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Study in United States of America (USA)

Why Study in USA -

  • The United States is the number one destination for international students seeking higher education abroad. In fact, about 30 percent of all current international students in the world are studying in the United States
  • There are endless reasons as to why a student could take USA as an option for undertaking their studies either at undergraduate or post graduate levels. Some of the reasons are


The U.S. higher education system has an international reputation for quality: 

  • Distinguished programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in almost every field of study.
  • Many universities attract world-renowned faculty and are at the forefront of research and technological development.
  • State-of-the-art facilities include libraries, laboratories

Diversity of institutions and programs 

The range of educational opportunities available in the United States is immense. No matter what kind of learning environment students seek, they will find ample choices from among the 3,600 diverse higher education institutions in the country.

Students will want to consider:

Size: Institutions range from less than one thousand to more than fifty thousand students.

Student body:
Most universities are coeducational, but there are sixteen for men only and fifty-six for women only.

Selectivity: University admission policies range from highly selective to open admission.
Setting: Campuses are located in small and large cities, suburban areas, and rural communities as well as in a variety of climates.

Field of study: With hundreds of major fields of study to select from, your students are likely to find a program that suits their personal interests.

Type of institution: Choices include liberal arts colleges that emphasize broad preparation in academic disciplines, and schools that provide professional, career-related training. Some offer technical programs that develop vocational skills, and a growing number of colleges offer options in distance learning.

Academic life 

  • One of the hallmarks of U.S. education is flexibility. Education professionals tend to value creativity, individualism, and inclusiveness. 
  • At the undergraduate level, universities emphasize a broad, well-rounded education. Students are offered a wide range of classes—in math, science, the arts, social science, and languages—before finally having to decide on a specialization.
  • Even at the graduate level, courses might be offered in related fields. Students are actively involved in designing their course schedules because so many options are available.
  • It is even possible to combine academic classes with work experience that will be recognized as part of the degree program. Most institutions have qualified staff on hand to help students make the best course decisions to attain their academic goals.
  • In the classroom, students are encouraged to be active participants in the learning process. Faculty welcomes, and generally expect, student input and encourage students to develop and express their own ideas and questions.

Campus life

A successful college experience involves more than academic work. Students will find a wide range of activities outside the classroom to match their interests, such as internships, clubs, and social, cultural, and sports activities.

These opportunities give students a chance to make friends while they develop team and leadership skills that they will utilize in future careers.

Education system of USA –

The Education in USA is totally different from that in India. To be able to attend university or college, it is essential for a student to finish their 12 years of primary and secondary education. Every individual institution has its own right to decide its admission and academic programs as there is no central ministry of education in USA.

Post Secondary Education in the U.S.
Post secondary education in the United States refers to all formal education beyond secondary school.

There are many universities and colleges of which 4000 are public and private along with community colleges which enroll a whooping 15 million students. Apart from these there are also over 600 public four year and 1650 private four year colleges and universities.

For international students seeking higher educational opportunities in the U.S., post secondary education is typically divided into the following categories:

  • Associate's Degree
  • Undergraduate Degree
  • Graduate Education (Master’s and Ph.D.)

Associate Degree

  • An Associate's Degree can be pursued after finishing 12 years of school education.
  • These programs are usually offered by community colleges or junior colleges.
  • These programs may vary from specialized technical programs to liberal arts degrees designed to lead to transfer into four-year Bachelor’s degree programs.
  • Most public two-year colleges have articulation agreements with four-year institutions.
  • The Associate's Degree program is usually a two-year qualification in areas such as accounting, business, photography, interior designing, and the like.

Undergraduate Degree  (B.A.)

  • Undergraduate education is pursued after finishing 12 years of school education successfully.
  • It is offered in public and private colleges and universities as well as two-year institutions.
  • The curriculum of an undergraduate program generally consists of four general areas of study - major, cognates, general education courses and electives.
  • The program is fairly flexible within subject groups, which enables a student to have numerous degree options, open in the year 1 and 2 of full-time study.
  • In general, an undergraduate program can be finished successfully in four years.

Graduate Education (Master’s and Ph.D.)
Graduate education is pursued after successfully completing a Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree. Master’s/Ph.D. programs of study are typically offered by universities and research institutes.

