Study in USA Guide for Indian Students 2023

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USA has the largest economy, the best military, an impeccable administrative system, and a dominant cultural influence in the world. Home to the highest number of outbound students across the globe, USA tops the list of every study abroad aspirant. Call it the excellent education system or the diverse ethnicities, it has to offer to increase the number of candidates flying there for higher education. It also has the maximum number of top-ranked universities. Let us explore the opportunities studying in USA has got for you in 2023 intakes! 

Latest Study in USA Updates 2023

Effective May 30, 2023, the application fee for visitors and some other non-immigrant visa categories will rise from $160 to $185. The application price for certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will also rise from $190 to $205.

Study in USA Statistics

Why Study in USA?

Finding an answer to Why is it a good idea to study in the USA? Let us make it easier for you! Enlisted below are the benefits of choosing USA over other countries to study abroad:

  • Home to top universities– USA is home to more than 200 top-ranked universities. Harvard University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and California Institute of Technology are some of the most prominent universities in USA.
  • Excellent Academic System- USA has one of the best academic systems in the world. The universities are known for having high academic standards, top-notch faculty, and well-supported facilities to provide excellent education to their students.
  • Technologically Advanced- USA is number #! for technological advancement across the world. The country is the largest producer of high-technology manufacturing, contributing around 30-31 per cent of global share in the world. Hence, encouraging students towards technology and equipping them with the skills required for a bright future.
  • Remarkable Student Support- USA has a great student support system for both domestic and international students. US universities conduct regular orientation programs, workshops and training to offer assistance to freshers.
  • Practical Education – US universities have a practical approach towards education. The programs/courses are designed in a way that helps students develop relevant experience and skills to ace their respective careers.
  • Scholarships for the Rescue– USA offers a lot of scholarships every year for international students. The ultimate aim of these scholarships is to help exceptionally talented but financially incompetent students to fulfil their dreams of studying abroad.
Study in USA

Do You Know? Out of every 10 best universities in the world, 6 are based in the USA.

Top Courses in USA 2023

The USA is one of the most popular destinations for education tourism in the world. The country offers a plethora of courses and specializations from Accounting to Zoology, students depending upon their interests and capability can opt for any of these programmes and get an opportunity to study at some of the best universities in the world. Here are some popular courses in the USA:

MBAArchitectureComputer ScienceArtificial Intelligence
PhysiotherapyAccountingLawData Science
Medicine Fashion DesignPolitical SciencePsychology

Did you know? Harvard Business School 1908 offered an MBA program to students for the first time!

Summer Programmes in USA

A large number of universities in the USA offer students a chance to experience college life through summer programmes (also called pre-college programmes) before starting a full-fledged UG programme! High school students can live on campus and avail all the unique collegiate experiences in some of the best universities. Here are some universities that offer summer programmes:

  • Brown University
  • Harvard University
  • University of Michigan
  • Northwestern University
  • Stanford University
  • John Hopkins University 
  • University of Chicago

Do You Know: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving Day, and New Year’s Day are some of the most popular days celebrated in the USA.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates wanting to study in the USA must ensure they are eligible to pursue a particular course before starting the application process. Specific requirements might vary as per the level of degree one signs up for and the university.

  • Students applying to the USA after graduating 12th must provide proof of completion along with a minimum percentage of marks that is required by the educational institute.
  • Students applying after completing their bachelor’s must have the preferred education background and the minimum marks for admission to their preferred course and university in the USA.
  • To study in the USA, students have to qualify for certain entrance exams. These exams are an essential part of the application process and are used to determine the candidate’s eligibility for the programme she/he has applied for:
Exam TypeUndergraduatePostgraduate
English Proficiency ExamIELTS / TOEFL / PTEIELTS / TOEFL
Subject Proficiency ExamSAT Exam/ ACT ExamGMAT / GRE

Subscribe to Leverage IELTS for more such information

A Stanford student has won a medal at every Olympics since 1908. Do you aspire to be the next one?

Top Universities to Study in USA 2023

The US has the maximum number of renowned educational institutes in the world. Most of them are ranked in the top 100 universities by QS. Given below are the top 10 universities in the USA as per QS rankings 2023:

Top Universities in the USAQS World Rankings for USA 2023THE World UniversityRankings for USA 2022
Stanford University#3#1
Harvard University#5#2
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)#6#3
Massachusetts Institute of Technology#1#4
University of California, Berkeley32#5
Yale University=14#6
University of California Los Angeles40#11
Princeton University#20#7
University of Chicago#10#8
Johns Hopkins University#25#9
University of Pennsylvania#13#10
Columbia University#19#12
Cornell University#21#13
top universities in usa

