4 ways to deal with low GPA and still get into a good American university

A consistently high GPA in your Bachelor’s degree is one of the important requirements to get into good American universities. But what happens if your GPA is low? Do you still have a chance to get into a good university?

Of course, yes.

American universities have a very holistic approach to a student’s profile and apart from your academic credentials, they consider several other factors including your GRE score before confirming your admission.

So if you have a low GPA, here are the things you need to work upon and highlight in order to make your application impressive:

A good GRE score: Though a lot of universities are waiving off the GRE, we recommend you to take the GRE and aim for a high score (above 320) because a good GRE score definitely adds value to your application and testifies of your strong reasoning and analytical skills that are required for getting RA, GA and TA. To improve your GRE score or prepare for the GRE, avail of our GRE coaching services and enroll for our next GRE batch here.

Strong SoP & LORs: A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is your key tool to enhance your application. It is your only chance to communicate your goals to the admissions committee. Therefore, make sure that your SOP that compels the committee to look at you as a “value addition” to their organization. Under our admission counselling serviceswe provide personal sessions with our SOP counsellors and help you draft a winning SOP.

Also make sure that you get recommendation letters from professors or project guides under whom you have studied at least for a semester or worked on a project as well as employer you have worked for, for at least a year. This helps to build credibility and impress the admissions committee.

Work Experience: More than on-paper scores, American universities are interested in knowing your practical knowledge of subjects and application skills. A relevant work experience, either an internship or a job, will demonstrate your skills, agility, and ability to work in a dynamic environment.

Co-curricular activities: Projects and paper presentations add a lot of value to your application. Make sure that you’ve worked on strong projects, and presented papers in nationally and internationally recognized seminars and reputed publications.

Top 10 Trending MS Specializations in the USA

Are you planning to pursue a Master’s Degree in the USA? Are you confused between the many specializations available? Do you need guidance on which specialization would best suit your interest and align with the most flourishing fields in the USA?

Then this blog is for you. Read on to get a quick insight into the top 10 trending specializations across the most popular fields in the USA and improve your chances of landing the best job upon completing your Masters.

Top Ten Trending MS Specialisations in the USA

Computer Science

1) Artificial Intelligence

2) Machine Learning

3) Robotics

Mechanical Engineering

4) Mechatronics

5) Robotics

Electrical Engineering

6) Artificial Intelligence

7) Embedded Systems

8) Machine Learning

9) Robotics

10) VLSI

For detailed guidance on choosing the right major and the right university, enroll for our Admission Counselling services today! We provide thorough guidance on drafting of SOPs, selection of universities, application essays, and visa counselling. 

 To help you get started with your preparation, we also offer GRE CoachingTOEFL Coaching, and IELTS Coaching.

Eligibility Requirements for MS and PhD programs in the USA

MS and PhD programs in the USA

In order to pursue a MS and PhD programs in the USA, you need to meet the following academic and English language requirements:

Academic credentials:

A majority of American universities require you to have completed 16 years of education (12+4). So, complete a four-year Bachelor’s degree before applying for the master’s program. This is applicable for students from technical backgrounds like Engineering, Pharmacy, and Architecture. For non-technical fields like Arts and Management, students must complete 17 years of education (12+3+2).

A good GRE score:

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized aptitude test that assesses a student’s verbal and mathematical ability. The GRE, which is scored out of 340, is an internet-based test and can be taken throughout the year. The score is valid for five years and a minimum score of 300 is strongly recommended.

The minimum required TOEFL or IELTS score:

Since our native language is not English, we need to show that we have the minimum required English language skills to pursue graduate programs in America. For this purpose, you can take the TOEFL, which is scored out of 120. Most good American universities require a score of 80+ in TOEFL. You can also take the IELTS, another English proficiency examination, which is scored on a scale of 9. Most universities require a band score of at least 6.5 in IELTS.

Explore our numerous blogs on GRE Quantitative Reasoning and GRE Verbal Reasoning and pursuing education in the USA.

Good academic performance:

Your academics are as important as your GRE score. To get admission in good MS and PhD programs, you should have a consistently good academic record in all four years of your degree course. As far as possible avoid backlogs and year-downs.

Curricular and co-curricular accomplishments:

When applying for MS and PhD programs in the USA, American universities give weightage to the projects and seminars you have done as part of your course. They also consider co-curricular activities such as the publication of papers in nationally and internationally recognized journals and participation in conferences. Take up internships, whether paid or unpaid, to gain practical experience and boost your profile.

