Study In USA Consultants In Mumbai, Pune and Nashik


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FACT is team of <a>Study In USA Consultants</a> Since 1996 and has guided more than 15,000 students with 80% scholarship success for Bachelors, Masters, MBA, Ph.D courses in America

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Study In USA Consultants In Mumbai, Pune and Nashik

  1. 1. Table of Contents1. Why this Book?................................................................. 32. Why Study in the USA?................................................... 6 Advantages of studying in USA.....................................6 Trend of Indian Students in USA:..................................83. About F.A.C.T................................................................ 11 Vision and Mission...................................................... 11 Role of F.A.C.T. in career development......................11 Our offices: ................................................................. 12Our Working Pattern:......................................................... 14............................................................................................... 144. Career Planning ............................................................. 15 General objectives of students..................................... 15 Limitations of Indian Education System......................16 Who should plan to study in the USA?........................175. Cost of Education........................................................... 18 Tuition and Fees...........................................................18 Living Expenses...........................................................19 How to fund the cost of education............................... 206. Scholarships.................................................................... 22 Schools with Awards to More than 150 Students........22 Schools with Awards to 100-149 Students .................23 Performance based scholarships.................................. 23 Need based scholarships.............................................. 24 Sports scholarships.......................................................247. Entrance Tests ............................................................... 26 GRE..............................................................................26 SAT.............................................................................. 29 GMAT..........................................................................31 Test-taking Strategies for GMAT ............................... 33 TOEFL......................................................................... 33 Training at FACT.........................................................348. Application Process.......................................................... 35 Selection of Universities..............................................35 Selection of Program....................................................37 1
  2. 2. Academic Documentation............................................37 Financial Documentation.............................................39 After applications:........................................................39 Once you have been accepted: .................................... 40 Admissions Counseling at FACT................................ 409. VISA Issues....................................................................... 41 Requirements of students visa......................................41 What Visa Officers look for while issuing visa ..........41 How to Apply ..............................................................41 VISA documentation....................................................41 A. Consulate Documents:............................................ 41 VISA Interview............................................................43 Risk of VISA rejection.................................................43 VISA Consultancy at FACT........................................ 4310. University Listings.......................................................... 45 Top Engineering Schools.............................................45 Top Management schools............................................ 4811. Pre Departure Information............................................54 Travel Tips...................................................................54 Things to be done in advance ......................................55 Packing ........................................................................55 Things to be kept in the boxes .................................... 56 Clothes ........................................................................ 57 Things to be kept in Hand Baggage ............................58 Things to be left at home..............................................58 To do in the last week before the flight .......................58 On the day of the flight, in-flight and later..................5912. Testimonials.................................................................... 6113. The last Words…............................................................ 65 2
  3. 3. Higher Education Opportunities in USA1. Why this Book?India is emerging as a major economy of the world. Also,the Indian education system was always considered to beone of the best in the world. We have some of the besteducational institutions of the world in India. Even theIndian professors are teaching in universities all over theworld. Then what is the need for studying in USA? Whatis it in US education that is not available in Indianeducation? These and many more questions may befloating in your mind while browsing through this book. Itis our effort to give you the most correct and relevantinformation about education system in the USA so thatyou can make a conscious and informed decision.Over the last 12 years the number of students going toAmerica for higher studies have increased manifold. Withliberalization and Internet revolution, even students of themiddle-income families find it an extremely practical andaffordable option. In spite of this, we have experienced thatmore students lose the opportunity of studying in the USAnot because they cannot afford it but because they do nothave accurate and relevant information about how to goabout it.F.A.C.T. and its team have been guiding students towardshigher studies in the USA through its network of offices,newspaper articles, TV programs and seminars. This bookis also aimed at providing accurate guidance and up to dateinformation about educational opportunities in the USA.We sincerely hope that the students and more particularlythe parents will find information in this book very usefulwhile planning careers. We once again state that studentslose on to the opportunity of studying in the USA notbecause they cannot afford but because they do not haveinformation about the possibility. 3
  4. 4. Tushar More was an average student with only 62%marks in HSC. However, he was keenly interested inpursuing degree in automobile engineering. He triedeverywhere in India for an admission but failed.Disappointed, he took an admission for bachelors programin mass management. During his first year, he attendedone of our seminars and understood the opportunity ofpursuing higher studies in the USA. He completed all theformalities in six months and went to pursue his dreamcareer in Southern Illinois University. We feel happy forbeing of help to such students and we take pride in helpingthem build their careers.Abhijeet was a brilliant student during his engineering.During his final year of B.E., he had already taken GREand had an impressive score of 1320. Simultaneously, healso got selected in a reputed software company at thecampus interview. Thinking that education in the US willbe expensive, and getting tempted to a high paying job, hejoined the software company as a trainee.Six months of working in the monotonous environment,he realized that this is not the career that he can enjoy fora long time. He was however, still very skeptical about theoption of pursuing MS in the US as he was reluctant toput his ageing father in heavy expenditure. He attendedone of the seminars of FACT and voiced his concern.FACT assured him of admissions in the best universitieswhere scholarships will be available. This was really not adifficult task considering his academics, GRE score andwork experience. Furthermore, in order to make him feelcomfortable, he was told to just apply to 5-6 universitiesand see the result. That would cost him only a fewthousand rupees but he will atleast come to know hisworth in the US universities.He agreed and today, he is pursuing his MS in systemsengineering from one of the top ranked universities in theUS with full scholarship. 4
  5. 5. There are hundreds of students like Tushar and Abhijeetwho have gained from the information about studyopportunities in the USA. You can also go through thevarious chapters in this book and understand all the prerequisites for studying in USA. If you need any furtherinformation, you are most welcome to visit any of theoffices of FACT. A list of FACT office addresses is givenin this book. For the most up to date information aboutwhere we have our offices, visit our web 5
  6. 6. 2. Why Study in the USA?Globalization and Internet revolution has shrunk the worldinto a global village. Boundaries of the nations are onlypolitically important now. For the trade, commerce andindustry, the world has become one market place. In suchtimes, we need to have global compatibility to survive andgrow. We need to have exposure to the various cultures andbusiness practices of various countries.Advantages of studying in USAOne must understand the advantages that America offers as aplace for higher studies before investing the time and money.Also, it is not just enough to decide to study in the USA justbecause it is trendy. We are therefore putting forth the mostdistinct advantages offered by the US education system:  International Exposure: more than 500,000 international students come to study every year in the United States from different countries. No other country in the world attracts so many international students. Naturally, the international exposure that you get while being a part of such a diverse students body is one of the most important advantages of studying in the United Sates.  Educational Infrastructure: as you study higher and higher, you need educational infrastructure, which is as important as the quality of syllabus and quality of teachers. While the quality of syllabus and teachers are quite high in India, the availability of educational infrastructure is far better in the USA.  Research in the Universities: this is the most distinct advantage of American Education System. Unlike most other universities in the world, the universities in the USA are engaged in conducting practical research work for the benefit of the industry and government of the USA. These researches are conducted under the 6