Other Prominent Universities in USA

Apart from the above-mentioned universities, here are some other prominent universities in USA:

Studying in USA without IELTS

Students applying to the USA can study at top universities that pursue their chosen courses without the burden of submitting IELTS scores. Here are some popular universities that allow students to study without IELTS:

Grading System in USA Universities

Before applying to the best US universities, let’s examine the grading system popularly used by the universities:

Letter GradeGPAPercentage
F0.0Below 60

Cost of Studying in USA 2023

The cost of studying is an essential part of every student’s study abroad plan. Along with the tuition fee, a candidate also has to manage living expenses on their own. USA is an expensive study destination as the living expenses can be too high. Depending upon the location of the university one picks, the overall expenditure varies.

If your chosen study destination lies in a suburban or rural area the overall cost of living would automatically come down in comparison to urban campuses. Here is a table that shows the average cost of studying in the US: 

Degree TypePrivate University Government UniversityCommunity College
(INR 26,00,00)
(INR 19-20,00,000)
$200 Per Credit
(INR 16,000-17,000)
Postgraduate$35,000 (INR 28,00,00)$30,000
(INR 24,00,000)
$250 Per Credit
(INR 20,000)
MBA$60,000 (INR 49,00,00)$39,000
(INR 36,00,000)

Most of the leading universities are located in cities like Cambridge, New Haven, Boston, New York, New Haven, etc. Cost of pursuing an MBA can cost around INR 21 Lakh whereas a Master’s can cost around 16 Lakhs per year. However, for professional courses like BE students can expect the expense to be around 20 Lakhs per year. The cost of living in USA will depend upon the city, type of accommodation and the overall lifestyle that you choose.

Scholarships to Study in USA 2023

The USA offers quality education but in return, candidates must pay the due fees for courses. Often the aspirants willing to study in USA refrain due to the high tuition fee charges of the universities. To help students stuck in similar situations we have listed a few popular scholarships that aim to empower Indian students to study in USA:

Scholarships in USA Awards Eligibility Criteria
Tata Scholarship for Cornell University The entire tuition fee for 8-semester courses will be covered.-Must be a resident of Indian origin

 -Should be eligible for a need-based scholarship

-Candidate must have been accepted by any of the Cornell University UG programs 
Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarships Academic Year Ambassadorial Scholarship: $25,000 [INR 18,50,000]

Multi-year Ambassadorial Scholarship: $12,000 [INR 8,89,000]

Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarship: $12,000 to $19,000 [INR 8,89,000- 14,09,000]
-The candidate must be a citizen of the country where Rotary clubs are located 

-Must have completed 2 years of college-level coursework or its equivalent

-The initial application of the candidate must be submitted through rotary clubs
Fullbright Scholarships for Indian StudentsMultiple Awards-Excellent academic and professional record

-A good score on the English language proficiency exam

-Applicants for Fullbright are not allowed to apply for the green card -Must be an Indian national 

All major scholarships available for studying in USA are: 

  • Chevron Scholarship ($ 2,000 or INR 1,65,000)
  • Ivy Parker Memorial Scholarship ($ 2,000 or INR 1,65,000)
  • SeflScore International Scholarship ($5,000 or INR 4,00,000)
  • Western Union Foundation Global Scholarship Program ($25,000 or INR 20,00,000)
  • RD Sethna Loan Scholarship ($10,000 or INR 8,00,000)
  • Asian Women in Business ($ 25,000 or INR 20,00,000)
  • Global Student Scholarship ($ 1,000 or INR 82.000)

Intakes to Study in USA 2023

International universities offer multiple intakes through which they allow international students to become a part of them. In USA these intakes are available for three terms such as fall, spring and summer. Generally, fall intake is considered to be the most popular among Indian students as it fits best with the Indian academic sessions. The majority of the programs are open in both fall and spring intakes whereas comparatively lesser programs are available for summer intake. Let us take a detailed look at all three intakes. 

Intakes Duration
Fall IntakeAugust to December 
Spring IntakeJanuary to April 
Summer IntakeMay to August

Fall Intake in USA 2023

April – July 2023: Research Your OptionsLook at the list of US universities and make a list of the institutions you want to apply to. Keep track of each university’s application deadlines.
May – September 2023: Take Standardized Admission TestsTests like the IELTS, TOEFL, ACT, SAT, GMAT, or GRE must be taken in order to get admission to the colleges on your shortlist.
November 2023 – January 2024: Apply to UniversitiesAlong with providing the necessary paperwork, start applying to the universities you’ve shortlisted.
January 2024- July 2024: Wait for Your Admission DecisionAwait receiving your letters of acceptance or admission offers before responding as instructed within the allotted period.
April – July 2024: Finance Your Studies/Apply for VisaApply for the necessary USA student visa as well as any scholarships and financial aid that are available.
August 2024: Prepare for Your DeparturePurchase your plane tickets and make travel arrangements as necessary.