Relevant work experience:

Relevant work experience increases your chances of getting admission to good universities and securing good jobs after you have completed your MS.

As India’s leading Study Abroad Consultant, Dilip Oak’s Academy offers a comprehensive suite of services, including GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, as well as GRE Self Prep. Furthermore, our admission counseling services can guide you through the entire process from Shortlisting Universities to Visa Counseling. With our expertise, we have successfully sent 32,000 students to various prestigious American universities like MIT, Stanford, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon. To enroll in our comprehensive overseas education consultancy services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-20-67444222.

Advantages of Pursuing a Master’s degree in the USA

Master’s degree in the USA

Here are top 7 reasons why you should pursue a Master’s degree in America:

Strong American economy:

America is the largest economy in the world, with a GDP of $ 23.32 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.

Shortage of technical manpower:

America is the world leader in technology for the past 100 years. Apart from engineering fields, IT giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple have created vast employment opportunities, which is constantly generating the need for technically skilled resources. Since the available domestic manpower is insufficient, skilled immigrants will always be in great demand.

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.

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.

Explore our numerous blogs on GRE Quantitative Reasoning and GRE Verbal Reasoning and pursuing education in the USA.

Scholarships and funding opportunities for your Master’s Degree:

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, tuition waivers, campus jobs and internships. This makes education in America very affordable.

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.

Special quota for H-1B Visa:

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) students with a master’s degree have an additional quota of 20,000 for the H-1B visa (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.

As India’s leading Study Abroad Consultant, Dilip Oak’s Academy offers a comprehensive suite of admission counseling services that can guide you through the entire process from Shortlisting Universities to Visa Counseling. With our expertise, we have successfully sent 32,000 students to various prestigious American universities like MIT, Stanford, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon. We also offer classroom and online coaching for GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS, as well as GRE Self Prep. To explore our services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-20-67444222.

How to get funding and scholarships from US universities

How to get funding & scholarships from US universities

Every year, thousands of international students apply for a master’s degree in the US. This is mainly 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.

However, in order to avail of these funding opportunities, students must keep in mind the following 7 criteria:

  • A high GPA: To avail of scholarships, a student 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. Looking at their potential, universities do not hesitate to invest in such candidates. 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 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 guide, 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.

Hence, if you are planning to apply for financial assistance, keep the above points in mind and plan it accordingly.

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

 

 

 

 

How to apply for PhD in top American universities?

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Along with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a lot of international students are now keen on pursuing PhD 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 PhD in America. American universities have a global standing and they lead in innovation. This provides numerous job opportunities to PhD degree holders in academia, research institutes, government, and private research agencies all across the world.

However, in order to apply for PhD in top-notch American universities and reap maximum benefits of these programs, students must fulfill certain eligibility requirements and follow certain steps as given below:

Eligibility requirements:

  • Bachelor’s/Master’s degree: To pursue a PhD 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. Many students also apply after their master’s degree, either in India or in the USA. Students can also apply for a combined program for MS and PhD.
  • Good scores in qualifying examinations: In order to qualify for a PhD, students should have a high score in the GRE (320+) and sometimes, in the subject GRE.
  • Good academic record: In order to pursue PhD at a top American university, students should have a consistently high academic record throughout the bachelor’s program (75% and above/GPA of 8.5 and above). If the master’s has been done from the USA, the GPA has to be 3.5 and above.
  • Research aptitude and work experience: Students who have a strong research aptitude, who have undertaken seminars and paper presentations, and who have relevant work experience are usually preferred. At Dilip Oak’s Academy, one of our students, who had a 70% academic record in Computer Engineering, four years of work experience, and who presented three papers in international forum including Italy and USA, received full funding for PhD in Computer Architecture from Georgia Tech, Ohio State, and Yale University.

 Steps to follow:

  • 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 PhD project. Choose your program accordingly.
  • Research your PhD guide: When it comes to PhD, 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 PhD programs, it is always beneficial to first narrow down the right research guide and then finalize the university.
  • Lookout for funding opportunities: Pursuing PhD 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 PhD tuition affordable.
  • Finalize the universities: Once you decide your research topic, supervisor, and funding opportunities, shortlist your universities and start the application process.

For more guidance on university selection and admission process, enroll for our expert admission counseling today!

