USA in itself is an attractive package for Indian students – it is home to the best universities, fortune 500 companies, job opportunities, and a land of immense diversity. USA is the largest global economy and one of the strongest countries in the world.  People from different countries have migrated to the Unites States of America to live the American Dream. Cultures and traditions brought to the land by different ethnicities have contributed largely to the rich diversity the country boast of.

Why study in USA?

Over 1, 90,000 students choose the USA as a preferred destination to learn. USA is also the country with the largest number of international student studying on its soil.  18 percent of students studying in the USA are Indians; Indian students form the second largest group of international students in the USA.

International students comprise 5.5 percent of total higher education student population. The USA hosts the most number of international students than any other country.

Quality of Education

The USA has more universities than any other country in the world. The country sees an enrollment of a million international students each year. Studying in the USA gives students the access to recourses, innovative learning methods, technology, and the chance to learn from some of the best minds in the world. Universities and colleges in the US train students in smaller class sizes, typically 10-20 students per class.  A smaller class size translates to better attention a student receives. While in class students are encouraged to ask questions, initiate and contribute to discussions.

University Ranking

Fifteen universities of the USA are ranked in the top 100, in the Times Higher Education list of best universities 2020. Universities of USA occupy esteem ranks in ranking tables worldwide. Seventeen universities are ranked in the top 50, while twenty seven universities are ranked in the top 100 of the QS Top Universities ranking.

Mentioned are some of the top Universities in USA

  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
  • Columbia University
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Yale University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Princeton University
  • Cornell University

Types of Educational Institutions in the US for Indian Students

Public Universities

Government and or Federal government funded academic bodies fall under public universities. State colleges, community colleges, and universities majorly form the skeletal frame work for public institutions in USA.

Public universities run courses offering graduate degrees – master’s and doctoral with emphasis on research. Public universities have larger student enrolment owing to economical tuition fees.  But while one may assume that recourses and advancements are concentrated to the private establishments, the best public universities do not go unnoticed.

There is a university in every state of USA; larger states can have many universities.  Of the top 100 universities in the USA, 25 are public universities.

Mentioned are the top five public universities

  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Davis

Private Universities

Private educational institutions are not funded and governed by government establishments. Private universities receive large sums of donations, research grants, and alumni favors. The tuition fee for private universities is considerably higher than their public counterparts. Classes are taken by seasoned and proficient faculty- thus a student is guaranteed the best education at all levels. Private institutions have a higher teacher to student ration, lesser populated classes and more recourse.

All of the Ivy League group institutions are private universities.

Mentioned are the top five private universities

  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Yale University
  • Stanford University
  • Brown University
  • Duke University

Institutes of Technology, Polytechnics, Technical Institutes

Institutes of technology, technical and polytechnic institutes gained importance after the onset of industrialization – this came with the need for engineering and technical education. Institutes of technology, polytechnic institutes and universities focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); and are research driven.

Mentioned are the top five private Institutes of Technology, Polytechnics, and Technical Institutes

MIT (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology), NYIT (New York Institute of Technology), Caltech, Georgiatech.

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Stanford University
  • Harvard University
  • Colorado School of Mines

The Ivy League

The Ivy League is a group of eight elite institutions of higher education based out of Northeastern United States.  Colleges under the Ivy League began being called by the title – as colleges with exemplary performance in sports, particularly basketball. Now, the term is associated with colleges that offer the highest standards for research, academics, stringent admissions processes and higher tuition fees.

Ivy League colleges receive sizeable funding allowing for fulfillment of research endeavors, academic progress and recourses.

The eight members of the Ivy League are-

·       Brown University

·        Columbia University

·        Cornell University

·        Dartmouth College

·        Harvard University

·        University Of Pennsylvania

·        Princeton University

·        Yale University

Liberal Arts Colleges

These colleges are four-year institutions of higher education. Liberal arts focus on education at the undergraduate level. The pivotal focus lies greatly towards training students to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, innovative, and professional.  Smaller group of students enroll to Liberal art colleges – in the range of 1,000 to 2,500. Owing to the small badge of intakes, students share a healthy rapport with their professors.

Top Courses

The USA offers its students the best quality of education, it comes to it as no surprise that the first choice for students studying internationally in the USA.

There is a reason why millions of students choose the academic institutions of the USA as their preferred location for study. The USA stands eminent as far as education is concerned.

The USA has a variety of courses to offer across a spread of institution types, and degrees. Most universities have subject courses ranked in the top 10 and top 50 in the world ranking of their subjects.

The best Undergraduate course offering for an Indian student in the USA

  • Computer Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Business Administration

The best graduate major offering for an Indian student in the USA

  • Computer Science
  • Embedded Systems
  • Business Analytics
  • Data Sciences

The Best Associate Degrees for an Indian student in the USA

The USA offers three associate degrees in

  • Associate in Arts,
  • Associate in Science
  • Associate in Applied Science.

Career Outlook

Job opportunities as a student

The cost of living and studying in the USA is an expensive affair, and hence, most Indian students studying in the USA look for employment opportunities. An Indian student studying in the USA can be employed for part-time work of 20 hours a week while school is in progress and for a full-time of 40 hours a week when schools/ universities are on breaks. Employment for an International student is possible only if the student has an approved F1 student visa.

Student job opportunities are of two types- on-campus and off-campus.

