How to Get Admission in Ambitious University with Low GRE Score

I’m responding to a comment about the article Secret of Getting Admission with Scholarship.

I’d disagree with the part where you said, “Why would someone has to waste a few hundred dollars in college application fee and GRE and TOEFL score forwarding, application documents courier fee, when grad school admission is not sure.” ->
You haven’t at all factored in the case that a university where you will very easily get into (with the exception of some like USC), is simply not worth it?
If you’re considering spending a sizable portion of your savings on graduate school, why should it not be on some place where you’d be proud of attending?
In the end, you will be going to just one university and abandoning the other admits, and hence, it’s only that one good admit that matters, instead of a dozen mediocre ones.

I agree with you that you disagree with the statement I have written.

However, it seems you’re focusing on just a single part of what I’ve said. If you will read a few lines further, you will understand the entire meaning of what I’ve tried to say in that post.

“…I would like to relate the word Ambitious to Luck with less probability. Why would someone has to waste few hundred dollars in college application fee and GRE and TOEFL score forwarding, application documents courier fee, when grad school admission is not sure…”

All of us would likely agree that we all want to study in a school that we would feel proud to be part of. At the same time, though, we must be aware of our achievements in terms of GRE, TOEFL, and other credentials, all of which must be taken into account when applying at schools.

Even though we believe within ourselves that we are much more capable, even if we scored less in GRE, TOEFL, and academics, such personal confidence doesn’t have much bearing with the committee reviewing our graduate school application.

As I’ve said before, when deciding on which schools to apply at, students tend to categorize their personal shortlist of universities as Ambitious, Moderate, and Safe to describe the possibility of getting graduate school admission.

If your score and all credentials satisfy only, let’s say, 50 – 70% of a university’s minimum requirements, then you can apply for it and consider that school as “Ambitious”.

But let the truth be told, it’s really a waste of money when you have only satisfied “less than 5%” of the graduate school minimum requirements. So applying at such schools is what I’ve described as a waste of money.

Most of the profiles I have evaluated have “Ambitious” schools listed as follows. For instance, someone with a GRE of 950, TOEFL 66, academics of 55% with 4 backlogs and with no research experience has UT Austin in his list for M.S. in Computer Science…and that’s what I’ve been calling as a waste of money.

I hope you have understood what I’m trying to explain. I do appreciate your time in visiting my blog and sharing your valuable comments. Until next time…

40 Comments

  1. Sola on October 6, 2016 at 3:34 PM

    Dear sir

    I have master degree in computer science from Iraq, id did 2 researches, i applied to UHCl master in computer engineering, and my GRE 286 TOEFL 80, is there a chance to be admitted

  2. Yashwanth on August 28, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    Hi,

    I’ve scored 331 ( quant-170 and verbal-161) in GRE computer based test. Also fared 113 in TOEFL IBT.
    I would like to know which universities have good graduate programs in neuroengineering, maybe under biomedical or electrical engineering department. I’m flexible on opting for master’s or even directly a doctoral program. My cgpa is 8.67/10. I have 4 international and 1 national research publications, 1 patent and numerous projects to my credit. I’ve interned at EPFL, Switzerland under enable internship program after my 3rd year.

    Thanks in advance.

  3. teju on August 26, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    hello Sir! my GRE score is 288..IELTS score is 7..and my CGPA is 8.8..do i have a chance of getting into uhcl,ucm or usm..I cannot retake my GRE once again because i am weak in quant and i’m not confident that my score will increase in second attempt.plz suggest me

  4. Abhinav purohit on November 20, 2015 at 1:22 PM

    My gre score is very low i.e 281
    My ielts score is 6.5
    Cgpa is 7.0/10

    I have got research papers , international conferences attended and paper presented, national conferences attended and papers presented and plenty of extracurriculars.

    Some aerospace related training programmes.
    Relevant softwares I have learned .

    Projects related to aerospace engineering using those softwares.

    Can i stand a chance of getting in to usc for Ms in aerospace.

