Application Process

A. INTAKES

Intakes Start Dates Remarks
Fall Aug/Sep It’s the major Intake. All the universities and all programs are offered. Many top universities still offer only Fall intake.
Spring/Winter Jan/Feb Spring or Winter [As called by Few universities] starts in January or February. Around 80% of the universities except some top universities offer this intake.
Summer May/Jun Most common programs offered are Management and Information Technology.

B. DEADLINES

Fall

Spring

Summer

Scholarship Deadline [For Most of Universities] 1st Dec 1st June NA
Admission Deadlines [For Most of Universities] 1st March 1st Sep 1st March
Best time to start the Process 1st Sep [Previous Year] 1st May [Previous Year] 1st Jan
Last Date to apply for Admissions 1st June 1st Nov 1st April

C. PREREQUISITE EXAMS

These exams are mainly required to test the English proficiency, Critical Thinking Abilities of the student and to provide a common platform for judging students belonging to various different universities following different evaluation methods (GPA, Percentage, CGPA, Grades etc)……

The table below illustrates the requisite exams:

GMAT SAT IELTS/TOEFL GRE 
BACHELORS  X X
MASTER OF SCIENCE X X
MASTER’S IN BUSINESS  X X X
PHD’S X X X

D. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED

S.No Document Type Requirements Remarks

1

Convocation or Final Degree Certificate Attested by the Registrar/ Controller of Exams. It has to be Sealed & attested on the flap of Envelope Required only for Students who have finished their degrees.
2 Provisional Certificate + Individual & Consolidated Marksheets Attested by the Registrar/ Controller of Exams of the University/ Autonomous College. It has to be Sealed & attested on the flap of Envelope
3 Course Completion Certificate Attested by the College Principal on College Letterhead. For students who are in final year of their degree
4 Intermediate/ 12th/ Diploma Certificate Xerox Copy attested by the Principal or Gazzetted Officer. It should be Sealed & attested on the flap of the Envelope.
5 SSC/ 10th Certificate Xerox Copy attested by the Principal or Gazzetted Officer. It should be Sealed & attested on the flap of the Envelope.
6 Recommendation Letters It has to be written by someone who has either Taught, Supervised [Project guide] or under whom the student has worked. It has to be on letterhead of the Institution. It should be Sealed & attested on the flap of the Envelope. Many Universities ask for Online Recos. The letter should contain Institutional Email and Mobile of the Recommender.
7 Statement of Purpose Written by Student in own words [ideally 350-500 Words]. Kindly submit both Soft and Hard Copies. Avoid plagiarism as it can lead to rejection of admissions.
8 Resume/ Curriculum Vitae Kindly submit both Soft and Hard Copies. Mention all details about Study and Work along with projects.
9 GRE/GMAT/SAT Xerox of Scorecard along with Credential details. Student needs to do official reporting.
10 TOEFL/ IELTS Xerox of Scorecard along with Credential details. Student needs to do official reporting.
11 Bank Certificate Bank Certificate by a Bank Manager confirming the availability of funds (Both in Rupees and US Dollars) on the Financial Institutions Letterhead. We need to submit original for every university. The account should be a Savings account. The student can submit multiple accounts and can have multiple sponsors. The student can also submit a Loan Letter instead of Bank Certificate.
12 Affidavit of Support By the sponsor on a Stamp Paper. We need to submit original for Every University. Every Sponsor has to be submit a separate Affidavit.
13 Passport Clear Xerox Copies of Passport [First and Last 2 Pages] Kindly send the colored scanned copies of the same.
14 Photographs Passport Photos with white background. One for each university.
15 Extra Curricular Certificates Xerox of certificates of Achievements apart from Academics i.e. Sports, Projects, Presentation, Social Activities etc.. Kindly avoid participation certificates.
16 Experience Certificates Xerox Copy of Appointment Letter or Experience Certificate Experiences should be mentioned in Resume too. Applicable only for Students who have experience.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Statement of Purpose is only part of application which is written by the student. It portrays to the admissions committee the students academic and professional background, reasons to select a particular Country/ University/Program. It also reflects about the future plans of the students. It need not be a bald statement of facts; several successful SoPs address these questions through anecdotes, stories or by describing their hero. But whether SoP is subtle or to the point, it must be well written and not be plagiarized to be successful. This is because the SoP is the only part of your application packet over which student has full control. Academics and extra-curricular records are in the past. Most people only take one or two shots at the GMAT, GRE or TOEFL, and these scores could be adversely affected by conditions on the test day. It is important to choose recommendation letter writers carefully, but student hope they give you the best possible recommendation, this is not within their control.

