Going to the United States for higher studies can be a complicated, unfamiliar, and expensive process. There are over 4,000 accredited colleges and universities in the United States, and they vary in terms of quality, competitiveness, size, character, and cost. To help prospective students understand the process of applications, answers to the most asked questions are outlined below.
How can I go to the U.S. to study?
To prepare for U.S. higher education, you should keep in mind the “Five Steps to U.S. Study”. You must plan in advance to find your best-fit institutions. Define your priorities first and start your financial planning with your sponsors. Don’t forget to look for special opportunities and financial aid!
You must register for the exams the college or university requires. Students are required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System), depending on institution requirements. Other tests might also be required based on the degree you are pursuing. Test preparation guides of all the standardized tests are available at the EducationUSA libraries.
Send completed application forms to your shortlisted universities, along with all other required documents. Be sure you know each school’s application deadline. Required documents usually include certified copies of your school transcripts (certificates and mark sheets), test scores, letters of recommendation, application fees, and documents showing you have enough money to pay for your education and living expenses.
After you have submitted documentation, if you are accepted, the college or university will send you a letter of acceptance and an I-20 form (Certificate of Eligibility for Student Status Visa). You must have this form before you apply for a visa.
How much money do I need to study in the U.S. for one year?
The amount of money you need depends on which college or university you chose to attend. Tuition fees per year at U.S. universities can vary from $15,000 to over $60,000. Be sure your sponsor has enough funds available for your tuition and expenses during your first year at the university. Your sponsor should also have financial planning how s/he will support your subsequent years of study.
Can I get financial aid from the college or university?
Financial aid for undergraduate students:
A quality combination of academic grades, standardized test scores, essay, recommendation letters, and extra-curricular activities are needed to obtain a financial aid for undergraduate students. The competition is competitive, and you must be an outstanding student. Financial aid seldom covers more than tuition, so students must be prepared to pay his/her living expenses, and other costs including books, miscellaneous fees, etc.
Financial aid for graduate students:
Students studying for a graduate degree (masters, doctorate) have more opportunities for financial aid from both public and private universities. Often the financial aid comes in the form of research or teaching activities or assistantships. These awards may cover tuition expenses and provide a monthly stipend.
Can I get a job while I’m studying?
No. The terms of your student visa do not allow you to work unless you are employed in an on-campus job or in practical training sponsored or approved by the university. On-campus jobs are difficult to obtain and do not provide enough funds to cover tuition or living expenses.
Can I gain admission to a college or university without the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?
Students from Bangladesh usually are required to take an English proficiency test. Almost all universities require the TOEFL/ IELTS/ PTE for foreign students from countries where the medium of instruction is not English. In addition to this, it is always recommended to take an aptitude test (SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT) based on the academic program.
What score do I need on the Standardized Tests to be admitted?
College and universities decide their own requirements for the standardized test scores. The required scores for admissions or scholarships totally depend on the institution and the program for which you have applied.
Is it important for the university to be accredited?
Yes, very important. The U.S. government does not accredit or control colleges or universities. Instead, there are six regional associations which accredit institutions that have met basic standards in their academic programs. There are also professional associations which accredit individual degree programs at a university in fields such as engineering and business administration. These accredited colleges and universities are listed in the book Accredited Institutions of Post-Secondary Education published yearly by the American Council on Education.
Check to make sure that the institutions you chose are accredited!
How do I know more about applying for a student visa?
Visa applicants must appear in person at the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka with a completed Non-immigrant Visa Application form. Attend one of our regular sessions on Student F1 Visas at the American Center. Please follow U.S. Embassy Dhaka and EducationUSA Bangladesh on Facebook for updates on EducationUSA events.
Where can I get more information?
Visit EducationUSA at The American Center, U.S. Embassy Annex, Progati Sharani, J – Block, Baridhara, Dhaka and meet with an EducationUSA adviser. The Center can be reached by phone at (2) 5566-2000, ext: 2836, 2848 or by email at EducationUSA-Bangla@state.gov.