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This blog post is second part of 2 part series of  blog posts – How to Select US Universities.

  1. How to Select US Universities – Part 1
  2. How to Select US Universities – Part 2 (this article)
  3. How to Select US Universities – Part 3

You may have more than one dream universities to apply, but you can attend only one school. You have to analyze each university methodically to short universities. Most of the students don’t ask the following questions while selecting US Universities. They end up in some school that doesn’t offer the program of their choice ( or aid).

1) Cost of US Education

First major factor is to select university that you can afford. In worst case scenario, you have to pay for 2 years expense.  You have to ask some tough question here with respect to affordability.

2) Tuition fees

In-state fees varied between University System. For example, in University of Texas System, if you get RA, TA, Scholarship, you are eligible to pay in-state fee. And In-state fee in University of Texas is 1/3rd of Out of state fee.

Example: Out of State Fee = $6000, then in-state will be $2,000

In some colleges, you don’t need to pay anything, maybe less than $1000 for health insurance and other small fees when you get In-State fees.

Example: University of Memphis, Out of state is $5000 then In-state will be less than $1000.

If In-state fee is minimal fee then HP = 10

If In-state fee is 1/3rd of the out-state or less then HP = 5

3) RA/TA/Scholarship

If you have admission with 100% RA/TA/scholarship then HP = 10

If you have you have partial scholarship/RA/TA then HP = 7

If you have like $1000 to $4000 in Aid then HP = 5

No RA/TA/Scholarship then HP = 0

4) Part Time Job

Find from the current students, about availability of the part time jobs.

If almost every students gets the job then HP = 10

If 50% of the students gets job the HP = 5

If No Part time jobs are available then HP = 0

5) Internship

As International student you are eligible to work for 1 year in CPT (Curriculum Practical Training). Students usually get internship in summer, but some schools allow students to work to 2 full semesters like UTA, UTD.

You have to find if the university you have the admission allows students to do internship and how long. Kansas State University will allow students only in Summer in CPT. Were as UTA will allow students to do internship for 2 semesters ( like Summer and Fall or Fall and Spring or Spring and Fall ).

Next you have to ask if the internship is under CPT or under OPT (Optional Practical Training). If the school allows internship under CPT then you are ok. If the school allows internship under your OPT, then it’s NOT ok to attend that school. For example Clemson University, internship is under OPT, which is not good. I will explain in later post on what is OPT and CPT.

So this is how HP has to be filled for this field

Schools also internship for more than 1 semester in CPT = 10

Schools allows internship in Summer ONLY in CPT = 5

If school allows internship in OPT = 0

If school doesn’t allow Internship = 0

6) Jobs after M.S.

But, majority of colleges, students have to look for jobs.

Majority of the colleges have Career Fair, where companies will visit campus and collect resumes. But the number of companies that usually come are very less. Some universities like NCSU have very high profile career fair.

If the college has campus recruitment program, then HP = 10

If you have to look for jobs then HP = 8

If majority of the students find jobs through consultants, then HP = 3

For example I have heard that in NJIT, majority of student don’t search for jobs, they graduate and join some consultancy firm. That’s not a good sign. It’s students responsibility to search for a job, if you are willing to put that efforts and expect the job offer to know on your door, without applying for jobs, then I’m sure student will have tough time.

I know I was little harsh on the above statement, but I have seen so many people who after graduation, don’t apply for job proactively and end up joining some consultancy. (How consultancy works, that’s another topic to talk about in detail)

Next : How to Select Universities for USA (Part 3)