WHAT INSTITUTIONS LOOK FOR IN A STATEMENT OF PURPOSE?

The admissions committee looks for the following points:

What does this essay tell me about the person who wrote it? From thousands of applications, admission committee has to choose a few. Academic achievements and good test scores are important. But in an era where the majority of applicants have good academic records, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between individuals and decide who gets the offer of admission. When a student  applies application packet -recommendations, extra-curricular achievements, work samples adds an extra dimension to the application but SOP reflects what you are. Every SOP is read word by word by the admissions committee. .

Is SoP is the main deciding factor? No. academic record, grades and the courses – are the first section admission committee members turn to. Standardized test scores are useful to know where the student stand in admission pool. For graduate schools, relevant work or academic experience is important. Being from a reputed school or college confers a distinct advantage. What recommenders thinks goes a long way towards the school’s opinion. A good work sample can show creativity, skill and professionalism. However, only the SoP or application essays can bring out uniqueness. And therefore make or break a application. An applicant who does not take the essay seriously is throwing away the best opportunity available.

Are the admission officers looking for specific personality sorts? Well, yes and no. Creativity, curiosity, pride in your work, an enthusiasm for learning, a capacity for teamwork, the ability to think independently and so on are all good attributes, and most of us share these in varying proportions. But what schools look for is a mix of individuals that together, form a well-balanced class. This would include several personality types.

It is good to go through the school’s brochure or web site, speak to people about it, visit if that is possible; get a feel of the student mix that they look for and decide if this is the school. However, trying to tailor the SoP to reflect what the school is looking for is dangerous business. The people who read application have been doing so for years and are skilled at spotting fakes. Don’t try to be something you are not. Which brings us to the next point – self-knowledge. The people who read the essay want to be convinced that the student has thought long and hard about who they are, what are the things student’s appreciate, what inspires them. What students want out of life, and where they are going from here. It is not necessary to have all the answers. After all, several admirable people have no idea where they are going even at age 40 or 50. It is necessary to show that student has thought about this and learnt through life experiences.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE- CONTENT 

SOP should include the following: 

Introduction

The first paragraph could consist of name, personal philosophy/motto, area of strength and finally personal interests (hobbies/sports). Student can mention about source of motivation, encouragement and tremendous support. 

Education Background

In chronological order, academic achievements with the respective dates, medium of instruction in school and in college. Include those projects. Research, internships and training undertaken during period of study connected to proposed area of study. Academic strengths, highlighting achievements and receipt of any awards, rank and scholarships in the relevant field if applicable.

Explain

Explain shifts in education interests, instances of weak academic performance repeated failures, and consistent achievement of low marks and breaks in education (if any). If there is a similar course available in India, student needs provide reasons for not wanting to enroll in it in India. Concrete and substantial links between previous academic background and proposed course of study. 

Employment Experience

In case of relevant work experience, a connection must be established with the proposed course of study. In the event of break/s in employment, mention and provide an explanation for the same. If student are working in family business, highlight the scope and application of the proposed course of study in relation to the family’s business interests. HIGHLIGHT PURPOSE FOR PROPOSED COURSE OF STUDY. Mention the actual reasons for taking the proposed course and choosing USA as the particular institution of study. 

Career Goals

Explain explicitly why student wants to pursue chosen course of study (include outline of the course) in the Institution in USA and how on its completion, it will help in career. This point is absolutely essential and it must be explained very clearly. Mention career aspirations, both short-term and long-term and how the USA qualification will help achieve them. Also mention plans upon your return to India, i.e. whether family business or wish to join a firm or set up a business concern. Remember goals should be concrete and realistic and based on sound inferences. 

In Conclusion

Finally it needs to be mentioned how student found about the programme at the university and any special reasons in choosing the same. Conclude by requesting the Institution to admit into the program. 

The Do’s

  1. Identify a theme or thesis, the thesis is the main point you want to communicate.
  2. Before beginning writing, topics to be discussed and its order should be decided.
  3. Use concrete examples from life experience to support thesis and distinguish one from other applicants.
  4. Write about interests and things that excite you. That’s what the admissions staff wants to read.
  5. Start your essay with an attention-grabbing lead an anecdote, quote, question, or engaging description of a scene.
  6. End your essay with a conclusion that refers back to the lead and restates your thesis.
  7. Revise your essay at least three times.
  8. In addition to your editing, ask someone else to critique the SOP.
  9. Proofread personal statement again and again.
  10. Write clearly, succinctly. 