  • A graduate program could be research-based, coursework-based or can have a combination of both.
  • In general, a Master’s program can be finished successfully in 1 or 2 years full-time. Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.) degrees are typically awarded in the traditional arts, sciences, and humanities disciplines.
  • An M.S. degree is offered mostly in technical fields such as engineering, business and education.
  • Students who want to advance their education even further in a specific field can pursue a more specialized degree which is the doctorate degree, also called a Ph.D.
  •  A Ph.D. degree can take between three and six years to complete, depending on the research area, the individual's ability, and the thesis that the student has selected.
  •  Doctoral level degree or Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) is the highest degree awarded in academic disciplines.

 Application Procedures

Prior to applying for a U.S. student visa, international students must first determine which of the thousands of colleges and universities in America they would like to attend.

The process of searching for American information from, ideal colleges and universities in the United States, which should begin 12 to 15 universities and colleges can consist of a number of factors, including school size, location, type or tuition costs, and should begin 18 months prior to your arrival in the United States.

This is also the time when you should register for tests or exams required for college admission, such as the TOEFL test or SAT. Following the completion of these required tests, the next step in the college application timeline is to begin narrowing down your list of, and requesting months prior to arrival.

All required documents, including your application essay, transcripts and references, should be assembled during this time period as well, then sent to your schools of choice 10 months prior to arrival.

Once sent, schools will review your application and send you a letter informing you as to whether or not you have been accepted into the institution. Following acceptance, international students should begin the process of applying for their U.S. student visa 3 months prior to arrival in the United States.

Visa Procedure

General Information: The United States welcomes foreign students to American language schools, high schools, universities and other institutions of higher education. Students on F-1 visa may accept employment in the U.S. as a part of their practical training by obtaining an Employment Authorization Document.

Eligibility Requirements: An applicant for a student visa must come to the United States to pursue an academic program in an institution recognized by, and affiliated with, the United States government. The alien must have a valid educational purpose for coming to the United States. The student can stay in the United States for as long as he/she is enrolled in school.

Student Applicants (for F-1 and M-1 visas) - Overview

For student related information, visit the Education USA website created by the Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to learn about educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate study, opportunities for scholars, financial aid, testing, admissions, and much more. For a brief overview, visit the article Basics on U.S. Visas.

  • The first step for a prospective nonimmigrant student is being accepted for enrollment in an established school which is SEVP certified. In general, for academic students attending a university, college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory or other academic institutions, including a language training program, an F-1 visa is the appropriate category.
  •  For students attending vocational or other recognized nonacademic institutions, other than a language training program, an M visa is generally the appropriate category.     

If you are going to the U.S. primarily for tourism, but want to take a short course of study that is recreational, and the course is less than 18 hours per week, you may be able to do by using a visitor (B) visa.
If your course of study is 18 hours or more a week, you will need a student visa. When traveling to the U.S. to attend seminars, conferences or a program of study for academic credit then you will need a student visa.

When Do I Need to Apply for My Student Visa?
  • Students are encouraged to apply for their visa early to provide ample time for visa processing. Students may apply for their visa as soon as they are prepared to do so.
  • Students should note that Embassies and Consulates are able to issue your student visa 120 days or less, in advance of the course of study registration date.
  •  If you apply for your visa more than 120 days prior to your start date or registration date as provided on the Form I-20, the Embassy or Consulate will hold your application until it is able to issue the visa. Consular officials will use that extra time for application processing.
  • Students are advised of the Department of Homeland Security regulation which requires that all initial or beginning students enter the U.S. 30 days or less in advance of the course of study start/report date as shown on the Form I-20. Please consider this date carefully when making travel plans to the U.S.
  • A beginning student who wants an earlier entry into the U.S. (more than 30 days prior to the course start date), must qualify for, and obtain a visitor visa.
  •  A prospective student notation will be shown on his/her visitor visa and the traveler will need to make the intent to study clear to the U.S. immigration inspector at port of entry. Before beginning any studies, he or she must obtain approval for a change to Exchange Visitor status, filing Form I-539, Application for Change of Nonimmigrant Status and pay the fee.
  • Also you must submit the required Form I-20 to the Department of Homeland Security office where the application is made. Please be aware that one cannot begin studies until the change of classification is approved.
  • Continuing students may apply for a new visa at any time, as long as they have been maintaining student status and their SEVIS records are current. Continuing students may also enter the U.S. at any time before their classes start.
What Is SEVIS and SEVP? What Should You Know about It?