  7. 7. supervision of the college professors and the students get an opportunity to work on these research projects.  Career Choices: with more than 3,000 universities and colleges offering tens of thousands of different programs, the choice of careers is the widest in the United States. There is nothing which is worth pursuing a career in which is not covered by the American higher education system.  Flexibility: American education system is credit hour based. These credits are widely transferable from one university to another. Also, you can take credit hours as per your requirements and therefore the duration of completing a four-year degree may range from three to five years as per the capacity of the student.  Acceptability: this is a very important advantage from the Indian student point of view. How many times we come across a deserving Indian student not getting a career of his choice in India? Students lose their careers by a fraction of percentage and then they have no other choice but to either change their field of study or settle for an inferior institution by paying heavy donation. Such things rarely happen when you are applying to an American institution. The universities in the USA give due consideration to the desire of the students and admissions are based on a complete assessment of the students overall personality and not just the mark-sheet.Overall, the advantages of studying in America are far toomany and most of the parents and students already knowabout them. But most of the time they are unaware about theaffordability of the courses or the exact procedure andtimetable for preparation. This book will deal with these issuesin the subsequent chapters. 7
  8. 8. Trend of Indian Students in USA:Over the last 10 years, the number of Indian students studyingin the United States has increased more than 2 times. From amere 35,000 students in 1993-94, the number of Indianstudents has gone up to almost 80,000 students in 2003-04.This significant increase is an indication of the growingconfidence of Indian students in the American educationsystem and more importantly its relevance in the current eraof globalization.Not only that, India is the largest country sending students toUSA amongst all countries of the world. Almost 13% of thetotal international students studying in USA are Indians. 8
  9. 9. About 20% of the students studying in the USA are studyingfor a bachelor’s degree. Most of the students are studying infields such as engineering, information technology, coresciences and business management programs.Also, if we compare the popularity of different countriesamongst the Indian students, once again, USA is on the topwith substantial lead. A comparison of Indian students in themajor four countries of the world is “All the above statisticsclearly indicates that Indian students have preferred USA astheir most suitable destination for higher education abroad.”This trend is likely to continue in future. 9
  10. 10. Indian Students in Foreign Countries by Percentage 10
  11. 11. 3. About F.A.C.T.Foreign Academic Consultancy and Training is a division ofGurukul (India) Ltd. This division is set up specially to guidethe Indian students wanting to study abroad. As of today,FACT has 7 offices and the number is steadily growing. Forlocating the office closest to you, refer to the list of officesgiven in this booklet or visit for the latestinformation.Vision and MissionOur vision is Globalization and Internet revolution has shrunkthe world into a global village. Like any other change, thischange is lead from the front by the education sector. Forstudents of the new millennium, suitable career option is moreimportant than the geographical proximity. This need hascreated a generation of students who are looking at the worldas one identity to search for their career aspirations.The mission of FACT is to effectively guide career aspirationsof students of the new millennium. To achieve this objective,FACT has provided highly qualified and committed careercounselors through a network of consulting infrastructure.The quality of analysis and efficiency of delivery of serviceswill ensure long-term benefit and more importantly, achievethe position of a “Catalyst to Globalization.”Role of F.A.C.T. in career developmentF.A.C.T. has helped more than 6,000 students till date torealize their dream of studying abroad. We have alwaysbelieved in providing comprehensive services covering allaspects the process, be it academic, financial or administrative.Our highest contribution in the area of career development hascome through the following achievements:Middle Income Families: most of our students have comefrom middle-income families. Most of them always thoughtthat studying abroad is unaffordable. However, our extensiveresearch on the availability of scholarships and other funding 11
  12. 12. opportunities have helped students of hundreds of families pursue their careers abroad. Academic Performance: this is another area where FACT has done substantial value addition in the careers of its students. The Indian education system is highly marks oriented. All the students for all the courses are evaluated solely on the basis of their marks. The American education system however, is much different. It gives importance to the OVERALL background of the student rather than his/ her marks alone. FACT has utilized this feature of the system to the benefit of the students and even students with average academic performance are studying the fields of their interests. Our Team: FACT has a team of highly qualified and motivated career counselors who are operating from its network of offices. Each one of them is experienced in guiding aspirations of the students and more importantly, they can draw knowledge from the experience of other team members. As a result, the most up to date and relevant information is available to the students. Our offices: FACT always ensured that quality services are available to all the students, whether they are coming from metros or non- metros. We therefore set up offices in metros like Mumbai, Pune etc. and also in smaller towns like Nashik. Each of the offices are well equipped with library of books and CDs, computers with connectivity, and most importantly, expert trainers and career advisors. You can contact us at: List of F.A.C.T LocationsLOCATION ADDRESS PHONETHANE Gurukul Campus, Behind McDonald’s,25397777(Head Office) Naupada, Thane. 25393991 403/404, Jasmine Apartment, DadasahebDADAR Phalke Road, Opp. Ruptara Studio,24170056 Dadar-EastBORIVALI 1, Shri Pancham Apt. CHS, L.T. Road, 28984773 12
  13. 13. Vajira Naka, Opp. BEST Quarters, Near Don Bosco High School, Borivali-West Shop # 27, Real Tech Park, Near InorbitVASHI Mall, Next to Four Points Hotel, Sector 65224435 30A, Vashi Pallav Apt., Ground floor,PUNE Anand Colony, Income Tax Lane, Off9520-25444081(Deccan) Prabhat Road, Lane No. 14, Pune. E-1, Chandan Apartment, Besides Café Maharaja, Near Landmark Apartment, 0253-2341144NASHIK Opp. Farmaish Hotel, Model Colony 0253-2343667 Chowk, College Road, Nashik. Also, you can visit the web site: 13
  14. 14. Our Working Pattern: 14
  15. 15. • 4. Career PlanningAs the choices of careers increase, the career planning becomesmore and more important at the same time more and morecomplex. In such a situation, information is the key. If youhave all the information, or know where to collect it from,your job is half done. The other half is to be in a position toanalyze the information and make a decision. FACT has beenhelping the students in collection as well as analysis of theinformation. This book is yet another initiative of FACT toreach out to the students and parents to help them in theirdecision-making.General objectives of studentsAt every milestone in the academic career of a student, he hasto take a career decision. The choice of career you make at thisstage determines your entire life ahead. Now, this choice ofcareer is determined only when all the following factors existsimultaneously: a) You are clear of what you want to do. (Field of Study) b) You have all the information about the availability and acceptability criterions for this field in India and abroad. c) Your academic performance is acceptable for admission into the field d) Your family can afford to finance the education in the fieldNow, let us look at each of these factors in greater detail toarrive at a proper decision: a) Most of the students are clear on their major field of study. However, it is always a good idea to identify top three fields of your interest instead of just one. If you have a difficulty in making a choice, FACT conducts 15
  16. 16. aptitude tests to scientifically identify the fields that you are best suitable for. b) Once you are clear of the field of study, start collecting information about where is it available, what is the condition of acceptability and what is the cost of education. This book will give you answers of these questions for opportunities in America. You can collect information for opportunities in India through various sources. c) You can then take the relevant entrance tests for these courses conducted for different courses in India (GATE, CAT, CET etc.). or USA (GRE, GMAT, SAT & TOEFL). d) If your performance is acceptable in the entrance tests, you have to make arrangements for the funding of your career. But since you must have already collected information about the cost of education in stage a) above, you are already aware about the budget and so you start with your chosen career. These steps may be simple to read, but we all know that there are so many factors, which make these simple looking steps extremely difficult at times. We therefore recommend that you be prepared for alternative plans if the main plan fails at any stage. This book is an effort to give you one such alternative.Limitations of Indian Education SystemThe most significant limitation of Indian education system isthe uncertainty of admissions to certain select careers likeengineering, medical etc. Even the most capable students arenot assured of their seat in the desired college in spite ofworking hard for the entrance tests. 16
  17. 17. However, most students do not plan for this uncertainty inadvance and as a result; they have to settle for career options,which were never their choice.Every year we come across number of students who could notget through the Indian entrance examinations or who are notenjoying their current jobs. They decide to pursue the optionof studying in America. In the whole process, they losevaluable time.Who should plan to study in the USA?We strongly recommend that the students and their parentsshould collect all the information about educationalopportunities in America. If they find these opportunitiessuitable, they should take the GRE/ GMAT/ SAT & TOEFLtests one year before their intended term in USA begins. Thiswill ensure that they get a career of their choice in America,immediately after their academic year in India is over.Also, students who do not make it to the final list of selectionof a course or a job in India, should think of pursuing careersin the field of their interest in America rather than studying asubject, or taking a job, which is not of their interest in India.Finally, the students who have made up their mind to study inAmerica because they are convinced about the advantages thatit offers, should complete the preparation in their last academicyear of India in order to ensure that they don’t lose time aftertheir results. 17
