Study in USA

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Are you planning to pursue higher education from the US? Find the best university or college in the US with all the details related to the university, programs, courses, tuition fees, admission requirements, and accommodation costs. Select the right path with various career options and innovative study curriculum for pursuing education in the US.

Why Choose US for your Higher Studies?

The USA is ranked #1 for being the best study abroad destination in the world. According to the QS World Ranking, the US is home to 33 globally ranked universities out of 100. It is the most popular study abroad option for Indian students mainly because of the high quality of education and better career prospects due to the international recognition of qualifications and networking opportunities. The US is a culturally diverse country with over 1 million international student population pursuing various bachelor, masters, and doctoral degrees. 

Some of the popular cities to study in the US are Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia. It has over 4,000 prestigious universities offering unique degree programs in different areas of interest that are recognized and accepted around the world for their excellence. Some of the top universities in the US are Harvard University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Columbia University, etc. The education is offered through 3 categories of Community Colleges, 4-year Private, and Public Institutions. The US is leading in Research and Development in the world which makes it the most popular country for international scholars. The country spends around 22 billion dollars on research and innovation annually. The credit transfer system ensures greater flexibility in the education system. The US has a high acceptance rate of international students. The Visa acceptance rate is 80%. Several scholarships and bursaries are available to international students along with an option to work part-time in the US for 20 hours a week. The employment rate of international students in the US post-degree completion is 62%.

Related Articles

Here are some articles listed that help you understand the benefits of studying in the USA. These articles guide students in choosing the best universities, entrance exams, scholarships & financial aids, etc. Explore for more related articles!

Scholarships for Indian Students in USA: Eligibility, Amount offered and Top scholarships

There are a plethora of scholarships for Indian students in USA. Scholarships to study in the USA for Indian students are offered both as fully-funded or partially-funded. The funding covered by each scholarship depends on the level of study, course, and the institution chosen by an applicant. 

Top universities in the USA offer scholarships based on factors like academic scores, achievements, recommendation letters, and extra curricular activities. Indian students are advised to apply before a certain deadline and plan well accordingly. The different categories of scholarships for Indian students in USA are: 

  • Government-funded Scholarship
  • Program-specific Scholarship
  • Subject-specific Scholarship
  • Organization Provided Scholarship

Table of Contents

Top Scholarships to Study in the USA for Indian Students

The applicants should apply for the respective scholarships 8-12 months before the preferred intake. Some of the most popular scholarships for Indian students in USA are:

  1. Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships
  2. Tata Scholarships for Cornell University
  3. Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship
  4. The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program
  5. Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship Program
  6. National Overseas Scholarship
  7. SN Bose Scholarship
  8. KC Mahindra Scholarship
  9. Narotam Sekhsaria Scholarship
  10. Chicago Booth Scholarships for Indian Students

Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships

Students who show exceptional talent in their field of choice can apply for these scholarships to study in North America or Europe. They are not available for students pursuing studies in the fields of engineering, computer science, business studies, medicine, public health, fashion design, music, and film animation.

The maximum amount offered is $100,000 that covers the full tuition fees, one-way travel allowance, living expenses, and a health allowance. Indian graduate students with exceptional academics and excellence are offered a full-expense scholarship by the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation. The scholarship application portal is open between January 15- April 15 and students are advised to apply within the time frame.

Some of the eligibility requirements for Indian students applying for the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarship are:

  • The applicant should be an Indian citizen and resident at the time of the scholarship application
  • He/ she should have a good first-class degree from a recognized Indian University/College
  • The applicant should be less than 30 years of age

Tata Scholarships for Cornell University

The Tata Education and Development Trust has partnered with Cornell University to help the meritorious and underprivileged students from India who wish to study undergraduate courses at Cornell with an endowment worth $25 million. Around 20 scholarships are granted every year to deserving students.

The scholarships are preferably given to students enrolled in the college of architecture, arts & planning, and college of engineering. Students pursuing applied economics & management, biological sciences, and physical sciences major are also given preference.

Indian students can apply for the Tata Scholarships around October and November and the scholarships are offered by December. Listed below are the eligibility requirements for Indian students to apply for the Tata Scholarships for Cornell University:

  • The applicant must be an Indian citizen who has completed secondary school in India
  • He/ she should be accepted in any of the Cornell University’s undergraduate program
  • The candidate should be eligible for a need-based scholarship

Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship

The Rotary Foundation provides scholarships to students pursuing studies in six main subject areas that are peace and conflict prevention/ resolution, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, economics, and community development. The amount provided is between $15,000 and $30,000.

Scholarships worth over 7.5 million USD per annum are offered to develop world leaders of the next generation and assist in their philanthropic objectives. The variable scholarship amount is offered as a one-time payment. Given below are the eligibility criteria for Indian students willing to apply for the Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship:

  • The applicant’s project should have a long-term and sustainable impact on the society
  • The project should include activities that align with the foundations’ beliefs and should have a minimum expenditure budget of 30,000 USD
  • The applicants are required to have strong public speaking and interpersonal communication skills
  • He/ she should have demonstrated high ethical standards in their personal, academic, or professional lives
  • The student should also have the minimum required academic qualification and performance

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program

This scholarship is designed for international students who wish to pursue non-degree graduate study programs in the US to gain practical experience for 10 months. The scholarship focuses on urban and regional planning, HIV/AIDS policy and prevention, economic development, and others.

