The best time to start the application filling up process is, at least two to three months before the Ist deadline of the universities. There are two ways for you to obtain the application forms (physical copies).
You can either download the application form from the universities’ web sites or get the same by writing to them early, clearly indicting the semester you are seeking admission to. Most of the universities are requesting students to either download the applications or apply electronically.
Make photocopies of the applications and use for initial filling up (if you have physical copies of the application form).
While filling up the application form, keep the following in mind:-
Normally, Indian students get confused about the “Name” part. What we call as “Surname” is called as “Family name” or “Last name” in other countries. Also,” the Middle Name” is confusing. That is a part of your name that was given along with your First name or the commonly called name. For example, if one’s name is Adivi Srikanth Reddy, Adivi is the Last Name, Srikanth is the First Name and Reddy is the Middle Name.
The four-year undergraduate study in US is called with a name, year wise. The first year is the “freshman’, IInd is the ‘sophomore’, IIIrd is the ‘Junior’ and IVth is the ‘Senior’ year. While indicating percentages/grades or GPA, you need to be careful about what year information you are providing. Hence, it is essential to know which year is called with what name.
Documents to be submitted to the university/college you wish to apply to:-
Your transcripts from 10th class onwards (duly attested by the respective Head of the Institution)
10th and Inter (12th) transcripts need not be in sealed envelopes. Whereas, your degree marks and provisional must be in sealed envelope, with seal and signature on the flap of the envelope too.
Statement of Purpose (SOP) – Ideally must be a one-page statement of your purpose in personal and academic life. SOP must contain information on your education objectives, career goals, reasons for study in the US and reasons for choosing a particular program in a particular institute.
Recommendation Letters – At least two-three recommendation letters from three lecturers/professors, who taught you at the degree level preferably from those who taught you the main subjects. These recommendations must be done on personal or college letterheads and must be signed and sealed (including the envelope).
Formats cannot be generalized for all the students and need to be personalized as per individual requirements. We will mail a customized format for you as and when you may need one.
Bank Statement – Financial Statement or Bank Statement indicates the availability of funds with you, (or your sponsor) in a bank, in a Savings Bank account only. These funds must be available for the purpose of your further education. A statement given by the Bank manager, on the Bank’s letterhead, clearly indicating the amount of funds available both in your native currency and also the currency of the country where you would like to study has to be given, with the seal of the bank date and signature of the Manager.
To each and every university you apply to, you need to enclose an original Bank Statement showing adequate funds to cover at least a year’s tuition and living expenses. Instead of getting multiple originals, which may not be practically possible, you may get the first statement photocopied (before signatures are made by the banker) and then signed and sealed by the bank manager individually.
Some universities need the Financial Statement filled, in the application itself. If it is indicated as mandatory, you need to get that form appropriately filled by the Bank.
Ideally, one should indicate availability of funds for the entire duration of the course. For example, for a two-year Masters program, funds must be adequate to cover for both the years. If you cannot show funds for two years, then you must indicate availability for at least one year, covering tuition, living expenses and other fees. Hence, before taking a statement, calculate what would be the maximum expenditure from among the universities you wish to apply to. Take the higher amount and arrange for Bank Statement, accordingly. This will eliminate the need to take fresh statement every time you apply to universities with higher fee structure.
Affidavit of Support on Rs.20 Non Judicial Stamp Paper
An Original AOS (notarized) has to be sent to each university. Letter of Undertaking or Affidavit of Support (AOS) is an undertaking to be given by your sponsor who finances your education. This has to be given on Rs.20/- (if in India) Non-Judicial Stamp Paper, in a prescribed format.
Sometimes, the universities request the undertaking to be given on their applications itself, in which case you have to do so. This AOS has to be signed by the sponsor, properly witnessed and attested by Notary public. To each and every university you apply to, you need to enclose an original AOS. Instead of getting multiple stamp papers and doing the AOS, you may get the first statement photocopied (before signatures are made by the sponsor) and then signed by the sponsor and notarized individually.
Application fee in US $ (or that country’s currency) as required by university.
Covering letter – A covering letter, indicating your plans about TOEFL and GRE/GMAT and informing them that you would arrange score reporting by ETS- If not taken and reported already.
Also, if there are any issues concerning your application, like backlogs, failures or gaps between various levels of your education etc., use the covering letter to provide an explanation about such issues. This will offset any problem that you may encounter when you do not explain.
Once all the documents are ready, you may courier them to the universities well before the suggested deadlines, since processing of applications is done on a rolling basis – i.e., first-come-first-serve. Applying early would improve your admission chances than applying nearer the deadlines.
Topnotch ‘s service encompasses the whole application process, so that you do not have to go through this trying procedure. We meticulously plan every step of the process and administer each activity with our experienced staff, so that everything goes smoothly and you have to just wait, to receive your admission; that’s all!
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For discerning students, who wish to do the whole process by themselves, we have a separate package for ‘Advisory Service’, wherein our services are advisory in nature and all the work has to be done by the applicant himself, step-by-step. We select the right universities, we provide information about the application process, and we evaluate SOP, recos. and resume and we finally provide visa guidance.
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Advantage with this service is the interactive approach a student would have with the universities and the process all throughout. This would enable him to know and learn at every stage, thus becoming conversant with the whole process by the time he reaches USA. Then, nothing would be a ‘shock’ or ‘surprise’ for him since he is in the know of things!
This is especially useful since students are expected to select their own courses, design the course schedule and program and determine their levels of study, every semester. With initial exposure to the issues related to the above, students become self-sufficient to handle any type of work successfully, that involves graduate study.
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