The United States of America (USA) is a liberal democratic with a federal political structure comprising 50 states and the District of Columbia is the capital – all of which have a distinct regional identity. The federal government is characterized by a separation of the powers of the executive from the legislative and judicial functions. The constituent states have significant powers of self-government.
United States of America has one of the most effective educational systems in the world. The system is highly sophisticated and constructed with special care given to the educational needs of the student community. The Federal Government has enforced strict laws to make sure that each and every person is benefited with basic knowledge regardless of their financial conditions. After completing the post-secondary education, one can move on to pursue the graduate, doctorate and even post-doctorate studies. The American educational system also nurtures extracurricular activities of students, along with providing them a highly competitive curriculum. The education system of USA functions under the U.S. Department of Education. Let’s find out more below!
Education in School
The schooling years begin in August-September, just after the summer season. It is divided into twelve grades which are distributed among three parts – primary school (first five years), middle school (6th to 8th grade), junior high school (7th to 9th grade) and high school (9th to 12th grade). All basic subjects are taught in elementary school. Except for special areas such as physical education, library, music and art, teaching takes place in classrooms. The curriculum is determined by individual districts. According to the ‘No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Program’, the committees of all schools should meet the Adequate Yearly Process (AYP) to settle on common learning standards.
Community Colleges provide two-year university academic programs that allow students to transfer to the third year of a four-year university and two-year associate degree programs, usually called the associate of arts (A.A.) or associate of science (A.S.) degrees. Community colleges can be public or private institutions and are sometimes called junior colleges or two-year colleges.
A growing number of international students are choosing to study at community colleges. Tuition costs are often lower at two-year than at four-year institutions, and many have agreements to allow students on transfer programs to move easily into the third year of a bachelor’s degree at the local state university.
Like their American classmates, International students are discovering that many of these unique schools have outstanding programs, transferable credits, reasonable fees, high-quality courses, committed teachers, smaller classes, and supportive environments. These factors are so attractive that over 40 percent of the US undergraduate population can be found in the classrooms of America’s two-year colleges. For many international students, the quest for a US bachelor’s degree will begin at a community college.
By taking advantage of this 2+2 system of articulation between a two-year college and a four-year college or university, international students can graduate with a degree from a top tier college or university at a fraction of the cost and apply those savings to their living costs and plane tickets home. Furthermore, when they are ready to transfer to a four-year college or university, they would already have had the benefit of two-years of rigorous preparation and language learning to facilitate the transition.
Community colleges classes start early in the morning and continue until late at night. Because they are funded by state and local tax money, community colleges keep their doors open to all students. Everyone living in the area the community college serves is eligible and welcome to attend.
Community colleges offer lots of different programs. These are:
University transfer programs
- Technical programs
- Job training programs
- Basic skills programs
- Special interest programs
Community Colleges are welcome by international students
For international students coming to the United States from other countries, community colleges offer some distinct advantages over other institutions. First of all, community colleges usually have an easy, open admission process. Second, community colleges generally have lower tuition costs than four-year colleges and universities. Students can save money during the first two years of their undergraduate studies. Then they can transfer to any four-year institution to complete the bachelor’s degree.
All community colleges are fully accredited institutions. Credits earned may be transferred to any other institution. Most universities welcome students who transfer from community colleges. The third main advantage of community colleges is that students will find a receptive, supportive learning environment. Classes are smaller, and professors are devoted entirely to teaching.
International students’ expectation
There are special programs to assist students who need extra help with English or math or any other subject. Finally, community colleges offer international students a realistic view of American society. They will meet fellow students who are also studying here to reach their goals. Though some of the traditional features of a college campus—such as dormitories—may be missing, there are many reasons why the community college experience has become the stepping stone to higher education in a democratic society.
As a reminder again, undergraduate degrees in the United States fall into two categories: the Associate Degree, which is a two-year degree (either an Associate of Arts Degree or an Associate of Science Degree) and the Bachelor’s Degree, which is a four-year degree.
