Monthly Archives: December 2009

I have never heard about this university!!

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International students and their families sometimes wrongly assume that if they haven't heard about a college or university, it must be a bad university. That is like saying if you have not heard about a city somewhere in the world, it must be a terrible city. The United States has close to 3500 colleges and universities. Even people born and brought up in the US often don't know or have not heard about all the 3500 institutions. It doesn't mean they are bad or not worth getting to know. It simply means YOU have not heard about it. 

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London, Paris, New York and a few other cities in this league are like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and MIT. Everyone (almost everyone) has heard about these cities and these institutions. But there are many great places in the world (that is why travel magazines sell so well!) that no one has heard about and yet are great treasures. This is true for universities as well.

Advice: Don't disregard a university because you have not heard about it. Research it and then decide what you want to do! The most important lesson for those interested in study abroad is to keep an open mind!

Dr. Uma Gupta is the President of USAsiaEdu. She blogs about study abroad and international students.

I want to get into a ranked university

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Every student I know (almost everyone!) I know wants to gain admission to a ranked university in the US. Students with high GMAT or GRE scores and students with low GMAT or GRE scores – everyone (really!) wants to get admission to a "good" university or a "ranked" university – preferably in the Top 50, most students say to me. One of the reasons these universities and colleges are ranked among the best in the world is because they are HIGHLY selective. If you have low test scores, the chances of you getting admission to a highly ranked university is pretty slim. In fact, even if you have high test scores, there is no guarantee that you will get admission into a top ranked university. In some cases, the rejection rate is 75% or higher. In other words, only 1 out of every 4 applicants may get in!

This does not mean the end of the world. This does not mean that universities that are not on the "ranked" list are bad or that you won't get a good education if you attend a university that is "non-ranked." Some very fine universities and colleges do not appear on the ranked list for reasons that have nothing to do with quality. While ranked universities are renowned for their quality, the opposite is not true. In other words, simply because a university does not appear on the ranked list, does not mean it is a bad university. 

Advice: Aim high but be realistic. Otherwise, you will set yourself up for disappointment