  18. 18. 5. Cost of EducationThe cost of education is the most important factor consideredby almost every student from India. Also, it’s a wide spreadbelief that the education in USA is not affordable. Thecomplicated structure of financing opportunities and thedynamics of scholarships, in campus and off campus jobs etc.make the financial planning further more difficult. At theoutset, one may think that the cost of tuition plus the livingexpenses is equal to the total cost that a student requires. Butthen, what about scholarships? What about campus jobs?What about summer jobs? Will they reduce my total cost? Towhat extent? What is the certainty? This and many morevariables make the financial planning process absolutelydifficult at times.We at FACT, have been meticulously calculating the expectedcosts for different students. Our knowledge about the workingmethods of universities, local laws and quality consultation tothe parents has helped many middle-income familiescomfortably manage the education of their children inAmerica. While the cost factor has to be calculated separatelyfor each student, we have given broad information about thevarious ingredients of costs as well as the fundingopportunities in this chapter.Tuition and FeesUS Universities fall under two major categories: public (statesupported), and private (independent) institutions.International students’ tuition expenses at state schools arebased on nonresident costs, which are still usually lessexpensive than those of private universities. It’s important tonote that the cost of a program in a US school does notnecessarily affect its quality. Similarly, it is not a rule that allpublic universities are good or all private universities areinferior. One has to study each university independently,regardless of whether it is a public university or a privateuniversity. 18
  19. 19. The range of tuition fees charged by these universities is givenbelow:University Type Average Tuition Fees (annual in U.S. Dollars)Private Institutions (High $ 25,000Cost)Private Institutions (Low $ 15,000Cost)State Institutions (High Cost) $ 20,000State Institutions (Low Cost) $ 10,000The tuition fee is different for different universities and varieswidely with courses. It can vary from as low as $ 7,000 a yearfor state universities to as much as $ 30000 a year for someprivate universities.Living ExpensesThe approximate annual living expenses are about $7,000,which includes accommodation as well as other daily expenses.However, the expenses are different for different peopledepending on the lifestyles and this is just a rough idea. Themain expenses can be split up as:Rent $ 400 per monthGroceries $ 100 per monthUtilities $ 100 per monthPhone $ 50 per monthSundry $ 50 per monthSo, about $700 per month is a good estimation. Most peoplecan survive with $500- $600 a month. The key here is to shareapartments/houses so that you save on the utilities, fixedcharge portion of phone and to some extent on groceries 19
  20. 20. How to fund the cost of educationThe total cost of tuition and living can be funded through thefollowing sources:  Personal Savings: this is the traditional method of funding education in India. Most parents meet the education expenses of their children through personal earnings and savings. But when it comes to financing the education in America, one should take care that the personal savings are utilized to the minimum possible extent. In some cases, we even recommend not to use personal savings at all to fund the education.  Educational Loans: this is the new emerging option in the last couple of years. All the nationalized banks have a structured and uniform educational loan policy wherein loans are given up to Rs.5 lakhs without any collateral security or guarantee. If the parents are willing to offer collateral security, the amount of loan can be as high as Rs.15 lakhs for students studying abroad.  Scholarships: Most GOOD American universities offer substantial scholarships to deserving students. These scholarships are given based on different selection criterions. The next chapter is specifically dedicated for discussing the scholarships option.  Campus Jobs: the universities allow students to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week. These jobs often help the students recover their living expenses while studying at the university.  Summer Jobs: each year, the student has two vacations totaling to three to four months. During this period, the student can work full time either on campus or off campus. Students are not allowed to work off campus for the first nine months of their study. These jobs being full time in nature help the students make more money than what they require for 20
  21. 21. their living expenses. Again, one has to be careful while selecting the university. You should apply to only those universities, which have on campus jobs available.If one uses the above information carefully while applying tothe universities, the total cost of education, which requiresfunding through personal savings or educational loans comesdown substantially.This is one area in which FACT has developed expertisethrough extensive research and experience. The students ofFACT therefore have saved lakhs of rupees by applying to theright university, for the right program at the right time. 21
  22. 22. 6. ScholarshipsSome US schools are more likely than others to offer financialaid for international undergraduate students. The lists belowindicate which schools offer aid (including grants, loans, andjobs) to the largest numbers of international students.To be included in the following lists, the schools must have anaverage award that is greater than 1/5 of the cost ofattendance. The financial aid may include grants, and jobs, andoften includes both merit and need-based awards. Within eachgroup, schools are listed in alphabetical order.If a school is not listed here, it probably does not have muchfinancial aid for international students. However, it is worthnoting that some schools may have athletic scholarships thatare open to both international students and US students. Thelists below do not count the number of athletic scholarshipsawarded to international students.Schools with Awards to More than 150 StudentsArizona State University (AZ)Barry University (FL)Clark Univ. (MA)Eastern Michigan Univ. (MI)Grinnell College (IA)Harding Univ. (AR)Harvard (MA)Illinois Inst. of Tech. (IL)Liberty Univ. (VA)Louisiana State Univ. (LA)Macalester College (MN)Marquette Univ. (WI)MIT (MA)Mount Holyoke College (MA)Ohio Wesleyan Univ. (OH)Princeton (NJ)Univ. of Bridgeport (CT)Univ. of Houston (TX) 22
  23. 23. Univ. of Pennsylvania (PA)Univ. of South Florida (FL)Schools with Awards to 100-149 StudentsBrown Univ. (RI)Calvin College (MI)College of Wooster (OH)Dartmouth (NH)Dordt College (IA)Eckerd College (FL)Florida Inst. of Tech. (FL)Georgia Southern Univ. (GA)Graceland College (IA)Luther College (IA)Middlebury College (VT)Northeast Louisiana (LA)Oberlin (OH)Savannah Coll. of Art (GA)Slippery Rock Univ. (PA)Smith College (MA)Stanford (CA)Texas Christian Univ. (TX)Tri-State Univ. (IN)Univ. of Miami (FL)Univ. of Rochester (NY)Yale (CT)Performance based scholarshipsSome good Universities in the USA offer merit-basedscholarships each year to outstanding students. Thesescholarships are competitive and, unless otherwise indicated,are renewable for up to four years, provided you maintain goodacademic performance.You may receive any combination of these scholarships up toan amount not to exceed the total cost of education plus$1,000. The total cost of education is determined annually bythe Office of Student Financial Aid and includes tuition, fees, 23
  24. 24. room and board, books and supplies, and personal andtransportation expenses.Need based scholarshipsAgain, only in good universities, international students arewelcome to apply for need-based financial aid. Along withuniversity admission application, students should also submitInternational Student Financial Aid Application, Official letterfrom parent’s employer stating gross income and value ofprerequisites, subsidies, and/or benefits for the previouscalendar year, Certification of Finances with a supporting bankletter.Although a student applying for aid may be academicallyadmissible, not all students will be awarded financial aid due tothe limited availability of funding. In addition, all studentsreceiving funds are expected to contribute personally towardeducational and personal expenses while attending VillanovaUniversity.International students are notified of financial aid eligibility attime of admission; those applying early will be notified of theirfinancial aid eligibility earlier.Recipients are required to re-apply for financial aid each yearby submitting the College Board International StudentFinancial Aid Application and an updated official letter fromparent’s employer stating gross income and value ofprerequisites, subsidies, and/or benefits.Sports scholarshipsAlmost every university offers athletic scholarships accordingto the policies of the associations to which they belong. Thetypes of scholarships that may be offered include archeryscholarships, basketball scholarships, crew scholarships, crosscountry scholarships, field hockey scholarships, footballscholarships, gymnastics scholarships, hockey scholarships,rifle scholarships, sailing scholarships, swimming scholarships,tennis scholarships, volleyball scholarships etc. Athleticscholarships are distributed in an equitable fashion amongmale and female students. Consequently, a considerable 24
  25. 25. amount of financial aid is available for women with athleticability.Students should put together a profile of their athletic andacademic qualifications. Include copies of the best newspaperclippings in which your performance is mentioned, letters ofrecommendation from your current coaches, and your sport’sseason schedule. A short 5-10 minute video of your athleticperformance may also be helpful. Send copies of this athleticportfolio to the coaches at the schools you are interested in.Most athletic scholarships provide only partial support, andrequire that the student make satisfactory academic progressfor renewal. Coaches can also refuse to renew an athleticscholarship if the student’s athletic performance falls short ofexpectations. If the student quits the team, the athleticscholarship is usually terminated. (Athletic scholarships arenot terminated if the student is injured during competition.) 25
  26. 26. 7. Entrance TestsStudents from all over the world apply to Americanuniversities for admissions. They belong to differenteducational backgrounds and different grading systems. Inorder to compare their aptitude on a common platform, theuniversities in the United States require all the internationalstudents to take SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) forundergraduate studies, GRE (Graduate Record Examination)for graduate studies and GMAT (Graduate ManagementAdmission Test) for MBA. Nearly every good university inAmerica requires that the students take one of the above testsfor admissions.Simillarly, in order to ensure that the student wanting tostudy in an American university is capable of understandingEnglish, all universities in the United States require theirapplicants coming from non native Englsih speaking countriesto take TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).So, if you want to study in USA after HSC, you have to takeSAT & TOEFL as two tests. If you want to go for yourmasters after graduation, you have to take GRE and TOEFLand if you are an MBA aspirant, you have to go for GMATand TOEFL. These tests are conducted throughout the year.The scores of TOEFL are valid for two years. Whereas, thescores of GMAT and GRE are valid for five years. Therefore,it is advisible to take these tests well before your applicationsto the American Universities.GREThe GRE® General Test measures critical thinking, analyticalwriting, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skillsthat have been acquired over a long period of time and that arenot related to any specific field of study.Analytical Writing — The skills measured include the testtakers ability to 26