Job opportunities after graduation or Post Study work Permit

Designed by ‘Emerging’ an HR consultancy; 51 universities of the USA rank among the top 200 in the Global University Employability Ranking 2020. A graduate from the education system in the USA is perceived to be highly skillful and knowledgeable by employers in the country and over the globe.

An Indian student deciding to stay back in the USA for career prospects may apply for a work visa after completing their study in the USA. There are three types of student visas that allow international students to stay in the USA for a stipulated period after completing their studies – F1 VisaM1 Visa, and J1 Visa. A student with an F1 visa can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after they have a year of relevant temporary employment experience in line with their course.  OPT visas allow students to stay back and work in the country for 12 months. STEM students can stay back and work for 24 months.

An HB1 visa allows a candidate to stay and work in the country for six years, provided that they prove to be fitting for the position of a company. HB1 visas can be applied for, with the help of a US employer.

Cost of Studying in the USA for Indian Students

The quality of education offered by universities across the USA comes with handsome fee remuneration.

Universities in the USA comprise two main categories – Public universities and private universities. The major differentiators between the two categories are the type of funding received, and the tuition fees. Needless to point that studying at a private university will cost considerably higher than at a public university.

Furthermore, public universities have a different course structure for –

  1. Students from within the states
  2. Students from other states of USA, and international students

The cost of studying in the USA for Indian students per year is as follows:


Note: The prices and exchange rates may vary in future.

The mentioned costs are excusive of specialty courses like dentistry, law, medicine , and MBA programs

Accommodation Costs

The average cost of renting an apartment ranges from $500 (INR 36,000 Approx) to $3,500 (INR 2,57,000 Approx). The cost of living in the Midwest is lower and is more expensive in the East and North East. Dormitories form the most common on-campus accommodation and could range between $5,304 (INR 3,90,000 Approx) and $8,161 (INR 5,99,000 Approx).

Other costs include internet cost, household and monthly phone bills, and cost of petrol, public transport (if there is no provision of a vehicle), books and other stationary supplies.

Study in USA with scholarship

Indian students seeking education in the USA can apply for scholarships to ease the burden of tuition fees. Scholarships are awarded to students by the Government of America, and by private and public institutions. An international student applying for scholarships can be funded partially or fully. Scholarships are awarded to a student with exemplary academic records, while some consider a student’s involvement in extracurricular activities, and volunteering. Students must be watchful of deadlines for applications; competition is fierce and students are required to apply well in advance.

Scholarships for Indian students planning to study in the USA –

  • Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships
  • Fulbright- Nehru Fellowships
  • Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program
  • #YouAreWelcomeHere Scholarship
  • IEFA
  • AAUW International Fellowships

The amount of scholarship a student can be reward is conditional to the university applied to, and the course desired for pursue. Scholarships of up to 100 percent can be awarded for research.

Visa Application

A student is required to possess acceptance into a university or program to be able to apply for a student visa.  A student visa is a mandate to study in the USA. The type of university one is enrolled in and the course type determines if the student gets an F or M visa.

F 1 visas are given to students to attend –

  • University or college
  • High School
  • Private elementary school
  • Seminary
  • Conservatory
  • Another academic institution, including a language training program

Students with F 1 visas can attend schools from grade 9 to 12 for a maximum period of 12 months.

M 1 visas are given to a student to attend –

  • Vocational study or training
  • Non-academic training

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

Post receiving an enrolment to a Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) school, a student can apply for a SEVIS. A student is required to pay a SEVIS I-901 fee. An approved SEVIS school issues an I-20 Form to register to in SEVIS. Producing the form at the US consulate or embassy a student can apply for a visa of class M or F.

EXTRA : Most universities offer their students the option of acquiring dual degrees simultaneously. The biggest advantage for a student is acquiring two degrees in a shortened span.  At a double master’s degree program – a student earns two advanced degrees simultaneously.

Australian Universities make available double major options – where a student can choose to graduate with two areas of specializations.

Admission Requirements to Study in US Universities

Admission legibility for a UG and PG courses are different for USA universities. Below we have mentioned the universal admission requirements to study at USA universities.

Academic Transcripts
Standardized test scores – SAT or ACT
Standardized test scores – GMAT, GRE
English proficiency test scores (TOEFL, iTEP, IELTS, PTE Academic)
Statement of purpose
Letter of Recommendations
Copy of your valid passport
Proof of finances

Study in USA frequently asked questions

Q. How much is the cost to study in USA?
A.  Public and state universities in the US charge yearly tuition that ranges from $8,000 to $35,000. In the USA, tuition for private universities ranges from $25,000 to $55,000, depending on the program and length of study.

Q. Is USA cheap to study?
A.  It is true that the cost of higher education in the US is higher than in most other nations. However, it’s also a popular choice for international students looking to study abroad. You were probably already aware of these if you plan to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the United States.

Q. Can Indian students study in the USA?
A.  Yes, Indian students study in the USA and for 2024, the US has already given around 1.25 lakh student visas to Indians.

Q. How much is the acceptance rate for the top 10 US universities?
A. The following are the top US universities’ acceptance rates for the class of 2023::
Stanford University: 3.75%
Harvard University: 4.7%
Columbia University: 5.4%
Princeton University: 5.5%
CalTech: 6.4%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 6.7%
University of Chicago: 7.3%

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