Whether it is your dream or your parents’ dream, make no mistake, pursuing engineering after class 12th has its definite advantages. The discipline is broad, versatile, future-oriented and most importantly, makes you more job-market worthy than any other bachelor’s degree.
The USA still stands unbeaten when it comes to research, innovation, design and development. Owing to grants and endowments worth several million dollars, universities in the US carry out cutting edge research in almost every field known to humanity. The overall pedagogy is more focused on application-based learning rather than textbook knowledge.
Be it evergreen fields like mechanical, civil and electrical or new-age fields like avionics engineering, sustainable energy engineering or genetic engineering, that you decide to pursue your BS in, you will get the advantage of pursuing a STEM program – stay and work for up to 3 years in the US after graduation. The purpose of this article is to enlighten you about the points you should keep in mind while choosing an engineering program and to help you decide which engineering colleges in the US you should look out for.
7 points to keep in mind while exploring engineering colleges in the US:
1. Entry criteria
Entry criteria like high school GPAs, SAT scores, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation and statements of purpose constitute your application. Best engineering colleges in the US carry out a holistic assessment of your profile meaning that all the above factors play a part in deciding your candidature. This is in stark contrast to engineering colleges in India where admissions solely depend on entrance exam scores and GPAs.
Some universities may ask for F2F interviews with their alumni or online interviews with admissions committee members. Make sure you are confident and well-prepared because this can be the deciding factor.
‘What is the placement scenario of Indian students in the US?’ is a question that is on top of the mind of students looking to earn a BS from the US. Universities in the US have career centers which can help you in resume writing, placement awareness and attending career fairs. Many good universities hold career fairs where hundreds of companies participate. It is a 3 to 4-day event where students can visit company booths, interact with the HR people and clinch an interview opportunity. Some companies may also do on-spot hiring. Students may also need to do their own professional networking over Linkedin and other local websites to scout for job opportunities.
Tuition fees for 4-year bachelor’s program varies from university to university and from program to program. In general, public universities in the US are cheaper than private universities. For example, University of Michigan-Dearborn, which is a public university, requires you to pay $13,000 tuition fee per year whereas private for-profit Boston University charges you $58,000 per year for an engineering bachelor’s.
4. Scholarships and loans
Overall cost for engineering degree in the US can have you throw up your hands in dismay but keep calm and read on! Most universities in the US offer significant scholarships to international students. Besides universities many government and private organizations also offer scholarships to meritorious students. Some examples are: California State University scholarships, Pfeiffer University, ANS Scholarships, ASHRAE Undergraduate Engineering Scholarships, ASME Mechanical Engineering Scholarships, AACE International Scholarships and some more.
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More than 60% of students resort to scholarships and loans to study abroad. In India, public and private sector banks and other NBFCs and financial services offer loans for up to 50 lakhs at competitive interest rates. According to our loan expert, your financial planning should begin at least 10 to 15 months in advance before your date of departure. Read more on financial planning for studying abroad here.
5. Median salaries
US university websites are delightfully transparent about placement statistics and salaries of their graduates. Keep an eye on those year-on-year stats as they can help you compare and decide which university you would finally go to, should you have (and we sure hope so!) multiple admits. Check out median starting salaries of recent graduates at some popular engineering colleges of the US.
Average base salary for bachelor’s graduates ($)
|University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||84,302|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||74,000|
|University of Pennsylvania||79,357|
6. Student clubs
College life in the US is not just about studying. It is about enjoying the famously known Greek Life through its numerous fraternities and sororities. These are essentially student clubs that hold events, parties, excursions, etc. Besides being fun, these are the places where you can build life-long connections and do active networking.
Many international students make the mistake of staying just in their own home-country group, this can keep you from experiential learning that is a very important part of studying abroad. With exposure to diverse cultures, experiences and people, you can truly transform yourself into a more mature, confident and broad-minded individual.
7. Future goals
At school-level you may not have clarity about what you are good at and what you really want to do in life. That’s okay. When applying to engineering courses in the US, you don’t have to necessarily declare your major upfront. You have till your 3rd semester to decide which branch of engineering you want to specialize in. After completing your graduation, you may want to join a job in the US, you may want to go for further studies or may be even come back to India and set up your own start-up. Keep your future goals in mind when choosing a course and university.
Need help in choosing the right university for you? Get all your queries resolved in a 15 minute live online session with our expert counsellor and put your doubts to rest. It’s completely free so you have nothing to lose and lots to gain!
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Now that you know what to watch out for, take a look at:
Top 25 Engineering Colleges in the US
|1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|2. Stanford University|
|3. University of California—Berkeley|
|4. California Institute of Technology|
|5. Carnegie Mellon University|
|6. Purdue University-West Lafayette|
|7. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor|
|8. Georgia Institute of Technology|
|9. University of California-San Diego|
|10. University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign|
|11. Texas A&M University-College Station|
|12. Cornell University|
|13. University of Southern California (Viterbi)|
|14. University of Texas-Austin (Cockrell)|
|15. Columbia University (Fu Foundation)|
|16. University of California-Los Angeles (Samueli)|
|17. Johns Hopkins University (Whiting)|
|18. University of Pennsylvania|
|19. Northwestern University (McCormick)|
|20. University of Maryland-College Park (Clark)|
|21. Harvard University|
|22. Princeton University|
|23. University of Washington|
|24. Duke University (Pratt)|
|25. North Carolina State University|
Each of these universities is top of their league and their degree is well-recognized and respected throughout the world. If you want to know more about SAT preparation, admissions criteria, deadlines, scholarships, and application procedure at these universities, feel free to connect with our expert counsellors. See you around!