you are interested in
    • Recommendations by seniors your professors etc.
    • Whether your academic profile fits the university’s requirements.
  2. Arrange for 4 -5 sets of transcripts in sealed covers from your college or university – some universities insist on university transcripts
  3. Choose your recommenders (generally, 3 recommendations are required, at least one of which should be from the educational institute last attended) and give them the necessary details – resume, copies of your mark sheets etc.
  4. Start working on your Statement of Purpose (target date for completion 31 May 2023) and Resume

June-July 2023

  1. Take the GRE and TOEFL/IELTS exams latest by 20 July
  2. Carry out a comprehensive review of the 30 universities considering:
    • Your academic performance in the bachelor’s degree
    • GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores of students admitted in the past
    • Any minimum cut-offs with respect to GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores
    • Whether courses of your choice are offered in the spring semester
    • Cost of education
    • Complete your Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Resume
  3. Make your final shortlist of 8-10 universities.
  4. Request the ETS to forward your GRE and TOEFL scores (IDP for IELTS scores) to the universities you are applying to, specifying the correct codes for the universities/departments you are applying to.
  5. Complete the online application process and send the required documents by courier 

This completes the application process; however, there are further steps to be taken:

  1. Track the status of your application on your status page of the university’s website. Though universities generally communicate decisions or requirements by either e-mail or post, it may happen that the only source of information is your status page.
  2. If there are any deficiencies in your applications (missing documents, non-receipt of GRE or TOEFL/IELTS scores, recommendations etc.), act immediately to correct the deficiencies.
  3. When you receive an offer letter from the universities (or when an admission decision is indicated on your status page), email your acceptance. This is very important, especially when you are offered funding.
  4. 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.
  5. When you receive the I-20, check that it is correct in all respects:
    • Your name and date of birth should be exactly as in your passport
    • Your course and course duration are correctly specified
    • The financial sources indicated exceed the costs.
  6. Prepare the visa documentation
  7. Study the visa application formalities specified on the websites of the applicable US Consulate and the VFS (Visa Facilitation Services)
  8. Apply for a visa interview date – you can apply for a visa interview 120 days before the joining date mentioned on your I-20.

As India’s leading Study Abroad Consultants, we 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. 

Contact us at 020-67444222 or email us at support@dilipoakacademy.com. 

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.

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.

Things to do before applying for a Ph.D. program in the USA 

Along with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a lot of international students are now pursuing Ph.Ds. at American universities because the programs are comprehensive and structured, and encourage a lot of independent research.  Apart from world-class facilities, well-equipped research labs, and qualified professors, American universities also offer funding opportunities to deserving candidates which makes it easier for international students to pursue Ph.D. in America. 

To pursue a Ph.D. program in any American university, students must have a minimum of 16 years of education, which means, they must have completed their bachelor’s degree at the least. Students can also apply for a combined program for MS and Ph.D. In order to qualify for a Ph.D. students should have a high score in the GRE (320+) and sometimes, in the subject GRE along with a GPA of 8.5 or above in their undergraduate program. If the master’s has been done from the USA, the GPA has to be 3.5 and above.

However, below are a few things you need to keep in mind and start preparing well in advance if you are planning to pursue a Ph.D. in a top American university: 

  • Choose your research topic well in advance: Narrowing down your research topic in advance will help you a great deal in making an informed decision. Study the topics, and see which topic would be viable for a Ph.D. project. Choose your program accordingly.
  • Research your Ph.D. guide: When it comes to a Ph.D., a good research guide is far more important than a good university. Hence, study the research work performed by professors from various universities, get in touch with them, and see if you can get approval from them for supervising your work. For Ph.D. programs, it is always beneficial to first narrow down the right research guide and then finalize the university.
  • Lookout for funding opportunities: Pursuing a Ph.D. in America can be very expensive and hence it is recommended to first look at universities that offer funding opportunities, scholarships, and research/ teaching assistantships and make your Ph.D. tuition affordable.
  • Finalize the universities: Once you decide your research topic, supervisor, and funding opportunities, shortlist your universities and start the application process.

How to secure funding and scholarships from American universities

Every year, thousands of international students apply for a master’s degree in the US, majorly because the US education system offers well-structured programs, research opportunities, exposure, and most importantly, funding opportunities. US universities are very generous and provide a lot of financial assistance in the form of full funding, scholarships, or RA/TA/GA.

In this blog, we will discuss the 7 important criteria that you need to consider in order to avail scholarships and funding. If you are currently in the application process for fall 2022 and you meet most of the criteria, you can still apply for scholarships. If you are aiming for fall 2023, this is the right time to start ticking each of these criteria and make your profile ready for securing funding. 

A high GPA: Students should have a consistently high academic record throughout the bachelor’s program (75% and above/GPA of 9.0 and above).

Paper presentations: Students who have a strong research aptitude and have published papers in nationally and internationally recognized journals and conferences, have high chances of securing full funding. At Dilip Oak’s Academy, one of our students, who presented three papers in international forums including Italy and the USA, received full funding for PhD in Computer Architecture from Georgia Tech, Ohio State, and Yale University.

Location: This is a very important factor that students often miss out on, while applying to universities. The majority of students apply to universities in the states of California, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Texas, Illinois, etc. Due to a very large application pool, getting financial aid from universities in these states is difficult. But if they were to apply to universities in the states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Idaho etc. their chances of getting aid would be higher because the number of applicants is relatively low. The quality of education in these universities is equally good.

Professors: Students need to thoroughly research all the professors of the universities they plan to apply to. One can directly find them on university websites or (add name) study their work, their experience and interest, get in touch with them, and see if they are ready to offer any assistantship. Of course, applicants need to have a very strong academic background to receive a positive response from the professors.

GRE score: Along with other factors, the GRE score is also important. A GRE score above 320 (preferably above 330) maximizes your chances of securing funding.

SOPs and LORs: The Statement of Purpose plays a crucial role in securing financial assistance. Students need to ensure that their SOP brings out their intent, their story, their passion and why they deserve to receive funding. Similarly, strong recommendations from professors, project guides, or team lead (for working professionals) makes a strong impact on the application.

Relevant work experience: A relevant work experience of at least two years acts as a testament to one’s skills and commitment to the field and convinces the admissions committee that the applicant is a deserving candidate for a scholarship/funding.

For detailed assistance on the application process, university selection, drafting SOPs and LORs and planning your MS in the US, join our admission counseling today!