Monday, March 11, 2013








How do I select Universities?

Planning to pursue higher studies in USA often gets complicated as one doesn’t know on what basis he/she should select a university. Selection of a university depends on the following factors:
  1. Course/Stream
  2. Friends and Classmates
  3. On-Campus placements
  4. Tuition fees and cost of staying
  5. Location (Small town or a big city)
  6. Weather
  7. Acceptance rate of International students
  8. Relatives
Of these the most important factor is COURSE/STREAM. Your future is decided by the course you opt for. Ask your seniors who have been there in the previous Fall and tell them about your course.
Result: You will get an ideal list of universities as they themselves must have surveyed a lot.
Alternative: Another fool proof but major time consuming method is to browse through the websites of Universities and learn about them.

To how many universities should I apply?

You can apply to as many universities as you wish, with only one factor restricting you, MONEY! Yes, the cost is pretty heavy on your pocket. On an average one application costs your around $100. Sure you want to know what costs so much. The split is as follows:
  1. Online application form: $60 approx.
  2. Reporting your GRE score through ETS: $23 (official scores are compulsory)
  3. Reporting your TOEFL score through ETS: $17 (official scores are compulsory)
Generally, students apply to 8-10 universities with 4 ambitious, 3 moderate and 2 safes (Huh?!? What’s this??)
  1. Ambitious: An ambitious university means the acceptance rate is low and the best profile gets in.
  2. Moderate: A moderate university means the acceptance rate is medium and the chances of making to these universities are above average.
  3. Safe: By now you would have understood what does safe mean. Yes, it means the acceptance rate is pretty high and the chances of getting through are very high (though it is never 100%)
Caution: Don’t apply to all safe universities so that you get more admits. There’s no point of getting an accept from all the safe ones. Getting at least one admit from an ambitious university should be the target. One admit from an ambitious wins overmany admits from safes.

What is the ideal time to apply?

This is by far the most common question you would hear from a student applying for MS. Ideally, the application process should begin by November first week. Generally, engineers apply during this time as after a month they have to go through the university exams which is stressful. In other words, all the documents required for the application should be ready by the start of November.
As soon as you have shortlisted your universities, start filling the online application forms. Generally, the deadlines are around mid December , though some have in January, and some have a rolling admission process. Earlier you apply better it is, as many universities have two deadlines-general deadline and Financial aid deadline which is usually 1st week of December. In short, if you are applying for Fall 2011, then you should start applying in November 2010.
Note : You get a financial aid only if you apply to a respective university before its ‘financial aid deadline’. Secondly, you are eligible for an F-aid if your scores, academic marks and achievements are marvellous.
Is applying early to a university an advantage? Answer is mostly NO. Good universities review the applications after the deadline. That doesn’t mean you should delay your admission process. Few of the good universities start evaluating the applications as and when they receive it. This is known as ‘Rolling Admission’. Example: University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). The advantages of an early application are that if you satisfy the criteria of the University you will get a admit at the earliest irrespective of other applicants.

How to apply?

First and foremost, you need a credit card. You are going to pay a hefty amount (around 50,000/- INR) for applying to the universities (8-10) so you can’t keep knocking on your relatives or friends doors for a credit card.
Go to the particular university’s website and see the tab for prospective students or apply now. See to it that you select the graduate section as there will be a lot of data on the website which will be general for both undergrad and grad students.
The forms are generally quite long extending upto 7-8 pages and you are bound to get bored and restless. But, make sure you are careful while filling the form and use the autosave facility available in all application forms.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Start filling the form even if your SOP isn’t ready (usually it’s not ready). Enter your recommender’s email address as early as possible. The university will send an email to them and they will complete the rest of the procedure.
Note: Recommender’s are EXTREMELY SLOW. You have to keep on reminding them frequently.

Preparation of Packets?

Packet (in application terms) is a set of documents enclosed in an envelope which is to be mailed physically to a university. A packet generally consists of the following:
  • Cover letter: It’s a letter which contains list of documents you’re sending inside the packet to the university. It consists of your application ID No. along with address of the college. The letter is directed to the admissions committee or the Graduate Admission office.
  • Official transcripts: This is the most important document inside the packet. It’s the official copy of your marks issued by your undergrad college and junior college (if required).
  • Resume: Usually the resume is uploaded when you fill the application form but if there is no provision for it, then get a resume print out and send it along.
  • Attested mark sheets:  You have to get attested photocopies of your mark sheets of all attended semesters. The universities prefer that you get it attested by the Principal or the Registrar of the college.
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Bank statement
  • Affidavit

Thursday, March 7, 2013



  The Universities Research Association, Inc. (URA) is a consortium of 86 leading research-oriented universities, located primarily in the United States, with other members in Canada, Japan, and Italy. It is based in Washington, D.C..

Below are the 86 members of the URA.

