How to Successfully Apply to Popular USA Universities?


Subhashri Roy
Updated on Jul 07, 2023 06:53 PM IST

How do you ensure a successful application to popular US universities? Scroll through to find how and also check out top tips to make a successful US university application while having a look at some of the popular US universities for 2023-24 admissions.

How to Successfully Apply to USA Universities?

How to Successfully Apply to Universities in USA: Rising numbers of Indian students have been lured to the United States in recent years to complete their higher education, drawn by the promise of world-class academic universities that constantly rank, cutting-edge research opportunities and infrastructure, and a rich and varied cultural experience. However, as students try to navigate through different requirements and deadlines to obtain a position in their preferred field of study, the application process to US universities can be both compelling and intimidating as well.

US universities aggressively recruit Indian students by providing a variety of scholarships, fellowships, and financial assistance programmes to make higher education affordable and worthwhile. These universities have an average admission rate of about 10-15%. 

Hence, this article on how to successfully apply to popular USA universities serves as a thorough reference for Indian students, providing helpful insights into the sequential application process, important considerations institutions make when making admissions decisions, and advice to improve the chances of acceptance. Join us as we set out to expose the application process to study in the USA and provide Indian students with the tools they need to pursue their aspirations of attending a US university.

What You Need to Know About Applying to USUniversities

Before you apply to US universities from India, you must first know a few important things about how to apply for university in USA for international students.

  • Admission decisions are made carefully by admission committee members who assess an application based on the institutions goals and priorities, how well you could fit in the program and if your application reflects honesty.

  • Overall, all universities in USA look for applicants with strong communication skills, academic background, organisational skills, interest, enthusiasm and commitment.

  • US university admissions are also based on a set of institutional values set for every year. These may include maintaining gender balance, valuing national, geographic and ethnic diversity, a balanced number of freshmen across disciplines, among others.

  • A US university application would typically include the following components: personal information, academic transcripts, standardised test scores, letters of recommendation, resume (for graduate applicants), application fee and a statement of purpose.

  • Letters of recommendation are weighed very highly by colleges and universities in USA. They usually require 3 LORs that often compensate for low GPAs and test scores.

  • For admission to graduate schools in the US, the admissions committee will always prefer someone with prior experience in the field. However, this may vary from university to university and program to program.

Need Help Writing the Perfect SOP And LOR?

This is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for undergraduate study in USA from India.

Step 1: Research the University and List of Courses Thoroughly

The first step to applying to top universities in USA is figuring out if it offers the course or program of study you are interested in. While doing so, consider factors such as majors offered, the strength of the program, tuition fee, and availability of scholarships and financial aid, among others.

If you are having trouble finding the ideal course for you, here is the easiest thing you can do, write to us (contact information at the end) or register with us.

Step 2: Make Note of Application Deadlines & Take the Required Tests

Create a calendar of ASU's application deadlines applicable to international students. Overall, US universities for international students offer three intakes - Fall, the primary intake and the Spring and Summer intakes. Following that, prepare a schedule to prepare for and take the required standardised tests. Without your test scores, you are likely to be at the first step towards rejection although a good number of United States colleges and universities have been offering test waivers to eligible students.

Step 3: Write a Successful Application

Writing a successful application to top universities entails a number of important factors including academic indicators, your characteristics that make you unique and your career goals and priorities that meet the university's requirements.

To ensure a hassle-free admission process, get in touch with our admissions experts who provide end-to-end guidance on writing your application, gathering your documents and even ensuring a successful visa application.

Admission Criteria for Undergraduate Applicants include Academic Transcripts, test scores of standardised tests like the SAT or ACT, essays and personal statements, letters of recommendation, English language proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic), special talents (based on evidence; if applicable) and more.

Step 4:Pay the Application Fee: While some universities ask for a non-refundable fee, some may have a refund policy. Find out how much top universities in USA charge as application fees by dropping us a mail (email address below).

Step 5: Have Required Materials Sent Directly

Have official transcripts and test results of standardised and English proficiency tests sent directly from your school or exam board to the university's admission services. The records must include courses completed, certificates or degrees awarded, grades or marks earned. Also, make sure that it includes a certified English translation of all documents not issued in English.

