US remain the world’s leading destination for international students. In 2013/14, the number of international students choosing to study in the US rose to a record high of 886,052 students, according to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors report. The most popular states for international study in the US were California, New York and Texas, and the most popular subjects were business and management, engineering, mathematics and computer science.
Top 6 Reasons Why Studying in the US is so popular:
The number one destination for international students seeking to get a top-notch career edge is currently the United States of America.
If yes, then here's something that you might want to consider.
What are the factors that make the US, the number one educational hub for international students?
1. Commitment to Excellence: 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. This quality education is thereby upheld year after year and the degrees that students attained in the US are not just widely recognized and accepted, but also widely respected around the world.
2. Brilliant Scope for Research: If you are inclined toward academic research, the US is your perfect choice for higher education. You can get the opportunity o earn while you learn, when you enroll into an MS/PhD program. 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.
3. Academic Flexibility: You will soon discover that the education system in the US is a lot different from your home country. The US education system offers a kind of flexibility in terms of the courses that are offered, which enables you select your choice of subject from a variety of topics. You can now specialize in the area of your choice without having to take any unnecessary classes. You also have the flexibility to choose a class at any time during the academic year, since the some courses are offered multiple times during the academic year. The quarterly or semester system gives you a flexibility to complete your academic program at your own pace and take additional time on a research project if required. For instance, if you can complete the total number of courses required for you to graduate, you can finish up your master's degree within a year. You can also spread out your course completion schedule in such a manner as to devote more time for research and complete your course in a couple of years.
4. Financial Support: Availability of financial aid is another major incentive for international students to opt for higher education in the US. Most universities offer its students grants, loans and stipends to cover their daily expenses as well as tuition in some cases. University assistantship is provided on the basis of merit rather than financial need. If you can prove your excellence in academics, then your US education may even turn out to be free. Otherwise, obtaining grants and loans from banks is also easy if you can provide proof of your admission. On-campus work programs are also available for students who qualify for a specific kind of job. For instance, if you have a humanities major, you can seek employment at the library. If you are certified lifeguard, you can work at the Aquatic Center.
5. Lucrative Job Opportunities: On completion of your degree, you are legally authorized to work in the US in your related field for about a year. You need to apply for Optional Practical Training Employment Authorization (OPT). Most international students get inducted into the company that hires them during their OPT period, by sponsoring their H1-B or work visa. The H1-B work visa is usually granted by employers if they are hiring international students in specialty areas such as software, engineering, accountancy, teaching or marketing. Once your employer grants your H1-B, you are allowed to work in the US without returning to your home country.
6. Value Addition and Cultural Enhancement: 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. This exposure will not only enhance your cultural and artistic faculties, but will also help you learn a lot more about the world. The exciting cultural exchange and international diversity will certainly enrich your life both personally and academically. Your new friends will be your new family.
Universities in the US :
The sheer volume and variety of universities in the US means that you can be pretty confident of finding a suitable institution in your preferred surroundings. And if you don’t get it right the first time, moving between universities in the US is not uncommon.
Undergraduate degrees at US universities typically take four years to complete. The first part of the degree is usually spent studying a wide range of subjects – some required and some electives – after which students choose the subject or subjects on which they want to focus – known as “major(s)”.
You may also earn a “minor” qualification alongside your major by completing classes in an additional field. This is often used to supplement the major degree. For example, business majors often minor in economics, while liberal arts majors may minor in philosophy. Some students also choose minors simply to explore a field they’re interested in, without having to commit to a full study of the subject, and regardless of whether it pertains to the field in which they seek employment
Types of Universities in USA :
Public universities in the US, also often called state universities, receive some level of public-sector funding, via the state government. You may also find them alluded to as public or state colleges or schools, though both “college” and “school” are also used when referring to a single department or faculty within the university, such as the Law School or College of Engineering.