Domestic (81)

  • University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa
  • Arizona State University
  • University of Arizona
  • California Institute of Technology
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • University of California-Davis
  • University of California-Irvine
  • University of California-Los Angeles
  • University of California-Riverside
  • University of California-San Diego
  • University of California-Santa Barbara
  • Stanford University
  • University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Yale University
  • Florida State University
  • University of Florida
  • University of Chicago
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Northwestern University
  • Indiana University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Purdue University
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Iowa
  • Louisiana State University
  • Tulane University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • Boston University
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Northeastern University
  • Tufts University
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Michigan
  • Wayne State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
New Jersey
  • Princeton University
  • Rutgers University
New Mexico
  • New Mexico State University
  • University of New Mexico
New York
  • University at Buffalo
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • University of Rochester
  • Rockefeller University
  • Stony Brook University
  • Syracuse University
North Carolina
  • Duke University
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Oregon
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
Rhode Island
  • Brown University
South Carolina
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Tennessee- Knoxville
  • Vanderbilt University
  • University of Houston
  • University of North Texas
  • Rice University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Texas-Arlington
  • University of Texas-Austin
  • University of Texas-Dallas
  • Virginia Tech
  • University of Virginia
  • College of William and Mary
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

Overseas (5)

  • McGill University
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Pisa
  • Waseda University
United Kingdom
  • University of Manchester                                                                      


Here is the second edition of craziest college parties. College life in USA is meant to be fun. So check out our second list of college parties. Work hard, Play hard !!!

University Of Wisconsin-Madison -- Mifflin Street Block Party


The Mifflin Street Block Party happens around finals time each year in Madison, Wisc. 
The annual block party actually started as a street protest in 1969. It continued through the Vietnam War, and became a community fundraiser by 1982. These days, it draws around 20,000 people who come to drink and celebrate the end of the spring semester.

Duke Tailgating
 Duke Tailgating
Yes, most big schools have alcohol-fueled tailgating before games. But not all of them get canceled for getting out of hand, as they did at Duke University in Durham, N.C. in the fall of 2010.

 Cornell University -- Slope Day

 Cornell's Slope Day dates back nearly a century. Festivities consist of a carnival and concerts; past performers have included Snoop Dogg, Duke Ellington, Kanye West, the Ramones, and Glenn Miller.

 WashU -- W.I.L.D.
 Washington University in St. Louis hosts an epic concert event called Walk In Lay Down, or more commonly known as W.I.L.D. . Recent acts have included Guster and Ben Folds and, of course, wild parties.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Not all parties are created equal.
Tailgating and hitting up the bars near campus are all just a part of the average college experience. Yet, there are a few annual festivals and traditions where some college students get a little crazier than normal.
Want to see some of the craziest college parties held every year? Check out our list and let us know if we missed any!
Bates College -- "Throwback Night"

 Every year, seniors at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine have a gigantic party called "Throwback Night" when seniors party with freshmen. In 2010, police used pepper spray to clear out some rowdy partiers.

Ohio University -- Palmer Fest
 Oh, did we forget to mention that Ohio University is ranked as a top party school? Because it totally is! In addition to their Halloween party, they also host the wild and crazy Palmer Fest. 

Palmer Fest occurs in May and has been described as a "Giant Drunken, Rioting, Mud Wrestling Good Time." A Facebook event for Palmer Fest 2011 listed it as "Live Music! Also, Live fires!"

 McGill University -- Frosh Week
Frosh Week Crazy College parties
 Frosh week, held at the beginning of the semester at McGill University in Montreal, is one one of the craziest parties in Canada! 

On College Confidential message boards, incoming students are warned to bring condoms. One person explains, "Frosh Week is the most awesome time ever. The amount of alcohol, drugs and sex available makes your best party ever look like a Sunday Church Picnic with senior citizens."

 Iowa State University -- VEISHEA
 Every April, Iowans make the annual pilgrimage to Ames for the VEISHEA festival, a week-long event to celebrate the different colleges at Iowa State University. There are parades, a battle of the bands, large concerts and performances by comedians. Everyone from John Wayne, Diana Ross, Billy Joel, to the Goo Goo Dolls and The Black Eyed Peas have performed. 

Oh, and the students party around the clock for most of the week. Riots broke out in 1988, 1992 and 2004.
 Penn State -- State Patty's Day
 St. Patrick's Day party
 Pennsylvania State University cannot wait until March 17 to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, so they have State Patty's Day in the interim. Students start drinking at 8:30 a.m. in February to celebrate Irish heritage. There is something to be said for early celebrations.

Penn State knows how to party. Playboy ranked the State College school as the No. 2 party school in 2011. The same year the Princeton Review ranked Penn State in the top 10 for party schools. 

"Our town is a bar," said PSU student Meagan Foulk in a 2009 article. "Even the Ohio State riot was just one giant party downtown."