Study in USA: When to apply to universities abroad? Application process explained

United States of America, USA offers a diverse range of higher education programs with multiple learning opportunities. Indians are the second largest community of students in the country. Students can opt from a wide range of options at a higher educational level while applying to US colleges and universities. Many Indians opt to study in USA. Most of them are usually the top recipient of high-skilled H-1B visas.

Students can pursue higher education in America from State Universities, Private Universities, Technology Institutes, Liberal Arts Colleges and Community Colleges. Science, Technology, Engineering, Business Management, Mathematics, Computer Science, Communications and Economics are some of the popular courses that Indian students choose to study in the USA.

Harvard University, Stanford University, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology are amongst the top universities in the country.

Study in USA: Timeline

Most universities have two admission intakes every year- Fall and Spring. Fall semester starts in September and ends in December, and the Spring semester begins in January and ends in May. Students need to decide which season intake they want to apply for before filling application for universities.

Students start with research around 14 months before the intake begins. If students want to join from September 2021, they have to start applying to the universities as early as October 2020. Students need to start applying for colleges around seven to eight months before the start of the semester. For January 2022 session, students apply from February 2021 to May 2021.

Candidates need to research well on the courses they want to pursue. They should carefully search the list of colleges, tuition fees, location, scholarships and the admission deadlines of the universities. The steps of the admission process to study in USA are listed below.

Study in USA: Application Process

  • Take standardized Admission Tests. For undergraduate courses, candidates need to qualify Scholastic Admission Test, SAT and American College Testing, ACT. Candidates might have to take GRE and GMAT exams for the Master’s program. International students need to appear for IELTS, TOEFL and PTE Academic for admission to US Universities or colleges.
  • Start applying for the Universities of your choice. Candidates need to ensure that all the required documents ready. The candidate will require Letters of recommendation, an essay, academics transcripts, resume or CV and Standard of Purpose (SOP).
  • Apply for Visa. US Universities notify applicants about the admission decision within eight to ten weeks. After the acceptance letter, candidates must start applying for a visa and look for options to finance studies.
  • Apply for scholarships. US universities offer scholarships to international students.
  • Pay the required admission fee to finalize the admission.

Also Read: Top Engineering Colleges of India 2021 and Exams needed to get admission

For most universities, the application process will be the same. However, there must be a separate element for the application process for each university, which varies as per different study programs and levels. The first and most important thing is research for any candidate who is certain to pursue his studies in the USA.

The estimated living costs in the USA is around USD 10000 to USD 18000, including accommodation costs, room, food, travel, textbooks and more. Accommodation in the USA generally costs around USD 5000- 7500 per year but could be higher depending on location. Living costs differ from state to state within the USA.

Also Read: MBA Entrance Exams in India: List of national, state and institute level examinations

Since the application process is long, candidates must be mindful of the timeline. The research should be started as early as possible, around 10 to 12 months early. Candidates are advised to go through the university website carefully before applying. They must note the application procedures, requirements, deadlines and tuition fee carefully.