  5. Prajakta on November 16, 2015 at 1:30 AM

    Hello
    Prajakta here..
    My profile: GRE: 304 (verb 147; quant:157; AW:3)
    TOEFL: 92 (reading-22;listening-27;speaking-19;writing-24)
    B.E. biotech 66.02%
    M.tech from iit-kgp 8.65cgpa
    My shortlisted universities:
    Washington state university;
    Indiana University-bloomington;
    Michigan state university;
    TAMU
    UTd
    What are my chances of getting admission for PhD in fall 2016 with graduate assistantship??

    • Abhinav purohit on November 20, 2015 at 1:25 PM

      In fact I am ready to finance my self for the course.

  6. siya on October 5, 2015 at 6:02 PM

    Hello,
    fall 2016
    gre scores-294
    toefel-82
    gpa3.2
    work exp-1year
    i have applied for sjsu for ms in biomedical eng .
    is it possible to get admit?

  7. Aadithya on April 27, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Hello sir
    This is aadithya and my profile is gre 304 toefl 104 awa 3 gpa6.3 . I completed my BE mechanical engineering and I’m applying for my masters in MATERIALS science. I worked as a research assistant for five month at HAL bangolre on materials R&D . I also have decent extra curriculars . I have applied to the following colleges
    1. San jose state university
    2. Wayne state university
    3 . University of southern Florida
    4. University Of central Florida
    5. Universit of Texas Arlington
    6. University of Texas Dallas
    7. University Of Houston
    What are my chances of getting an admit for MS in materials science in these colleges. I’m really confused . I have got reject from
    UTA
    UTD
    UCF
    SJSU
    UH
    can you please help me now ! Can you tell me where I went wrong

  8. UCF ms in mech admit on April 9, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    hello sir,
    i have recently got admits from university of central florida and new jersey institute of technology for ms in mechanical engineering. Could you please tell me which one is better and why? in terms of career and job perspective as well as academics.

  9. karthik on March 25, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    Hi,
    Is Texas A&M kingsville is a good univeristy for masters in CS?

    Thanks,karthik

  10. Aadithya on March 18, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    Hello sir this is aadithya again . I have got rejects forms uta utd and ucf in a row for ms in materials science . My gpa is 6.3 gre 304 and toefl 104. I’m worried . Is my course selection right ? I’m really worried please help.
    Thank you .

    • ravindra on March 21, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      Hey aadithya I too have applied to UTD and SJSU for M.S. in Materials Science. My gre is same as yours toefl bit lower and gpa of arnd 3.3 on a 4 scale. I still hvnt got admit from any universites. I am B.E in Metallurgy. I dnt know what to expect now.

  11. Pratibha on February 27, 2013 at 4:11 AM

    Hello sir,
    MY husband’s GRE score is 280 nd toefl is 68…..can u please suggest me universities for PHD in Pharma….he is a gold medalist in M.Pharm and 3+ years of work experience in R&D department as a Manager level post….

  12. Aadithya on February 25, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Sir I need help
    This is aadithya and my profile is gre 304 toefl 104 awa 3 gpa6.3 . I completed my BE mechanical engineering and I’m applying for my masters in materials science. I worked as a research assistant for five month at HAL bangolre on materials R&D . I also have decent extra curriculars . I have applied to the following colleges
    1. San jose state university
    2. Wayne state university
    3 . University of southern Florida
    4. University Of central Florida
    5. Universit of Texas Arlington
    6. University of Texas Dallas
    7. University Of Houston
    What are my chances of getting an admit for MS in materials science in these colleges. I’m really confused . Thank you

    • HSB Counselor on February 26, 2013 at 6:43 AM

      Hi Aadithya, Referring to the credentials you have shared, there are good chances of expecting admission offers from the Universities you have applied to. You have applied to a decent number of Universities and can expect multiple admission offers.
      All the best!

  13. asha on February 6, 2013 at 4:03 AM

    i want to do ms in cs,pls suggest better universities among these.pls dont suggest like retake exam
    gre-288
    toefl-68(r-16,l-18,s-20,w-14)
    btech-75.25%
    i have some certifications and did good projects
    which is the best amog these
    -indiana state university,
    univ of south alabama
    University of California Berkeley
    portland state university
    Ohio State University
    university of illinois springfeild,
    SUNY binghamton
    pls reply me by suggesting some univ

    • HSB Counselor on February 7, 2013 at 1:21 AM

      Hi Asha,
      Even if you don’t retake GRE, TOEFL needs to be retaken. Else go for an IELTS test. Universities you have mentioned are quite competitive. You can consider University of South Alabama, Portland State University, University of Illinois Springfield.