  27. 27. • articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively • examine claims and accompanying evidence • support ideas with relevant reasons and examples • sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion • control the elements of standard written English.Verbal Reasoning — The skills measured include the testtakers ability to • analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it • analyze relationships among component parts of sentences • recognize relationships between words and concepts.Quantitative Reasoning — The skills measured include thetest takers ability to • understand basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis • reason quantitatively • solve problems in a quantitative setting.Who Takes It and Why?Prospective graduate applicants take the General Test. GREtest scores are used by admissions or fellowship panels tosupplement undergraduate records and other qualifications forgraduate study. The scores provide common measures forcomparing the qualifications of applicants and aid inevaluating grades and recommendations.When and Where is it conducted?The GRE Test is offered year-round at computer-based testcenters at Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Allahabad, Bangalore,Calcutta, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai and Trivandrum. Youcan register for the test by logging on to Please 27
  28. 28. note that there is a lot of rush to take these tests during July toJanuary period. It is always advantageous to register on time.Pass port is necessary on the date of your test.The GRE revised General Test places a greater emphasis onhigher-level cognitive skills.The overall testing time for the computer-based GRE revisedGeneral Test is about 3 hours and 45 minutes, plus shortbreaks.FEATURE OF NEW GRE: • One Analytical Writing section with writing tasks of 30 minute each. • New feature: Students can use an on-screen calculator. • Two Verbal Reasoning sections & Two Quantitative Reasoning sections • One unscored section, typically a Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning section, which may appear at any point in the computer-based GRE revised General Test that does not count towards a score, may appear in any order. • An identified research section that is not scored may also be included in the computer-based GRE revised General Test will come at the end of the test. • A new test-taker friendly design for the computer- based test: edit or change your answers, skip questions and more, all within a section. No more computer adaptability for every question is required.The Analytical Writing section will always be first, while theother five sections may appear in any order. 28
  29. 29. Test structure and length of the computer-based test:Youll get a 10-minute break following the third section anda 1-minute break between the other test sections.SCORE SCALE FOR THE REVISED GENERAL GRETEST • Verbal Reasoning scores will be reported on a new 130 – 170 score scale, in 1-point increments (versus 200 – 800 in 10-point increments). • Quantitative Reasoning scores will be reported on a new 130 – 170 score scale, in 1-point increments (versus 200 – 800 in 10-point increments).Analytical Writing scores will continue to be reported on thesame 0 – 6 score level, in half-point increments.SATThe SAT® tests students’ reasoning based on knowledge andskills developed through their course work.It measures their ability to analyze and solve problems byapplying what they have learned in school.The SAT Reasoning Test is a measure of the critical thinkingskills you’ll need for academic success in college. The SAT 29
  30. 30. assesses how well you analyze and solve problems—skills youlearned in school that you’ll need in college.The SAT has following three sections: • Critical Reading • Mathematics • WritingEach section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200—800, withtwo writing sub-scores for multiple-choice and the essay.The SAT includes a Critical Reading, Math, and WritingSection, with a specific number of questions related to content.In addition, there is one 25-minute un-scored section, knownas the variable or equating section. This un-scored section maybe critical reading, math, or writing multiple-choice section.This un-scored section does not count toward the final score,but is used to try out new questions for future editions of theSAT and to ensure that scores on new editions of the SAT arecomparable to scores on earlier editions of the test.The 25-minute essay will always be the first section of theSAT, and the 10-minute multiple-choice writing section willalways be the final section. The remaining six 25-minutesections can appear in any order, as can the two 20-minutesections. Test takers sitting next to each other in the sametesting session may have test books with entirely differentsections.The SAT is developed and administered by the US-based“College Entrance Examination Board”. This implies thatCollegeboard sets the questions, conducts the test, and sendseach examinee the score report. In India, SAT is conducted atBangalore, Calcutta, Cochin, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kodaikanal,Mumbai, Mussoorie and New Delhi.SAT Subject Test:Subject Tests measure your knowledge of particular subjects(literature, history, foreign languages, math, physics etc.) andyour ability to apply that knowledge. Some of the U.S. colleges 30
  31. 31. require or recommend one or more Subject Tests foradmission or placement.Colleges which don’t require Subject Tests will still take theminto consideration, since the tests offer a better picture of youracademic abilities.Subject Tests are also administered in the paper and pencilformat. They contain multiple-choice questions and take onehour to complete.Each test is scored on a scale of 200-800.GMATThe Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®) is astandardized assessment that helps business schools assess thequalifications of applicants for advanced study in business andmanagement. Schools use the test as one predictor of academicperformance in an MBA program or in other graduatemanagement programs.What the GMAT Measures?The GMAT exam measures basic verbal, mathematical, andanalytical writing skills that you have developed over a longperiod of time in your education and work. It does NOTmeasure: • your knowledge of business, • your job skills, • specific content in your undergraduate or first university course work, • your abilities in any other specific subject area, or • subjective qualities—such as motivation, creativity, and interpersonal skills.Format and Timing 31
  32. 32. The GMAT® exam consists of three main parts, theAnalytical Writing Assessment, the Quantitative section, andthe Verbal section.Analytical Writing AssessmentThe GMAT® exam begins with the Analytical WritingAssessment (AWA). The AWA consists of two separatewriting tasks—Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of anArgument. You are allowed 30 minutes to complete each one.Quantitative SectionFollowing an optional ten-minute break, you begin theQuantitative Section of the GMAT® exam. This sectioncontains 37 multiple-choice questions of two question types—Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving. You will be allowed amaximum of 75 minutes to complete the entire section.Verbal SectionAfter a second optional ten-minute break, you begin the VerbalSection of the GMAT® exam. This section contains 41multiple choice questions of three question types—ReadingComprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction.You are allowed a maximum of 75 minutes to complete theentire section.The purpose of the GMAT is to measure one’s ability to thinksystematically and to employ the verbal and mathematicalskills that one has acquired throughout his/her years ofschooling.The test does not aim to measure the knowledge of specificbusiness or academic subjects. One is assumed to know basicalgebra (but not calculus), geometry and arithmetic, to knowthe basic conventions of standard written English, and to beable to write an analytical essay. 32
  33. 33. Test-taking Strategies for GMAT • Spend more time with the initial questions than the later questions. • Answer as many questions as possible. • Do an educated guess, if not sure with the answer. • Pace himself well and should be aware of remaining time. • Confirm the answer only when he/she is confident about the selected option. • Careful about section exit and test quit commands, as one cannot go back to the previous sectionTOEFLThe Test of English as a Foreign Language™ (TOEFL)measures the ability of nonnative speakers of English to useand understand English as it is spoken, written, and heard incollege and university settings. The TOEFL tests all fourlanguage skills that are important for effective communication:speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The testhelps students demonstrate that they have the English skillsneeded for success. TOEFL also emphasizes integrated skillsand provides better information to institutions about students’ability to communicate in an academic setting and theirreadiness for academic coursework.The TOEFL test is developed and administered by the US-based “Educational Testing Service” (ETS). This implies thatETS sets the questions, conducts the test, and sends eachexaminee the score report. For the conduct of the test, ETShas appointed Testing Agencies in various countries, which actas franchisee for ETS. In India, this agency is the “PrometricTesting Services Pvt Ltd” which administers the test at 9centres in the country: Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bangalore,Calcutta, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi, andTrivandrum.Computer based TOEFL test is held all-round-the-year.Unlike other exams, you can choose your own date and time 33