State universities are often (but not always) part of astate university system. This is a collection of public universities which operate separately, in different locations of the state, but with some shared management and administration. An example is the State University System of New York (SUNY), one of the largest state university systems, which comprises more than 60 campuses spread across the state of New York.
As state universities are supported by public funding, they usually charge lower tuition fees than private universities – though the actual amount students pay can vary vastly, especially once financial aid is considered. You’ll find two bands of fees listed: a lower rate for “resident” or “in-state” students (students from within the same state), and a higher rate for “non-resident” or “out-of-state” applicants. International students either pay the same fees as out-of-state students, or a separate international rate.
Also referred to as junior colleges, community collegesare also supported by state funding. They typically offer the chance to complete an associate’s degree, an undergraduate-level qualification which takes two years to complete. For this reason, community colleges are also often called “two-year colleges”, while other types of university in the US may be referred to as “four-year colleges”.
An associate’s degree can be beneficial and career-boosting in its own right, and can often also be used as the foundation for a bachelor’s degree, by completing a further two years’ study at another US university or college.
Community colleges tend to be on the smaller side, and their tuition fees are typically much lower than those at other types of university in the US. Like public universities, they’re sometimes grouped into state “systems”. The largest of these is the California Community Colleges System (CCCS), which governs more than 100 community colleges across the state.
Private non-profit US universities:
While the majority of students in the US attend public universities and colleges, private universities account for a significant proportion of enrolments – and many of the country’s most elite and globally famed institutions. This includes the likes of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Caltech, Columbia, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and many more.
While private universities do tend to dominate at the top of national (and international) rankings tables, it’s worth pointing out that they don’t have a complete monopoly. Leading public universities in the US, such as the University of Michigan and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) are held in equal esteem and are just as competitive when it comes to gaining admission.
Overall, fees at private universities tend to be higher than those at public universities and colleges. However, the initial “sticker price” is often significantly lower once financial aid is factored in, and the most prestigious institutions tend to also have the largest budgets available for providing scholarships and other funding.
Liberal arts colleges:
A type of university which is especially prevalent and popular in the US, liberal arts colleges focus on teaching undergraduate-level courses in the liberal artsand sciences (although some also offer graduate-level programs and more vocational subjects such as medicine, business administration or law). They tend to be fairly small in terms of both overall enrolments and class sizes, and allow students to choose a subject to specialize in (a “major”), while also taking courses in a range of other fields.
Historically, liberal arts colleges have been known for their strong focus on teaching, individual student development, and the more academic (as opposed to vocational) side of higher education. The majority are run privately (as non-profits), though there are a few examples of public universities which are essentially liberal arts colleges, such as the University of Mary Washington, in the state of Virginia.
Tuition fees at US universities :
In terms of fees, US universities do not tend to differentiate between domestic and international students. Public universities charge lower fees for students from within the same state compared to everyone else, while private universities usually have one set fee for everyone.
However, fees do vary significantly from university to university. Studying in the US certainly won’t be cheap, but most US universities are very good at providing accessible information about the expected cost of study – including tuition fees, course resources, accommodation, food, insurance and other expenses.
There’s also a good chance you will not have to pay the full tuition fee amount. At many universities in the US, a majority of students receive financial aid, via various grants, scholarships, loan and work-study schemes.
US financial aid :
US financial aid is usually supplied based on two distinct criteria: merit-based and need-based. Need-based aid is based on an assessment of the student’s financial circumstances, while merit-based aid considers academic grades, athletic performance, involvement in organizations and other outstanding talents.
While international students are not eligible for federal aid provided by the US government, many universities in the US provide their own aid schemes – both need- and merit-based. Five US universities also offer fullyneed-blind admissions to domestic and international students: Amherst, Yale, Princeton, MIT and Harvard. This means students are accepted without any consideration of their ability to pay, and the university then pledges to contribute as much as is necessary to enable them to attend.
If you want to get an idea of what US financial aid you’re eligible for, use the ‘net price calculator’ on university websites (all institutions are required to offer this service).