Top 7 Q&A About Studying in America as an International Student

study in america

Answers by Manish Sharma to questions from Vinnu in comments about Studying in America as an International Student.

  1. About How much Bank balance is needed (please tell me all the total money i need).
  2. Minimum GRE score and any other exams I need to give.
  3. How to know the list of universities compatible within my percentage.
  4. How to apply to those universities.
  5. What are the set of documents i need.
  6. Can I get a loan from any bank with my academic year percentage.
  7. Give me all the details about money needed to…(important).

 Approximate Expenses for Studying in America

Firstly, let me tell you one thing, the costs encountered when studying in America are pretty much high.

So, if you are from “poor” background, it will be tough for you to arrange for the money to study in America every year. But yes, it is not impossible!

I can give you an approximate (minimum) expenditures:

  • Annual Tuition Fees: $17400
  • Living + Food: $300 x 12= $3600 (lowest)
  • Visa Fees + First Time Ticket Expenses: $400+$900=$1300

These are the minimum expenses. Your expenditures will be along these figures depending upon the cost of living in your city. (The one given above are the costs in my university/city).

Except these, there will be some expenditures in application submission, TOEFL and GRE.

Test Score Requirements

There aren’t any minimum score criterion. However, some good universities like Purdue University or MIT demands for good scores.

The exact figure can be obtained from their website. Generally a score above 1200 is fine. But if you score much above it, you will be appreciated, of-course!

One more thing, low score doesn’t mean that your application will be rejected.

If you have a lower score, just apply in the universities that doesn’t impose any “minimum score” criterion.

In my case, I had a low score, but my GPA and the recommendation was very good. My friends however had scores even in 1400, but I got the scholarship and they didn’t.

So, the officials actually see your overall performance. And, scoring high will always be helpful to you.

For US universities, GRE and TOEFL (or IELTS) scores are necessary. However, please do confirm this thing on university’s website. As far as my knowledge is concerned, GRE and TOEFL are essential for considering your application.

Universities vs My Profile

The best way is to know the universities in America is through your seniors and faculty members.

Also, you can go to the departmental website of the medium ranked universities and drop a mail to the graduate students studying there (especially if you think they belong to your country).

Google, seniors and faculties are the best sources!

How to Apply for Universities

After giving your GRE and TOEFL, just make a list of universities of your interest.

The application and some of your document are submitted online (offline through posts/couriers in some cases).

The application fee can range from $50-$100 for each university. Every university provide the exact details on their website.

They generally consider applications after October (for next Fall semester). Meaning, if you want to take admission in August 2013 (called Fall-2013), you will have to apply somewhere in between Oct 2012  to May 2013.

The exact deadlines are provided on their online portal.

Required Documents for College Admission

They generally ask for

Checklist of Applying to US Universities

Student Loan

I do not have any idea in this “loan” aspect. Because I was already funded by the department.

What About Money

Money needed to… what? I am sorry, I did not understand the question.

But yes, the while studying in America as an International student, you are allowed to work part time job and get paid internship.

And of course, if you get any scholarship, the less money will be  required (depending on the scholarship).

I hope I have answered your queries. I have a suggestion, please put your best in everything you do.

Whatever you do today will decide your tomorrow.

If you think your family is poor and cannot support you, and neither you can make it through loans etc. etc., there are still a lot of exams and institutes in India that are very well-known around the world.


  1. T.Sathyanarayanan on December 4, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    OK Mr, Ragu, I like your blog and your guideness to all those interested to study US. Now as a father of student, whether the economical resession is reduced now?in Us. and how much the salary of fresh net work engineer get appointed in company. Because I how long to pay the bank loan, and when I see back my son in my home at India.

    • Raghu on December 4, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      2011/12 Data
      India – 100,270
      China – 194,029

      That’s how many students are in USA. 25% increase from China and 3% decrease from India. If every parents had thought about recession in India, 100,000 students will not have come to USA. Think of education as an investment in long term for your son/daughter. Getting job/salary shouldn’t be just the only concern. they are goign to earn several times more throughout their life due to higher education abroad.

      • Manish Sharma on June 5, 2013 at 12:29 AM

        I am a PhD student in a medium-ranked university. I cam here in US in Fall-2011. Most of my friends were enrolled in MS degree. And, they are graduated by now. As far as my experience is concerned:

        -There were very few (in my knowledge: only one) who did not got any job at all. That person returned back to India.
        -Almost everyone is placed, some just before completing MS and some few months after graduation.
        -Once someone graduates, with a decent GPA, I don’t think there are any issues especially when your branch is Electrical/Computers.
        -The placement package of my friends were in the range of $4500-$6000 (per month, after tax deduction). And I think, with a decent living anyone could save at least $1500 a month (of course that figure depends on City, but still one can manage to save this amount)

        I have shared my experience, I don’t guarantee for anything though! 🙂

        I hope that gives you an idea of any compensations/sacrifices you need to do for your kid.

        Thanks and very all the best to the student!

  2. shimank shukla on December 4, 2012 at 4:59 AM

    sir ,
    how can i show 10,000$ during the interview … school will start after christmas …. school name aurora christian school …. pls tell me

  3. Gunnar Fox on December 4, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    The value of this piece is not necessarily in the specifics; rather, it gives insight into the general topics/expenses/issues you will need to consider. I would propose that you use it as a general guideline and as a springboard for research into your own set of circumstances.

    There are always more expenses than you anticipate so be clear-eyed, realistic and thoughtful about this… For example, you might conduct a “thought experiment” and comprehensively imagine a day in your life abroad and the expenses that will arise. Food (will you join a meal plan?), hygiene products (can you save money by buying in bulk at Costco?), transport (public/private?), parking, rent, books, clothes (are you going to a cold climate?), phone, internet… so many items.

    In brief, don’t wear blinders as you consider what this wonderful, life-changing educational adventure will cost. Little things add up. Fortunately, small savings also add up, and you will figure out how to achieve these by modeling successful students who have already been down this road.

    And never forget: Americans who earn a college degree earn an average of 84% more than those who do not. They also earn roughly a million dollars more in lifetime income. Statistically, these expenses and sacrifices stand a high likelihood of paying for themselves thousands of times over for international students as well.

    Just don’t dig a deep hole for yourself and create unnecessary debt or you will suffer for a long time before you reap the rewards.

  4. Zaheer on December 4, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Thanks a lot it is very helpful.
    Great job this blogg

  5. Nikhil on December 4, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    I think the food + Living cost is calculated really low. I think it should bump to at least $400 per month. #Just Saying!

    • Raghu on December 4, 2012 at 1:58 AM

      California, NY, Boston, etc – About $700 per month.
      Texas, Alabama, New Mexicao, etc – About $400 per month

  6. manigandan on December 3, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Good Information about USA. But still more details his needed about universities like state (or) government universities, Private universities,community colleges and Ranking system universities. I need the differences about above options, so that i can decide exact one……………………….

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

New Comments Policy
Please use the Happy Schools Forums to post your Questions. Use the Comments Section to add value or contriute to the Article, not for Q&A. Questions posted in the Comments section will be Deleted.