The minimum scholarship amount is $15,000, and the maximum amount is $30,000. Given below are the basic eligibility requirements for Indian students willing to apply for the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program:

  • The applicant should have an undergraduate degree along with at least 5 years of full-time, professional experience
  • He/ she should have limited or no prior experience in the US
  • The candidate should demonstrate leadership qualities and have a record of public service in the community
  • English language proficiency is another must

Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship Program

The Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship is awarded to 5 students from India every year. Grants worth $150,000 are provided for a two-year business management course from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Indian students pursuing an MBA program at Stanford University are offered funding that covers 80% of the cost of tuition and associated fees. The admission eligibility for Indian students for the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship is shown below:

  • The applicant should be eligible for the Stanford MBA Program
  • He/ she should demonstrate financial need and also academic excellence
  • The candidate should be dedicated to developing India and be willing to return and live in India after the completion of the course.

National Overseas Scholarship

The National Overseas Scholarship is offered exclusively to SC/ ST students with the support of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. Students applying for master’s and doctoral courses abroad are eligible to apply for this scholarship. The scholarship is offered as an annual maintenance allowance of $15,400 USD.

It is offered for 3 years for graduate students and 4 years for students pursuing doctoral studies. Some of the eligibility requirements for Indian students applying for the National Overseas Scholarship are:

  • The applicant should be enrolled in any of the fields of study such as engineering & management, pure & applied sciences, agricultural sciences & medicine, commerce, accounting & finance, and social science & humanities
  • The student should have scored a minimum of 55% in bachelor’s or master’s degree for masters or Ph.D. admission
  • The applicant should be less than 35 years of age
  • The annual family income of the applicant should not exceed 6,00,000 INR.

SN Bose Scholarship

The SN Bose Scholarship is offered as a result of the partnership between the Science & Engineering Board, the Indo-US Science & Technology Forum, the Department of Science & Technology (GOI), and WINStep Forward. It is offered to exchange students and cover the expenses such as airfare, health insurance, and stipend. Given below are the eligibility criteria to apply for the SN Bose Scholarship:

  • The applicant should be an Indian citizen pursuing undergraduate or graduate degree programs in the US
  • He/ she should be enrolled in any program in the field of atmospheric & earth sciences, mathematical & computational sciences, chemical sciences, physical sciences, and engineering sciences.

KC Mahindra Scholarship

The KC Mahindra Scholarship is offered by the KC Mahindra Trust to meritorious postgraduate students in the form of interest-free loans. Students who belong to financially weak backgrounds and are unable to support their education can avail themselves of these scholarships for pursuing postgraduate studies abroad.

The scholarship application deadline is March 31, 2021. The KC Mahindra Trust awards INR 8 lakhs to the top three scholars and INR 4 lakhs each to the remaining successful scholars. Given below are the eligibility criteria for Indian students to apply for the KC Mahindra Scholarship:

  • The applicant should hold a first-class degree or equivalent diploma from a recognized educational institution and demonstrate academic excellence
  • He/ she should be an Indian citizen and be accepted by a reputed foreign institution for courses commencing from August 2021 or stretch till February 2022

Narotam Sekhsaria Scholarship

This higher education scholarship program is for Indian students willing to pursue master’s studies abroad. Selected students are offered INR 20,000 Lakhs to pursue a postgraduate program from an accredited university abroad. Find below some of the eligibility criteria to apply for an interest-free loan under the Narotam Sekhsaria Scholarship:

  • The candidate should be less than 30 years of age
  • He/ she should have taken admission in the Fall intake of a prestigious institution in any of the fields of study such as applied sciences, social sciences, pure sciences, architecture, humanities, law, or management.
  • Students are selected based on their academic merit and performance in the personal interview session.

Chicago Booth Scholarships for Indian Students

Chicago Booth School of Business offers several scholarships specifically for Indian students such as the Ramakrishnan Family Scholarship, Akhtarali H. Tobaccowala Fellowship, and Indian Trust Fellowship. The details of the various scholarships under the Chicago Booth Scholarship are as follows:

  • Ramakrishnan Family Scholarship: This scholarship offers 3 million USD annually from the Ramakrishnan family to Indian students enrolled in full-time MBA programs abroad. 3 Indian students are awarded about 25,000 USD per year.
  • Akhtarali H. Tobaccowala Fellowship: This fellowship of 1 million USD is donated by Rishad Tobaccowala to the alma mater school for funding the studies of Indian students. 
  • Indian Trust Fellowship: This fellowship is for Indian students who have worked and studied in India at the time of admission to the Chicago Booth MBA program. 2 awards worth 10,000 USD each are offered that cover the tuition fees of the program.

