Q. Am I suppose to submit all the documents before the deadline?
A. Well, ideally, the deadline means that all the necessary requirements mentioned on the department website of the concerned university should reach the admission office but, in most cases, all the university wants is that you pay up the application fee and submit all the online documents. Physical packets can reach a week or two late.
Q. Can I submit the application without the test scores (GRE and TOEFL)?
A. It varies from university to university but most US universities are flexible and allow applicants to submit their test scores (like GRE, TOEFL) even after the deadlines. It's always advised to inform the university about it.
Q. Should I submit bank documents and affidavit at the time of application?
A. The role of bank documents and affidavit comes into play after you receive the admit. Universities will ask for bank statements and accordingly will issue the I-20 form.
Q. If I don't meet the admission requirements of any university, should I still consider it for my applications?
A. You can. Even though university websites clearly states many criteria for admission, not many of them follow it religiously. If you're far away from meeting the criteria then you should be smart enough to discard it from your choice. Again, you should refer to Past Experiences and take a call.
Q. Can I get financial aid?
A. Many universities have financial aid deadlines. If you meet them followed by a good profile and a genuine need of funding, the possibilities are brilliant.
Q. How many universities should I target?
A. There is no cap on the number of universities you should apply. Generally, a student targets anything between 7 to 12 universities.
Q. What's an ideal list?
A. Going to the best university should be every applicants aim. So, targeting the top rung universities should be your preference. Having said that, keep a few universities in the list where getting in is a bit easy. It's a smart as well as a subjective approach.
Q. Will more number of admits help me during VISA?
Q. Should I send hard copies of Statement of Purpose?
A. Almost every university asks the applicant to upload the pdf copy of the Statement of Purpose (SoP). So, hard copies aren't required.
Q. How many characters should the SoP have?
A. It varies from department to department of university to university. Three is no specific cap and the best way is to read the requirements on the university website. In most cases, an ideal SoP should <=1000 characters.
Q. Are the top rung universities always difficult to crack?
A. A profile with many qualitative and quantitative aspects can breakthrough the admission requirements of top rung universities.
Q. What are quantitative aspects?
A. Test scores like GRE, TOEFL, IELTS and Undergrad Academics come under the quantitative aspects.
Q. What are qualitative aspects?
A. Factors like recommendations, statement of purpose, project details, resume, etc. form a part of the qualitative aspects.
Q. How many semesters do I've in one year?
A. Generally, there are 2 semesters in one year. Some universities also have a trimester pattern.
Q. How do I calculate the tuition fee?
A. Tuition fee, in most cases, is based on the number of credits you take to complete the Masters program. Again, to complete the Masters program, the number of credits can vary from 27 to 35 credits. So, calculate the tuition cost based on the number of credits your particular program demands.
Q. Calculating the tuition fee based on the number of credits, I've to pay X dollars for 2 years but the I-20 amount shows almost 2X dollars. Why?
A. I-20 includes the tuition fee, living expenses, books, insurance and other small yet important expenditures. Though the other criteria can be managed by the applicant, tuition fee is purely dependent on the admission office. So, every applicant has to pay the tuition fee according to the admission rules. But the universities issue the I-20 amount based on all the expenditures. Hence, the amount is always more than the actual amount.
Q. Why do the universities inflate the amount?
A. The universities do not want to get sued by any applicant if, at any point of time, they are forced to increase the tuition fee or miscellaneous expenses. Hence, they inflate the amount so that the candidate is, at least, able to pay the figures mentioned on the I-20.
Q. So, do I exactly spend the I-20 amount?
A. No. You don't spend the I-20 amount. You'll certainly spend lesser.
Q. How much amount will I spend when I'm in the US?
A. It depends from university to university. Location, too, plays a vital role in the living expenses. We suggest you check the University Reviews to understand about the university expenditures for two years.
Q. Is fee always calculated based on the number of credits?
A. Most universities calculate the tuition fee based on the number of credits. However, some universities do charge the tuition fee based on the entire semester.
Q. Can I complete the Masters program in 1.5 years?
A. It varies from university to university but most universities do allow you to complete it in 1.5 years. Again, it depends on the number of subjects you take. Whenever you complete the number of subjects (say 30), you'll receive the Masters degree. So, you can finish it 1.5 years, 2 years, 4 years and more based on your potential.
Q. Are course and credits the same?
A. In simple understanding, course is a superset of credit. In most universities, one course will have 3-4 credits. So, if you take 10 courses, you'll complete, roughly, 30 credits; which means you'll receive the Masters degree.
Q. Can I take any courses/subjects based on my interest?
A. There will be some mandatory credits which will be based on your major. So, you've to take those compulsorily. Once you complete the mandatory credits, you can select any electives from various courses offered by the university.
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