The Don’s

  1. Don’t include information that doesn’t support your thesis.
  2. Don’t start essay with “I was born in…., or “My parents came from…,”
  3. Don’t write an autobiography, itinerary, or resume in prose.
  4. Don’t try to be a clown (but gentle humor is OK).
  5. Don’t be afraid to start over if the essay just isn’t working or doesn’t answer the essay question.
  6. Don’t try to impress your reader with your vocabulary.
  7. Don’t rely exclusively on your computer to check your spelling.
  8. Don’t provide a collection of generic statements and platitudes.
  9. Don’t give mealy-mouthed, weak excuses for your GPA or test scores.
  10. Don’t make things up.

RESUME

RESUME:

Resume can be a supplement to Sop and other application Materials. It’s a summary of candidates educational/professional qualifications, job experience and personal information. Please click here for complete details about it.

RESUME OR CURRICULUM VITAE (CV)

The Curriculum Vitae serves as a good supplement to SOP and other application materials. Resume summarizes all of qualifications, honors, education and interests. There is NO one ‘right’ way to construct a CV/resume. No matter how its done, there is bound to be someone who would suggest a different approach.

The most reasonable format to use is Chronological Resume, which presents work experience/education in chronological order by listing most recent events first.

Kindly find the general guidelines about Resume below:

Basic Information: Name as per identification documents- Current address and phone number with area code – E-mail – ” It is not necessary to include other personal information such as Marital Status.

Objective: Including an objective in this type of resume is optional. Career objective should answer this question, “What do I want to do?” Some example objectives are:

-Acceptance to graduate program in Physics -Research position in biochemical laboratory Educational Background (for each degree conferring institution) -Institution -City, Country -Dates attended or graduation date -Degree or certification obtained -GPA (if proud of it) -Major/minor/emphasis area -Relevant coursework -Specialized instruction

Experience: This part of your resume may include several sections such as work experience, volunteer experience (internships, community service, student teaching), campus leadership and any other area in which you may have significant experience, such as computer knowledge.

Brief Description for each position: Title, dates, organization name, location -Responsibilities -Use action words and verbs in active form to describe situations and achievements -Include scope of responsibilities -Concretely outline any outstanding results

Honors/ Activities/ Leadership/ Special Skills: Make Chronological order for most important or most pertinent to the objective.  Use specific headings such as professional organizations, computer skills, and leadership positions. Include any honors, scholarships or recognition awards. Mention any clubs, teams or committees while in college, those may be included also. The key to this section is keep it brief. If you feel you need more detail, use the guidelines for Experience and make it a complete section.

Interests: List interests which shows that you are an interesting and well-rounded person.

RESUME CHECKLIST

Kindly follow the checklist below for preparing the Resume

Content :

  1. Name, address, and telephone numbers are included
  2. contains all and only objective-related information.
  3. Does not include extraneous information such as marital status, height -is an advertisement of you,
  4. demonstrates your ability to produce results
  5. accurate reflection of you and your experiences and abilities. 

Layout:

  1. Limited to 1-2 pages, unless you have extensive work or educational experiences.
  2. Use white space consciously and balances words on the page.
  3. Laser printed on quality paper.
  4. Use consistent visual elements to attract attention and emphasize highlights (bold, italics, underlining, font sizes, bullets).
  5. Use standard sans serif typefaces such as Helvetica, Futura, Optima, Universe, Times (not 10 pt.), Palatino and New Century Schoolbook, in size 10-14. 

Writing Quality

  1. Clear and concise (easy to read and understand).
  2. Consistent, using similar style throughout.
  3. Uses variety of action verbs which describe situations and actions -is perfect
  4. Absolutely no typos, spelling errors, or grammatical errors
  5. Use appropriate tense (usually past, unless currently in activity) -avoids passive voice 

Note: It’s always ideal to have it critiqued by several people

REF: University of Idaho Admissions website  http://www.uidaho.edu/admissions.com

RECOMMENDATION LETTER

Recommendation letter are provided by either your professor/teachers, Project Guides or Supervisors/ Manager (in case you are working). It can be a hard copy to be sent with other application materials or online.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

Letters of recommendation can be sent as hard copy (in a sealed envelope), e-mailed or faxed directly from the recommenders to the graduate admissions office. A letter of recommendation is a letter that makes a statement of support for a candidate, it should present a well-documented evaluation, providing sufficient evidence and information to help an admission committee get a better picture about students potential.

Nearly every graduate program requires applicants to submit letters of recommendation. Don’t underestimate the importance of these letters. While your transcript, standardized test scores, and personal statement are vital components to your application, an excellent letter of recommendation can make up for weaknesses in any of these areas.