Fully Funded Scholarships for Indian Students in USA

The scholarships which cover at least full tuition and living costs are known as fully-funded scholarships. Many fully-funded scholarships for international students, such as those provided by the government, offer additional benefits like airfare and language courses. Some of the prominent fully-funded scholarships available for Indian students in the USA are listed below:

  • Fullbright Scholarships
  • Stanford University Scholarships
  • Yale University Scholarships
  • AAUW International Fellowship Program
  • Clark Global Scholarship Program
  • University of Memphis Scholarships
  • Illinois Wesleyan University Scholarships
  • Onsi Sawiris Scholarship
  • University of New Haven Scholarship
  • Cornell University Financial Aid
  • University of Minnesota Fellowship
  • Rotary Peace Fellowship Program
  • ACI Foundation Scholarship

General Eligibility Criteria to Apply for Scholarships in the USA

The basic eligibility criteria for scholarships for Indian students in the USA are academic excellence. In addition to a good academic score, the scholarships also depend on the university destination, chosen subject, and level of study.

Certain factors like extracurricular activities, volunteering, and achievements also benefit the students applying for scholarships for studying in the USA. Few scholarships require only the application from students whereas, in research-centric programs, the students have to submit written assignments. The general eligibility requirements for scholarships in the USA include:

  • High School Marks
  • Undergraduate Scores
  • Scholarship Essay or Statement of Purpose
  • Recommendation Letters

Read more....

MS in Computer Science in the USA

MS in Computer Science in the USA is usually a one or two-year course in US universities. More than 400 universities in the USA offer this popular course. The minimum qualification required for this program would be the completion of a 4-year bachelor's from a recognized university. Some of these courses are offered part-time, online, or through distance learning. 

Computers and technology have become an essential part of our everyday life. It is used in various public areas such as the economy, healthcare, transportation, and entertainment. This opens up a wide range of career prospects in the computer science field.

The US has been a leading choice among International students for decades. Its modern technologies, flexible study system, and great specializations make it an ideal haven for students who wish to make a career in technology.

Table of Contents

Top Universities in the USA to Study MS in Computer Science

Most of the universities are highly rated in terms of higher studies across the whole world. But the top 10 recommended universities to study courses in computer science are:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  2. Stanford University
  3. Harvard University
  4. Carnegie Mellon University
  5. The University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
  6. Princeton University
  7. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  8. Georgia Institute of Technology
  9. Cornell University
  10. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

MS in Computer Science in the USA: Curriculum

Computer Science is an area of study dealing with computer frameworks using specialized and appropriate methodologies. A Master of Computer Science degree from the USA offers students a wide array of specializations. 

There are a number of areas within the software market that are in high demand, such as AI, IT, programming, ethical hacking, virtual and augmented reality.

In today's world, computers are being used in every field, from software to engineering to financial markets to biological research to designing. They are the ultimate solution to today's problems.

Admission Requirements to Apply for an MS in Computer Science in the USA

A 16-year education is a mandatory requirement for all US universities for an MS in computer science. Apart from this, there are some other eligibility criteria and documents required for postgraduate courses in computer science in the USA.

Eligibility Criteria and Documents Required

The eligibility criteria for applying to an MS program differ for each university. However, the general requirements remain the same across US universities and have been discussed as follows:

  • GRE/ TOEFL/ IELTS/ GMAT score proofs.
  • Recommendation letters
  • Work Experience certificate, if applicable.
  • Photocopies of Passport
  • Certificates of extracurricular activities mentioned in the application form.

Here is a table showing the university-specific cutoff scores for the GRE and English language proficiency:


IELTS Cut-off

TOEFL Cut-off

GRE Cut-off

Massachusetts Institute of Technology




Stanford University




Carnegie Mellon University




University of California, Berkeley




Harvard University




Princeton University




University of California, Los Angeles




University of Washington




University of Columbia




New York University




University of Texas, Austin




University of Illinois




University of Pennsylvania




University of Southern California




Yale University




Cost for Studying MS in Computer Science in the USA

The two main expenses that the students have to bear while studying are Tuition fees and living costs.

  1. Tuition Fees - This cost varies as per the university or the course. On average, the Indian students have to spend $40,000 or INR 29,60,000 for a two-year MS program. The scholarships and financial aids provided can help reduce these costs. The students can also opt for an education loan. 
  2. Living Expenses: The living expenses depend on factors such as location, apartment size, number of roommates, and proximity to the university. Generally, MS students spend between $500 to $1100 per month. So for a 2 year MS course, the students will be spending $15,000 (INR 11,10,000) on an average.

Scholarships for MS in Computer Science in USA

While studying in the USA is expensive, many scholarships are available to assist and support international students' education financially. These scholarships can either be fully-funded or partially funded. 