Step 6: Submit Evidence of English Language Proficiency

Whether you have taken the TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic or Duolingo English test, have your scores sent directly to the university.

Step 7: Submit All Documents

The next thing you need to do is submit all documents in original or an attested copy with an original seal or signature. All documents should be translated into English in case they are not issued in English. Remember, you need to send documents only after filling in your application or else the process may get delayed.

Step 8: Submit Your ACT/SAT Scores

Depending on the university and its test policies, you may or may not submit your ACT/SAT scores. Since 2020, a number of colleges in USA for international students have gone test-optional, test-flexible or test-blind. These scores, if asked for, may be used for admissions, scholarships, course placement or as supplemental information. Have them sent directly to the university from ACT or College Board when you register for the test. Check out US universities that have gone test-optional.

Step 10: Submit Your Student Visa Application

All international students planning to attend top universities in USA will have to first apply for an I-20 in order to apply for an F-1student visa or J-1 student visa. Find everything about US student visas.

How to Apply to USUniversities for Masters?

Here are the steps you must follow when applying masters in USA for Indian students:

Step 1: Make Sure You Meet Admission Requirements

Look into the graduate programs offered by the university as well as their respective eligibility criteria. While every program would have different requirements, the universities that accept international students maintain minimum standards for admission to graduate programs. These are:

  • Must have earned a bachelors degree or higher from an accredited and recognised university.

  • Must have obtained a 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale in undergraduate degree.

  • May or may not be required to meet GRE/GMAT score requirements, depending on the university.

Step 2: Know When to Apply

To apply to graduate degree programs at universities in the US, be mindful that each university and department might have a different application deadline. This might be a little confusing in the beginning, an expert or mentor to lead the way may help you put your mind at ease.

Step 3: Complete the Graduate Application

Kickstart your journey by simply registering with us. We have top study abroad consultants on board to help you with your entire admission process. Apart from ensuring admission to your preferred university, our experts assist you in writing essays, LORs, SOPs and provide the necessary visa assistance. You can also browse through our carefully curated list of popular US universities, which you can further narrow down based on the stream, level, fees range and so on. Our exceptional services will help you get into your dream school with scholarships.

Step 4: Pay the Application Fee

You will have to submit a non-refundable or refundable application fee to complete your application for admission to universities in USA. You may make the payment using a Visa or Mastercard.

Step 5: Send Official Transcripts

Have your original academic transcripts from each secondary school, university, college or technical school sent directly to the university's Graduate Admission Services. The same must include courses completed, grades or marks earned and so on along with a certified English translation of all documents not issued in English.

Step 6: Send English Language Proficiency Test Scores

Have your TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores sent directly to the university using the university's institutional code.

Step 7: Submit GMAT/GRE Scores

If your program requires you to submit GMAT or GRE scores, have your official scores sent directly to the university. Some might need you to submit additional documents based on the program you are applying for. These may include LORs, SOPs, an updated resume and so on.

Step 8: Arrange Visa and Immigration Documentation

You will need to first apply for an I-20 to apply for an F-1 or J-1 student visa. In case you are in the US on a valid visa, you will have to provide proof of the same.

Popular US Universities for 2023-24 Admissions

Learn about the best and most coveted US universities for the 2023–2024 admissions cycle. These universities have repeatedly won praise for their high academic standards, exceptional faculty, and varied programme offerings. These universities continue to draw students from all around the world because of the wide variety of programmes they offer and the active campus life. Check out the highlights of these prominent colleges in the table below to see which one best suits your academic goals.

