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 UniversityState CodeTuition Fees
1Minnesota State UniversityMN7424
2University of Central MissouriMO8697
3South Dakota State University – BrookingsSD8876
4University of South DakotaSD10330
5University of Texas – El PasoTX10664
6Brigham Young UniversityUT11160
7Bowling Green State UniversityOH11611
8Sam Houston State UniversityTX11630
9North Western Polytechnic UniversityIL12150
10Indiana State University – Terre HauteIN12260
11University of Wyoming – LaramieWY12566
12Texas A and M University – KingsvilleTX12839
16University of Arkansas-LittlerockAR13320
13Arkansas State UniversityAR13500
14Wright State University-DaytonOH13800
17California State University-Long BeachCA14568
15Central Michigan UniversityMI15300

15 most expensive universities

SR.NO               Name of UniversityState CodeTuition Fees
1Columbia UniversityNY58656
2North Western University – EvanstonIL56067
3Dartmouth CollegeNH55605
4Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteNY53757
5Johns Hopkins UniversityMD52170
6University of Michigan – Ann ArborMI50326
7Boston UniversityMA49886
8Carnegie Mellon UniversityPA49372
9Brown UniversityRI49146
10Duke UniversityNC49080
11Cornell UniversityNY48900
12New York UniversityNY45426
13University of PennsylvaniaPA44814
14University of RochesterNY44608
15University of Southern CaliforniaCA46948

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

 

 

 

Student visa application for Spring 2021

 

Deferred admission to spring 2021_

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most US universities could not offer in-person classes for fall 2020 semester and almost all of them offered online classes instead. However, a majority of students did not opt for online classes due to the following reasons:

  • Even for the online medium, students will have to pay full tuition fees for the entire semester. (Some universities have reduced fees by 20 to 25 per cent)
  • The online semester will mean no financial assistance, no campus jobs/RA/TA which then makes the course unnecessarily expensive to bear.
  • The online semester does not offer the exposure and opportunities that a student otherwise gets while on campus.

Considering this, most of the students have deferred their admissions and are now gearing up to join the spring 2021 semester. However, looking at the rising numbers of coronavirus patients in the US, there is confusion about whether universities will take in-person classes for spring and whether it will be feasible for international students to join the semester.

Though a majority of universities plan on resuming in-person classes for the spring semester, they are yet to make a final decision. Some universities are still sceptical whether they would resume in-person classes for spring at all. For instance, California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White recently announced that all 23 campuses, including Chico State, will conduct winter and spring 2021 courses primarily virtual. More details will be forthcoming as Chico State receives further guidance from the government.

Universities have also observed that most international students did not opt for online classes and hence they are considering introducing hybrid courses which will enable students to get F1 visa.  However, the final decision of universities is expected to be announced by the end of November/early December depending upon the pandemic situation in America.

In this case, we would recommend students to request an I-20 for the spring semester but not rush into applying for the visa. The Consulate has also advised students to observe the situation and apply for visa three to four weeks before the date of reporting. In case you apply for a visa and obtain one, and the university cancels in-person instruction for the spring semester, you will have to revalidate the visa for fall 2021. For revalidation, you will require new I-20 for fall 2021 and it can be done through the Dropbox facility.

 

 

 

 

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

Why take AP exams_

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!

 

 

 

Jumpstart your GRE Prep with Oak’s exclusive Study Plans

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One of the most important steps in preparing for the GRE is planning your study schedule.  Many a time, despite being fast learners, students fail to score high in the GRE only because of haphazard study methods. A structured prep plan helps you to systematically cover all the topics, manage time, and stay focused and motivated until your test day. At Dilip Oak’s Academy, along with GRE Coaching, we guide our enrolled students to study in a methodical manner through our exclusive GRE Study Plans.

Depending upon your GRE date (ETS registered/tentative), we provide you with a customized study plan for either 1 month, 1.5 months, 2 months, 2.5 months, 3 months, 3.5 months or 4 months.

Each study plan includes a step-by-step preparatory guide with day wise and week wise guidelines for Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Sections of the GRE.

While each study plan varies according to the duration, it broadly includes:

  • Vocabulary Learning and Practice
  • Verbal Reasoning strategies and practice
  • Quantitative Reasoning strategies and practice
  • AWM essays brainstorming
  • ETS Material Practice

All the study plans comprise rigorous learning and practice modules for each of the above sections. To help you keep a track of your preparation, we also send you daily and weekly goal-setting reminders.

Along with these, the study plans also include access to our exclusive online learning tools: Focused Practice, Test Prep and CBTs that help you study in a more organized manner and allow you to track your progress.

Focused Practice

  1. Reinforcement of the classroom coaching by helping you keep in sync with the concepts, tricks, and tips taught in the class
  2. 400+ questions for Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning
  3. Topic-wise questions for Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning

Test Prep

  1. Personalized Dashboard to track your progress
  2. Customized according to the question types and difficulty level
  3. Convenient timed and untimed modes for practice
  4. Instant Review and question summary
  5. In-depth explanatory answers to gauge where you stand

CBTs

  1. Actual GRE® test experience with full-length timed tests according to the ETS® pattern
  2. AW essay scores and personalized feedback by our experienced evaluators
  3. Detailed Analysis of your performance to help you gauge your strengths and weaknesses
  4. Explanatory Review to help  you understand what went wrong and how to get it right the next time

Who can avail the study plans?

Only those students who have enrolled for GRE Coaching at Dilip Oak’s Academy can avail these study plans. To jumpstart your GRE prep and unlock our comprehensive study plans, register for our Online GRE Coaching.

You can then request for the suitable study plan by submitting us the details of your enrolled batch, Roll Number and GRE Test date on gre@dilipoakacademy.com.

The plan will be sent directly to your inbox on your registered email ID.

What are you waiting for? Register for our October 1 GRE batch here: https://www.dilipoakacademy.com/gre-online.html and along with study plans, avail 30% discount on the coaching fees!

 

 

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.

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

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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.