  34. 34. for taking the TOEFL test! The test is administered in theabove cities five-days-a-week (Monday through Friday), twice-a-day. September to December is the high season for TOEFLtest, so in case you intend to take the test during this period,you need to register very early (say 90 days in advance) to geta date of your choice. Otherwise, registering at least three daysin advance is mandatory. The test lasts roughly four hours.Training at FACTOur courses offered in all our offices are a part of our trainingdivision. FACT has been offering goal-driven and skill-enhancing courses since 1996, and has been recognized as aValue-leader for test training courses (GRE, GMAT, SAT,TOEFL etc…). We offer these courses in collaboration withCliffsTestPrep, USA that uniquely focuses on real-time,student specific feedback to all students on their weaknesses.The objective of our test preparation courses offered inMumbai, Pune, Nashik, Kolhapur, and all other offices is toprovide training with a view to imparting conceptualunderstanding of the test assessment areas. The objective ofthe training classes is also to arm students with efficientProcedures for dealing with the test sections, time-tested and‘works-every-time’ Strategies for picking the correct answersto all Verbal and Quantitative problems, and uniqueDiagnostic support in all assessment areas so that each studentcan achieve a better score. We provide the best courses backedby the best score Guarantee.SCORE GUARANTEE: Our entire test Courses are backedby our unique Score Improvement Guarantee, wherein youare guaranteed a test Score improvement of at least 20% to80%. You will be required to validate the Score Guarantee byCompleting to the best of your ability all of the mandatoryPre-Course assignments, by attending all the sessions of thetraining prep-class in which you are registered, by activelyparticipating in the class tests and assignments, and bycompleting the post- course practice tests and exercises. Youwill also be required to take the test within 30 days of the lastday of the final test. 34
  35. 35. 8. Application ProcessThe application process to American Universities is a long andcomplicated affair. It involves extensive research on the net,knowledge about the working method of Americanuniversities, accurate documentation and correct timing, to listjust a few factors. In this chapter, we have given the varioussteps involved in the applications process.Selection of UniversitiesSelecting universities is a very time consuming and importantprocess not only from the admission point of view but alsobecause applying to universities is very expensive by Indianstandards. The application process itself costs about Rs. 25,000- Rs. 30,000/- towards examination fees, postage, universityapplication fees etc. Therefore, be very careful while applyingto the universities.The best university for you may not be the famous ones, butthose that offer you your field of study as well as meet theother criteria important to you. The range of academic optionsas well as available universities are so wide that it is notpossible to select the best in one go and it may take some time.The basic steps involved in the process of selectinguniversities are a) Decide on the field of education in line with your likings and past academic background b) Assess your financial ability and budget c) Now, select 20 to 30 universities based on the following criterion:  Program Offerings  Research programs  University Rankings  Program Length  Cost—Tuition, living expenses etc  Availability of Financial Assistance to International Students  Entrance Requirements  Tests (SAT, TOEFL etc and minimum scores) 35
  36. 36.  Accreditation status (Professional accreditation for some programs)  Student Profile  Enrollment—Total available seats and the size of the school  Location (climate, semi-rural, metropolitan city etc)  Facilities Library, housing, student associations etc.  Type of Institution—Public or PrivateThese are the usual criteria. You could prioritize your criteriaout of this list and shortlist the number of universities on thatbasis to about 10. You could further shortlist your choice onbasis of specific issues like tuition fees, availability of financialetc.Your past academic record is one of the most importantdeciding factors in getting admission to a college abroad. Mostschools require you to have a reasonably good academic recordespecially for technology programs and courses. Eachuniversity has its own minimum requirement for its programs,which are flexible depending on the candidate profile.It is advisable not to convert your marks in the Indian systemof grading to the American Grade Point Average system orany other system since the conversion may not be accurate.You may attach an explanatory note from your college toindicate your rank in your class and/or university. The lettermay also indicate your place as compared to the class and theuniversity average and the number of students in the class andthe number of colleges and students in the university. Youmay also provide any other information or documents that youfeel may help you in the admission process.Every university has its own minimum requirements andscores with respect to standardized tests. Check out therequirements of the universities and short-list the ones thatwill accept your scores. 36
  37. 37. Most Indians are concerned about the high cost of educationabroad and seek information on opportunities for financialassistance. The expenses for education abroad include tuitionfees, living expenses, health insurance, transportation etc. Thisis an important criterion for selecting the courses as well asuniversities.It is important to understand that most universities offerfinancial assistance to international students based primarilyon merit and rarely on need. The amount, and type ofassistance offered varies based on the university, departmentand level of study. Also funds are more likely to be availablein fields like Engineering, Physical Sciences and Biologicalsciences.Once you start receiving application forms and material, gothrough in detail for the various requirements and deadlineslike the application deadline, minimum scores required in thestandardized tests, recommendation letters needed and othersuch information. Tabulate all these requirements and compare them with yourobjectives. FACT can help you select universities that are bestsuited for your requirements.Selection of ProgramSelection of university and selection of program usually gohand in hand. But one must remember that even the best-known universities are not the best for every single programoffered in that university. Similarly, a particular universitymay not be very high ranked, but a particular program in thatuniversity may be excellent for your requirements. Therefore,it is necessary to study each program very carefully.Academic DocumentationTranscripts: students who are applying to AmericanUniversities would be required to submit a detailed report andtranscripts (report cards) of all the years of higher studies inIndia. The report form should be filled out by a college officiallike the principal, counselor or headmaster. This form should 37
  38. 38. introduce you in the context of your whole school experiencein relation to the other students in your class. Admissioncommittees will be interested in learning how you haveperformed in your own educational system. The transcriptshould talk about your accomplishments and provide aprediction of your chances for success in university-levelstudies.Since there is a variation between the styles of scoring usedabroad and the ones used in India, ask your college to include aguide to the grading standards used in your educationalsystem and your school. If your college ranks students by theirlevel of academic achievement, make certain that the ranking isincluded with the other details. Also send the school / juniorcollege leaving certificate as and when it is available. Thetranscripts must be in English only.Recommendations: Letters of reference or recommendationletters play a very important part in your admission. Arecommendation letter is a signed statement from a personwho has taught you in a subject that is related to the courseyou are applying to. It should list your positive and negativequalities, strengths and other such information. The teachermust indicate his position, how long he/she has known theapplicant and in what capacity. He/she should briefly discussthe need, importance and usefulness of the study the applicantproposes to undertake. Authors are usually asked to rankapplicants in their letters of recommendation, which helpsadmission officers to interpret the academic credentials offoreign students. Students should obtain letters ofrecommendation from teachers who know them as a person aswell as a student. You may like to request your author to giveconcrete examples that may show your qualities.Statement of Purpose: The personal essays, and/orstatement of purpose, play a very important role in the processof evaluating your application for both admission as well asfinancial aid because it gives the faculty assessing yourapplication their most significant impression of you as anindividual. This section is the key to distinguish your 38
  39. 39. application from other suitable candidates and a chance tomarket yourself. A personal statement should include yourreasons for choosing a particular course, the suitability of youreducation and experience for the chosen course, your personalinterests and career goals. Some courses like Business schoolcourses will have their own essay questions and format. Othersmay ask for a résumé or reasons for applying to that particularcourse.Financial DocumentationYou must submit a financial aid application if you desirefinancial help for your studies in a US university. Financialassistance for non-US citizens is very limited. The evidence offinancial support is required by universities to issue thedocuments needed for visa application. Although it is arequirement for application, it is usually not taken intoconsideration into factors that determine admission. Mostuniversities make their admission decisions without regard forthe source and amount of financial support.You would be required to submit documentation of yourfamily’s financial resources to help schools assess your need.Most of the universities have their own financial aid form,which you would have to complete. You would also berequired to submit a bank statement demonstrating yourfinancial capacity to support your education in US. Some USstate institutions offer tuition waivers to international studentsin return for some type of educational contribution.After applications:Universities usually inform students of their admissiondecisions well in advance of the beginning term. If you havereceived admission in more than one university, you will haveto decide which one you want to attend. At this stage, youshould compare a few objective and mostly more subjectivecriteria. The points you should focus on are programcurriculum, length of program, choice of courses, funding offeror best program with respect to costs, Cost of living, Strengthof related departments/program etc. 39
  40. 40. Once you have been accepted:Each college will tell you exactly what steps to follow toconfirm your acceptance of their offer of admission and how toprepare for your first term. This information will be includedwith the letter of admission or in materials that will be sent toyou shortly thereafter. You must respond with a “Yes” or “No”for each offer of admission. You may also be required to submita financial deposit to the institution that you plan to attend.This is to guarantee your place in the class. Make sure you donot miss any deadlines.Admissions Counseling at FACTFACT has guided thousands of students through this processof applications. Accurate information and astute analysis arethe key factors, which help students find a career anduniversity of their choice at the same time our understandingof the funding issues has helped parents save lakhs of rupeeson the educational budget. We strongly recommend thestudents and parents to utilize our experience for their benefit.You can contact the counselor at any one of our offices. Thisservice is also available on line at Wealso provide this service through e mails and telephonicconversations to the students from all over India. 40