Many community colleges have formal articulation agreements in place with four-year colleges and universities that prepare students for transfer ahead of time to ensure success, and it is of the utmost importance for students to meet with an academic advisor regularly to review their educational plan and set academic goals.
Chosen Major and General Education Core Curriculum
For transfer eligibility, general education coursework requirements need to be fulfilled, in addition to preparation for the student’s chosen major. Whereas, entrance into specialty major programs may require that specific courses be taken and a minimum GPA be maintained to guarantee transfer admission.In the state of California for example, the formal articulation agreement established between Community Colleges and Universities are called the Transfer Admission Agreement (TAA) or the Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG). The program includes an early review of academic records, early admission notification and specific guidance in terms of completion of required coursework. Examples of courses that would be included in a General Education Core Curriculum are: a Communications course, Quantitative Reasoning, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Biological Sciences.
Many high schools provide Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses as well. These include a more challenging curriculum and are considered equivalent to the first year of college. These courses can be taken in the 9th, 11th or 12th grades of high school. The AP or IB results are taken into consideration for post-secondary admissions. Home schooling is also common in the United States. People opt for this concept owing to religious and moral reasons.
Education is a state subject in the USA. Consequently every state in the US has a public university system. Most public universities in the US are state universities, which are set up and managed by state government. Each State U has its own admission standards, tuition fee and graduation requirements. Many states have more than one university or college system with different governing bodies, and even campuses within the same university might have different requirements.
An important element of state university systems is their generally low cost. Because state universities are supported by tax money, the citizens of the state are charged a comparatively low tuition to attend public universities in their own state. However, if they choose to attend a university in another state, they are charged “non-resident” tuition, which is substantially higher, and is based on the actual cost of education for that state. The same applies to citizens of other countries who are not US residents.
Given the State Universities, families in Hong Kong with a tight financial budget can afford to send their kids to study in USA. As suggested by Litz USA Student Service, students can start with the 2-year community colleges, then they can transfer to one of the State Universities for the final 2 years. Both types of institutions offer relatively affordable tuition to foreign students.
Some states have more than one state university system. For example, California has the University of California (considered top-tier, with 9 campuses ) and the California State University (considered lower tier, with 23 campuses) as four-year university systems, and the California Community Colleges as its community college system (with 106 campuses).
The University of California system awards bachelors, masters, professional (law and medicine) and doctoral degrees, and is oriented toward research. The California State system offers bachelors and masters degrees, and its primary mission is undergraduate education and teacher training. The community colleges award two-year associate degrees, with a focus on job training and preparation for four-year institutions.
The largest state university system is State University of New York with over 400,000 students. However, the combined enrollment of the University of California, the California State University, and the California Community Colleges systems exceeds 2,300,000 students.
The oldest State University in theUS is The College of William & Mary, which traces its origin to 1693. Every state has at least one university and there are large states with more than thirty universities. States typically charge higher tuition for students coming from other states as they do not fall under the state taxes net and hence are not contributing in subsidizing the university.
Most of the top universities in the USA are private entities and one of the reasons attributed to the fall in the number of public universities is the lack of State support. Many public universities run graduate programs in law, medicine and other subjects exclusively on private funding. So far the only federally chartered universities in theUS, such as West Point has been those that are under the patronage of theU.S.military.
Many public universities are highly selective, they are known as Public Ivies. In University of Michigan and University of California-Berkeley, belonging to this genre, most of the departments are top ranked, which take them to the prestigious league of the Ivy League University.
There is no central ministry of education in the U.S. and each institution can determine its own programs and admission standards. There are private as well as state funded colleges.
After completing post-secondary education, students can further proceed to university education. on completing the undergraduate study, they will be conferred with a Bachelor’s Degree. Graduate students can then proceed for post graduate studies to obtain a Master’s degree. Doctorate and post-doctorate program follow, if they wish to pursue an in-depth knowledge in their subject area.