Spring Intake in USA 2023

Research (February 2023-March 2023)Find and shortlist the top colleges that provide the course of your choice and satisfy your prerequisites.
Take the Required Admission Tests (April 2023-June 2023)IELTS, TOEFL, SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE, and other needed exams should be studied for, registered for, and taken.
Apply to Universities (July 2023-August 2023)Start submitting your applications and the necessary scores and documentation to the universities on your shortlist.
Wait for Your Admission Decision (September 2023-October 2023)Wait for acceptance letters from colleges to arrive before choosing which institution’s offer you want to accept.
Finance Your Studies and Apply for Visa (November 2023-December 2023)Examine the available scholarships, apply for student loans (if necessary), and make financial arrangements. then submit an application for a student visa in the US.
Get Ready to Fly (January 2024)You are prepared to take off for the US.

Admission Process to Study in USA

The process for applying to study in USA involves a bunch of important steps that must be completed within the given time period. To help you in the given process, we have devised some simple steps along with important documents that you will be needing at the respective step to study in the USA:

STEP 1: Make a list of 8-10 colleges of your choice.

STEP 2: Fill out Your Application Form.

STEP 3: Collect supporting documents like academic transcripts, the result of the previous institution, English proficiency test results, CV, statement of purpose (SOP), Letter of Recommendation (LOR), and other things. We recommend you check out the requirements section of your desired institutions.

STEP 4: Now start signing up for accounts online on the website of universities to submit
your application.

STEP 5: Some universities might ask for a WES evaluation (to ensure that you’re capable enough to study in the US) of your mark sheet. It may take 2 months to get your mark sheet evaluated

STEP 6: Once you submit all the required documents, they will inform and instruct you to pay the academic fee.

STEP 7: Now you will get an I-20 form and acceptance which will help you get a
student visa.

study in usa

Student Visa to Study in USA

Here comes the most complicated part of studying in USA. So pay attention if you want the dream to study in USA to be a reality. As an international student, one must have the right type of student visa to avoid any type of hassle in entering the country. Before starting the procedure, you must first understand that there are three types of visas for Indian students:

F-1 VisaFor those students who have been accepted into a full-time academic degree program at any recognized American university or college. Moreover, if any student’s study load is more than 18 hours a week, then he or she will also need this visa.
M-1 VisaThis is suitable for those students who are indulging in vocational or non-academic study programs.
J-1 VisaThis visa is for such students who get enrolled in an educational exchange program. In such a program, students remain enrolled at their home college or university while studying in the US. After the end of a fixed exchange agreement, students return home to get their qualifications. However, if your programs are longer than 18 hours a week as an exchange student, then you have to apply for an F-1 visa. 

Starting from March 1st, 2023, prospective F-1 student visa applicants can now apply up to 365 days before their academic term begins.

studying in usa

USA Visa Application Process

Once you have selected which type of visa fits you as per the program, the next important step in your journey of seeking overseas education in USA will be filling out a timely application for it. Listed below are some simple steps along with the important documents that you will need to apply for the US visa of your choice:

  1. Collect all the essential documents like:
    • A valid passport
    • Your travel itinerary (if already purchased flights)
    • Your CV must be up to date.
    • Provide all the information about your previous education history.
    • Your SEVIS ID. SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) is a way of keeping data of all international students. Your SEVIS ID will be printed on your I-20 form. We recommend you pay the SEVIS fee before initiating your visa application. You can fill out the form here: SEVIS I-901 Form
    • Letter of acceptance of the institution in which you’re going to study in USA
  2. Now after completing the above formalities, apply for the visa online here: DS-160 Visa Application Form
  3. After filling out the form, print the confirmation page and bring that into the interviews. You will be expected to visit biometrics and other types of interviews. 
  4. F-1 Student visas are only issued 120 days before the commencement of your course.

More excellent news for visa renewals in the United States! Travellers who have “clearance received” or “department authorization” on their previous visas can now apply for a new visa via the interview waiver approach.

Note: The US Student VISA fee for Indian Students is $160 [INR 11,800].

Work Visa Conversion in USA

After completing your course, you can stay up to 60 days in the country. Thus, it is mandatory to start planning your next step right when you enter the final semester. If you plan to stay longer in the country, then as a foreign student you can only think about getting your VISA converted to H-1B. To do the same, you need to find an employer who is likely to file an employment-based permanent residency application to USCIS.