Your scholarship amount is directly influenced by your entrance exam scores. Scholarships are also offered based on co-curricular activities, achievements, and recommendation letters. The following scholarships are among the more popular options for masters students in the United States:




Civil Society Leadership Award

Exceptional academic record

Tuition fees, living expenses, and monthly stipend are covered

PEO International Peace Scholarship for Women

Only for International Women candidates

12,500 USD

Rotary Foundation Graduate Scholarship Program

Applicants from lower-income countries

30,000 USD

National Overseas Scholarship

Admission to graduate or doctoral programs requires a minimum of 55% in UG

Tuition fees, travel expenses, medical insurance, etc., are covered

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program

Applicants from certain countries, including Indian citizens.

An experience of at least five years in a relevant professional field.

Benefits include tuition fees, health insurance, computer subsidy, monthly stipend coverage

What are the Career Options after an MS in Computer Science?

There is a great scope in the field of technology for students who complete an MS in computer science from a recognized US university. The average salary increment for MS in computer science graduates is around 9% every 15 months.

An analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be a 16% rise in demand for professionals in this field between 2018 and 2028. Here are some of the most popular jobs available for international students after studying MS in computer science from the USA, along with their average salary:

Job Profile

Average Annual Salary (in USD)

Android Developer


Artificial Intelligence Specialist


Blockchain Developer


C++ Developer


Computer Network Architect


ERP Project Manager


Ethical Hacker


Information Security Manager


Lead Developer


Network Engineer


Read more....

List of Famous Universities in USA for International Students

The United States has been one of the most sought-after destinations among international students seeking quality higher education. NCES estimates that approximately 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States welcome international students. Additionally, among the top 200 universities in the world, 50 are in the US, according to QS World University Rankings, 2022. In this article, we will discover the most famous universities in USA for international students.

Top universities in the USA have different requirements based on the programs they offer and the level of those programs. US universities place a strong emphasis on the academic achievements and professional experience of students. International applicants need to demonstrate a GPA of 3.0-4.0 on a 4.0 scale in order to get accepted by US universities.

List of Famous Universities in USA

In this section, we will discuss some of the well-renowned universities in the USA. These universities have been highly ranked by top-ranking organizations. The list of most famous universities in USA has been given below:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in the United States. MIT is well-known for its technical courses that revolve around technology and innovation. Studying at MIT costs an average of 53.68 lakhs for Indian students.

Some of the most popular courses include mechanical engineering, biological engineering, aeronautics and aerospace studies, anthropology, military science, among others. The university has been ranked #1 in the QS World Rankings 2022 and #5 in the Times Higher Education Rankings 2022.

Read More: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Stanford University

Stanford University is among the best research universities in the United States, offering admission to about 18,000 students. The university has an acceptance rate of just 4.4%, making it one of the most selective in the country. It has been ranked #3 in the QS World Rankings 2022 and #4 in the Times Higher Education Rankings 2022.

With a campus that covers an area in excess of 8,000 acres, the school has a rich cultural diversity among students and faculty. International applicants are required to provide academic transcripts, reference letters, ACT/SAT scores, English proficiency scores, essays, etc., in order to apply to Stanford University.

Read More: Stanford University

Harvard University

One of the oldest and reputable universities in the USA, Harvard University is home to more than 2400 faculty members and over 22,000 full-time and part-time students. It is ranked #5 in the QS World Rankings 2022 and #2 in the Times Higher Education Rankings 2022.

Many successful business leaders have graduated from the university's MBA program throughout history, such as Bill Gates and Ratan Tata. Not just corporate leaders, but even former president of the United States, Barrack Obama, has been an alumnus of this prestigious university.

Read More: Harvard University

California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is another popular and top-ranked university in the United States. Caltech is one of the most selective universities in the US, with an acceptance rate of 6%. As per QS world rankings 2022, it ranked #6 in the world. In addition to this, it ranked #4 in the world rankings of Times Higher Education.

The applicants must submit academic transcripts, updated CVs, personal statements, letters of recommendation, and test scores for getting admission into Caltech. Students may also have to submit portfolios and attend an interview for certain courses.

The University of Chicago

Being one of the world’s leading research universities, the University of Chicago is ranked #10 in the QS World Rankings 2022 and the Times Higher Education Rankings 2022. There are over 67 undergraduate programs and 48 postgraduate programs offered by this university.

The University of Chicago received 34,372 applications for class 2024. A total of 2,511 were accepted, representing a rate of 7.30%. In order to be considered for admission, you must score 7 in IELTS and 104 on the TOEFL. The university also requires written essays, letters of recommendation, online videos and other supporting documentation.

Read More: The University of Chicago

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is another university on the list of famous universities in the USA. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it is ranked #13 in the QS World Rankings 2022 and the Times Higher Education Rankings 2022.

The university provides 100 majors across four schools to international students and 300 graduate programs through 12 graduate schools. According to US News and World Report, 2021, its MBA program is one of the most popular programs at the university and holds no. 1 ranking in management, finance and real estate, etc.

Read More: University of Pennsylvania

Yale University

Located in Haven, Connecticut, Yale University enrolls more than 4,664 UG and 7,357 PG students worldwide. At the undergraduate and graduate levels, students can choose from more than 2,000 different programs. The cost of tuition is around 59,950 USD for international students.