Admission to university depends on various factors like high school course of study, high school Grade Point Average (GPA), participation in extracurricular activities, SAT or ACT exam scores, college admission essays and personal interview (optional).
Students can enroll in professional degrees of law, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry etc. either after their post-secondary education or after completing their graduation (depending on the program). Enrollment into graduate courses again depends upon standardized entrance tests such as Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Medical College Admission test (MCAT), Law School admission Test (LSAT) etc.
Four year colleges are undergraduate institutions offering academic programs leading to a bachelor’s degree. Community colleges or junior colleges are undergraduate institutions offering upto two years of academic instruction beyond secondary school at a relatively low cost. These offer certificate programs that last for a few months to a year as well as associate degrees.
Institutes of technology or polytechnic institutes offer specialized programs in sciences and engineering, in addition to basic sciences, humanities and the social sciences, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.
United States of America has one of the best and most effective educational systems in the world.
The US higher educational institution consists of 4 years:
- Freshman/1st year – Sophomore/2nd year: General Education and Pre-major
- Junior/3rd year – Senior/4th year: Major study
Many schools in the USA have a two-semester system, each semester lasting for roughly 15-17 weeks. The fall semester usually starts in late-August or September, and finishes just before or after Christmas. The spring semester begins in early- to mid-January and runs until May or sometimes June.
Some schools use a semester system called the quarter system, each quarter lasting for about 10 weeks. There are also schools which schedule three-semester academic years, where each semester is 10-12 weeks.
Each course you take at a university in the USA is counted as a certain number of credits, also called hours or units. The students normally need between 130 (under Semester system) and 180 credits (under Quarter system) to graduate. One credit is equal to 50 minutes of class time per week; completing a class that meets 3 times every week is equal to earning 3 credits. Full-time students usually earn 15 credits every semester. Students are assigned an academic advisor at the school who helps plan their credits and courses.
Almost everything you do for a class in the United States effect your grade. Essays, written assignments, laboratory reports, class attendance and class participation, test and examinations.
The grade scale is usually from either A to F. For each grade, you need certain percentages. For example, to get an A (or 4) on a test, you usually need to correctly answer 90-100 % of the questions, to get a B (or 3), you need 80-90%, and so on. Other common grades are:
- I = incomplete
- W = withdrawal
- Audit = enroll in the course for no credit or grade, but attend class and complete assignments
- Pass/ Fail = enroll in the course for either a Pass or a Fail grade
- Pass/ No Credit = enroll in the course for either a Pass or a No Credit grade, with no negative points
Examinations are usually given once in the middle of the term and once at the end. Professors often give short quizzes or tests in between, with or without notice. Many times you must write a research paper or complete a project assignment toward your final grade.
Grade point average (GPA) is a common measurement of grade in universities and colleges in the United States. The scale is from 0 to 4.0; students with a 4.0 GPA being the highest grade overall in every class.
US universities offer two main semester intakes:
Fall Semester (September/October):This is the main intake and almost all programs are offered at this times. More financial aid is also available for this semester and as funds are allocated for the entire year during this time. Spring Semester (January/February): This is the mid-year intake. There is limited financial assistance available for this semester as most universities allocate funds to projects in the Fall semester.
Some universities also have a summer intake around July.
- Southeast Missouri State University
- California State University, San Marcos
- Murray State University
- University of Texas at Arlington
- Southern State University
- Arkansas State University
- Southern Utha University
- Wichita State University
- concordia university chicago
- Upper Iowa University
- Herzing University
- Claremont Graduate University
- The University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- IGlobal University
- University of New Haven
- American National University
- University of Houston
- Full Sail University
- The University of St. Thomas
- The University of Nebraska–Lincoln
- Brandeis International Business School
- Iona College
- Mount Aloysius College
For admission process we provide students with one stop services for all types of supports
- ·Get free primary counseling on USA study plan and choose suitable institution as per student’s qualification and financial ability.
