Study in the USA

Why study in the USA:

The United States of America stands first with more than 11 lakhs of International Students in the world. Undoubtedly, it is a dream destination for most of the students. America is well known as a land of freedom, a gateway to opportunities, a hub of innovations and ultimately a world of dreams.

Reasons for choosing the USA

US Universities are the highest ranked in the world.Multicultural Environment provides the students with a higher level of social skills

Multicultural Environment provides the students with a higher level of social skills.

Universities allow the students to work during their studies and after the academic courses well.

USA’s diverse geographical features include dry deserts, tropical islands, the Grand Canyon, snowy plains, California and New York City. Every student can have his/her choice.

The USA has a very big number of Universities which are as diversified as the students.

Campuses are huge and spectacular; small and cozy.

Students can choose between historical and brand new Universities. Also, Universities are equipped with state-of-the-art labs for research.

Important Information:

Average Expenditure $45,000/ year
Average Cost of Living $10,000 - $20,000/ year
Sources of Funding Scholarships, Aids and Part Time Jobs
Medium of Instruction English
Exams Required IELTS/ TOEFL/ PTE/ GRE/ GMAT etc.
Intakes 3 times a year – Fall, Spring and Summer
Type of Visa F1, J1 and M1 visas

Education System in USA

CategorySchool Ages


Pre-kindergarten 3-5

Compulsory education

Kindergarten 5-6

Elementary school

1st grade 6-7 or 5-6
2nd grade 7-8 or 6-7
3rd grade 8-9 or 7-8
4th grade 9-10 or 8-9
5th grade 10-11 or 9-10
6th grade 11-12 or 10-11

Middle school

7th grade 12-13 or 11-12
8th grade 13-14 or 12-13

High school

9th grade Freshman 14-15 or 13-14
10th grade Sophomore 15-16 or 14-15
11th grade Junior 16-17 or 15-16
12th grade Senior 17-18 or 16-17

Higher educationCollege(University)

First year freshman year 18-19 or 17-18
Second year sophomore year 19-20 or 18-19
Third year junior year 20-21 or 19-20
Fourth year senior year 21-22 or 20-21

Graduate school

Master’s 22-24

Free Counselling with our Expert Team

American students join colleges or universities after finishing their 12th standard. US education system offers the most innovative programs to the international students. There are about 4,500 accredited higher educational institutions in USA that offer following degrees:

Undergraduate Degree: It is a full-time undergraduate degree, also known as Bachelor’s degree in the USA. The duration of the degree is 4 years.

Associate Degree: It is a degree of undergraduate level. It is equivalent to a diploma and offered by community colleges in the USA. It is of 2 years duration.

Graduate Degree: A Graduate or Master’s degree completes in 2 to 3 academic years in the universities of America.

Doctorate Degree: A doctorate degree takes a total of 5 to 8 years to complete.

Institutions of Higher Education in the USA:

Types of Institutions Key Points
State College or University Subsidized by the local or state government
Private College or University Run by private groups or Organizations
Community College Offers 2 year associate degrees or certificates
Institute of Technology Offers graduate and short-terms programs in science and technology

Credit System in USA

A standard credit system is followed by all the US universities. The final result is decided on the basis of the total credits earned by the student

Bachelor’s Degree:

A student should complete 3-5 credits per course and a total of 120-130 credit hours to earn the Degree.

Master’s Degree:

A student must complete 3- 4 credits per course and a total of 30-64 credit hours to earn a Degree in the USA.

University QS World Ranking 2022 Annual Tuition Fees/Year
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1 $50,000 - $55,000
Stanford University 3 $25,000 - $55,000
Harvard University 5 $25,000 - $51,000
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) 6 $44,000 - $57,000
University of Chicago 10 $55,000 - $59,000
University of Pennsylvania 13 $60,000 - $62,000
Yale University 14 $58,000 - $60,000
Columbia University 19 $58,000 - $78,000
Princeton University 20 $56,000 - $58,000
Cornell University 21 $56,000 - $60,000

The U.S. education system uses the GPA (grade point average), a scale of 0.0 to 4.0 to grade the students. Students’ marks in each course and the credits in each semester are calculated to declare the grades.