Yale University has an acceptance rate of 6.3%, making the application process highly competitive. The university has been ranked #14 in the QS World Rankings 2022 and #9 in the Times Higher Education Rankings 2022.

Read More: Yale University

Benefits of Studying in US Universities

Beyond the world-class living conditions and the efficient course structure, the USA education system offers numerous benefits that attract students from all over the world to pursue higher education in the country. Some of these benefits include:

  • Higher education in the USA provides students with the opportunity to experience a completely different culture and lifestyle. Students learn how to better conduct themselves professionally and personally as a result of this experience.
  • It is no surprise that USA universities top the rankings chart year after year. At present, universities in the United States are the most prolific in producing highly skilled and talented students in a wide range of disciplines and fields. 
  • In addition to being recognized around the world, graduates from American universities are also viewed positively by recruiters due to the sheer brand value of these universities.
  • Despite the high tuition fees, American universities offer generous scholarships to both domestic and international students to study in the United States.
  • People who do not want to limit themselves to master's degrees should seriously consider studying in the United States. Universities in the USA offer unparalleled research opportunities and resources. 

Admission Requirements for Famous Universities in USA

In the USA, the admission requirements for various universities and programs may vary widely. However, the common requirements remain the same across these universities. In order to apply to a college in the United States, you need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Transcripts, mark sheets, and degree certificates
  • Translations of documents in regional languages
  • Scores must be evaluated officially by recognized foreign evaluators
  • The application fee
  • At least a 3.0-4.0 grade point average (83-100%)
  • High SAT or ACT scores
  • An updated CV/resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • GRE/GMAT scores
  • Academic and professional reference letters
  • Proof of financial capability to cover expenses in the US
  • English proficiency test scores

Popular Art Universities in the USA

According to the Niche Rankings 2022, the best colleges in America for Art were ranked on the basis of key statistics and student reviews from the US Department of Education. The table given below shows the most famous art universities in the USA, along with their latest rankings:

University Niche Rankings 2022 (Best Colleges for Art in America)
Harvard University #1
Rhode Island School of Design #2
Yale University #3
Rice University #4
Stanford University #5
Brown University #6
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art #7
University of Southern California #8
Tufts University #9
Carnegie Mellon University #10

Famous Technical Universities in the USA

The USA boasts world-class research-based and technical facilities. There are several popular technical universities in the country. Following are the top engineering schools in the United States as per the rankings given by the US News and World Report 2022:

University US News Rankings 2022 (Best Engineering Schools)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology #1
Stanford Univesity #2
University of California, Berkeley #3
California Institute of Technology #4
Carnegie Mellon University #4
Purdue University, West Lafayette #4
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor #7
Georgia Institute of Technology #8
University of California, San Diego #9
University of Illinois #10

Top Universities in the USA to Study MBA

The MBA program is one of the most coveted programs in the US, which attracts an impressive number of international applicants. Over 1000 MBA programs are offered across several colleges, business schools, and universities in the country. Students from abroad can pursue accelerated MBA programs, part-time MBA programs, and full-time MBA programs in the USA. Upon completion of an MBA program in the United States, graduate students earn an average annual salary of around 160,000 USD. Here are a few of the best MBA colleges in the United States:

  • Harvard Business School
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • The Wharton School
  • University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • John Hopkins Carey Business School
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Kellogg School of Management
  • Columbia Business School
  • Stern School of Business
  • Yale School of Management

Read more....

USA Universities Accepting Backlogs

The United States is home to some of the world's finest universities. American universities have consistently ranked well in global rankings due to their quality of teaching and high academic standards. There are various factors that affect your chances of being accepted to an American university, but in this article, we will focus on the issue of backlogs. It is a common misconception among students that having even a single backlog may impact their dream of studying abroad. You would be pleased to know that several universities in the USA accept backlogs. This article will help you explore the USA universities accepting backlogs.

Table of Contents

What Is A Backlog?

Before we discover the universities accepting backlogs in the USA, let us first understand what a backlog is. A backlog is when you fail to pass an exam on your first attempt. You must appear for the said exam a second time to obtain your degree from the university. However, an exam missed due to sickness or injury (or any other genuine reason) will be marked as absent and not be counted as a backlog.

Upon completing your studies, your institution will issue you a backlog certificate. This document includes information about how many backlogs you have, how many attempts you've made, and whether the backlog is active or not.

In case of no backlogs, institutions usually do not offer a backlog certificate. However, some US universities may still request a backlog certificate as part of their application process. So even if you do not have a backlog, asking for a zero backlog certificate from your university is always a good idea.

Factors Affecting Acceptance of Backlogs 

In the United States, there are various factors that affect universities' acceptance of backlogs. The following factors determine the acceptance rate of backlogs in the USA:

Overall GPA / CGPA

Your academic performance is evaluated based on your final GPA/CGPA. This factor is especially important in the case of applicants with backlogs. If your CGPA is low and you have backlogs, your application is unlikely to be considered. It is possible that the concerned university will admit you regardless of your previous backlogs if you manage to get a good GPA after clearing your backlogs. 