Name of University

Admission Intakes

Tuition Fee Range

Boston University

Fall & Spring

Bachelors - USD 62,267;Masters - USD 58,560



Bachelors - USD 43,012;Masters - USD 32,858

University of Southern California

Fall & Spring

Bachelors - USD 60,446; Masters - USD 59,260

Carnegie Mellon University

Fall, Spring & Summer

Bachelors - USD 57,560; Masters - USD 52,420

University of Pennsylvania

Fall & Spring

Bachelors - USD 54,652; Masters - USD 49,000

Duke University

Fall & Spring

Bachelors - USD 60,594; Masters - USD 28,950

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Fall & Spring

Bachelors - USD 53,450; Masters - USD 55,510

Northwestern University

Fall & Spring

Bachelors - USD 60,276; Masters - USD 56,567

University of Florida

Summer, Fall & Spring

Bachelors - USD 48,340; Masters - USD 49,810

Manchester University

Fall & Spring

Bachelors - USD 35,206- USD 44,758; Masters - USD 47,100

Purdue University

Summer, Fall & Spring

Bachelors - USD 31,104; Masters - USD 9,401

University of Michigan

Fall, Summer & Winter

Bachelors - USD 53,232; Masters - USD 48,542

Ottawa University

Spring-Summer, Fall & Winter

USD 14,389 to USD 26,354 per term

University of Illinois

Fall & Spring

Bachelors - USD 35,206-USD 44,758; Masters - USD 28,464

Overall, this essay is a helpful resource for Indian students who want to submit strong applications to US universities. Aspirants are given the knowledge and resources necessary for a great application by offering insights into the application process and emphasising the value of academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendation letters. Additionally, it equips students with the knowledge they need to negotiate the complexity of the admissions process and come to wise judgements. With this advice, aspirant students can boldly follow their goals and improve their chances of being accepted into the US universities and programmes of their choice.

Many students have been instructed by our experienced study abroad faculty specialists to get exceptional outcomes on needed standardised assessments. We are delighted to know that many of our learners are attending world-class universities of their choice. 

Take Help from Our Experts to Speed Up Your Study Abroad Application!


How do I make a successful US college application?

Making a strong college application is essential if you are an Indian student seeking to pursue further education in the US. Start by looking for colleges and programmes that fit with your academic and professional goals. Maintain a solid GPA in your classes and strive to do well on standardised examinations like the SAT/ACT for bachelor's studies or the GMAT/GRE for graduate studies. Pay strict attention to deadlines and submit an application that is organised, thorough, and includes all necessary documentation. Your chances of being accepted to the US university of your choice will improve with a well-prepared application, putting you on the road to a successful and exciting future.

Is it hard to get admission to US universities?

Although it is not always easy or impossible but admission to US colleges for Indian students can be challenging. Indian students have had success getting accepted into prominent US universities. The application procedure necessitates thorough preparation, which includes fulfilling academic standards, performing well on standardised examinations, and putting forward a compelling application. Success depends on individual efforts, including academic accomplishments, extracurricular activity, etc., even when competition exists. Indian students can get into American universities with the right information, preparation, and perseverance.

How much percentage is required to get admission to USA University?

Indian students who wish to enrol in bachelor's and master's courses at US colleges must have an average GPA of 3.0, which translates to a proficiency level of 65% to 70% or above. Additionally, admission selections are made after a thorough assessment of a range of factors, such as academic achievement, test scores, extracurricular activities, essays, letters of reference, and more.

What do US universities look for in applications?

Indian applicants' applications are evaluated holistically by US colleges. Academic performance, scores of standardised tests, English language proficiency test results, extracurricular activities, leadership experience, essays or personal statements, letters of reference, and any noteworthy experiences or accomplishments are just a few of the factors that they take into account. Universities encourage diversity and work to comprehend the unique cultural background and difficulties experienced by Indian students, even if the grading standards are the same for all students.

What matters the most in a US college application?

Many criteria have a lot of weight in US college applications. Academic achievement, including GPA and the difficulty of the material, is important. The results of standardised tests and tests of English proficiency are also important. A candidate's prospects might be significantly improved by exhibiting a sincere interest in their chosen field of study and programme, distinctive experiences, and a variety of perspectives. In the end, each university may have different goals, therefore careful investigation and comprehension of their principles and needs are essential.

Is the USA good for Indian students?

Yes, studying in the United States is advantageous and popular for Indian students. It provides access to a wide range of high-quality educational opportunities in several academic fields and research areas. For its academic brilliance, faculty competence, and research infrastructure, US universities are renowned across the world. Indian students may broaden their horizons, encounter various cultures, and learn crucial skills that will improve their professional chances. The USA also offers a variety of scholarships and financial opportunities to help Indian students pursue their academic goals.

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