  41. 41. 9. VISA IssuesThis is the last and the most delicate of the steps whileplanning to study in the United States. Most students arescared and tensed by the time they reach this stage. But theyneed to understand that by being tense; they are increasing thechances of failure rather than reducing it. Instead, if theycollect all the relevant information, make thoroughpreparation, and feel confident, there is nothing that can stopthem from achieving their objective.Requirements of students visaWhat Visa Officers look for while issuing visaA. Evidence of Residence Abroad: The consular officer may not issue a student visa unless satisfied that the applicant: (1) Has a residence abroad (India), (2) Has no intention of abandoning that residence, and (3) Intends to depart from the United States upon completion of the course of study. Applicants generally establish their ties abroad by presenting evidence of economic, social, and/or family ties in their homeland sufficient to induce them to leave the United States upon the completion of studies.How to ApplyAll first time applicants of F-1 visa would need to make anappointment on the website You have totake a hard copy (print-out) of the appointment made by youafter the confirmation of the appointment. You can directlytake the appointment page printout or if any mail that wassent to your mail-id by the VFS. Without this printout of yourappointment you will not be allowed to the interview.VISA documentationA. Consulate Documents: a) DS-160 Confirmation Barcode printout 41
  42. 42. b) One photograph as per specification Photocopy of Form I-20 / DS2019. (whichever applicable) c) Proof of payment of SEVIS Fee Receipt I-901, if applicable. d) Photocopy of passport data pages (1st and last page). e) Photocopy of the passport pages bearing “Observation” or “Remarks”. f) Original interview appointment letter. g) Original, valid HDFC Bank visa fee receipt. (Embassy copy). h) Dependent applicants must submit a photocopy of their respective I - 20 along with the principal applicant’s I – 20. i) Dependents must submit a photocopy of the principal applicant’s visa j) Visa renewal applicants must submit a copy of the previous expired U.S. visa stamped on their passportB. US University Documents: k) An I-20 Form, Please be sure to submit both pages of the I-20 form, signed by you and by a school official. l) HSC certificates or provisional certificates, mark sheets, and transcripts from all previous institutions attended. m) Scores from U.S. standardized tests such as the TOEFL, SAT/GRE/GMAT. n) Financial evidence showing you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study. You must demonstrate that funds are immediately available to cover the first year’s costs, and show evidence that funds will be available for all subsequent years.C. Proof of Funds Documents: a) Proof of ability to finance the education b) Scholarship letters, c) Bank letters, d) Salary slips of parents and other sponsors if any, 42
  43. 43. e) IT returns for last 2-3 years etc of parents and other sponsors if any. f) Rental receipts of own shops or buildings if any with revenue stamps. g) Sponsors Business P/L Account duly certified by a CA if sponsor is a businessman. h) Pension Papers - if sponsor is retired. i) 6 months of Bank records - i.e. Bank statements or Bank Passbooks of sponsors. j) Affidavit of supports by sponsors and student separately. k) Loan approval letters (if you want to show loans.)VISA InterviewTry and gather information on the current trend, what thevisa officer is expecting, why visa is being rejected, etc. Lookfor decisions and experiences particularly in the consulatewhere you will be appearing for the interview. Knowing whatto expect helps!When you go for the visa, dress well. Speak slowly and clearly.Don’t appear tense and don’t look desperate. Showing self-confidence helps. They should never feel that you will haveany sort of difficulty language, finance, racial, religious, etc.Risk of VISA rejectionYes. It is true that if your visa is rejected, all your efforts andmoney put into the process of studying in the United States gowaste. But you can always apply for a second time and getyour visa approved. As per the new rule, you can apply asmany numbers of times as you want. (The application fee is tobe paid every time). But the best way is to go well preparedright in the first time.VISA Consultancy at FACTFACT provides comprehensive visa documentation andinterview training to its students. We are an internationaleducation consulting company. We have 10 years ofexperience handling all type of student visas. We are 43
  44. 44. specialists who handle only student visas and related matters.Our expertise lies in the fact that over the years we havehandled all types of students with a very high success rate.Although ethically and by law, we cannot guarantee theoutcome of any case, our rate of success is extremely high. Thevisa approval rate for 2006 semesters has been 100% and ourapproval rates have never gone below 97% in any year. 44
  45. 45. 10. University ListingsThere is a trend amongst the students to blindly followrankings while selecting the universities that they want toapply to. We have always given importance to the overallbackground of the university, the quality of a particulardepartment and the academic and financial requirement of thestudent before selecting the university. The rankings can beused only as a guideline. We strongly believe that more oftenthan not, a 29th ranked university may be much moreappropriate for your career than the 17 th ranked university.Therefore, take these rankings as a broad guideline and not aconclusive verdict about the standing of the university.Top Engineering Schools1 Massachusetts Inst. of Technology2 Stanford University (CA) University of California–Berkeley *4 California Institute of Technology U. of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign *6 Georgia Institute of Technology * University of Michigan–Ann Arbor *8 Carnegie Mellon University (PA) Cornell University (NY) Purdue Univ.–West Lafayette (IN)*11 University of Texas–Austin *12 Princeton University (NJ) Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison *14 Johns Hopkins University (MD) Northwestern University (IL) Texas A&M Univ.–College Station * Virginia Tech *18 Pennsylvania State U.–University Park * Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. (NY) Rice University (TX) 45
  46. 46. Univ. of Minnesota–Twin Cities *22 Duke University (NC) Univ. of California–Los Angeles * Univ. of California–San Diego * Univ. of Maryland–College Park * University of Washington *27 Columbia University (NY) Ohio State University–Columbus * University of California–Davis * University of Pennsylvania31 Harvard University (MA) North Carolina State U.–Raleigh * University of Florida * Univ. of Southern California University of Virginia *36 Brown University (RI) Case Western Reserve Univ. (OH) Iowa State University * Univ. of California–Santa Barbara * University of Colorado–Boulder *41 Arizona State University * Dartmouth College (NH) Lehigh University (PA) Michigan State University * University of Notre Dame (IN) Vanderbilt University (TN) Washington University in St. Louis Yale University (CT)49 University of Arizona * University of California–Irvine *51 Colorado School of Mines * Rutgers–New Brunswick (NJ)* University of Delaware * University of Iowa * University of Missouri–Rolla * Worcester Polytechnic Inst. (MA)57 Clemson University (SC)* 46
  47. 47. Colorado State University * Drexel University (PA) Illinois Institute of Technology Michigan Technological University * Rochester Inst. of Technology (NY) University at Buffalo–SUNY * Univ. of Massachusetts–Amherst * University of Pittsburgh * University of Utah *67 Auburn University (AL)* Boston University Northeastern University (MA) Polytechnic University (NY) SUNY–Stony Brook * Syracuse University (NY) Tufts University (MA) University of Illinois–Chicago * University of Tennessee * Washington State University *77 Brigham Young Univ.–Provo (UT) Clarkson University (NY) Kansas State University * Oregon State University * Tulane University (LA) University of Connecticut * University of Houston * University of Kansas * U. of North Carolina–Charlotte * University of Rochester (NY)87 New Jersey Inst. of Technology * Oklahoma State University * Southern Methodist University (TX) Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ) Texas Tech University * Univ. of California–Riverside * University of Cincinnati * Univ. of Missouri–Columbia * 47
  48. 48. University of New Mexico * University of Oklahoma *97 CUNY–City College * Louisiana State U.–Baton Rouge * Univ. of California–Santa Cruz * University of Kentucky * Univ. of Nebraska–Lincoln *102 George Washington University (DC) Marquette University (WI) New Mexico State University * Ohio University * San Diego State University * SUNY–Binghamton * University of Alabama * University of Miami (FL) University of Rhode Island * Univ. of South Carolina–Columbia * University of Texas–Arlington * Univ. of Wisconsin–Milwaukee * Utah State University * Wayne State University (MI)* West Virginia University ** denotes a public school.Top Management schools 1 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)2 Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (Sloan)3 University of California–Berkeley (Haas) * University of Michigan–Ann Arbor *5 Carnegie Mellon University (PA) New York University (Stern) U. of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler) * University of Texas–Austin (McCombs) *9 Univ. of Southern California (Marshall) University of Virginia (McIntire) *11 Indiana University–Bloomington (Kelley) *12 Cornell University (NY) 48
  49. 49. Purdue Univ.–West Lafayette (Krannert) (IN)* U. of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign * Univ. of Minnesota–Twin Cities (Carlson) * Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison * Washington University in St. Louis (Olin)18 Emory University (Goizueta) (GA) Ohio State University–Columbus (Fisher) * Pennsylvania State U.–University Park (Smeal) * University of Arizona (Eller) *22 Michigan State University (Broad) * Univ. of Maryland–College Park (Smith) * University of Notre Dame (IN) University of Washington *26 Arizona State University (Carey) * Babson College (MA) Georgetown University (McDonough) (DC) University of Florida (Warrington) *30 Boston College (Carroll) Case Western Reserve Univ. (Weatherhead) (OH) Texas A&M Univ.–College Station (Mays) * University of Georgia (Terry) * Wake Forest University (Calloway) (NC)35 Brigham Young Univ.–Provo (Marriott) (UT) Georgia Institute of Technology * Southern Methodist University (Cox) (TX) University of Colorado–Boulder * University of Iowa (Tippie) *40 Boston University Syracuse University (Whitman) (NY) Tulane University (Freeman) (LA) University of Arkansas (Walton) * University of Pittsburgh * Univ. of South Carolina–Columbia (Moore) * Virginia Tech (Pamplin) *47 Bentley College (MA) College of William and Mary (VA)* CUNY–Baruch College (Zicklin) * 49