Courses / Subject of Backlogs

If your backlog does not relate directly to the course you plan to pursue; it will not affect your enrollment. However, if those subjects constitute a large part of the curriculum, your chances of getting rejected will increase. 

For example, you wish to pursue social services courses in the USA and have a backlog in one of the core subjects of engineering. In such a case, the backlog will not hinder your chances of getting accepted at the university.

The chance of being admitted to some universities may be affected by backlog history, even if the backlog is in a non-core subject. Although universities may require a certain grade in core subjects, they do not ignore backlogs.

Repeated Backlogs 

When we say repeated backlogs, we mean the amount of time or attempts taken to clear each backlog. You are more likely to get rejected if you make multiple attempts on the same backlog. Also, if you have cleared your backlog in a few attempts, you have a greater chance of getting your application accepted.

Backlog Status

Students with active backlogs aren't accepted by reputable US universities. Most of the universities may also require you to submit a Backlog Certificate, which contains a record of your active and inactive backlogs. Hence, make sure you clear all your active backlogs before applying to the top universities in the USA.

How many backlogs are allowed in the USA?

Due to the high level of competition in universities in the United States, many top schools do not prefer applicants with backlogs. Despite this, there are universities in the USA that accept backlogs. Some universities accept up to five backlogs. In cases where five or more backlogs exist, the university admissions team solely decides whether an applicant will be admitted.

Generally, the USA accepts no more than 15 backlogs. Remember that US universities count backlogs based on the number of subjects. You can also be evaluated on the number of attempts to pass the exam.

Furthermore, universities consider the overall Grade Point Average (GPA), extracurricular activities, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Therefore, in case you have a high number of backlogs, you should consider improving your scores and applying elsewhere. 

List of USA Universities Accepting Backlogs

Taking into account the factors mentioned above, we have compiled a list of US universities that accept backlogs. Check out the list of some renowned institutions that will enable you to pursue your desired course in the USA. Based on the number of backlogs, the US universities are categorized as follows: 

US Universities Accepting Upto 5 Backlogs

This category includes some well-known universities that welcome international students. Fortunately, there is a good number of universities in the USA that accept up to five backlogs:

  • Kent State University, Ohio
  • Wichita State University, Kansas
  • Marist College, New York
  • Wright State University, Ohio
  • Gannon University, Pennsylvania
  • Clarkson University, New York

US Universities Accepting 5-10 Backlogs

Generally, the list gets shorter as we move forward. In this case, however, a larger number of US universities accept up to 10 backlogs. The following list contains such universities:

  • Missouri State University, Springfield
  • Pace University, New York
  • New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), Old Westbury
  • Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago
  • California State University, San Bernardino
  • University of South Dakota, Vermillion
  • Clark University, Massachusetts

US Universities Accepting 10-15 Backlogs

Universities are rarely flexible enough to offer you a seat if you have 10 to 15 backlogs. There are, however, a few good universities that may accept your application. The following are universities in the United States that accept backlogs, between 10 and 15:

  • Golden Gate University, California
  • Pittsburg State University, Kansas
  • Rowan University, New Jersey
  • Old Dominion University, Virginia

US Universities Accepting More than 15 Backlogs

There is a maximum of 15 backlogs allowed at US universities. Unfortunately, students with 15+ backlogs are not eligible to study in the country. You must maintain a good CGPA and clear all your backlogs regardless of which university you apply to. You can further enhance your chances of getting into good universities by maintaining a strong extracurricular profile.

You must also prepare well to get high scores in standardized exams to become eligible for universities abroad. In addition to this, make sure you prepare a good statement of purpose and obtain a letter of recommendation from your university.

Do Backlogs Affect your US Visa?

Lastly, students often wonder if backlogs affect their applications for student visas. There is good news: backlogs do not hamper your application for a US visa!

Student visas to the United States are only given to genuine students who have been admitted to a US educational institution. Therefore, if you have received an unconditional offer to study at an American University, backlogs should not affect the acceptance of your application.

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What is OFC Appointment for a US Student Visa?

The US embassy has established offsite Facilitation Centers (OFCs) to streamline the visa application process. In an OFC appointment, candidates need to provide biometric information: their fingerprints and digital photographs. They are required to book this appointment before attending their US visa interview. 

Earlier, biometric information was collected during personal interviews, but since recent changes to the process, it is now collected during OFC appointments. These appointments are conducted at Visa Application Centers (VACs). If you intend to study in the USA and require a US student visa, you must know how an OFC appointment takes place. In this article, we will take you through this process in detail.

Table of Contents

Documents Required for OFC Appointment

In order to visit the OFC, you will need a set of documents. Ensure that you have scheduled your OFC appointment before the date of your visa interview. The documents required at the OFC center are listed below:

  • Passport: Bring your old passports along with your current passport.
  • Appointment Confirmation Copy: You need to carry a printed copy of the appointment confirmation page to enter the OFC center.
  • DS-160 Confirmation Copy: You must also present a printed copy of the DS-160 confirmation page. You will not be allowed to enter the center without this document.

