International Students Planning Grad Degree in Economics from USA

USA being the home of a number of finest universities in the world for the study of Economics has also become  the most sought after study destination among International students. The right information and advance preparation can make the rigorous admission path a little easy. Keeping in mind the international  students who are not US citizens but want to do their graduate study in US  we have prepared the following tips.

Tips for International Students

  1. Course Equivalency.  A 4-yeat bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite to do a graduate course in US. Therefore you need to be sure if the degree earned by you is acceptable to the US universities you are applying. There is no singular rule to decide equivalency /acceptability that applies to all colleges. Establishing equivalency is difficult and takes time.

    If your college degree does not match or situation is unclear but you think your academic or personal situation merits consideration then let the admission office know about it.

    Send a short letter covering all the facts. Thank the admission office for reviewing your case.  Let them know that you will abide by their decision and offer to provide any other information they may need.

  2. Beat the minimum benchmark of TOEFL/IELTS score. International applicants are required to prove their proficiency in English language by securing minimum marks in either of the tests TOEFL or IELTS. These minimum mark requirements vary from institutions to institutions. Candidates with marks below this minimum are usually denied admission.

    Taking these tests more than 3 times to reach minimum score usually indicates that you are not proficient in English language and the university may not consider your application form.

  3. Prepare thoroughly for the GRE. The majority of graduate programs in the United States require that you take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). While you can take the test more than once, most schools prefer to see no more than two or three scores on your score report. Don't use the actual exam for practice. Instead, take a free online practice GRE.

  4. Finance. Plan ahead how you will finance your graduate study. It costs a lot of money. Even if you have secured scholarships and grants there are additional expenses that need financing. Take advantage of following sources:

    • Campus/ College Employment: Check out the employment opportunities on your campus. Check out fellowship and assistantship. The former is reserved for the best of the best candidates where the college funds entire tuition fees and living expenses of the candidate. Assistantship is different. You assist your professor in research, or teach undergrads at the college or provide some other help that your department needs in return for payment. This does not cover living expenses. But money is good, in combination with other sources, to cover a significant part of your study expenses.

    • Loan: It may be possible to secure a bank loan. Study loans have very reasonable repayment terms but invariably needs a US citizen or a permanent resident as a guarantor.

    • Assistance from Home Country: Many government support international study and may provide financial assistance to such students. So check out all financing opportunities from government sources, charitable trusts and industrial houses in your own country. This assistance may come with a string attached that after graduation the candidate has to return back to the country to serve the government or the industrial house.

  5. Know the deadlines. Be sure you know when all parts of your application are due, and send everything in as early as possible. Mails from US may take several weeks to reach you and a few more weeks for any materials you send to reach the school. The best way to avoid delay, of course, is to use online submission facility.

  6. Find out the transcript requirements. You'll probably need transcripts from every university you attended. Also, if your transcript is in any language other than English it needs to be translated to English and both original and translated versions have to be submitted to the University.

  7. Double check your Statement of Purpose (SoP). Have a native English speaker read it to make sure you haven't made any major mistakes. Do not, however, get someone else to write your statement for you. You will be immediately rejected if (and when) you are caught. Admission committees often look at your score in writing portion of GRE and compare it with your statement of purpose.

  8. Begin the application for a student visa immediately after you're accepted. If you're late in applying for a visa, you could miss the first few weeks of classes. Your program will be able to help you with the paperwork. You will probably need to prove that you have the funds for at least one year of study in order to obtain your visa.
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