October-December Alert for Students Applying for Fall 2014

October-December 2013

For many of you who are applying for admission in fall 2014, the months from October to December will be when several important phases of the application process will draw to a close for you. Here’s what you have to do in that critical phase:

  1. Take the GRE and TOEFL exams latest by 20 December
  2. Carry out a comprehensive review of the 30 universities you previously selected considering:
    1. Your academic performance in bachelor’s degree
    2. GRE and TOEFL scores of students admitted in the past
    3. Any minimum cut-offs with respect to GRE and TOEFL scores
    4. Whether courses of your choice are offered in the Fall semester
    5. Cost of education
  3. Complete your Statement of Purpose (SOP) and resume
  4. Make your final shortlist of 8-10 universities.
    1. 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 (click here for GRE codes; click here for TOEFL codes).

Note: some universities require certain documents to be sent to the department you are applying to

    1. Complete online application process and send the required documents by courier

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

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:
    1. Your name and date of birth should be exactly as in your passport
    2. Your course and course duration are correctly specified
    3. The financial sources indicated exceed the costs etc.
  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 130 days before the joining date mentioned on your I-20.

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

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