Candidates must note that, without them being hired by an American organization, they can’t secure an H-1 B visa. Another way to get the VISA expended is via Optional Practical Training after completing your undergraduate or postgraduate training course. OPT can provide you with an additional year in the country for normal courses and 2 additional years for STEM-based courses.

USA has announced plans to boost visa interview appointments for candidates by 30% this summer in order to invite a record number of Indian students to the US. Consul General of the United States in Mumbai Mike Hankey noted that last year set a new record for the number of Indian students studying in the United States in a single year, with over 1.25 lakh Indian students studying in the United States. This year, the goal is to grow this number even further by expanding the number.

Do You Know: The University of Chicago holds the largest scavenger hunt in the world every year.

How to Get a Job as an International Student in the USA?

As an international student, job hunting abroad is a daunting task. But here’s how you can easily get a job as an International Student in the USA:

Start Soon

It will take time to get a full-time job in the USA as an international student till you get your work visa. Hence, it is really important to start looking for jobs as soon as you graduate from your respective university.

Understand Visa Requirements 

Before applying for jobs in the USA, you must research about the Visa you are applying for. Each visa has different requirements, some visas may allow a certain amount of time for work abroad. So it is recommended to understand the visa requirements and then start applying for the appropriate jobs.

Use Career Services 

There are plenty of student career services available for international students in the USA. You must get involved with the student career network, take guidance from the coaches, and build connections for a wide range of career opportunities.

On-campus and Off-campus Jobs for International Students in USA

USA allows native as well as Indian students to work while pursuing their academic courses. By working part-time, candidates either get a hold of the exposure they require to pursue full-time jobs or manage their finances. The US government has laid down that students can work 20 hours per week during an ongoing session where hours 40 hours a week during session breaks. To make your study in USA experience more memorable, here are some off-campus and on-campus jobs: 

On-Campus Jobs in USA

  • Teaching Assistant
  • Library Monitor
  • Peer Tutor
  • Academic Department Assistant
  • Campus Tech Support

Off-Campus Jobs in USA 

 It is important to note that, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services ( USCIS) only permits students to work off-campus with the workplaces organisations that are affiliated with the institution. 

  • Store Associates 
  • Call Centre
  • Tourist Guide 
  • Language Translator or Interpreter
study abroad

It is always believed that USA is the hub of life-changing career opportunities. Many students that time to opt to study in USA, often encounter career opportunities through which they can kickstart a career in the country and successfully settle down. In your research about studying in USA and its various attributes, we are here to help you with a bunch of trending careers that are in great demand in USA: 

  • Front-End Engineer
  • Java Developer
  • Product Manager 
  • Data Scientist
  • Software Engineer 
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Business Development Manager 
  • Strategy Manager
  • Salesforce Developer

Best Student Cities in the USA

There are over 4000 universities spread across the state of the USA offering a wide range of courses to students from across the globe. Here are some popular student cities in the USA that will help you decide which university to pick:

  • New York
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • San Francisco 
  • Los Angeles
  • Washington DC

Did you know? US cities were ranked amongst QS’s Top 20 Best Student Cities in 2019!


How much will it cost to study in USA?

The average cost to study in USA will depend on the program as well as the living standards you opt for. If you are about to pursue UG courses, your average tuition fee will be around INR 17,80,000- 23, 00,000. On the other hand, seeking a PG degree in the country will cost you around INR 26,00,000- 22,50,000. To know your estimated living expenses, use our cost of living calculator.

Can I study in USA for free?

Yes, it is possible to study in USA for absolutely free. There are a variety of scholarships available seeking which students can earn 100% coverage of their major expenses like Tuition Fees, Accommodation, Health Insurance, etc.

What exams are required to study in USA?

Qualifying for entrance-level exams is necessary when it comes to fulfilling your dream of studying abroad. For those who are willing to study in USA, it will be mandatory for you to qualify for IELTS and TOEFL along with subject/program-related exams like SAT/ACT or GMAT/GRE.

Can I study in USA after the 12th?

Yes, it is possible to study in USA once you have qualified for class 12th. A plethora of UG courses are available in an array of traditional as well as trending fields. However, the majority of the students opt to pursue STEM courses in USA. To select the best UG course, get in touch with our experts at Leverage Edu.

Is IELTS required for USA?

Yes, IELTS is one of the most prominent requirements when it comes to gearing up for studying in USA. But, there are a few universities that allow admissions without undertaking the score IELTS. To know more about how you can pursue studies in USA without IELTS, reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu.

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Want to open the door of opportunities with a plan to study in USA in 2023 intakes? It doesn’t matter where you will go after graduation, you will be respected everywhere. Let Leverage Edu help you in finding a suitable course with the help of our unique AI Tool. Signup for a free career counselling session and skyrocket your career!

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