OFC Fingerprinting and Visa Photo Process

The fingerprinting process at the OFC center is quite simple and straightforward. Since you need to use all your 10 fingers, the process is also called ten printing. The step-by-step process to be followed at the OFC location is given below:

  • Step 1: Most people do not know what is required at the OFC center. The OFC center does not conduct visa interviews. Here you must present your documents like passport, appointment confirmation copy, and DS-160 confirmation copy.
  • Step 2: After reaching the center, you must wait for your turn.
  • Step 3: Your fingers will be scanned after you have been called.
  • Step 4: Your photo will be taken there, so you do not have to carry your visa photos with you.
  • Step 5: Once you have completed the process, you will need to attend the visa interview on the scheduled appointment date.
  • Step 6: Following your visa interview, you need to go back to the OFC center to collect your passport. 

Remember that you need to return to the OFC center to get your passport, even if your visa application has not been approved. If you have selected premium delivery, your passport will be delivered to your residence. 

OFC Appointment Fee

Are there any fees associated with your OFC appointment? It is usually costly to apply for a visa since each applicant must pay a series of fees based on their country of residence. However, in this case, your US visa interview fee includes the OFC biometric fees, so you do not need to pay anything for the OFC appointment separately.

What Happens After an OFC Appointment?

After your OFC appointment, you must attend a visa interview at your local U.S. embassy with a U.S. consular officer. Upon completion of your visa interview, you need to return to your original OFC location and collect your passport(s). Remember that you will be required to provide your DS-160 printed form in order to obtain your passport(s).

If you qualify for a visa interview waiver, you do not have to attend an OFC appointment. Instead, you need to place the necessary documents in a drop box facility. These visa applicants are eligible for an interview waiver:

  • Individuals under 14 years of age
  • Individuals over 80 years of age
  • Individuals renewing their visas in the same category
  • An Individual whose visa falls under these categories: A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, C-3, and NATO

Please check with your local US embassy if you are not sure whether you qualify for an interview waiver or not.

OFC Locations in India

OFCs are available in several locations across India. There are OFCs in major cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, New Delhi, and Kolkata. You can find OFC centers near your location on the internet to determine which location or city is the most convenient for you. 

These centers are generally located near your local U.S. embassy. At your local OFC center, you'll find people who speak your language. As outlined above, you must make an appointment before visiting such a center. There are no prominent differences between making an OFC appointment in India and in any other country.

Important Points to Remember

Along with the information provided above, you must keep the following points in mind:

  • An OFC appointment is scheduled before a visa interview. Until you present the necessary documents and have your biometrics and photographs taken at an OFC appointment, you will not be able to attend the visa interview. 
  • Your visa interview will not be conducted at an OFC location. It will be conducted at your local US embassy with a consular officer. 
  • An OFC is strictly regulated in terms of security. Apart from the necessary documents, you cannot bring any personal belongings with you, including a cell phone.
  • OFC locations are generally managed by third-party organizations; US embassy representatives will not be present at an OFC facility.
  • At your local OFC facility, you will be able to find individuals who speak your language.
  • Although OFC appointments are legally required for most visa applicants, some individuals may not need to attend. Such candidates qualify for the drop box program. They need to submit the required visa application documentation at a local drop box. Check with your local US Embassy to confirm if you are eligible for the same.
  • If you are eligible for the drop box program, simply place the required documents at your local drop box facility. After submitting your documents, you will be notified once your visa has been approved.
  • Prepare all necessary documentation before attending your OFC appointment. If you are not able to provide the required documents at that time, you will not be allowed to enter the facility. Moreover, the entire visa application process will get delayed as you will need to reschedule your OFC appointment. 

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How to Study in USA for Free?

The USA is home to several highly-ranked higher education institutions in the world. With a world-class education system, multicultural environment, and excellent employment opportunities, the country has a lot to offer. However, the cost of studying in the USA becomes a matter of concern for a majority of international students. Is it possible to pursue free education in the USA? If yes, then how to study in USA for free? You will get these answers by reading through this article! 

How to Study for Free in the USA?

The cost of studying in the USA involves tuition fees, living costs, and other exam-related and visa expenses. International students should carefully consider each of these costs before arriving in the country. There are some ways in which students can reduce their overall costs of studying in the United States. Follow the tips given below: 

Prepare an Excellent Application

A majority of the US universities look for applicants who have exceptional academic records and also perform well in the entrance exams. Hence, students must ensure that they meet the minimum eligibility requirements of their desired college and apply accordingly. It is also important for students to prepare their applications as early as possible. This will help them to minimize errors and increase their chances of obtaining scholarships as well. 

Attend Tuition-Free Universities

The USA is home to some of the public and private universities that offer tuition-free education. Students must create a list of all these universities and courses and apply to the ones that match their field of interest. This will help them save a lot of money on their tuition fees. In the next section, we will discuss tuition-free universities in the United States. International students can also apply for some of the cheapest Universities in the USA.

