I know a lot of you are wondering if this is real, well I can say Yes it is because I have direct experience with it and I would be sharing with you how I did it and also sharing from the experience of my friends that also went through the same process.
Sit back and enjoy this brief article and I hope it would help you to achieve your dreams of coming to the U.S for studies.
Just like any other life decision will make every day, which requires hard work, dedication, commitment, passion, and some financial sacrifice, Studying abroad also does as well, like they say, nothing good comes easy but I can assure you that it would all worth it, talking from experience.
Please note that this is not a process of just filling out forms online and you’re expecting a miracle, it takes lots of determination, many processes, personal research, and some financial commitment, but don’t worry that’s why we are here to guild you through the whole process and help each other.
Some of the frequent questions I usually hear are;
- I didn’t graduate with a First Class or Two-One, is it possible for me to get Funding?
The answer to this is YES you can! Let me explain this briefly, the U.S education system does not use a class of degree, rather they focus on specific GPA score, I can say if your CGPA is anything from 3.2/5, you would be fine, just make sure that your other applications are strong, good GRE (I will talk about that later), good SOP, recommendations ETC.
- But I don’t have lots of money, what can I do?
First, I would mention that these processes require lots of financial investments (never let that scare you at all please). These include The Test (GRE, TOEFL, etc), Application Fees (I believe these should be expected), cost of sending transcripts, evaluation (Your Results from Nigeria need to be compared with their standards over there in the US. Click here to learn more) and others. I always advise people not to look at the overall cost of everything but rather, take it one after another, that was how I went about it, I didn’t have lots of money when I started, but I kept taking it one after another and like I said before, it worth all the investment. We are talking about coming here to have your Master’s degree at no cost, getting monthly stipends and having the chance to stay behind after graduation, the benefits are huge, trust me.
As a Nigerian who went to a public school and graduated with a Second Class (Lower Division) and got admission to study in the U.S with Full Funding and monthly stipends (believe me, this is more than the salary of some managers in Nigeria), I think you will be able to learn one or two things from my experience. Here is my brief profile;
Course of study: Electrical Engineering
Grade (GPA): 3.43/5
GRE: 300 (I will explain this later)
Work experience: ZERO
After my Graduation I heard about G.R.E (Graduate Record Examination), I have never heard about it until that moment (talking of 2012), I know you’re probably wondering what a GRE is about, don’t worry I will get into that in a minute. I made some researches about the exam and I started studying for it, like I said previously, ‘Nothing good comes easily’, you must be able to sacrifice today for a better future.
I studied for the exam for about three months and then I took it.
I will briefly talk about G.R.E now. A GRE is an important part of the application to a Graduate School – (otherwise known as Masters Degree back home) in the U.S and some other selected North America Countries, it’s required by most schools for admission process and more importantly it can increase an applicant’s chances of getting a Funding (Graduate Assistantship).
I can say it is not an ‘easy’ exam, not like your usual tests during your Undergraduate, it would take an average of two to three months of proper studies and preparation to scale the test but the advantage is huge and it worth every investment that you might put into it.
Like I said, it plays a very big role in getting Funding/Scholarship. And moreover, if you are from a country where getting a Visa is difficult (like our dear country Nigeria), this exam might increase your chance during a Visa interview with the consular.
Every school in the Us has there unique requirements for GRE exam, your best bet is to look up on your prospective school’s website and check their requirements (Click here for a ranking of schools in the US).
From personal experience, I can say a score of 300 and above is fair. Please look up GRE grading system here.
There are basically two types of the Exam, 1. the Paper-based and 2. Computer-based. I strongly recommend the computer base for everyone.
Also, the test is divided into two types (Click here for an in-depth comparison between the two types); 1. the General GRE and 2. Subject GRE. Again, I strongly recommend the General GRE type which is the most common type and I can say about 90% of schools in the US would require that. The Subject Base is very uncommon and rarely required.
In as much as you can still get into many schools here without this exam, I strongly recommend you attempt it, especially if you’re seeking for Funding/Scholarships, also it would boost your chance of securing Visa.