How Smart Students Choose the Best US University
Do you know of any international student who does not want to get into the best universities in the US? Probably not! Every student, regardless of the degree they want to pursue whether it is an MS in US or a PhD in USA or even a Bachelors degree, are eager to get into the top US colleges and universities.
When US News and World Report started to heavily publicize its rankings of US colleges and universities, many international students assumed that rankings is the only rule or at least the most important rule in the selection of a good university. This is simply not true. While the academic ranking of a university/college plays a very important role, it should not be considered the only factor to determine the suitability of that college or university for you.
So for all the overseas students who wish to study in the US, we have compiled a list of important factors that will help you find the most suitable university.
College/University Fees – When it comes to the best universities in the US, the top ten universities are also the most expensive ones in term of tuition fees. So, while you might dream about going to Harvard or Princeton, you should take into account their tuition fee which is around $50,000 to $70,00 per year. On the other hand, the tuition for public universities in the US are often less expensive and yet you can get a good education with good employment prospects. Although many expensive universities offer scholarships for exceptional international students, the student must still be prepared to spend a significant amount of money toward tuition, boarding, lodging, text books, lab fees, and other related expenses.
Duration of Program – How long will it take you to complete your degree? This is called duration of the degree. See if the duration and length of the program is appropriate according to your long term plans. If you wish to enroll, for example in MS in US, there are one-year programs and two-year degree programs in the US. Although it may be tempting to enroll in the one-year program, make sure you understand how it compares to a two-year degree program. You may save money by enrolling in a one-year program but employers may not value the degree as much as a two-year degree program. Hence you must compare the courses offered in one-year and two-year programs and gain a full understanding of the value that you would be interested to drive from each of these degree programs.
Admission criteria: The admission criteria for colleges and universities in the US that offer the same degree program can be different. Unlike many other countries where the requirements for admission into the degree program for a specific major is clear and firm, in the US this is not the case. First, each college and university can establish its own admissions criteria. Second, the admissions criteria are flexible. In other words, the admissions officer or the admissions committee can use its discretion in admitting the student. However, certain minimum benchmarks must be met. So before you short list your universities, make sure that your academic profile, which includes your GPA or percentage marks, meets at least the minimum benchmark for the University is looking for. Otherwise, you will be wasting your application fee on universities that will not admit you.
Placement Data – While keeping all above factors in mind, you should not overlook the quality and level of education provided by US colleges and universities. While Ivy League is definitely the place to be, there are countless less expensive educational institutions, which offer equal if not better quality of education for international students in US. One metric that you must use to determine if a college or university is good for you is to look into the placement statistics for international students or even US students. This data is usually available in the Career Placement Center of a US college or university’s website. If the institution is not able to place its graduates in good jobs, that should tell you something. You don’t want to find out about the placement rate after you enroll in the University. By then it may be a little to the.
Other important factors: There are also a number of other important factors that you should take into consideration. For example, some states in the US are more ‘foreign-friendly’ than others. They have a large quota for international students and are more accepting of international students. At other universities, this may or may not be the case. So before you make a final decision as to what is the right University for you, find out the number of international students that attend the University. The population of international students in the university will largely affect your time and experience in the academic institution. Another factor to take into account are internships and, assistantships. Opportunities to gain real-world experience that are offered through US universities and colleges are excellent. Finally, the climate and conditions of the area must not be overlooked. If you have arrived from a warm and humid region, you might face difficulty adjusting to the climate of some geographical regions in the US, with extreme climates. Don’t simply assume that you will “somehow manage.”
The United States is a large and diverse country and therefore if you do your research you will be able to find the university in USA that is the perfect fit for you.