I typically don’t write on this subject.
This was written to assist folks who – or know those who – want to attend graduate school in the United States particularly international students.
This article is a continuation of the blogpost: Road to graduate school in US, part1
Financial Aid and Scholarship
One of the differences between the US graduate school application and that of countries like the UK stems from their financial aid application process. The financial aid and scholarships in the United States are usually on a rolling basis and you can apply at any time during the application for admission. However, some graduate schools only accept applications at certain time of the year usually fall (August).
Majorly, US graduate school scholarship subsume the following:
1. A partial tuition fee waiver: The graduate school waive a certain percentage of the school tuition.
2. Full Tuition scholarship: All tuition are waived
3. Full Tuition scholarship and Assistantship: This is the acme of most US graduate school scholarships where all tuition are waived. In addition, there will be an employment with the university in the form of a teaching, research or graduate assistantship which guarantees the payment of a stipend that will cover the cost of living in the United States.
Searching for schools is one of the most inundating stage during the application process. Some people pay some institutions/agencies for this service, however, I would stoutly advise to do it yourself. First, you delve for schools that offer your proposed course of study. Make good use of google. Second, make sure you contact each and every one of them primarily through email (Emails are always conspicuous on the school / program website and phone calls could also be made) Enquire about the graduate program, financial aid, exam requirements, academic profiles and a host of others. Below is a template of an enquiry e-mail.
Subject: Prospective Student
Hello, I am xxxxx from Sudan I had my Bachelor’s degree in xxxxxx from xxxxxx university. My final C.G.P.A is xx/4.0 or xx/5.0. Am keenly interested in the graduate(M.S/ PhD) program in xxxxxxx in your university. I will love to enquire the following about the program/graduate school: (i)Can I apply to this program with my Bachelor’s degree? (ii)How can I be eligible for the program’s financial aid? ……….
The paramount decision you will make is your choice of graduate school. If, for example, you are applying to 4 schools, I would apply to a top ranked school, two middle ranked school, and one lower ranked school in order to maximize opportunities.
Let me reiterate the importance of contacting graduate schools before application, this will prevent wasting application fees and most importantly time on schools that would not grant admissions.
In conclusion, from my stated opinions and experiences there could be great deal of disparities in the requirements for graduate schools, therefore the examinations you take and the application procedure will be dictated by your choice of school.