 

 

 

15 cheapest and 15 most expensive American universities for international students

 

cheapest & costliest American universities

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 full tuition fees. For example, if an annual in-state tuition fee is $8000, an out-of-state tuition fee can be as high as $20,000. These tuition fees are also dependent on the ranking of the university. US universities are given rankings by certain private agencies like the US News, Princeton Review, etc. and as a thumb rule, the higher the ranking, the costlier is the university. Generally, state-funded universities are cheaper than private universities. Of course, there are certain exceptions to this.  However, just because the universities are cheaper, it does not mean they do not offer quality education.

Taking all these factors into consideration, at Dilip Oak’s Academy, we have shortlisted around 150 accredited universities which offer quality education and also offer good job opportunities.

Below is a list of the 15 most expensive and the 15 cheapest universities you can apply to, for pursuing a master’s degree program in the USA. The list is based only on tuition fees for fall 2020 and is not inclusive of living expenses because the living expenses mentioned on the I-20 form are on the higher side and the actual living expenses are less than that.

15 cheapest universities

SR.NO                Name of University State Code Tuition Fees
1 Minnesota State University MN 7424
2 University of Central Missouri MO 8697
3 South Dakota State University – Brookings SD 8876
4 University of South Dakota SD 10330
5 University of Texas – El Paso TX 10664
6 Brigham Young University UT 11160
7 Bowling Green State University OH 11611
8 Sam Houston State University TX 11630
9 North Western Polytechnic University IL 12150
10 Indiana State University – Terre Haute IN 12260
11 University of Wyoming – Laramie WY 12566
12 Texas A and M University – Kingsville TX 12839
16 University of Arkansas-Littlerock AR 13320
13 Arkansas State University AR 13500
14 Wright State University-Dayton OH 13800
17 California State University-Long Beach CA 14568
15 Central Michigan University MI 15300

15 most expensive universities

SR.NO                Name of University State Code Tuition Fees
1 Columbia University NY 58656
2 North Western University – Evanston IL 56067
3 Dartmouth College NH 55605
4 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute NY 53757
5 Johns Hopkins University MD 52170
6 University of Michigan – Ann Arbor MI 50326
7 Boston University MA 49886
8 Carnegie Mellon University PA 49372
9 Brown University RI 49146
10 Duke University NC 49080
11 Cornell University NY 48900
12 New York University NY 45426
13 University of Pennsylvania PA 44814
14 University of Rochester NY 44608
15 University of Southern California CA 46948

For more guidance on university selection and admission process, enroll for our expert 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.

 

 

 

 

Five proven ways to get into top-ranked US universities even with a low GRE score

aiming for a TOP-ranked us university

Generally, a high GRE score (330+) is considered to be one of the most important requirements to get into topmost US universities. But what if you receive less than 330? Does that mean you have to give up on your dream university?

NO.

Your GRE score is not the only parameter that decides your chances of landing a seat in a high-ranked university. US universities have a very holistic approach to a student’s profile. Apart from your score, your academic credentials, intent, commitment, and relevant work experience are some of the factors taken into consideration.

Here’s how you can highlight your strengths and dwarf the low GRE score:

Good academic credentials: A consistently good percentage (above 70) or a GPA above 8.5 in your bachelor’s degree can overshadow your low GRE score and boost your chances of getting into top universities.

Appealing Statement of Purpose: A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is your key tool to enhance your application. It is your only chance to communicate your goals to the admissions committee. Therefore, make sure that you draft an honest, precise, and appealing SOP that compels the committee to look at you as a “value addition” to their organization. Under our admission counselling serviceswe provide personal sessions with our SOP counsellors and help you draft a winning SOP.

Letters of Recommendation: Though this appears to be a very routine requirement, it is but a crucial document of validation. Make sure that you get recommendation letters from professors or project guides under whom you have studied at least for a semester or worked on a project. You can also take a LOR from the employer under whom you have interned or worked for at least a year.

Work Experience: More than on-paper scores, American universities are interested in knowing your practical knowledge of subjects and application skills. A relevant work experience, either an internship or a job, will demonstrate your skills, agility, and ability to work in a dynamic environment. Work on enhancing your practical experience and explore ways to build a great career profile.

Check out our sample resume and start preparing right away.

Co-curricular activities: Projects and paper presentations add a lot of value to your application. Make sure that you’ve worked on strong projects, and presented papers in nationally and internationally recognized seminars and reputed publications.

How to get into the best US universities for MS

Making it to the best US universities (2)

Getting into the best US universities is a dream of every student who aspires to pursue a master’s in America. However, these top universities have higher academic and co-curricular requirements that one needs to keep in mind before starting the preparation and application process.