      For University suggestions from our end, please post your query in the forums section under appropriate thread.

      We would be happy to answer!

  14. keerthi on June 23, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Hello Sir

    I want to apply for phd in Industrial engineering, I already did my masters in industrial engg and got 3.9 gpa and my under grad is in mechanical engineering with 3.9 Gpa but I have low gre.. what is the possibility of getting admission ?

    Thanks

  15. Tushar Rawat on May 1, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    Hello Sir,
    I have got 980(690quant+290vocab) (GRE 1st attempt) and 950(720Quant+230Vocab) (GRE 2nd Attempt). My TOEFL IBT is 77. I have 3 years working experience in a Software firm. I recieved 69% in B.E. and my acads..include 76% in 10th std. and 80% in 12th std. from CBSE. What are my chances of admission in USC viterbi or Do I need to have 3rd attempt in GRE? what do you say?? please help me out …I am confused.

  16. yogesh phogat on October 5, 2010 at 3:48 AM

    hello sir,

    i m in very tensed situation, i m going to apply for fall 2011, major in computer science, presently in 7th sem. and i am having 1 active backlog in 5th sem., i am going to take that exam in December 2010, whose result will be declared in April 2011, should i apply for fall 2011,will they consider me for admission or it would be waste of money….

    plz. reply,i shall be highly thankful..

  17. yogesh phogat on October 5, 2010 at 3:45 AM

    hello sir,

    i m in very tensed situation, i m going to apply for fall 2011, major in computer science, presently in 7th sem. and i am having 1 active backlog in 5th sem., i am going to take that exam in December 2010, whose result will be declared in April 2011, should i apply for fall 2011,will they consider me for admission or it would be waste of money….

    plz. reply,i shall be highly thankful…

  18. Ganapathy on June 17, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    I graduated from Smith college, USA with Master degree in Biology. I have also another Master degree in Botany from India. Can i get into Ph D program in the US University. I have Low GpA? I have 12 research publications. Please direct me.

    Ganapathy

  19. ila chaudhary on April 15, 2010 at 7:36 AM

    My GRE score is 990(710-Quants and 280-verbal).I wanna pursue MS in CS.Can ayone suggest me certain safe universities for the same………
    Can i get admission in SJSU(san Jose State University) of California….
    My B.Tech score is 70%

    • sridevi on October 13, 2010 at 1:37 AM

      Hi Ila,

      SJSU Requires a minimum of 1000 in GRE. But your % is good so you can try for that university if u apply as early as posisble.

      Few Universities matches your profile are:

      1.CSU, Fullerton

      2.University of Toledo,Ohio

      3.Texas A&M University, Kingsvelle

      4.Wright State University

      5.University of ARkansas, Fayette

      6. University of Southern Mississippi

      7.University of Houston, Clear lake

      8.Northwest Missouri state University

      9.University of Northern Iowa

      10North dakota State University

      I suggest you to try for Safe Universities so that you can expect funding from them.

  20. Rahul Chopra on November 13, 2009 at 9:19 AM

    Hi, i am Rahul Chopra looking forward to do MS in petroleum from universities of US.

    Base on my profile

    1)10th STD-76.47% (PCM-92%) and 12th STD-84%agg (PCM-97.66%)

    2) GRE score 1120 (Q-770 and V-350) + Analytical Writing-3

    3) Toefl score 77 (R=19, L=13,S=23,W=22)

    4) I had successfully completed my Undergraduate studies in Chemical Engineering from U.I.C.T.(Mumbai) with 65% aggregate.

    5) Also having 2.5 years of Industrial experience from Aker solutions (Mumbai) as a Process Engineer for Oil & Gas Projects of Statoil. Here we perform study and realization tasks for various modifications on the Existing Platforms.

    So tell me on this profile ,which Unis in where i can get an admit for MS in petroleum universities of US.