- ·Submit photocopy of passport information page, all the academic documents, 2 copies of passport size photo.
- ·Pay Registration BDT 10000 and get the facility of :
- Free IELTS Coaching worth BDT 12550 or, Speaking & Freehand Writing English worth BDT 8550 (in our English Language Institute, affiliated with British Council)
- * Students of our English Language Institute don't need to pay registration fee
- ·Get all the academic papers attested/notarized by the institutions attended/educational boards/foreign ministry/depending on the particular university necessities.
- ·Postgraduate students need CV, 2 LOR (letter of reference) and work experience as per university requirements.
- ·Fill up the university application form along with other forms, (if necessary)
- ·Provide bank solvency certificates as per the institutional requirements.
- ·Pay Application (if institute requires)
- ·We will do the needful for admission/scholarship (if any)/credit transfer (if any)
- ·Admission documents (1-20) will be received
- ·Pay SEVIS Fee
- ·Pay service charge (fully Refundable in case of Visa rejection)
- ·Students need to submit their sponsor’s paper. Anybody can be the sponsor (first blood sponsor is acceptable)
- ·Minimum 1 year equivalent Tuition and living cost have to be shown in sponsor’s bank account for at least 3 to 4 months.
- ·Sponsors amount may vary depending on sponsors relation and number of dependents.
- ·Basic papers needed from the sponsor Bank certificate/statement, TIN certificate, Salary Certificate, Job certificate, trade license, property revenue information and affidavit of financial support etc, (we will guide the students regarding this part as it depends on the sponsors nature of income)
- ·Also we will conduct information session regarding visa interview
- ·Pay embassy fee
US Universities fall under two major categories: public (state supported), and private (independent) institutions. International students’ tuition expenses at state schools are based on nonresident costs, which are still usually less expensive than those of private universities. It’s important to note that the cost of a program in a US school does not necessarily affect its quality. A brief idea can be got from the following table:
|University Type||Average Tuition Fees(annual in BDT)|
|Private Institutions (High Cost)||BDT 2000000|
|Private Institutions (Low Cost)||BDT 1140000|
|State Institutions (High Cost)||BDT 1500000|
|State Institutions (Low Cost)||BDT 960000|
The tuition fee is different for different universities and varies widely with courses. It can vary from as low as BDT 800000 a year for state universities to as much as BDT 2800000 per annum for some private universities. For more specific details, please contact the universities.
The approximate annual living expenses are about BDT 800000, which includes accommodation as well as other daily expenses. However, the expenses are different for different people depending on the lifestyles and this is just a rough idea. The main expenses can be split up as:
|Rent||BDT 32000 per month(Student can live alone with that amount in a place like Auburn or share an apartment with 6 people in NY)|
|Groceries||BDT 8000 per month|
|Utilities||BDT 8000 per month|
|Phone||BDT 8000 per month|
|Laundry||BDT 16000 per month|
So, about BDT 80000 per month is a good estimation. Most people can survive with BDT 56000-BDT 80000 a month. The key here is to share apartments/houses so that you save on the utilities, fixed charge portion of phone and to some extent on groceries.
Undergraduate Scholarships: US Education at Undergraduate level is a costly affair, no doubt. Indeed, the big question is money. Many institutions award merit-based assistance while someothers offer need-based aid assistance proportionate to applicants’ financial need. However, majority of institutions take a middle-of-the-path approach and make a mix of both need and merit while awarding financial assistance. Harvard, Princeton, Brown and Yale are the only four Ivy-League Universities that follow absolutely need-blind admission policy. The admissions office of these Universities even do not know whether an applicant is looking for funds and has applied for it. So the applicants paying capacity (or lack of it) have absolutely nothing to do with the admissions outcome. Once admitted, admission offer will come with full assessed financial assistance as needed for all the four years.
USA is perhaps the lone country that supports a large number of international students to study at undergraduate level. The financial assistance policy of US universities and colleges can be broadly categorized into two main categories Merit Based Scholarships and Need-based Financial Assistance.