Following are the key requirements to make it to the top 25 US universities:

GRE score above 320: Topmost US universities require a high GRE score, usually more than 320, and a Quant score of 165+. At Dilip Oak’s Academy, our experienced faculty offer thorough guidance to make sure you score well. Two of our students scored 340/340, and two others scored 339/340, along with many others who scored more than 330.  Our GRE Online Coaching is as interactive as classroom coaching, and we already have more than 1000 students enrolled with us.

Good academic performance: A consistently good percentage (70% and above) or a GPA above 8.5 in your bachelor’s program is ideal for securing the best admits. If you are still in your third year and your GPA is not up to the mark, you have a good chance to amp it up.

Projects/internships: Projects and relevant internships contribute a lot to the selection process. Make sure that you have worked on good academic projects that demonstrate your technical skills. Internships show your practical experience and knowledge of the subject.

Paper presentations: Some of the best US universities often require students to publish research papers in nationally and internationally recognized seminars and reputed international publications. If you have enough time and you have not presented any paper yet, go for it. It is a great way to upscale your academic credentials and also stand out among the many applicants.

Work experience: Work experience is often an add-on to your other achievements. If you are not in a hurry to pursue MS right after graduation, we recommend you to work in your relevant field for at least one or two years and then apply for MS. This will give an edge to your application and also help you get a good job after your MS.

Strong SOP and LORs: A Statement of Purpose is a crucial document in the application process because it explains why you wish to join the university and the program. Your intent must come across strongly for the university to find you suitable for admission. At the academy, our SOP faculty helps you to draft appealing SOPs and LORs as per the university requirements.

Enroll for our online GRE batches
Enroll for our admission counseling services

Call us for more information: 91-020-67444222, 91-8007878495.

Four ways to build a great career profile during lockdown

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We know how this lockdown has affected your future plans, delayed your dream of flying to the US to start your master’s, and has left you wondering what to do! Well, our suggestion: Do not let the pandemic dampen your spirits. While at home, seize the opportunity, enhance your skillset and start building a strong career profile. Value-addition is the need of the hour and with ample hours at your disposal, you better spend them productively.

Here are four great ways to build a solid profile and skyrocket your career:

  1. Add to your certifications: There is nothing more comfortable than sitting on the couch, snacking and taking an online lesson without the hassle of travelling, or sitting in a class of 100 people! Lookup for online courses, certifications, short term diplomas and get started. There are various websites that offer tons of free courses that are certified and recognized by recruiters.
  2. Internship/Job: If you aren’t already working and you have made up your mind to defer your MS admission to spring 2021 or fall 2021, you have enough time to take a high leap and start working. Look actively for a job that matches your skillset or you can also try something that is not directly in the spectrum of your profile but you are enthusiastic about. Not only will this help you utilize your time prudently, but will also make you independent.
  3. Freelancing: If you do not want to go for a full-time job because you are still dicey about your deferral decision, take up freelance projects. It is flexible, keeps you occupied, gives you hands-on experience, and pays you well! It is a win-win situation.
  4. Learn something new: Co-curricular activities and unique skills are always appreciated by US universities and recruiters. Challenge yourself and pick up a new skill. If not great at it, you will have learnt something 20 other students of your batch or 50 other candidates for the position you apply for, do not know!

So gear up and get going!

Lockdown dilemma: Go for Fall semester 2020 or defer to Spring 2021?

According to the recent update, many universities especially from California, New York, Pennsylvania, etc. have decided to offer online courses for the Fall 2020 semester. However, we do not recommend going for online courses for several reasons which we have explained in our earlier blog Go For Online Semester or Request a Deferral? dated April 23.

Of course, some universities from a few states are also planning to resume in-person instruction for the Fall 2020 semester but they will give a concrete decision in July after consulting the public health officials. In that case, it will be difficult for students to obtain visas at such short notice.

Also, the US consulate has been non-operational since March 16 and with the extension of the lockdown, they have temporarily suspended the visa interviews. The exact date for resuming the process has not been declared yet. There is a possibility that the consulate may reduce visa interview slots and a limited number of applicants will be allowed at the consulate at a given time due to social distancing norms.

Therefore, there is no guarantee that you will get your visa on time.

Moreover, there is no certainty on when international airlines will resume operations. As per the recent update by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger flights would continue until midnight on June 30. Though it implies that operations will resume in July, no official date has been declared yet.

Given the above-mentioned points, it will be wiser to defer your admission to Spring 2021 since in-person instructions are likely to begin from January 2021.

Of course, we recommend students to consider all these factors and make their own decision.