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is designed to help the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State better monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors.
Exchange visitor and student information is maintained in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2).
SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit mandatory information and event notifications via the Internet, to the DHS and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor's stay in the United States. Select SEVIS to go to the DHS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Internet site and learn more.
All student applicants must have a SEVIS generated I-20 issued by an educational institution approved by DHS, which they submit when they are applying for their student visa. Your school is responsible for entering your information for the I-20 student visa form into SEVIS.
The consular officer will need to verify your I-20 record electronically through the SEVIS system in order to process your student visa application. Unless otherwise exempt, all F-1 or M-1 principal applicants must pay a SEVIS I-901 fee to the DHS for each individual program. See the SEVP Fact Sheet for a fee list. See SEVIS-901 Fee for further information on how to pay the fee.

Qualifying for a Student Visa

The Immigration and National Act is very specific with regard to the requirements which must be met by applicants to qualify for the student visa. The consular officer will determine whether you qualify for the visa. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate that they properly meet student visa requirements including:

  • Have a residence abroad, with no immediate intention of abandoning that residence;
  • Intend to depart from the United States upon completion of the course of study; and
  • Possess sufficient funds to pursue the proposed course of study.
Applying for a Student Visa

As part of the visa application process, an interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79, with few exceptions.

Persons age 13 and younger, and age 80 and older, generally do not require an interview, unless requested by embassy or consulate.

The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so early visa application is strongly encouraged. Embassy or Consulate worldwide is available on our website at Visa Wait Times, and on most embassy websites. Learn how to schedule an appointment for an interview, pay the application processing fee, review embassy specific instructions, and much more by visiting the Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply.

During the visa application process, usually at the interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly taken. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant's interview by a Consular Officer. Also, because each student’s personal and academic situation is different; two students applying for same visa may be asked different questions and be required to submit different additional documents.

Required Documentation

Each applicant for a student visa must submit these forms and documentation as explained below:

  • Form I-20A-B, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students or Form I-20M-N, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status for Vocational Students. You will need to submit a SEVIS generated Form, I-20, which was provided to you by your school. You and your school official must sign the I-20 form. See the previous section for SEVIS information.
  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit our DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must complete an application.
  • One (1) 2x2 photograph. See the required photo format explained in Photograph Requirements;
  • A MRV fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee.
  • The SEVIS I-901 fee receipt.

All applicants should be prepared to provide:

  • Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended;
  • Scores from standardized tests required by the educational institution such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc.;
  • Financial evidence that shows you or your parents who are sponsoring you has sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study. For example, if you or your sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or statements. If you or your sponsor owns a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements.

What are the Required Visa Fees?

  • Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee - For current fees for Department of State government services select Fees. You will need to provide a receipt showing the visa application processing fee has been paid, when you come for your visa interview.
  • Visa issuance fee – Additionally, if the visa is issued, there will be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable. Please consult the Visa Reciprocity Tables to find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is. If there is a fee for issuance for the visa, it is equal as nearly as possible to the fee charged to United States citizens by the applicant's country of nationality.

 Spouses and Children
Applicants with dependents must also provide:

  • Proof of the student’s relationship to his/her spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and birth certificates.)
  • It is preferred that families apply for F-1 and F-2 visas at the same time, but if the spouse and children must apply separately at a later time, they should bring a copy of the student visa holder’s passport and visa, along with all other required documents.
Additional Information
  • No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore final travel plans or the purchase of non refundable tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued.
  • Unless previously canceled, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, if the traveler has a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport, do not remove the visa page from the expired passport. You may use it along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.
Entering the U.S. - Port of Entry

A visa allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad, to travel to the United States port-of entry and request permission to enter the U.S.

Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States.

 Student visitors must have their Form I-20 in their possession each time they enter the United States.

 In advance of travel, students should review important information about Admissions/Entry requirements, as well as information related to restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products or other restricted/prohibited goods explained on the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection website. Upon arrival (at an international airport, seaport or land border crossing), you will be enrolled in the US-VISIT entry-exit program.