The best letters of recommendation come from professors or individuals who know you well. A well written letter of recommendation provides admissions committees with information that isn’t found elsewhere in the application. A letter of recommendation discusses applicant’s personal qualities, accomplishments, and experiences that make him/her unique and perfect for the programs to which he/she is applying.

Selection committees normally weed out mediocre application packets before focusing on the excellent ones. This means that a brief letter with phrases like “good student” and “hard worker” that aren’t substantiated with examples will get tossed aside in favor of the detailed letter that doesn’t just tell but shows how qualified the student is. Remember, what makes a student’s application packet stand out from the others are not only grades and accomplishments, but the specifics of what the student did and how he or she went about it.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Recommendation letters are letters written by professors who know the student, assessing capacity to meet the requirements of a program to which they are applying. They’re supposed to help decision-makers to get a better picture of student’s potential. The most helpful letters come from teachers who have had considerable contact, especially in non-classroom setting such as research labs.

What information should be included in the Recommendation Letter? A letter of recommendation is a detailed discussion, from a faculty member, of the personal qualities, accomplishments, and experiences that make the students unique and perfect for the programs to which they’ve applied. A well written letter of recommendation provides admissions committees with information that isn’t found elsewhere in the application. It should be written with the understanding that what makes a student’s application packet stand out from the others is not only grades and accomplishments, but the specifics of what the student did and how he or she went about it.

Who should write the Letter of Recommendation? The best kind of letter is from someone who has been involved professionally. This person should know the student well and have a high opinion of him/her.

Ideal Choices Include:

  • The person who is supervising research, such as current or former scientific advisor
  • Colleague from the lab with at least PhD
  • Your Professors with whom student have/had frequent interactions
  • The Dean or the Department Head of department

A letter from an employer can be useful if the job was related to the field of study, and the letter comments on accomplishments of specific duties, aptitude for this type of work and so on. Otherwise, such letters are usually not helpful.

FAQ’s

Q. How many Letters of Recommendation do I need?

Ans. Most universities, will ask for 3 Recommendation Letters.

Q. How long should the Letter of Recommendation be?

Ans. The optimum length is between 2/3 of a page and one page. If the Recommendation Letter is shorter the admission committee might assume that recommender lacks enthusiasm.

Q. Is it possible that the admission committee will contact the recommender?

Ans. Yes, it is very possible. The admission committee might send the letter or e-mail or call (whichever information is provided on the recommendation) to inquiry further about a subject in the letter or asking whether this person really gave this recommendation.

NOTE: Incase of Online recommendation letter ensure that email id is correct and followup with the recommender whether he has received the email and he/she has filled the online form.

ESSAYS

Essays are mainly required as part of admission process for USA [mainly for Undergraduate, Top Ranked Universities and Business Schools]. It provides the admission committee an insight into the candidates writing abilities, intellectual abilities, background and other information’s critical to a fair admission decision.

Essays Would Normally Cover the Following Topics

Why MBA?

  • Your long- and short-term goals.
  • Your relevant past experience.
  • An assessment of your strengths and the gaps in your experience/education.
  • How an MBA program will bridge your past and future and fill in those gaps.
  • Why this particular MBA program is a good match for your needs.

Diversity

  • Don’t write an ode to diversity. Many people spend half the essay writing about how much they value diversity, or about how important diversity is to enriching one’s learning experience.
  • If you fit into one of the obvious categories, make sure you have something substantive to say. Focus on how your background has shaped your life or career; discuss how it affects the perspective you will bring to the program.
  • Diversity is not just about the obvious categories. Talk about a unique extracurricular activity, work experience, or hobby that has influenced your development.
  • Don’t pick something that everyone else has. Make sure that the point you use to distinguish yourself is actually noteworthy. Finding an original point in addition is always helpful.
  • Be sure to cite specific evidence. If discussing an experience that has shaped perspective, focus on concrete details.
  • The other angle some schools may take on diversity is to ask about your experience in diverse situations. You might emphasize such qualities as your ability to communicate, to cooperate, to bridge differences, and so on, but always include specific examples to back them up.

Accomplishments 

The goal in answering this kind of question is to analyze rather than summarize an achievement. This advice is particularly true if you’re discussing an accomplishment that is listed elsewhere on the application.

