How to Pick Right Universities in USA

Guest Post by Dr. Ward Deutschman from Dowling College.

How do you choose a college or university

There are SO MANY of them. I have written in another blog about using an agent (part 1). No college requires that you use an agent, but good one’s can help you by helping to limit your choices, and helping you to organize your documents. Only you can decide if you need that help!

But first ask yourself some questions — and since you are asking yourself, BE SURE YOU TELL YOURSELF THE TRUTH!

  1. I am going to be around for a long time after college. What do I want from a college education that will help me in the long term?
  2. How willing am I to really work at studying? Some colleges are more demanding than others.
  3. Do I learn better in a big school where I have to either push myself to be recognized or just become one more number in the wheel, but the school has many programs and exposure to research? Or do I learn better in a small school where Professors will recognize me and may even sit down and have some coffee or tea with me, but the school may have only a few programs.
  4. Do I really know what I want to study or am I still searching for the an appropriate set of goals? Am I looking for a Professional program — Accounting, Business, Engineering, Medicine, etc., — or am I interested in the liberal arts — programs like mathematics, history, art, languages, etc.
  5. And finally, do I have the money to go to the school of my choice? The very LAST thing you want to do is go to a school in another country and discover that you do not have enough money to take the courses you want and live in a reasonable place and eat good food.

So these are some of the things which are important to know about college. Just to geve you a starting point:

Dowling College — medium sized college near New York City. Website is, and for International students check out If you are interested in our college, send a note to [email protected] and let us send you some information.

Good luck in your search for the best college for you!


  1. Tom on May 1, 2011 at 5:00 AM

    Hi, my profile is – GRE 1210 (Q780, V430) TOEFL 111, UG 60%. I got admits from two universities for MS-CS for Fall 2011. (1) Kent State University, Ohio (2) Clemson University, SC. Would anyone please advise me which one is better to select from these two! Many thanks – Tom

  2. vidhya on April 28, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    I got admission offer from auburn univ and suny-stony brook in electrical engineering. Could anyone please suggest which one is a better university?

    • sq115 on July 10, 2011 at 7:39 AM

      You have a really tough choice here. Go to Stony Brooks, it’s close to NYC, and it’s gaining reputation each year.

  3. Dr. Deutschman on April 19, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    While there are many colleges which would be happy to consider you as a student, two I can think of which are good possibilities, in teh New York City area, are the New York Institute of Technology and Pratt Institute. Both are good colleges and I think that your scores would permit them to review yoiur records.


  4. Digvijay on April 19, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    I have scored 91 in TOEFL

    breakup of the scores is

    writing 25

    speaking 22

    listening 23

    reading 21

    and GRE scores are 1090

    verbal 340

    quant 750

    b tech in ECE with 67%

    no backlogs

    want to pursue MS in telecomm. and/or networking

    please suggest some univ. for my profile

  5. Shruthi on April 3, 2011 at 5:31 AM

    ok…can anyone tell me abt these following universities?

    Uni of New Haven, CT

    uni of northern Iowa, Iowa

    i have admitts in both which one to choose?

    • aadi on April 18, 2011 at 5:15 AM

      hi shruthi i’ve applied for both colleges and waitin for answer..both univ are good.. wats ur score GRE TOEFL and GPA?

  6. Vinay Kushwaha on March 14, 2011 at 6:24 AM

    Hello HSB,

    Few days back I asked you for the total expenditure that would cost me for pursuing Masters in USA and according to that information it would cost around Rs 40 lacs for this.Now the main problem is I am not that much financially strong to afford such a big amount and universities ask for financial information and I am almost sure that I wouldn't be able to submit this information.And I am also not sure whether I would be able to get a part time job or anything that would serve me financially in USA..I do have above average academic record and I am in one of best engineering colleges of India.So, in these circumstances should I drop the plan of preparing and taking GRE next year.Please help me out.

    Kindly reply to my query.


