Generally, students apply to 10-12 universities. You must have at least 15 ready. Be sure to see the deadline date of all these universities.
You must start your research as soon as possible. The day after you give your GRE exam. You must be ready with the final university list by the beginning of September of semester 7.
University research FAQ
- My profile is XXXX. Can I apply to XXXX university?
Naming the universities is not the point of this blog. Please consult your seniors, your counselor for this.
Note: Please do not ask University specific questions like rank, chances of getting an admit, chances of getting aid and things like that. All these things are not a part of this blog. Sorry.
- From where should I research the universities?
A very good question. There are many ways to research a University. The most popular way is, as I said before, edulix.com. It is a forum where you can put queries. Other than this, you can go to the University website to research about it. If you know the University name, search it in Google and go to their website. You can use other websites like usnews.com, i20fever.com or simply Google what you want.
- On what points should the research be done?
Form an Excel spreadsheet with each row corresponding to one university and many columns corresponding to factors to consider in that University. Following are the column headings:
Level of competitiveness
Rate each factor on a scale of 10. Get the total score per University. Some of the factors might not be important to you, some other factors not included in the list could be important. This list is not full and final, changes are possible as per your likes.
- How should I make the final University list?
The table above will have close to 30 rows. You should bring it down to 10 or 12 or 15. Divide the Universities in 3 classes – Top, Moderate, Safe.
Top : Ideal Universities. If you get an admit here, you will jump to take it. Very difficult to get admission for someone of your profile. Hope for a miracle.
Moderate: Good universities. Getting admission is possible.
Safe: Good universities, still easy to get an admit. No matter what, this University will definitely give me an admit, and I don’t mind going here. For Indians, University of Southern California is the most popular University in this section. It is safe and yet in the top 20 in USA.
Now the number of Universities in each class varies from person to person. The most ideal combination for a final list of 10 Universities is:
You can add or subtract the number the way you want. But make sure you have at least 3 universities in the safe section.