GRE and scholarships for US universities, my suggestions: By Tushar Shah

?Education is the manifestation of perfection?. Keeping this view in mind I decided to go for higher studies in US. Getting an admit from a University and that too with financial aid is every person?s dream who wants to got for higher studies in US. Unless you are financially very very sound it is not a joke to study in United States if you don?t have financial assistance from the university. So question now is what are the factors which help you in achieving this dream? Good academics during undergrad, SOP (Statement of purpose), GRE score, TOEFL score, and previous work experience are some of the important factors which will decide your chances of getting financial aid. Again the financial aid is defined differently in different universities. Some universities will just give you some stipend but most of the universities will not only give you stipend but also waive your complete tuition.

If you are exceptionally well in the above factors, and if you select the universities with proper research, getting aid should not be a problem. Some of the students who do not get aid from the very beginning, can still manage to get it if they keep their grades good during first semester of MS and keep on trying with the professors consistently.

Good score in GRE is one of the very important factors not only in getting financial aid but also admission in good universities. Anyone who wished to pursue GRE should start preparing from second or maximum third year of his undergraduation. Try to appear for GRE during your final year. In this way you need not waste a year in preparing for GRE after finishing B.E. Some of the best way to prepare for GRE is flash cards, Barons GRE, Princeton GRE and many other books. GRE is not like one subject that you can prepare in one or two months. But still you can improve your score a lot by going through some of these materials.

I will disclose some of the very important and practical tips of how to get financial aid.

Assume that you don?t have financial aid in the beginning but still you decide to take chances. The first thing you should do is do a proper research of all the expertise areas of the professor in your university. Get an idea of what research projects are going on the department and which one has got a good chunk of money allocated. Go through the IEEE and other periodicals written by those professors. Take courses under him and let him know that his research interests you a lot and ask him some smart questions about it. Let him know that you would love to work under him and also try to convince him that your work exp and your previous experience will make you the best candidate for that research.

Keep him approaching consistently but this does not mean to bug him every day. Go with some smart questions and judging a proper time again shows your interest. Its quite possible that there are very opportunities for Research assistantships or Teaching assistantships in your department. So try to approach other departments and see if they have any IT jobs or projects. You can try to get those opportunities and can become eligible for Graduate Assistantship. So it?s a good idea to learn some of the IT related stuff before you land a university. Its good if you already know Oracle, Web designing, Java, PHP because most of the time department around the universities will be using this stuff to accomplish their day to day IT related chores. So does not matter what background you belong to, learn those skills before you come to US specially when you don?t have assistantships.

Some more tips before you come to US for studies:

1) Try to get a list of books for the subjects you think you will be taking during MS from India itself. It will save lot of money

2) Don?t forget to bring all the IT training certificates you have.

3) Try to get some basic Indian spices and medicines

4) Visit Indian Student association website of the university for additional information.

5) Do a proper research regarding the projects going on in your department.

6) Try to get apartment near University, in that way you don?t have to wrry about car and other commutations.
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