    • Abhijeet Singh on March 15, 2011 at 1:21 AM

      Hey my advice would be to forget about all this stuff as of now. Just concentrate on your GRE and nothing else. Trust me if you keep on thinking about these things you won't be able to get a score as per your potential. From my own personal experience I will tell you this. Initially when I started preparing for GRE, I just used to go on reading about which university accepts what score and which university give scholarship and just dream about all these stuff. Finally, I thought enough was enough and you won't believe with a preparation time of exactly 1 month and 17 days I scored 1430 in my GRE. During this time I didnt visit a single university site or any admission forum. Just finish your GRE, improve your GPA and then do all your search. If you select the right kind of universities you will easily get funding. Just check few links in this site once you are done with your GPA and GRE. One of my freind scored 1380 in GRE and his total cost for MS came upto just 2 lacs.

  7. W. Deutschman on March 11, 2011 at 6:40 AM


    I suggest that you get information about the admissions requirements for Princeton direct from the school — either their International Studetn office or the Admissions office. BE SURE TO TELL THEM THAT YOU ARE AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT. It makes a difference for some schools — often it is a big advantage!! Sometimes agents can give you that information, but make sure they officially represent the college so you are more likely to get correct information.

    Good luck!


    • Amartya Ghosh on March 15, 2011 at 2:20 AM

      Thank You sir.

  8. W. Deutschman on March 11, 2011 at 6:36 AM

    Vinay — Every U. S. college or university is required by U. S. immigration to prepare an estimate of the cost of going to their school for a year, including school and living expenses, and then to require international students to send them financial information proving that they can offord to come to the school. If you contact the International Students' office at each of the colleges that interest you, they will tell you the amount which they require. For example at Dowling College, our total estimate for coming to our school for a year, and living in the New York area — whether at a dormitory or in the community — is estimated at $40,000 USD per year, unless you also are taking flying lessons with our School of Aviation. In that case the estimate goes up to $52,000 per year. I hope that helps you.

    Best wishes!


  9. W. Deutschman on March 11, 2011 at 6:31 AM

    Mona — You have asked two good questions. First, unless the college (or university) has exclusively male or female students, schools do not use gender as a criterion for admission. There are also laws in the U. S. which would make it unusual or often illegal (!!) for a school to use gender or ethnic background in their choice of students. That is why very few colleges ask for a picture of the student!! My admissions staff are instructed to destroy pictures if they are on applications we receive. Second, you need to look closely at the colleges that interest you. Some MS programs have a strong research part, some do not, and some expect some research experience in yoiur background — but most do not.

    Most schools that include research at the MS level will make that clear in the information about their program. Some do and some do not. But think about another point. If you wish to study in a university would rather study with a lecturer who went to college, studied books and got good grades, and then to graduate school, studied books and got good grades, and is now teaching you, or would you prefer to study with a lecturer who did all these things and ALSO did real research to find out new information and insights and experience which they can then give to you as a student??

    In any case look carefully at the college — and then make the best decision for you.


  10. Mona Sharma on March 10, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    I have two queries which I believe other people would also be having.

    1. Is there any kind of advantage to female applicants over male applicants? I have heard that the Universities need to preserve the gender ratio, so sometimes they give preference to women. How true is this? Or is it just a myth?

    2. If a person is not interested in advanced research, rather only advanced knowledge in a particular area, can he or she still be considered for an MS degree? For example someone wants to be a college lecturer and therefore is interested in honing his/her skills in a particular department. However he/she does not have many projects or research papers, can such a person make it to good universities particularly in the US?

    Kindly answer my queries HSB, Thanks 🙂

  11. Vinay Kushwaha on March 10, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Hello HSB

    Can you please tell me what would be the total expenditure for pursuing for Masters in Civil Engineering from these six universities ?(expenditure includes academic expenses,fooding,accomdation,daily basis expenditure,travelling and miscellaneous expenditure on a minimized or normal level)

    University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    University of California–Berkeley

    Stanford University (CA)

    University of Texas–Austin

    Georgia Institute of Technology


  12. Amartya Ghosh on March 10, 2011 at 8:03 AM

    Can you please tell me what in the criteria to enter Princeton University for a PhD in astronomy after completing BS in Electrical Engineering?

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