 In addition, some travelers will also need to register their entry into and their departure from the U.S. with the Special Registration program. If you are allowed to enter the U.S., the CBP official will determine the length of your visit on the Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94). Since Form I-94 documents your authorized stay in the U.S., it’s very important to keep in your passport.

Staying Beyond Your Authorized Stay in the U.S. and Being Out of Status
  • It is important that you depart the U.S. on or before the last day you are authorized to be in the U.S. on any given trip, based on the specified end date on your Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94. Information on successfully maintaining your immigration status while a student or exchange visitor can be found on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.
  • Staying beyond the period of time authorized by the DHS causes you to be out-of-status in the United States, which is a violation of U.S. immigration laws. This may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the future for return travel to the U.S. Select Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas to learn more.
  • Staying unlawfully in the United States beyond the date Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authorized, even by one day, results in your visa being automatically voided, in accordance with immigration law, INA 222(g). In this situation, you are required to reapply for a new nonimmigrant visa, generally in your country of nationality.
WhatItems Do Returning Students Need?

All applicants applying for renewals must submit:

  • All items listed in the Required Documentation section and;
  • A new I-20 or an I-20 that has been endorsed on the back by a school official within the past 12 months.
Students Away from Classes More Than Five Months

Students in or outside the U.S., who have been away from classes for more than five months, will likely need a new visa to enter the U.S.

How long may I stay on my F-1 student visa?

When you enter the United States on a student visa, you will usually be admitted for the duration of your student status. That means you may stay as long as you are a full time student, even if the F-1 visa in your passport expires while you are in the United States.

For a student who has completed the course of studies shown on the I-20, and any authorized practical training, the student is allowed the following additional time in the U.S. before departure:

  • F-1 student - An additional 60 days, to prepare for departure from the U.S. or to transfer to another school.
  • M-1 student - An additional 30 days to depart the U.S. (Fixed time period, in total not to exceed one year). The 30 days to prepare for departure is permitted as long as the student maintained a full course of study and maintained status. An M student may receive extensions up to three years for the total program.
Optional Practical Training

Students who are authorized for Optional Practical Training (OPT) must have an I-20 endorsed for OPT, and provide a USCIS-issued Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
When authorized, Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to the eligible F-1 student’s area of study. To learn more about OPT, please visit the USCIS Website and the ICE international Students webpage.

How Do I Extend My Stay?

Visitors who wish to stay beyond the date indicated on their Form I-94 are required to have approval by USCIS. See Extend Your Stay on the USCIS website.

How Do I Change My Status?

Some nonimmigrant visa holders, while present in the U.S., are able to file a request which must be approved by USCIS to change to another nonimmigrant category. See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website.
Important Note: Filing a request with USCIS for approval of change of status before your authorized stay expires, while you remain in the U.S., does not by itself require the visa holder to apply for a new visa. However, if you cannot remain in the U.S. while USCIS processes your change of status request, you will need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

 Cost of studying -.

Tuition Fees - The tution expenses of a University depends which category it falls under which are broadly categorized as Public University which are entirely supported by the state and secondly the private university which are independent institutions. Though the fees of public university’s is lesser than private ones, it also varies for different universities and their respective courses. Approximate average cost given below,

Institutions Details Cost details Living costs
State Institutions at high cost $20,000 to 25,000/year $ 8,000 to 12,000/year
State Institutions at low cost $10,000 to 12,500/year $ 8,000 to 12,000/year
Private Institutions at high cost $35,000 to 45,000/year $ 8,000 to 12,000/year
Private Institutions at low cost $15,000 to 25,000/year $ 8,000 to 12,000/year

Financing of Education:-
There are various loans are available for students who wish to pursue their education in USA. The only pre requisite is that the college must be an approved school and you should have a permanent citizen of the US to co sign the loan with them. Also, do look into the various scholarships provided by various colleges.

 Some offer very good ones and are a huge help to finance you education. You can also opt to working while you Study at USA and may consider taking part time jobs either on campus or off campus.