  50. 50. Florida State University * George Washington University (DC) Georgia State University (Robinson) * Miami University–Oxford (Farmer) (OH)* Univ. of Missouri–Columbia * University of Oklahoma (Price) * University of Tennessee *57 Auburn University (AL)* Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. (Lally) (NY) Santa Clara University (Leavey) (CA) University of Alabama (Culverhouse) * University of Kansas * University of Kentucky (Gatton) * Univ. of Nebraska–Lincoln * University of Oregon (Lundquist) * University of Utah (Eccles) *66 Baylor University (Hankamer) (TX) DePaul University (IL) Louisiana State U.–Baton Rouge (Ourso) * North Carolina State U.–Raleigh * Northeastern University (MA) Pepperdine University (Graziadio) (CA) Rochester Inst. of Technology (NY) United States Air Force Acad. (CO)* University of Connecticut * University of Illinois–Chicago * Univ. of Massachusetts–Amherst (Isenberg) *77 Clemson University (SC)* Iowa State University * Rutgers–New Brunswick (NJ)* San Diego State University * Temple University (Fox) (PA)* University at Buffalo–SUNY * Univ. of California–Riverside * University of Denver (Daniels) University of Miami (FL) University of Richmond (Robins) (VA) 50
  51. 51. 87 American University (Kogod) (DC) Colorado State University * Fordham University (NY) Lehigh University (PA) Loyola University Chicago Marquette University (WI) Oklahoma State University * St. Louis University Texas Christian University (Neeley) Texas Tech University (Rawls) * University of Alabama–Birmingham * University of Delaware * University of Louisville (KY)* University of Mississippi * U. of North Carolina–Charlotte (Belk) * University of San Diego University of Texas–Dallas * Villanova University (PA) Washington State University *106 George Mason University (VA)* James Madison University (VA)* Kansas State University * Loyola Marymount University (CA) University of Cincinnati * University of Houston (Bauer) * University of Texas–Arlington * Univ. of Wisconsin–Milwaukee * Virginia Commonwealth University * Washington and Lee University (VA)116 Ball State University (IN)* California State U.–Los Angeles * Creighton University (NE) Drexel University (LeBow) (PA) Hofstra University (Zarb) (NY) Northern Illinois University * Ohio University * Oregon State University * 51
  52. 52. Pace University (Lubin) (NY) Rutgers–Newark (NJ)* San Jose State University (CA)* Seton Hall University (Stillman) (NJ) Southern Illinois U.–Carbondale * SUNY–Albany * SUNY–Binghamton * Trinity University (TX) University of Central Florida * Univ. of Colo.–Colorado Springs * University of Dayton (OH) University of Memphis (Fogelman) * Univ. of Missouri–Kansas City (Bloch) * University of New Mexico (Anderson) * University of San Francisco (McLaren) West Virginia University * Wichita State University (Barton) (KS)*141 Bowling Green State University (OH)* Cal Poly–San Luis Obispo * Florida International University * Gonzaga University (WA) John Carroll University (OH) Kennesaw State University (Coles) (GA)* Kent State University (OH)* Loyola College in Maryland (Sellinger) Loyola University New Orleans (Butt) Mississippi State University * Rutgers–Camden (NJ)* Seattle University (Albers) St. Joseph’s University (Haub) (PA) University of Alabama–Huntsville * University of Colorado–Denver and Health Sciences Center * Univ. of Missouri–St. Louis * University of Nebraska–Omaha * U. of North Carolina–Greensboro (Bryan) * University of North Texas * University of Rhode Island * 52
  53. 53. University of South Florida * University of Tulsa (OK) Xavier University (Williams) (OH)* denotes a public school. 53
  54. 54. 11. Pre Departure InformationTravel Tips1. After getting the visa the next thing to do is bookingtickets.2. Days before the flight, call the airline to confirm yourreservation and to cross-check everything the travel agentmay have told you.3. Indicate whether you want Asian Vegetarian Meal (AVM),etc. This can be done at the time of booking the tickets withthe travel agent.4. Some airlines offer Frequent Flier programs (e.g. AirFrance, TWA, United Airlines) implying that after a certainnumber of miles of flying with that airline you get a free ticket.Enroll in such programs.5. Avoid transit of airline at airports A direct flight is the best.If change of airline can’t be avoided, make sure that there is atleast 4-6 hours gap between the scheduled arrival of one flightand the scheduled departure of the connecting flight.6. Baggage is usually safe with a single airline while change ofairline sometimes leads to misplaced luggage. Some airlinesdon’t take care about baggage transfer. You may have topersonally carry it (check this while booking)7. Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before the check-intime.8. Drink lot of fluids on the flight. This will help you recoverthe jetlag very fast.9. Many airlines are fussy about the weight of your cabinbaggage. It is always better to check with your travel agentregarding this.10. Always keep a photocopy of your passport, tickets, and I-20. Contact info of your school in every baggage includingyour cabin baggage. 54
  55. 55. 11. Always keep original copies of your CA certificate, bankstatements, sponsor’s affidavit, passport, and admission lettersin your cabin baggage. Sometimes, the immigration officialsmay ask you to present them at the airport.12. Ideally, a student can bring $ 500/- in cash, $ 1000/- intravelers cheques and a personal draft of the amount equal toone semester’s expenses. You may check your I-20 todetermine this amount.Things to be done in advance1. Learn typing.2. Learn driving.3. Learn to cook.4. Make your passport valid for 6 months more than your stayindicated in your I-205. All other changes are best made in the U.S.6. Make outstation purchases (sweater, thermal underwear,cassettes.)7. Have a complete medical checkup done.8. Get prescriptions & medicines for all common ailments9. Get your eye-sight checked - get a new prescription. Buy atleast one extra pair of glasses, lenses.10. Get requisite immunization done (especially MMR). Fill inthe Health and Immunization record form that has been sentto you with the I-20 packet.Packing1. Start your packing at least two days before departure date.2. Buy two strong boxes - they should be able to withstand alot of mishandling. They should be as large as possible withinthe size limitations (however most airlines are not very strictabout baggage size).3. Put identification marks and labels both inside & outside theboxes (apart from this, the airlines will also provide you withadhesive labels). Boxes with independent top & bottom arepreferable. 55
  56. 56. 4. Box specifications, as an example the Air India economyclass baggage specifications to the USA are given below. Notethe specifications may be different for other countries/airlines.2 pieces of baggage with total linear dimension (l+b+h) notexceeding 270cm (106”). Moreover the total linear dimensionof each piece should not be over 158cm (62”).5. The weight of each bag should not exceed 32kg (70lb).6. Carry-on baggage: In addition you can carry a bag withlinear dimension not exceeding 115cm (45”) onboard (fits onoverhead compartments).7. For most other airlines the baggage specifications aresimilar. If you are taking a break outside USA/Canada contactyour travel agent or airline for details.Things to be kept in the boxes1. Copy of all certificates/documents (originals in handbaggage).2. Necessary books/notebooks (some suggested books are -Clark’s Tables, a good dictionary/thesaurus, a booklet for unitconversion) [note: there should be no legal hassles takingphotocopies of books - but don’t flaunt them to around campus.3. Copy of address book/telephone book/diary.4. Some stationery and related items suggested (not absolutelynecessary - just for the first few weeks) are : Rubber stampwith house address, airmail covers, few Indian razor blades forcutting work, screw driver, Indian postal stamps for sendingletters through someone coming to India.5. Medical history file.6. At least one pair leather chappals, two hawai chappals (extrastraps).7. Soap (bath), toothbrushes (slightly costly in the US).8. You may want to bring audio cassettes, CDs of your favoritemusic.9. You may want to enquire with the travel agent regardingvaluable items on which custom duty may be levied. 56
  57. 57. 10. All Indian groceries, pickles and other food stuff MUST besealed completely else they may be removed by the UScustoms.Clothes1. Usually clothes are machine washed once every two weekshence two weeks supply of clothes is needed. Get all clotheslittle loose - clothes may shrink in machine wash or you mightprobably grow fat.2. 14-15 sets of undergarments, 6-8 pair of socks,handkerchiefs.3. Good swimming trunk, few shorts, T-shirts may bebrought.4. At least one tie, 1-2 belts.5. Two ordinary towels (Turkish ones start stinking).6. One bed sheet, lungi/dhotis/pajamas, thermal underwear(2-4), extra woolen sweater.7. Don’t worry yourself if you can’t bring any of the itemslisted above most of them are available pretty cheap in the US(made in China). Exceptions are leather goods, formal wear.Vessels1. Big pressure cooker (with spare handle, 3 safety valves, 2weights, 1 base plate, 3 gaskets).2. Dosai turner, Charani (server with holes), rice server &other servers3. Pair of tongs, small bowls (kinnum), rolling pin (Belan),knife, Kadaie (optional). 3-4 dishes, Spoons, 2 frying pans(tava), 1 chopping board, 2-3 storage vessels (tapeli)4. Cooking book will always be handy. Note: Try to share &bring the vessels with others coming to US. Non-stickkitchenware is cheap in the US and you can buy a full set. 57
  58. 58. Things to be kept in Hand Baggage1. I-20, passport, ticket, financial documents (CA certificate,Bank Statements), admission letter, affidavit of sponsor, allcollege or school mark sheets and related certificates.2. First aid medicines. For example, tablets for headache,nausea, fever, loose motion.3. Novel/magazines/books for in-flight reading, sweater. Ifyou are coming in Fall, the weather will be hot enough, thusyou would NOT need to wear any warm clothing then. Elseyou MUST be prepared to face extremely cold temperatures ifyou are arriving in Spring.4. Address book/phone book (Indian & US)5. Copies of your photo (passport size)6. Things to survive for a week in case luggage gets misplaced(two sets of clothes, valuables like addresses etc.)Things to be left at home1. List of addresses/phone numbers at which info about youcan be obtained.2. One copy of all your important documents.3. A copy of all relevant parts of Medical History files.4. Arrange to collect/redirect mail from your room/hostel.5. Arrange to apply/collect/mail your transcripts (about 10 innumber preferable)6. Your tailoring measurements.7. Few blank signed papers - so that your parents can beauthorized to look after anything on your behalf.To do in the last week before the flight1. Call up & find if there is any delay or change of schedule ofthe plane (inform the people coming to pick you up of any suchchange).2. Rest well - ready to face the long journey / jet lag and bidbye to all concerned. 58