There are various financial assistance: Merit-based Scholarships: Merit-based Scholarships are awarded by the College or University which offers the admission. Out of more than 3,800 Colleges and Universities offering undergraduate programs around 950 Universities and Colleges do offer merit-based scholarships to an International student and usually there is a keen and fierce competition for relatively fewer numbers of awards. The range of merit-based scholarship is quite wide and can be as little as 500 USD or as high as the full cost of attendance. Check with the Individual Colleges or Universities regarding availability of this type of financial assistance.
Need-based financial assistance: Need-based financial assistance is granted according to the demonstrated need as assessed on the basis of data supplied by you and your parents on the College Boards Foreign Student Financial Aid Application Form (FSFAAF). This application form can be obtained from The College Board Scholarship Service (CSS) of the Educational Testing Services (ETS), NJ, USA. The range of need-based financial assistance can be as high as the full cost of attendance including even return airfare sometimes.
Working Facility in USA for International Students: Most international students in the United States hold an F-1 visa, which is the U.S. non-immigrant student visa. F-1 students are allowed to work in the United States, but only under certain conditions. All employment is contingent on remaining within the terms and restrictions of your F-1 visa. There are several categories of employment during the term of staying of student as an F-1 visa holder in the United States. On-campus employment is the most freely available, and then there are four categories of off-campus employment: optional practical training (OPT), curricular practical training (CPT), severe economic hardship, and approved international organizations.
On-Campus Employment On-campus employment, the category most freely permitted by the USCIS regulations, and it does not require USCIS approval, work performed on the school’s premises directly for the institution (including work affiliated with a grant or assistant ship). Work performed for on-location commercial firms which provide services for students on campus, such as the school bookstore or cafeteria. (Employment with on-site commercial firms which do not provide direct student services, such as a construction company building a school building, is not deemed on-campus employment for the purposes of the rule.).
For on-campus work, an F-1 student is subject to the following rules:
- Student must maintain valid F-1 status
- Student can work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session
Visa success is the last and final step to study abroad. If this fails, then all the other efforts result in vain. Getting visa to study in the US takes time but can be an amazingly easy procedure though it is often seen as complicated and well worth the effort. Our skilled counselors guide students through the visa application process.
There are three main visa types that students can opt for to study in a USA.
- F-1 Student Visa: This common type of visa is issued to international students for academic study in US institutions. With an F1 visa, international students can undertake part-time, on-campus employment (20 hours per week while regular semester studies and 40 hours per week during vacations). In addition to this, students can work on optional practical training (OPT) for up to one year once they have completed their academic study.
- J-1 Student Visa: Exchange Visitor Visa - A J-1 Student Visa is issued to international students to undertake practical training which is not available in their own country to complete their academic program. A J-1 student status gives similar employment opportunity just like the F-1 visa, with same restrictions, subject to a permission granted by the exchange visitor program sponsor.
- M-1 Student Visa: Non-Academic Study - M-1 Student Visa is issued to study a non-academic or vocational school in the USA. With a M-1 visa, students cannot take up work during the course of their study period.
Some general documents are you are required:
- Valid passport with minimum 6 months validity
- One copy 2”x2” or 5cmx5cm in white background photograph taken within the last six months
- Receipt of payment non refundable and non transferable embassy fee in BDT worth USD 160, paid only in 59 authorized branches of Eastern Bank
- Bar coded I20 Form
- DS-160 confirmation page
- Financial documents showing the amount of fund that you need as at least one year study & accommodation expenses. For the credibility of financial documents, you need additional supporting documents; showing the source of the fund, income statements etc.
- Letter from sponsors. Proof of relationship. Sponsor's tax certificate etc.
- previous academic certificates and transcripts.
- English proficiency & aptitude test Certificate; IELTS/TOEFL,GMAT/GRE/SAT etc.
- and any other supporting documents that prove you are a genuine and financially solvent student.