 Careers in USA

  • The United Stated holds numerous career opportunities provided by the large number of flourishing and thriving industries here.
  • The three largest industries are Science, Technology and more recently Information Technology.
  • Apart from these those in the field of Finance, Engineering, Communication, Films and Fashion also have a huge scope for themselves in the US.
  • So whatever a field of study may be, this country surely has lots to offer in that field.
  • The pay scales for those who have a good qualification and a good work experience can easily pursue a good career in the United States.
  • The most highly paid are the software professionals who get an average of about $80,000 annually along with Executives and professionals who also enjoy good salary packages.
  • According to a study, the average employees in the US get an annual salary of about $72,500. Those who wish to stay long and work in US can apply for H1B work visa which lets highly skilled professionals and foreign students an opportunity to legally live and work in USA.

Top Universities in USA

Name, Address and phone No.   URL
Stanford University
General Counsel Building 170, Third Floor, Main Quad, Stanford,
CA 94305-2038, (650) 723-9611,   (650) 723-4323   Fax,
  Web Site:-
Massachusetts institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, tel 617.253.1000       tty 617.258.9344,
University of California
Berkeley, 2000 Carleton, St. # 2284 Berkeley, CA 94720-2284,  (510) 642-9900      ,
Pennsylvania State University
201 Shields Building ,University Park, PA 16802-1294, Telephone:   (814) 865-5471      
Fax: (814) 863-7590 ,TTY/TDD: 814-863-9419  , E-Mail:-,
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA 734-764-1817      
University of Michigan-Dearborn, MI
48128,  USA 313-593-5000       University of
Michigan-Flint, MI 48502 ,  USA             810-762-3000
Cornell University Day
Hall Lobby Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853 ,  (607)254-4636  (4-INFO) (607)255-5396,
University of Wisconsin
Madison 21 N. Park Street, Ph. No. 608-263-2400 ,,
University of Texas
Austin The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C1200, Austin, Texas 78712,
Ph. No.-(512) 475-7348,  (512) 471-3434      .,
University of Washington
Box 351207, Seattle WA, USA 98195, Phone: 206-543-2580 , fax: 206-685-0658,,
University of Illinois
Urbana Champaign University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Office of Admissions and Records 901 West Illinois Street Urbana, IL 61801, Phone: 217-333-0302,  Fax: 217-244-4614 , E-mail:, ,

For Chicago Satelite Office:- Office of Admissions and Records – Chicago Satellite Office University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 200 South Wacker Drive Illini Center - 2nd Mezzanine Chicago,
IL 60606 . Phone:  312-575-7810 , Fax: 312-575-7818
University of Minnesota
240 Williamson Hall 231 Pillsbury Drive S.E. Minneapolis,
MN 55455-0213
Phone Number: Admissions:  612-625-2010  or  1-800-752-1000  Campus visits:             612-625-0000       or 1-800-752-1000       TTY (for the hearing impaired):  612-625-9051
Carnegie Melon University
5000 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213,
Phone:-  412-268–2000 ,  412-268–2082   
E Mail:-,
University of Chicago
1126 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL 60637,
Telephone:  773-834-9071  , Fax: 773-702-8490
Columbia University New York
2960 Broadway New York, NY 10027-6902
General Information:-  (212) 854-1754  ,,
Texas A & M University
109 John J. Koldus, Building 1265 , TAMU College Station, TX 77843-1265  (979) 458-0427      ,
Phone: +1 979 842 2222 , Fax: +1 979 845 2074,
  www.admin [at]
Princeton University (NI)
Princeton, NJ 08544,
Yale University (CT)
PO Box 208234, New Haven, CT 06520,
Harvard University (MA)
Undergraduate Admissions Office, Byerly Hall, 8 Garden Street Cambridge, MA 02138,,
University of Pennsylvania
3451 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Duke University (NC)
2138 Campus Drive, Box 90586 Durham, NC 27708,
Dartmouth College (NH)
6016 McNutt Hall , Hanover, NH 03755,
Washington University in St. LouisCampus
Box 1089, 1 Brookings Drive, St. Louis,
MO 63130-4899,,
Brown University
(RI) Box 1920, Providence, RI 02912,
E-Mail:- admission_undergraduate,
Northwestern University
(IL) 633 Clark Street Evanston,
IL 60208,
Johns Hopkins University (MD)
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218,
Emory University (GA)
201 Dowman Drive Atlanta, GA 30322,
Vanderbilt University (TN)
Nashville, TN 37240,




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