At some point of time I was contemplating going to the U.S of A through the GRE route. During that period I collected some information which I think will be of some use to people trying for it. Thanx to 2 of my friends in U.S of who had a conf call with me for an hour or so, trying to explain me how should I go abt it. And following is the info I gathered frm them.
I think university and course selection should be the first step even before you give your GRE . B’cos your GRE score is sent to 5 universities free of cost by the ets. After which you r required to pay 15-20$ for each university you want your score to be sent. So if u decide on the universities before hand you manage to save around 80-100$
First get the ranking of universities based on the course you choose. Now go through the website of each university starting from rank 30 or so..
A higher ranked university doesn’t necessarily means higher tutition fee.
For instance a university ranked 60 may be charging more than the one ranked 30.
So see to it that u get to study in the best university at the tuition fee you can afford.
By American standards cheap means a university which charges somewhere around 4000-6000$/sem
Once u r through with ur GRE and has zeroed on atleast 5 universities its time for you to fill in your applications.
I was told the most important thing that decides your admission is your SOP ie Statement of purpose which is read not by the administrative staff, but by the professor of the dept to which you have applied.Try to highlight how you can be an asset to the university.
One good strategy is, for example, you r applying for Pharmacology , go to the uni website and look for the research projects on which the university is working.
Then highlight it in ur SOP that u hav presented some paper or done some research project in a related topic. Make sure you hav some knowledge abt it and refrain frm quoting big company names as your sponsor and stuff. All that the university wants is that you have an aptitude for areas of research in which they r interested.
This ensures that you get an admission and also a fee-waiver and assistantship. Actually you end up paying only the first sem fees.
People avoid big cities b’cos they r costlier but actually when you go to big cities the chances of you getting a better paid job is also higher.
Once you start getting your i-20s approach a consultant for visa documentation and he ll take care of that. Liquid cash as your asset matters more than the property. Anyways you don’t have to worry about that.
You can always chek out google for SOPs, reco letters,etc. Most of these are for engineers you need to make the necessary modifications.
In case I have missed out some info which I know but havnt shared with you I ll make sure I send another post. Best of luck.Try to do all things right and god will do whats right for you.