Applying for Spring (Jan) 2014 – A Step-By-Step Explanation

If you are applying for spring, here’s one last call to check the timeline for applications – though university deadlines for spring go up to December, the last phase of deadlines is drawing to a close (see deadlines for spring 2014 for more details). For those late universities there are still a number of things you need to get done right away! Note that the timeline below is geared to the earliest universities (which have their deadlines in June). However, the steps given below all need to be taken for all universities no matter what their deadlines are. So, hurry and get into action, there’s no time to lose.

P.S. for those who have already taken admission make sure that you take the 8 steps mentioned right at the end of the blog. Good luck to you all!

January 2013

  1. Review you goals for MS education and choose some specific areas in which you would like to specialize
  2. Register for the GRE and TOEFL examinations – these examinations should preferably be taken by June.

March 2013 – Make a preliminary list of about 30 universities which meet your requirements considering:

  1. Location
  2. Costs
  3. Broad specializations you are interested in
  4. Recommendations by seniors, your professors etc.
  5. Whether your academic profile fits the universities requirements.
Note: for engineers check the free ‘university info‘ feature (under the applications button) at online.dilipoakacademy.com – it lists departments and courses for the top 220 universities (registration is free). Also given are the university rank and GRE and TOEFL institutional codes.

May 2013

  1. Arrange for 10-12 sets of transcripts in sealed covers from your college or university – some universities insist on university transcripts
  2. Choose your recommenders (generally 3 recommendations are required, at least one of which should be from the educational institute last attended) and give them the necessary details – resume, copies of your mark sheets etc.
  3. Start working on your Statement of Purpose (target date for completion 31 May 2012) and resume

May-July 2013

  1. Take the GRE and TOEFL exams latest by 20 July
  2. Carry out a comprehensive review of the 30 universities considering:
    • Your academic performance in bachelor’s degree
    • GRE and TOEFL scores of students admitted in the past
    • Any minimum cut-offs with respect to GRE and TOEFL scores
    • Whether courses of your choice are offered in the spring semester
    • Cost of education
  3. Complete your Statement of Purpose (SOP) and resume
  4. Make your final shortlist of 8-10 universities.
    • Request the ETS to forward your GRE and TOEFL scores to the universities you are applying to, specifying the correct codes for the universities/departments you are applying to.
    • Note: some universities require certain documents to be sent to the department you are applying to
  5. Complete online application process and send the required documents by courier

(Also look out for our blog on the deadlines for universities accepting admissions in spring: University Application Deadlines for the 2014 Spring Semester’)

This completes the application process; however there are further steps to be taken:

  1. Track the status of your application on your status page of the university’s website. Though universities generally communicate decisions or requirements by either e-mail or post, it often happens that the only source of information is your status page.
  2. If there are any deficiencies in your applications (missing documents, non-receipt of GRE or TOEFL scores, recommendations etc.) act immediately to correct the deficiencies.
  3. When you receive an offer letter from the universities (or when an admission decision is indicated on your status page) email your acceptance. This is very important especially when you are offered funding.
  4. When you have accepted the university’s offer of admission and the documentation formalities are complete the university will send you the 1-20, an immigration document, which is essential for obtaining a visa.
  5. When you receive the I-20, check that it is correct in all respects:
    • Your name and date of birth should be exactly as in your passport
    • Your course and course duration are correctly specified
    • The financial sources indicated exceed the costs.
  6. Prepare the visa documentation
  7. Study the visa application formalities specified on the websites of the applicable US Consulate and the VFS (Visa Facilitation Services)
  8. Apply for a visa interview date – you can apply for a visa interview 120 days before the joining date mentioned on your I-20.

For further details on the F-1 visa see our blog on the subject.

 

 

 

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