Pichle do posts mein apne dekha...... Ab aage!
Some miscellaneous items. Some universities require a rank form from your college. So check out the whims and fancies of each university. Some ask for financial certification. To put it simply, the univ wants to know whether ‘baap ke pass paise hai ki nahi’ so that uncle sam will not have to support you during your stay there. Typically you need to show finances for the first year which includes tuition fees and living expenses. This amount varies from university to university. Usually California and north eastern universities are expensive whereas Texas ones are cheaper. So how to show so much money. If you have that much money, well and good. If not, you have an option of taking a bank statement from some wealthy relative and getting a affidavit from him stating that he will sponsor your education.
So now you are ready to send your packets to the universities. Make packets for each univ consisting of what is required. You could save some money if you send all universities packets together to someone in the US who can then send the individual packets to their destinations. Packets can be sent by courier or post. I sent it by speed post. Yeah for once a government agency can be trusted to deliver.
You will also have to fill the online application form. This also can be annoying as each university asks for different things. UMinn asked for some diversity essay in which I had to prove I am different from other students and not too different so as to be considered abnormal. Gatech had four questions instead of the SOP. So don’t expect to fill all the forms in one sitting. Keep tea and music for the breaks. Don’t forget to make a resume which strictly talks about your research experience and academics and a short mention of your extra curriculars. Gold medals in the 4th grade and participation in elocution competitions should not be included. Also report your GRE and TOEFL scores to universities besides the ones you had already reported to.
So that’s it. Its over from India. Now over to the USA. After submission you will just have to sit and wait. The waiting period can be tough specially when your friends get calls and you don’t. I attributed my lack of calls to being out of coverage area and thus decided to change my cell phone service provider. You can keep yourself busy by mailing profs from the universities. You may have to make a webpage for the profs reference. You basically tell the prof how you can be useful to him in his work and whether he can offer you some assistantship. Of course you have to be more subtle. I will never finish this article if I get into the details of the ‘mailing profs’ act. You can also check for scholarships for graduate studies. I trawled the net for days. The only ones I came across and applied to were the NSF and the JN Tata scholarships. I also came across an ‘Education Advising Center’ during this search. You can contact them at 080-41251922 for help with the applications.
And then the last part. The results! It can be over-the-moon joy or heart-breaking sorrow. I thank my parents and friends for helping me cope with this roller coaster period. For instance when Stanford gave me a reject, some of my friends cursed Stan instead of agreeing with the fact that I am not good enough for the university. Now that’s priceless support! Finally you will have to choose one offer in case you have got multiple admits. I decided to take UMinn based on many considerations. So next up is the Visa process. See you same place for the sequel of the American Dream