Top USA Universities – Over 1.1 million international students are studying in the universities of the United States, making it the world’s leading study abroad destination for international students. The US is home to over 150 highly-reputed universities, among which 30 universities rank in the top 100 and 5 in the top 10 universities of the world. Besides providing students with the choice to select courses across various disciplines, the universities offer plenty of opportunities for students to pursue work in the US after completing their studies.
Let’s explore the top universities in USA along with the cost of living in US while pursuing education there, visa, scholarships and tips about how to get selected for the top US universities.
Top USA Universities – World University Rankings 2019
We have listed below the top 5 universities in USA.
- Stanford University
- Massachusetts Institute Technology (MIT)
- California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
- Harvard University
- Princeton University
Let’s briefly read some important details about these top 5 universities of US as mentioned below.
1. Stanford University
It is located 35 miles of San Francisco and 20 miles north of San Jose. The university is in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley which is home to cutting edge global brands like HP, Google, etc. Stanford has one of the largest university campuses in the US, with 18 interdisciplinary research institutes and seven schools: the Graduate School of Business; School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; Graduate School of Education; School of Engineering; School of Humanities and Sciences; Law School; and School of Medicine. Stanford University is ranked 2nd in the world according to QS World University Rankings. The most popular courses at Stanford are:
- Computer Science and IT
- Applied and Purse Science
- Business and Management
- Social Studies and Media
Currently, a total of 16,520 students are enrolled at the University out of which 24% are international students. The overall cost of living in Stanford for an Indian student is around INR 12,72,496 per annum excluding campus accommodation cost which amounts to INR 6,72,066 per annum.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a world renowned institution in Cambridge which is driven by the aim to make the world a better place through education, research and innovation. MIT is dedicated to providing its students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community. The undergraduate programmes offered at MIT are some of the most selective programmes admitting only 8 per cent of the total applicants every year. Engineering and Computer Science programmes are the most popular among undergraduates.
Currently, a total of 11,161 students are studying at MIT out of which 60% are pursuing PG courses and 40% are pursuing UG courses. There are a total of 2,977 faculty members at MIT and around 4000 international students are studying at MIT.
California Institute of Technology or Caltech is one of the best private universities in the world. It is ranked 5th in the QS World University Rankings. Caltech’s campus has five institutes namely Beckman Institute, Kavli Nanoscience Institute, Rosen Bioengineering Center, Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience and the Resnick Sustainability Institute.
Caltech offers graduate, undergraduate and doctoral degree programmes in mathematics, chemistry, biology, computer science, physics, and earth sciences. Currently, there are around 2,238 students studying in Caltech out of which 659 are international students. The university has about 22,930 alumni including 73 Nobel laureates. The total faculty/staff at the university is around 1,100.
4. Harvard University
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research. It endeavors to develop leaders in various disciplines who make a difference globally. It records an enrollment of over 20,000-degree candidates every year, which includes undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees students. Harvard has more than 3,60,000 alumni around the world. Harvard offers a great student experience and generous financial aids, with over USD 160 million awarded to more than 60% of the undergraduate students. The university has twelve schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, which offers truly global education experience to its students.
5. Princeton University
Princeton is a prestigious Ivy League university with a history spanning for more than 200 years. It is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the US, one of the nine colleges established before the American Revolution. Its students have access to more than 50 academic programmes in more than 30 departments, and its most popular majors include English, Computer Science, Economics, History, Operations Research and Financial Engineering. Also, Princeton boasts of a number of renown alumni such as many US presidents, astronauts, famous business personalities and Olympians. Its ranked 13th among the world global universities. There are around 8,125 students at Princeton out of which 1,863 are international students. There are more than 1,000 faculty/staff at Princeton.
Top USA Universities – Tips to apply for US universities
- Apply – Competition is very high for the top US universities. Apply for as many universities as you can to keep your options open.
- Grades – You need to obtain good grades in school and additional tests because US universities emphasize on top grades for admission. Admission test such as ACT or SAT is a must.
- Student persona – Highly selective universities not just look for good grades in applications but also the overall performance in terms of academics and extra-curricular activities.
- Co-curricular activities – Most of the universities in US look for academic achievements, your potential and interest in studying the subject you have applied for.
- Genuine interest – You should show genuine interest in the course you have applied for. It is also important that you explain what attracted you to a particular university, why you would be excited to go there, and what you would be able to contribute to the student community.
- Be organised – US applications often need to be submitted by November, months before you want to start. You also need to be prepared for any additional tests, getting references, and proofreading and getting feedback on your application.
- Perspective – You need to maintain a perspective about your application and try to learn and gather unique talent to get successful with your application at US universities.
Want to work part-time while studying in US? Read our blog – International student work permit in the USA
Top USA Universities – Cost of living in the US
Tuition is usually quite steep for the top universities and courses and can go upwards of USD 50,000 for a year. There is a lot of variation, obviously, depending upon the university, state, city, and course selected by the student. In general, states in the US Midwest region are less expensive to live in than those in the East and North East region. Off-campus accommodation can range from USD 500 a month for an apartment in a rural area to up to USD 3,000 a month for an apartment in the cities.
Top USA Universities – Student visa for US
There are three types of student visa for studying in US namely F1, J1 and M1. F1 Visa is the most common visa which is a mandatory requirement for all full-time students pursuing an academic course in US universities. Applying for a US student visa can be quite complicated as it involves lots of immigration processes. Students need to be prepared well in advance – at least three to five months before the start of the course in US to avoid many hassles.
Top USA Universities – Scholarships
There are also plenty of scholarships available for Indian students to study in US. Most of these scholarships are merit-based. Some of the popular scholarships are as follows:
- Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship
- Harvard University-Boustany Foundation MBA Scholarship
- International Excellence Award
- Knight-Hennessy Scholars Scholarship