Top Ranking Universities

Harvard University

Global rank - 1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Global rank - 2

Stanford University

Global rank - 3

University of California , Berkeley

Global rank - 4

Columbia University

Global rank - 6

California Institute Of Technology

Global rank - 7

Admission Process (Step by Step)

Once you decide to study in the USA, choose your program and search for the best Universities that are offering your desired program.

Check out the official websites of the selected universities to know the requirements and eligibility criteria.

Finalize the University, fill the application form and upload all required documents and certificates. Pay the application fee as well.

The USA admission process is very painstaking. Hence you may need our career counselors at IAEC to help you with the process.

If you are selected, you will be sent an I-20 form, needed to get your student visa.

Admission Requirements

Degree Requirements
Associate Degree High school transcript or equivalent with an average of C grade

TOEFL iBT score 60

Bachelor’s Degree 12th standard certificate with minimum GPA – 2.50 to 3. 60

TOEFL - 61



Master’s Degree Bachelor’s degree with minimum CGPA 2.50 to 3.60

TOEFL – 78 to 100/ IELTS: 6.0 and above



Cost of Attendance

The tuition fees and living expenditure go up and down according to the program/university and your living standard.

Private Universities are more expensive than Public Universities.

Degree Type Average Annual Tuition Fee
Bachelor’s $8,000 - $40,000
Master’s $10,000 - $60,000

Cost of Living

As mentioned above,cost of living depends on your lifestyle. Students with humble budgets can go for the student accommodation. Even then some expenditure is unavoidable.

Here is a list of average costs of some essentials.

Items Average Cost Per Year
Apartment housing including utilities $21,710
Food $8,500
Dormitory housing $7,588 - $11,914
Transportation $2,180
Books and supplies $13,800
Miscellaneous $1,000

Visa Application Process (Step by Step)

Apply to an SEVP approved institution 6 to 12 months prior to your US study to get the approval. This approval is mandatory to get the I-20 or DS-160 which is later needed to apply for student visa.

Pay your SEVIS fee at least 3 days prior to submitting your US visa application. You may make the payment through online or a paper form. The information about them can be accessed through US Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) SEVP official website.

After receiving your SEVIS form and paying the SEVIS fee, you can book an appointment with a US consulate or embassy in your country for a US student visa application.

Pay the visa application fee. It is also known as the Machine Readable Visa Fee, or ‘MRV fee’.

Necessary documents and details needed to apply for DS-160 visa

Name and date of birth

Address and contact number

Passport details

Details of travel plans, and travel companions

Details of previous US travel

Your point of contact in the US

Family, work and education details

Security, background and medical health information

SEVIS ID and address of US school/program you intend to enroll in (as printed on I-20 or DS-2019 form)

Be at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time of your visa interview.

Scholarships for International Students:

Most of the International students’ scholarships are based on merit or excellence in any extra co-curricular activity. They may be government funded or non-government. Some are university-specific ones as well.

Fulbright Foreign Student Program:

Awarded to: International Students for Graduate programs.

Amount/ Benefit: Covers tuition fees, accommodation fee, health insurance and airfare.

United World Colleges International Youth Scholarships:

Awarded to: Students, pursuing bachelor’s degree in the USA.

Amount/ Benefit: Full or partial fee waiver depending on the funds available.

Rotary Peace Fellowships:

Awarded to: International students pursuing a Certificate Program or Masters’ Degree related to peace and conflict resolution.

Amount/ Benefit: Covers fees, accommodation, transportation, and all internship and field-study expenses.

PEO International Peace Scholarship For Women:

Awarded to: Female students pursuing graduate programs.

Amount/ Benefit: $12,500

Clark Global Scholarship Program:

Awarded to: International students pursuing a bachelor’s degree and demonstrating financial need.

Amount/ Benefit: $15,000-$25,000

Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarships:

Awarded to: Students for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programs.

Amount/ Benefit: $12,000-$25,000

University Scholarships:

Awarded to: Fully-funded scholarships offered by individual universities for both graduate and undergraduate programs. Most universities including Stanford, Yale, Harvard offer these scholarships

Amount/ Benefit: Varies with the university and program

Work Opportunities:

Student visa holders can opt for part time jobs in the USA.