Apply for Scholarships

International students can study in USA for free by applying for fully-funded or partially-funded scholarships in the USA. The amount of funding provided by each scholarship varies according to the applicant’s study level, course, and institution. The major categories of scholarships in the USA include government-funded, program-specific, subject-specific, and organization provided scholarships.

Following are top scholarships available for Indian students in the United States:

  • Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships
  • Tata Scholarships for Cornell University
  • Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship
  • The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program
  • KC Mahindra Scholarship
  • Narotam Sekhsaria Scholarship
  • Chicago Booth Scholarships 
  • Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship Program
  • National Overseas Scholarship
  • SN Bose Scholarship

Read More: Scholarships for Indian Students in USA

Look for Part-Time Job Opportunities

Working part-time in the USA will help students save some money to pay their bills. There are several on-campus and off-campus part-time job opportunities available for international students in the country. However, there are some regulations that students need to consider before applying for a part-time job.

Students are allowed to work for 20 hours a week during their ongoing term of the course. However, at the time of university breaks, they can work for up to 40 hours per week. Additionally, to apply for an on-campus part-time job, international students must have a valid F1 US Visa.

Read More: Part-Time Jobs for Students in USA

Top Tuition-Free Universities in the USA for Indian Students

As you know that tuition-fee forms a major portion of the total cost of studying in the USA. Hence, students must consider studying in tuition-free universities. The list of top tuition-free universities in the USA is given below:

Berea College

Situated in Berea, Kentucky, Berea College distinguishes itself from other postsecondary institutions by providing free education to students and being the first mixed-race university in the southern USA. With 33 majors to choose from, it offers only undergraduate courses for students. According to the rankings of U.S. News and World Report 2021, the college ranks #33 in National Liberal Arts Colleges.

Berea College offers full-tuition scholarships worth more than $25,000 to every student. It also assists students with expenses related to food, accommodation, etc., by offering a work-study program. A total of USD 55,389,392 was awarded for need-based scholarships and grants to students of the 2020 batch.

Read More: Berea College

Alice Lloyd College

Alice Lloyd College (ALC) is a 4-year liberal arts college situated in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. It is one of the best institutions for international students looking to pursue affordable and high-quality education. All students enrolled in full-time programs at ALC are a part of the student work program. Students from abroad receive financial aid through the money earned in the student work program.

To apply for ALC, students need a minimum ACT score of 17 or an SAT score of 810 and a high school GPA of 2.25. International students must also submit their TOEFL scores and a certificate of finance, which must be supported by a bank statement. For international students to be eligible for the Student Work Program, they must hold an F1 visa and obtain a US-issued Social Security number before enrollment.

College of the Ozarks

Founded in 1834, College of the Ozarks is a private Christian college located in Point Lookout, Missouri. With an international student population of 22%, Ozarks is home to international students from more than 20 countries around the world. The college offers over 60 majors and minors in a wide variety of subject areas.

To apply for Ozarks, students must have a letter of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and standardized test scores. The English language proficiency requirement is waived for students of some countries, including India. To be eligible for financial aid, international students must submit the Institutional Financial Need Application. 

Curtis Institute of Music

Situated in Philadelphia, the Curtis Institute of Music is one of the most reputable conservatories in the world that offers bachelor’s, master’s, and diploma courses in the field of music. The institute ranked #26 by QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021. 

At the Curtis Institute of Music, all students receive full-tuition scholarships based on merit, regardless of their financial circumstances. Besides full-tuition scholarships that cover education expenses, Curtis also provides generous need-based financial aid in order to cover living expenses. 

City University of New York

Established in 1961, City University of New York (CUNY) is one of the most prestigious public universities in the USA. The university offers a plethora of programs in multiple disciplines. At present, there are more than 11,000 students studying at CUNY's 25 campuses from over 100+ countries. 

CUNY is proud of its large international student population and has several resources to assist foreign students in adjusting to their new lives in the United States. It offers full-tuition scholarships to students who are a part of their teacher academy.

U.S. Academies

Tuition-free universities in the USA include the US Service Academies. In all, there are five US Academies. These five academic are the US Military Academy, US Naval Academy, US Air Force Academy, US Merchant Marine Academy, and US Coast Guard Academy.

There is no tuition charge for students attending any of these U.S. academies. Additionally, they receive a monthly stipend in return for their service. As part of the application process, candidates are required to pass a physical fitness test. Other admission requirements may differ from one program to another.

Deep Springs College

Established in 1917, Deep Springs College offers a unique higher education experience to its students. Around 12-15 students are enrolled every year. Each student receives a full scholarship, and costs like tuition, board, room, etc., are covered. Deep Springs students are expected to devote themselves to serving humanity in exchange. 

While international students apply similarly to domestic students, there is one major difference. For applicants who have not attended an English-speaking secondary school or college, the college will require proof of English proficiency(TOEFL, IELTS, or an equivalent exam). 

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