The United States is a favored destination for thousands of students from the nation for their further studies. There are several reasons for that.. Firstly, it has one of the most advanced systems of education in the world. The other reasons are the affordable fees, easy and transparent visa processing and the abundance of superb research and employment opportunities.

The United States is the home for Universities like Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Cornell, to name just a few. These universities and others set very high standards for themselves and their students. The United States is also the venue of most of the cutting edge research and development in the world. Combined with the strong economy and the huge industrial base, it is almost an irresistible choice for most students contemplating further studies abroad.

Entry dates

Most schools in the United States operate rotational semesters. There are 3 entry dates.

Spring- (January/February)
This is perhaps the most important entry date with the largest intake and the most scholarships on offer.

Summer- (May/June)
This entry date is available in only a few schools and most reputed schools do not have a Summer entry date.

Fall- (August/September)
This entry date is also quite popular with students and colleges in Nepal. It coincides perfectly with the board examination and thus, is probably the most common entry date here.

Admission Requirements

Schools in the U.S. have several Admission requirements for foreign students and especially for those whose native tongue is not English.

The following is a listing of all entry requirements:

GPA (Grade Point Average)

This is a score on a scale of 0-4.0. Your high school and Intermediate marks can easily be translated onto this scale. Many of the better, more reputed and higher ranked schools will require a GPA of more than 2.5, while many schools will be satisfied with a GPA of 2.0 and above. However, many small schools will not require you to translate your scores onto the GPA scale. They will be satisfied if you provide them with mark sheets that show averages of above 50%

TOEFL
There are many undergraduate and graduate schools that require you to score only 450 (paper based scores) in the TOEFL. However, these schools are small and your chances of getting a visa are not very good with a school like this. Many state universities will require a score of 500 while the larger state universities will require 550. Ivy League schools will usually require a score of more than 600.

N SAT
A certain score in the N SAT is required by most of the better undergrad universities and schools. Courses like Engineering, Computer Science, IT etc. in larger universities come attached with a hefty N SAT requirement. A score of 1100 can get you into many large schools. 1220 and above can get you into many top 100 schools while a score of 1350 and above puts you in the same league as the Harvard or Stanford student body.

SAT 2
The best undergraduate colleges will also require you to take the SAT subjective tests and require a certain score in them. Such schools will also indicate which of the subjective tests they require you to take.

GMAT
GMAT is more or less compulsory for admission into an M.B.A. or M.B.S. course in North America. Most schools do not really require a certain score in the GMAT. To be on the safe side you should at least break the U.S. national average of the previous year (430) or try and obtain as many marks more than it as possible.

GRE
GRE is for Graduate entrants into Engineering, Science, Arts and Humanities courses. A score of 1100 and above assures your entry into most schools that run Graduate courses.

College Essays
Many colleges will also require you to submit an essay about yourself. These essays should contain your brief autobiography, an insight into what kind of person you are, your reasons for choosing your course, your career objectives and amusing anecdotes that give an insight into what kind of person you are.

Testimonials

Certificates from social organizations you have worked for, certificates of achievement etc. are also useful in helping admissions officers in making up their minds whether you are the kind of student that they want studying in their university.

Financial Certification

Most schools will require you to demonstrate that you are financially capable of completing the course. Many of these schools will require you to fill in a Financial Affidavit signed by an official from your bank. Many schools will also be satisfied with a simple bank statement and a sponsor letter.

Budgets

To study in the United States one must allot a budget of at least US $ 10,000 for the first year. There are several small schools and state universities that have tuition fees around the $ 5000 mark. Larger State universities will have tuition fees of $ 8000 to $ 15,000. The higher ranked and bigger schools may have tuition fees from $ 15,000 to $ 30,000 every year.

Most Nepali students go for the smaller universities that have tuition fees of $ 5000 to $ 8000 per year, as these are the most affordable. Living expenses (if you’re living with other students off-campus) come up to roughly $ 6000 per year. On-campus living expenses vary from school to school.

Colleges

The United States has a vast range of colleges for all budgets and courses. Brilliant students can opt for Ivy League schools and others can find colleges that suit their entry requirements and budgets.

Find out more about colleges in the United States

Part Time Work

You are not allowed to start working in the United States as soon as you land there.
Once you arrive you will have to wait for 2-3 months till your social security card is issued. Upon the issue of your card you are allowed to work only on campus and for only 20 hours a week. During holidays and summer breaks, students are allowed to work full time. Most students use the 3-month summer vacation working full time to recover the next year’s fees and expenses.

During your second year in the United States you may work outside the campus with special permission from U.S. immigration. The job must be related to student’s field of study, the student must enroll in an internship class, and the work is allowed only for one semester.

Shortly before you graduate, most US schools will help international students apply to US immigration for Optional Practical Training. OPT allows International Students to work outside campus for 12 months after they graduate in a job that is related to their field of study.