  21. samir on October 26, 2009 at 9:48 PM

    i have got 1020 in gre math-710, verbal-310

    toefl- 69(w-20,s-17,lis-19, re-13)

    cgpa b.tech- 7.0 with a project(state govt college, orissa)

    m.tech- 7.92 upto 2nd sem. with a project(nit, rourkela,india)

    int conferense- 1, int journal — 2 communicated

    national journal- 1 accepted

    i want to do ph.d in mechanical(optimization/manufacturing/production/automation/fms/mobile robot), in any given field. so plz tell me which colleges i will apply

    , they provide scholarship and stipend.

  22. murali on September 24, 2009 at 11:15 PM

    hai i got gre:950 gre :650 verbal:290

    toefl:85

    b.tech:70.5%

    please help me which universities are good for me to do ms in us.

  23. Lucky on August 24, 2009 at 6:02 AM

    Hi i have completed my btech from AU vizag but unfortuntely i could clear one of my lab exam because of which my btech degree got delayed by 1 year,now i am trying to apply for Masters in University of south florida with a top GRE score. Can this be possible please help me out

  24. Lucky on August 24, 2009 at 5:59 AM

    Hi i have completed my btech from AU vizag but unfortuntely i could clear one of my lab exam because of which i btech degree got delayed,now i am trying to apply for Masters in University of south florida with a top GRE score. Can this be possible please help me out

  25. srikanth on July 30, 2009 at 12:16 PM

    hi!!

    i'm doing b.tech envtl.engg. at Indian School of Mines University, Dhanbad(admission through IIT-JEE). Now i'm in final yr. I'm abt to give my GRE in a month. I'm looking for admission in Fall 2k10 for my M.S. My current OGPA is 7.46/10. How much score in GRE is recommended to get an admission in any of the top20 universities. Also my abstract got selected for an international conference where i hv to deliver an oral presentation. Does this certificate holds any weightage for getting thru into a better uni????

    Also please throw some light on the difference between M.S and Master in Engineering(M.E.)…

  26. Farhana on April 23, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    no doubt i agree with raghu. Actually it depends on students and there finantial condition. but it is never be a good idea to apply only super ambitious unis. its totally a dumb idea . u have to apply also some safe unis . lets see my situation. i was late to give gre for illness. so when i give it most of the good uni deadline r gone. i needed finaid badly, so i applied two medium unis n one uni(SDSU) which have good funding in my area of interest(nanotech).

    MY GRE 1300
    Toefl 100
    CGPA 3.73/4
    I got admission from the first two(OSU , UTA)with some tuition fee remission.
    But get GTA and scholarship from SDSU(south dakota state university). NOw the situation is i can make my choice btwn them.im not saying dont apply to top listed unis but u have to apply to some mediocre unis for safe side.

  27. raveendiran on December 14, 2008 at 1:17 AM

    hai i got 1030 in gre.In quants-610 and in verbal-420.i am looking for Masters in engineering management.Which all are possible universities will offer me.Can you get me the universities list.And also i got ban score of 6.5 in my ilets exam.

    • db on July 30, 2009 at 8:05 PM

      Check on internet.

  28. Shilpa on November 10, 2008 at 5:27 PM

    My gre score is 1030 (Q – 680, V – 350)

    BE aggr – 74%

    i want ot do my ms in vlsi or embedded…

    which all universities can i aplly for… can i get any scolarship

    • db on July 30, 2009 at 8:04 PM

      Check with university.

  29. ashutosh on October 16, 2008 at 5:15 AM

    i hav got 1100 in gre (Q: 730 , V:370, AW 3.5)

    low acads, 5.5 out of 10

    have completed one project and second on the way

    want to apply for enviro engg…

    plz tell me whether it is possible for me to get admits…if yes, which are probable univs

  30. HSB on September 5, 2008 at 2:00 AM

    @gdcruz: I know University of Florida has good Aerospace program and Embry Riddle is expensive, but the best program for aerospace.

  31. gdcruz on September 4, 2008 at 3:21 AM

    im looking at old dominion university, illinois institute of technilogy, embry riddle and probably university of alabama at huntsville to pursue my graduate studies in aerospace engineering. my gre score is 670-Q and 510-V, i dont have yet the AWA score since i took it about 2 weeks ago. what are my chances in getting into the program of course, just like any bgrad school hopeful, with financial aid or any funding?need HELP with this thanks…

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