A good thing about US education system is that there are a number of good universities for variety of different disciplines of education. Any Indian student with reasonable academic background and good financial background, can get admission in a good US university.
The admission process has many steps but there is enough information available on websites of Universities.
The admission is not centralized and you need to apply to multiple Universities. The admission process is also subjective and you do not know why got rejected.
Typical US University looks at the following factors for admission
- Academics – Grades from 9th, 10th and 11th
- SAT/ACT Scores
- TOEFL Score
- Student Application and Essays with the Application
- Extra Circular Activities
- Leadership Skills
- Teacher’s recommendations
Here are some tips, arranged not in the order of importance
- It is better to give SAT or ACT exam in 11th Grade. This gives the student an opportunity to re-appear if the scores are not good
- Do not give 11th Exam lightly. Need to have good grades in 11th.
- Based on your SAT/ACT score, start shortlisting universities. You need to arrive a list of 10 universities – 3 Universities which you aspire, 4 within your reach and 3 Safe Universities.
- Material for shortlisting Universities :
- Each university typically publishes “Freshman Profile”
- Rankings published by US news or any other reputed agency
- State vs Private University : Fees at State University is less than private University
- Geography ( e.g. West Coast Bay Area is good for tech type of jobs)
- In the summer after your 11th grade, you need to look at the Essays for the universities which you shortlisted. Your essays should be ready by August. Do not take any professional help to write your essays, Universities can find out.
- Apply as early as possible: Many universities offer something like “Early Action” which means if you apply early, they will let you know the decision early. E.g. for fall 2016, Purdue applications got open on 1st August and those who applied in August, had their decisions by 23rd October.
- Have recommendation letters ready by August/September. This can become big issue at the last minute.
- After you submit the application online, you will have to send the paper copies of transcripts (mark lists) of 9th, 10th and 11th. This needs to be sent by school in a sealed envelope which is stamped and signed at the edges of the envelope.