  59. 59. On the day of the flight, in-flight and later1. As it is going to be a long flight wear somethingcomfortable preferably cotton full hand shirt and trousers.Wear your shoes.2. Be at the airport at least one hour before check in time.3. Relax during flight, sleep as much as possible.4. For vegetarians, watch out before you eat for you may getnon-vegetarian food even if you had asked for vegetarian. is generally bland - fruits/juice are good choices.5. Never hesitate to ask questions.6. Once out of India be very careful (from sheer experience ofseniors). Don’t trust anyone. Don’t hire a taxi (unlessemergency) till you reach your destination. If required don’thesitate to spend money.7. Don’t hesitate to talk to people to ask questions. Usuallypeople will answer all your queries satisfactorily.Port of entry procedures 1. Sometime before landing the flight attendant will distributecustoms declaration forms & immigration forms as mentionedbelow. Fill these out on the plane (you will submit them to theappropriate authorities when you land). Do not hesitate to takethe flight attendant’s help.2. You can indicate that you have nothing to declare & totalvalue of all goods you carry is less than $100 on the customsform.3. Fill form I-94 in the plane. After seeing your documents,immigration officer will indicate length of stay, university, etc.This will be attached to your passport. You must retain this I-94 form; else you will face trouble in leaving USA later.4. Form I-20 ID copy - all transactions regarding your non-immigrant status will be recorded in this form. This should beretained at all times (not surrendered when you temporarilyleave the US). Your admission number will be given -memorize it & note it elsewhere. 59
  60. 60. 5. Just before you land the correct local time will be announcedset your watch [dual time watch will come in handy here]Chicago is 10:30 hours behind India from 31 st April to 31stOctober and 11:30 hours behind India for other times.6. Once you are out of the plane go straight to the immigrationcounter rush for them to beat the queue. It might take half toone hour here.7. Keep your I-20, passport, admission & aid letters ready.They might ask few questions like - is this your first time inthe US? -Are you a student on F1 visa? -Which University areyou joining?8. The immigration officer will attach an I-94 card on one ofthe pages of your passport usually against the visa page.9. Be very relaxed and answer all the questions that the officerwill ask. Sometimes the officer may ask you to presentfinancial documents or letters from your sponsors. Thus it isadvisable to carry these along with you in your cabin baggage.10. Then go to the conveyor belts to fetch your luggage. Pickup a cart to carry the bags. Then pick up your bags as theycome out on the conveyor (suitable eye-catching labels helphere). If you don’t get your baggage inform the enquirysection.11. Cart your baggage to nearby Customs. If asked, tell theofficer that you are a student on F-1 visa, school, departmentand coming to USA for the first time. If asked to open thebaggage, do so slowly but do not mess up the place. Note: Inmost cases you will NOT be asked to open your boxes at all &will be simply waved through.12. Never leave your baggage unattended. Don’t go out of theairport until somebody comes to receive you. If you have doubtthe person who has come to receive you, don’t hesitate to askfor his/her identification paper.13. Once you reach your house (or other destination) call home& inform them of reaching safely. 60
  61. 61. 12. TestimonialsMany a times, we are asked how can we work with so muchintensity and still don’t burn out. The answer to this questioncan be found in the following feed backs that our students havegiven. If we can be a source of inspiration and happiness of thishigh quality to so many students, we can do our work with somuch intensity for atleast hundred more years!Shreya MehendaleSunil Sir and the entire team at FACT have been a beaconthrough the entire admission and VISA process. The wholeprocess has been a cakewalk in spite of the initial few obstacles.Sunil Sir and Katre Maam have given me all the time in theworld with my difficulties and have been an excellent supportsystem. FACT probably does the best job at counselling andVISA training. Everyone in FACT is like a part of a bigfamily. Thank you Sunil Sir for helping me step up to realizingmy dreams. Youll are truly the best and thats a FACT.Prithviraj Bhosale“You can call him without any hesitation even at 11:00 in thenight if you have a query.” The sentence says it all. Sunil ShahSir has always shared a very special relationship with not justme, but all his Students. He is a person who will not only solveyour education related queries, but also guide you at personallevel. The comfort level he shares with his Students is reallyamazing. When I went to Shah Sir with my GRE score andtold him about my Masters Program, without referring to anybook or the Internet, he had a list of Universities ready for me,which I had to shortlist. And I am proud to tell that I shortlisted 5 Universities and got admission in 4 of them. Theamount of excel he has acquired in Education counseling is farbeyond this page. He owns a deep knowledge in his professionand it always keeps your confidence level high when you haveSunil Shah Sir standing besides you. Apart from his friendlyand jolly nature, at times he has been strict too when studentsdon’t take up sincerely. Sunil Shah Sir has helped me andguided me in one of the most critical stages of my life andwithout him, my task would had been so much difficult. I will 61
  62. 62. recommend his name to each and every person who seeks myadvice on Education Counseling. I know he is the best and willalways be.On a final note just one thing to say, “The more I write abouthim, the less I describe him!” Three cheers to Shah Sir. Thankyou for everythingAbhijeet RansingFrom calling 20 times when in need to none when happy. Yes,I know it may seem selfish. But Sunil Sir and FACT havetaken it all in stride and helped me through thick and thin.And the most important thing was that his cell was never outof coverage or switched off, which inevitably would have leadto some excuse!!!!Sunil Sir has given all the students of FACT all of his timewhen we needed it the most at the crucial times of theapplication process.Katre Madam has been a prime support through the VISAprocess. Shes friends, guide, and a motherly figure who looksonly at the benefits of the student.Sunil Sir and FACTs employees like Nandini took due care ofour progress. Not to forget Ajay and Shreya who have helpedme in every way possible for my VISA process. I must say iinitially came to FACT just to chill but the FACT teaminitiated me into the process in a very subtle and nice way.THANK YOU ALLP.S (to all students): BE COOL & YOU WILL LAND INFLORIDA!Abhishek ParanjapeI was associated with FACT and Mr Sunil Shah for thepurpose of getting proper guidance in pursuing MS course inMechanical Engineering in the USA.Mr. Shah has thorough knowledge of the curent scerarioregarding higher education outside as well as inside India. Thefaculty members working with Mr. Shah are skilled,professional and polite. Getting appointments and things likethat was never a problem.It was very reassuring to be in his company when at FACT. Ihad completed my Engineering from an autonomous 62
  63. 63. university, and so i was skeptical about my admissionprospects. Mr Shah, was of great help to me then, hepersonally handled my case and crafted my SOPs, RECOs etcto the best of his abilities.The result: I got an admit after all result is what that matters.Mohit Singhania“Sunil sir is the best choice as an advisor for your admissionsto universities in US”I was really worried about my admissions in a good universityand Sunil sir was the only man who made it possible to have itin one of the best university in US. i would like to say he is theman on whom students can blindly trust for their admissions. iwould like to mention that he used to work on my documentseven upto 3 o clock in morning he is great man and a goodfriend to his students thanks sir"Akshay Siddha"Probably...err...not probably but the best place to getguidance from for your educational plans. It is the place whichguides you perfectly and helps you realise your educationalplans. They have guided a confused person like me for gettingthe best possible university in USA for my MS. Believe methey are the best in this field and are more than eager to helpyou out in any problem. DO NOT forget to knock on theirdoor before taking any decisions in your educational careers."Harshad Kulkarni“A TRUE FRIEND PHILISOPHYER & GUIDE"I came in contact with FACT (Pune), last year when I havedecided to peruse my masters abroad. But believe me that wasthe very tough journey until I came to know about FACT.FACT was the only Institute in Pune or may be in India whichhas given me the assurance that “Yes the guy with my kind ofbag round (12+3 Engineering Dropout) is also eligible toperuse masters in USA & that’s it.The destitution was fixed then it was time for preparation inthat respect also FACT has helped me a lot with theappropriate test materials, test series & what not ,just to makesure that I must excel in these tests(GRE, TOFEL). 63
  64. 64. After that comes the real important task of documentationhere is the real strength of FACT.The documentation was done in very scruples & customizedmanner in which the minute things like word count, font size,even font type, etc are being taken care of.The most important thing is Mr. Sunil Shah`s 24/7availability Believe me I have received his e-mails at 1.30am,such is the dedication of this person.Today there are three admits in my hand my VISA process isgoing on, & this entire credit goes to Mr. Sunil Shah & hiswonderful team called as FACT.Manasvi ThawaniGurukul is an excellent organization which not only offersservice to its students but a complete solution to enable themprepare for their further studies in a structured and systematicmanner. Mr.Sunil Shah, the CEO, was personally looking aftermy case. Each student is treated exclusively and personalizedsolutions are provided to them. I was quite unsure aboutwhere I would finally end up because most B Schools at the USprefer high work experience where as I only have two yearsbut it was Gurukul and specifically Mr. Shah who made mebelieve that I could make it to a ranked school. It is largely dueto their efforts that today I find myself going to a rankedschool with financial aid as well. Gurukul is an excellentlystructured organization which offers customized support to allits students. I rate Gurukul as one of the best in client service.Nakul Deshpande"I joined FACT in November 2005 to secure admission in anAmerican university for doing MS. With FACTs help I havereceived admits from two universities.The faculty at FACT is very helpful and is always there foryou. Whenever I wanted an appointment to meet any facultymembers, I always got it. Mr Sunil Shah knows all thestudents quite well and he ensures that all their problems aresolved.I see FACT growing as an organisation in the years to come." 64