US News 2008 Rankings

US News has released its latest version of rankings (ranked in 2008). The rankings give a fair idea of the quality of the institution. It gives a good start to you if you are selecting a university for your intended graduate program. They are used by the graduate students as the first source of information while selecting the universities they intend to apply.

Here are the links for the most common rankings for MS Aspirants:

Top Engineering SchoolsSciences
For complete list of rankings, visit the US News Rankings page.
[...] Read more!

Academic LoR - What to Include?

Almost all graduate programs require to submit Letter of Recommendations(LoR) from the faculty members that have taught you. These LoRs are integral part of your application packet. LoR's issued by professors have more significance than by those issued by people in industry. The reason for this is that professors tend to believe what other professors say. Its kind of a academia bonding between them.

Most of the times the recommendor asks you to draft a LoR, which he/she may modify and send to the university. Here is a list of points which you should include while drafting the LoR:
  • Subjects studied in the course program and a few details of the subject that interest you
  • Subjects taught by him/her and few details about it
  • How many years of association
  • Projects under him/her: or any achievement under his/her guidance.
  • Team Assignments if any or any socio/cultural event also under his/her guidance.
  • Practical aspects related to subject taught: or practical training of any sort , e.g.: market research, surveys, group events and competitions.
  • Aptitude in this Field or one of the multiple subjects or related subject and specify.
  • Motivation in this or related Subject
  • Teamwork Skills, Presentation Skills, Qualities & Strengths
  • Additional Comments on student’s talent or skills or special achievement. Or socio/cultural position held.

For the format and samples of LoRs, click here
[...] Read more!

Professional LoR - What to Include?

An important part of your graduate application packet are your letters of recommendation. These letters certify your credibility in your field and your ability to pursue graduate studies in that discipline. It is recommended that you get atleast one recommendation from a professional source under whom you have worked or have done an internship. It depicts your commitment in the professional environment.

Most of the times the recommendor asks you to draft a LoR, which he/she may modify and send to the university. Here is a list of points which you should include while drafting a professional LoR:
  • Nature of job/position held.
  • Responsibilities held/ describe job profile and some points about your growth in the firm.
  • Projects under him/her with appropriate description.
  • Team Assignments if any and comments on individual responsibility in the group.
  • Practical aspects related to Positions Held and your interest in this aspect.
  • Aptitude in this Field/ or closely related aspect that the recommender is aware of.
  • Teamwork skills, group behaviour and interpersonal management.
  • Motivation level.
  • Presentation skills.
  • Qualities & Strengths.
  • Additional comments: achievements, laurels and certificates of appreciation, promotions etc., sponsorship or award bonus. Etc.

For the format and samples of LoRs, click here
[...] Read more!

Financial Documents for I-20

To issue an I-20 form, which is required to apply for a student's visa, the university needs to verify that you have funds to support your education. For this, you are required to send certain financial documents. You might also be required to fill in a university specific Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) form.

You need to show liquid funds which would atleast cover the cost of the first year of your university expenses. There are various ways in which you could be supporting your education. These may include family funds, personal funds, scholarships from home country, university assistantships or any other sponsorships.

You need to send proof for all your funding sources to the university. If your means of support is family funds, you need to get bank certificates of your sponsoring family members. You would also need to get an affidavit of support signed by your family members certifying their ability to sponsor your education.

Please note, while mentioning family funds, it is highly recommended not to include any other sponsors than your parents and grandparents (paternal or maternal). Taking support from any of your uncles, aunts or friends may create hassles during your visa process.

The I-20 may take almost 4-6 weeks to be processed and delivered to you. So, it is always advisable to plan early and send your documents well before time. You can only book your visa date after you have your I 20 form from the university you plan to attend.
[...] Read more!

Format for Affidavit Of Support

All international students applying for US universities need to submit an affidavit of support signed by your sponsors. It should certify that your sponsors would take care of all your expenses during your course. The sponsors should have liquid funds exceeding your 1 year expenses at the university.

The affidavit should be submitted in original. It should be on a Rs.10(ten) stamp paper and attested by notary with a 'Valid Outside India' stamp. The following is a sample format for the affidavit:

To Whom it May Concern

This is to notify, that I / we, ______________ (father) and ___________ (mother) of ____________________ residing at _____________________ India undertake complete financial and moral responsibility of his / her education at your college. I / We will be taking care of _____________’s overall tuition, living, books, medical, traveling and other expenses during his stay in USA. I have current Liquid balance of Rupees________________ Lac rupees, which is equivalent to US dollar ___________________ (approx.) to support my son’s annual educational expenditure at your campus.

________________                           ___________________
(Father)                                   (Mother)

[...] Read more!

Format for Bank Statements

If you are an international student applying for US universities, you will need to submit bank statements covering your first year of expenses. All bank statements should be submitted in original - no photocopies are allowed. So, you need to get multiple copies if you need to submit financial documents to multiple universities.

The bank statements should be on the bank letterhead certifying the amount of liquid funds you hold in the account. Funds in your savings account and fixed deposits are considered as liquid assets. The general format of these statements is as follows:

To Whom It may Concern


This is to certify that our client ________________father of _________________ resident of ___________________ is banking with us for the last _________ years. He is currently holding funds of amounting Rupees _____________ equivalent to US$ ________________ in his current bank account and are liquefiable at customer's interest.

Yours truly,

Branch Manager
[...] Read more!

Essay Editing Services

Your admissions essay, generally known as the Statement of Purpose (SoP), is one of the most essential application requirement for getting admitted to any program in US universities. This is an influential and powerful statement that may hold more influence than test scores or previous education.

A concise and eloquent statement tells the admissions staff many things about you. This is your opportunity to highlight all your positive qualities. Are you attempting to further your career to help others? To open opportunities for communities or other areas that are currently in need? Are you determined? Ambitious? Would your drive match the demands of graduate school? [ SOP Writing Tips | Sample SOPs ]

It is strongly recommended that you take some professional help before submitting your final essay. There are many essay editing services available and the best among them is EssayEdge, which The New York Times has described as "the world's premier application essay editing service" and "One of the best essay services on the Internet" by The Washington Post.

At EssayEdge, you will find everything you need to write a successful admissions essay, from the Net's most comprehensive FREE admissions essay help course to the best admissions essay editing available anywhere.
SAVE $10.00 on all EssayEdge services. Simply use coupon code EESPRING when placing your order (The coupon is valid May 7 - 31, 2008). Visit today and Give Yourself an Edge!
[...] Read more!

About US Calling

US Calling is an information resource for all those people who are planning for USA or are already in the USA for education or job. It has a vision to help people aiming for this great destination to pursue their careers.

The blog incorporates posts about admission procedures, standardized exams (like the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL), employment, visa issues and other FAQs for making your journey comfortable. We would also feature experiences of people who have gone through all these processes.

This friendly site would guide you throughout your planning for this destination. It would also help you to find answers while you are in the USA. It will make you aware of things, situations to expect and enlighten you with facts to make your experience easy.

This blog is a part of the series of other informational blogs, viz:
CONTRIBUTIONS: This blog features posts by contributors like you who would like to share their knowledge and experience with others. If you have something which you believe could be beneficial for the readers, please email us at usblogs[at]gmail[dot]com. We would give you full credit for all your efforts.

DISCLAIMER: This is just out of our experience and should be considered as an advice rather than final authoritative statements, which may be arguable. We want you to enjoy your trip to the U.S. as much as possible. You bet.

All the best!! :-)
[...] Read more!

Get all the latest post updates in your mailbox