The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million km2), the United States is the world’s third or fourth largest country by total area[h] and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe’s 3.9 million square miles (10.1 million km2). With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City.
The nominal GDP of the U.S. is estimated to be $17.528 trillion as of 2014. From 1983 to 2008, U.S. real compounded annual GDP growth was 3.3%, compared to a 2.3% weighted average for the rest of the G7. The country ranks ninth in the world in nominal GDP per capita according to the United Nations (first in the Americas) and sixth in GDP per capita at PPP. The U.S. dollar is the world’s primary reserve currency.
The United States is a highly developed country, with the world’s largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for approximately a quarter of global GDP. The U.S. economy is largely post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world.
Study in US
America has some of the most amazing education institutions in the world and its research facilities are second to none. The universities and colleges here regularly rank among the top 10, 50 and 100 of the world. Be it for science, technology or any other courses, they have some of the most experienced and credible faculties and teachers in the world. Graduate students here get the opportunity to work with celebrated experts in their field and be a part of exclusive research.
One of the highest selling points of American education is perhaps its worldwide reputation of commitment to excellence. Only the best students around the world are admitted to the top schools in the US, where quality education is imparted to them by an expertly trained faculty.
You can choose from a great range of courses from arts, commerce and science with a multitude of specialized branches. Bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and doctoral degrees and more, are all provided at these universities.
Around 30 percent of all international students in the world study in the US. So, as an international student, you will have the unique privilege to interact with a lot of people from a lot of different nationalities. The exciting cultural exchange and international diversity will certainly enrich your life both personally and academically.
A number of companies make it a priority to recruit from the colleges in the USA. An education in this country not only ensures that you know exactly what you need to know about your chosen field, but also assures you of a comfortable job. This is exactly why a majority of students around the world choose to come to the USA to create a stellar future for themselves.
Cost of Education
Universities in the U.S. pride themselves on being at the forefront of technology, research and techniques, and in making the best possible equipment and resources available to their students.
The yearly expenditure for a student in a college in the USA, including living expenses and tuition, can range from $15,000 to $35,000. Top colleges can charge up to $60,000 per year in tuition and other ancillary costs. There are a number of scholarships which are also offered to foreign students based on merit and need. The application process for these scholarships may vary depending upon the university or state where the student is applying. These scholarships are usually government funded or even supported by private entities.
If you are inclined toward academic research, the US is your perfect choice for higher education. You can get the opportunity to earn a stipend while you pursue research and doctoral programs. Your research grant will help support your personal needs by waiving your tuition and providing you with a stipend while the intellectual challenges that you will overcome academically will certainly help satisfy your professional appetite. Funding and grants for most research projects at the university are obtained from either the federal government or reputed multinational corporations in the industry.
There are two main intake sessions for universities in the USA − fall and spring. The fall intake starts in late August and ends in late December while the spring session starts in January and ends in early May. The deadlines for each intake are highly strict and need to be carefully monitored. Following the guidelines is crucial to obtain the requisite I-20 form from the respective universities.
Language proficiency tests like IELTS and TOEFL are some of the most important aspects of this application process. Those hoping to study in post graduate courses need to appear for GRE while others aiming for an MBA need to appear for GMAT. The GRE/GMAT score will dictate the university selection, higher the score the better university you will have a chance of getting into.
Documents mainly required but not limited to are — statement of purpose, marksheets, and passing certificates/academic transcripts from the 10th standard onwards. The student must also provide two reference letters from their last college and/or employer along with a copy of their passport and birth certificate. For post graduate courses a degree of at least 3 years (in total 16 years of education), from a recognised university is mandatory.
It is important to note that the student must be accepted and approved by the school or program they have applied for. The educational institution will provide the necessary documentation for the visa process. The application needs to be made within 120 days from the start date of the I-20 and can travel within 30 days from the start date of the I-20.
A F-1 visa is the most common format of a student visa. If you are going to study at an approved school like a university, college, secondary school or even a language program, you need an F-1 visa. This format of visa is also required if you are enrolled in a course of study that takes up more than 18 hours per week. For those planning on joining a non-academic or vocational course in the USA then you may need an M-1 visa and not an F-1. US law does not permit an F-1 visa for students who are admitted in a publically funded adult education program.
Almost all universities offer funding, some of which are offered to all international students and some to students with good academic records.
Some of the additional scholarships you can look into are:
- Foreign Fulbright Student Program – Applicable for international students who are applying to master’s or PhD programs; this scholarship covers tuition fee, health insurance, textbooks, airfare, and living costs.
- Microsoft Scholarships – Applicable to students applying to undergraduate programs of 4-year duration in computer science and related STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines who show outstanding academic excellence, leadership skills and a demonstrated passion towards technology.
- Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation – Awarded to Indian students applying to master’s programs in the US with strong academic scores in the fields of social science, pure science, applied sciences, law, architecture, humanities, and management.
- Humphrey Fellowship Program – This fellowship is granted to experienced professionals with a potential for leadership and dedication towards public service. Granted for a year, this program covers all expenses. You don’t get to choose a university for yourself; instead, you are assigned the most appropriate host institution as per your skills and interests.
- Inlaks Scholarships – Available to Indian citizens under the age of 30 enrolling for graduate courses in various fields and is awarded by the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation.
- Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship – Grants students studying/involved in areas like economic and community development, peace and conflict prevention, disease prevention and treatment.