They are allowed to work for 20 hours per week.

There are two types of student employment:

On-campus: The employment is given within the college/university campus.


Off-campus jobs are of4 categories.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Economic Hardship

International Organizations

Part-Time Jobs Average Salary Per Hour
Library Assistant $14
Research Assistant $17
Tutor $12
Campus Tour Guide $13
Department Assistant $16
Food Runner $12
Receptionist $13

Post Study Work Options the USA:

F1 student visa grants them the permission to work in the USA after finishing their studies. It is based on the course. However, there are certain guidelines and restrictions issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in this regard.

Career Roles after MS in the USA:

Area of Specialization Median Annual Salary
Management $144,830
Computer Science $126,830
Chemical Engineering $108,540
Statistics / Data Science $103,930
Electrical & Electronics Engineering $100,830

Work Visa & PR in USA:

After F1 Visa expires, students can apply for H1B work Visa with which they can live and work for up to 6years

After 6years of stay, a student can apply for the Green Card to get PR (Permanent Residency) in the US

Options to apply for a green card in the USA:

Receive Employer Sponsorship

Participate in military service

Seek Asylum

Receive parent or child sponsorship

Marry an American citizen

Studying, working and living in America are the dreams of many students around the world. One can develop one’s personality, accomplish one’s goals and live the life to the fullest. If you are dreaming of studying in the US, don’t delay to contact our IAEC Counselors who are ever ready to help you.


It is very common that the students have so many doubts in mind related to studying and living in the United States. Here are a few commonly asked questions.

A college is smaller than a university because it has only undergraduate degree programs. Universities are broader because they also offer graduate programs

Students must have completed a high-school degree.. They must be at least 17 years old.

An undergraduate degree follows high-school degrees and leads to an associate degree (two years) or a bachelor’s degree (four years). Graduate degrees follow a Bachelor’s degree and lead to a Master’s and Doctoral degree.

It depends on the types of visas. Most likely, you are eligible to work on campuses as a barista or a librarian at your universities. There are so many type of internships you are eligible for. You are also paid.

Community colleges are often state-sponsored and offer an associate degree for two years.

A liberal arts college often offers courses in humanities and languages.

GPA’s full form is Grade Point Average. It is a numeric indicator of students’ performance. It is a scale of 0.0 to 4.0 the highest.

The academic year usually runs from August through May. Most universities run with two semester system, but some go with a trimester system (three terms).

There are 4500 accredited universities in the US. Navigating through them is a tedious job. You should also check the Accreditations of the universities on the official government website. Feel free to call our IAEC Counselor to get an expert advice

Most top universities require a 4-year under-graduate study,but there are some individual universities which accept three-year degree. Check the eligibility criteria of your shortlisted university.

Both TOEFL and IELTS are accepted by the US Universities.

Fall provides more internship opportunities.

Your DOB, religious preference, nationality, passport number and home address are to be avoided in the resume.

You should be very sociable and a go-getter to get the tips from seniors. Contact the university's career center for a job.

: If you work part-time under CPT for less than 12 months, you can still apply for OPT. However, if you work full time for CPT for 12 months or more, you lose your eligibility for an OPT.

You should have an Employment authorization document before leaving, to be readmitted on your return.

A valid passport, valid F-1 visa, valid EAD card, letter of employment and all I-20s with page 3 endorsed to travel by the student's international student advisor in the last 6 months.

Students, studying STEM designated programs and employed by the companies under E-Verify program, can apply for special extension OPT for an additional 24 months.

It ensures that you get salaries and benefits at par with other American counterparts and you are not exploited by U.S. companies.

You are welcomed by the U.S. universities with open arms. International students are provided with separate clubs and offices. You can enjoy your life to the fullest on campus. Besides, students are exposed to so many cultures and different people. It helps them grow individually as well.

Yes, it is flexible. You can work and pursue extra-curricular activities while studying the course. Moreover, you can take up classes at night if it isn't feasible for you to take classes during the day.

It is mentioned in the I-20 form. CPT needs to be a part of studies.
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