Here are some guiding principles to use in constructing your answer:

  • Choose something that’s meaningful to you. Unless otherwise specified, you should feel free to draw on academic, personal, or professional successes.
  • Focus on details about the process. For example, describe creative strategies you used; don’t rely on clichés like “I succeeded through hard work.”
  • Build tension. Describe obstacles and how you overcame them. Note initial difficulties or intermediate failures, then show how you recovered. By adding a sense of drama to your story, you not only keep the reader interested, but also make the accomplishment seem that much more significant.
  • Evaluate the significance of the accomplishment. Again, the goal here is to add insight beyond what the reader knows from the straightforward facts. You might discuss external consequences of your actions to convey their magnitude, but ultimately you should stay focused on your personal response.
  • Don’t boast or be overly modest. This is a hard balance to strike, but if you stay focused on the details of your story, then you shouldn’t have a problem.

Leadership

The leadership questions usually come in two forms: the kind that ask about your “leadership style,” and the kind that ask you to discuss a “leadership situation.” You should not try to use a single essay to address both questions, because they require different emphases. The first question asks you to describe principles that define your approach to leadership. You should then back these principles up with evidence of how you’ve applied them.

The second question wants you to focus on a single experience (or in some cases two experiences). For these essays your first objective is to flesh out the details of the situation and the contributions you made. You must tell an in-depth, engaging story before you even worry about the insights and lessons you deduce. Then, when you get to that stage, your insights into leadership should be focused on the story you just told. Don’t stray too far and try to include everything you know about leadership.

Apart from Basic Difference in Emphasis, The Goals are basically the following:

  • Describe your strengths honestly. Don’t have to give much attention to weaknesses or even discuss them explicitly (though if you can mention plans for improvement, that can be very effective).
  • Avoid oversimplified principles. You most likely won’t have anything entirely new to say, but you can still avoid stating the obvious. Again, the best approach is to stay specific and personal. You might, for example, combine two straightforward principles and show how you’ve combined them effectively.
  • Show growth. One way to avoid having to cite the obvious is instead to show through examples how you came to understand a particular lesson.
  • Illustrate your personal qualities. In addition to conveying your own strong understanding of how to lead, you should also indicate to the reader the valuable qualities you have cultivated for that task.

Hobbies & Interests

In asking this question, admissions officers want to see another dimension to your personality. Some schools will ask you to describe one important activity, while others will simply ask how you spend your free time. Regardless of which question you’re answering, try to achieve depth. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that they just want to see well-rounded people and take the approach of listing everything that interests you. While it’s important to show that you lead a balanced life, you should treat this question as you treat all the others – as a chance to make yourself stand out. That means focusing on what you’re truly passionate about, instead of trying to say what you think they want to hear.

Ethical Dilemmas

This question is designed to evaluate your ability to reason through complexities rather than to assess your ethical standards. In other words, the admissions committee is not looking to confirm that you are a good person. Moreover, the dilemma you choose should not have a clear “right” answer. For example, if your essay involves you struggling against temptation to make the ethical choice, then that is not a dilemma. A dilemma must involve two choices for which equally compelling arguments exist.

The most common approach to this essay is to set yourself up for a third option that offers a compromise between the two original choices.

Failure

How can you admit a failure and still offer an answer that strengthens your application? Applicants believe that the slightest hint of weakness will ruin their chances. In reality, admissions committees know that you have flaws, even if you don’t disclose them. You’re better off being candid for the following reasons:

  • Your readers will appreciate your honesty, and this perception will affect their opinion of your other answers.
  • You show a stronger self-awareness when you can identify real mistakes.
  • Only by engaging with a substantive failure can you offer meaningful insights into the lessons you learned.

Instead of being forthright, most applicants will either choose a topic that hardly qualifies as a failure, or they will write something generic or irrelevant to avoid admitting any substantive flaws. As an example that suffers from both problems, an applicant might describe a situation in which extenuating circumstances caused the failed outcome. The problem with this approach is that it leaves no room for self-examination and offers no insight into the applicant’s character.

DO’S AND DONT’S

1) Always adhere to the exact attestation requirements for transcripts and other educational documents.

2) Ensure that the recommendation letter contains contact details of the recommender.

3) Statement of purpose should not be copied from other students, you can use sample as a guideline.

4) Resume including objective should be for education and not designed for job interviews.

5) Make sure each application material has a label with your name and content of it.

FOLLOWUP

It involves the following steps:

  • Confirmation of receipt of Documents
  • ETS/Scores Reporting Confirmation
  • File Completion
  • Review
  • Application Decision

We at HOC ensure that we followup with university at least once per week through Emails and calls. It involves :

  • Tracking shipments and providing information to university about it
  • Follow up with Test Administrators (GRE/GMAT/SAT/TOEFL/IELTS) to insure scores have been reported
  • Keeping students abreast with the latest updates through Phone/SMS/Online Status

NOTE: HOC provides all the students with complete details about the process online. Please click here for details (We need to take screenshots of various steps in a student process cycle)