Study MS in the USA Comprehensive Step by Step Guide

So, you want to apply for M.S. in the U.S.

Applying for MS in the US can get quite complicated and overwhelming for those of you who are doing it for the first time (which is most of you!).

A lot of consultancies tend to over charge and applicants end up paying more than required.

So here, we have broken down this process and explained it to help you out.

Here’s what we will cover through this:

  1. Application Fee
  2. GRE/TOEFL Scores
  3. Letters of Recommendation (LOR)
  4. Resume
  5. Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  6. Choosing A Particular University
  7. Degree Certificate, Official Transcripts & School Certificates
  8. WES Evaluation
  9. Bank Requirements
  10. Affidavit of Support
  11. I-20 Form & SEVIS Fee
  12. Form DS-160
  13. Checklist of Documents

Study M.S. in U.S.

1. Application Fee

Usually, any US University requires a payment for accessing the application file so that you can fill it out. This payment is known as the APPLICATION FEE and usually ranges between $20 – $150. In Indian rupees, it is somewhere around ₹2,000 – ₹10,000.

Keep in mind that this fee varies from one institution to another, and has to be paid individually for EACH AND EVERY university that you intend to apply for.
Payment of the application fee is considered crucial for your application to be considered complete.

Since you would be considered as an international student, universities almost always prefer a credit/debit card payment.
This transaction acts as a part of the process of online application.

Online card payment is usually BETTER THAN providing credit card details to the University during a phone call.
There have been various cases of fraud where students have lost money to who they thought were ‘University officials.’

If you want to avoid these expensive application fees, there are certainly many good Universities available for you to consider.
These institutions accept your application for consideration without any payment required.
The list of colleges which do not require an application fee can be accessed here.

2. Reporting GRE/TOEFL Scores

Almost every American University requires a GRE or TOEFL score to provide admission to a student.
This score varies depending on the quality and reputation of the University.

Hence, during the application process you will need to report your GRE and/or TOEFL scores to the Universities which interest you.
To maintain the integrity of the scores, Universities do not accept score cards from you or other prospective students. Instead, they turn to Educational Testing Service (ETS).

 

What is ETS?

ETS organizes and conducts GRE as well as TOEFL tests. ETS has also assigned every University that accepts GRE or TOEFL scores with a unique institution code. Every engineering department has also been provided a department code.

 

TOEFL Scores

At the time of your TOEFL registration, ETS gives you the option of automatically transmitting your TOEFL score to 4 American Universities of your choice.

This service is free of cost, or in other words part of your registration fee.

Be careful while filling out the unique institution and department codes.

If you want to report your score to any additional Universities, you will have to pay an extra $19 (or roughly ₹1,260) per college. More information on sending your TOEFL scores can be found here.

 

GRE Scores

As far as GRE is concerned, you will have a little more time. Once you finish the GRE exam, ETS will send your official GRE score to 4 Universities of your choice free of cost.

It is advisable to fill all 4 University slots even if you haven’t made up your mind at that point of time.

If you want to report your score to a University later, it will set you back $27 (or roughly ₹1,800) per college. More information on sending your GRE scores can be found here.

Once your score is out, the score cards usually take 5-7 days to reach the Universities of your choice.

Who all need to pay the SEVIS fee?

Before you are issued a nonimmigrant student/exchange visitor visa or if you a a dependant i.e if you require a F/M/J Visa, you are required to pay a fee.

This is called the SEVIS FEE.

This fee is required so that your information will be securely stored and maintained in the SEVIS.

In order to pay this fee, you have to fill up FORM I-901.

Who all needs to pay the SEVIS fee?

  • If you are going to the United States as a nonimmigrant student/exchange program visitor/their depandant from a country where a visa is mandatory to travel to the U.S, you need to pay this fee.

  • If you are a prospective F or M visa student from a visa waiver country.

  • If you are applying for a change of visa status to F-1 / M-1.

  • If you are a F/M visa student and you were absent from the U.S for a period of 5 months and wish to re-enter for further study in the same course.

How much should you pay?

  • For F/M Visa Applicants: $200
  • For J Visa Applicants: $180

You can find more details here.

How to fill out FORM-1901 and pay the SEVIS fee

For a step-by-step process on how to fill the FORM-I901, WATCH THE SEVIS FEE PAYMENT TUTORIAL

You can complete and submit a new SEVIS FORM-I901 here.

Once you pay the fee, YOU NEED TO SAVE A COPY OF THE RECEIPT FOR YOUR VISA INTERVIEW.

If you have any concerns and want to edit your form, you must send a request to: FMJfee.sevis@ice.dhs.gov.

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