Dear Mentor:

Is it too late to apply for engineering masters in the US?

I am a final year mechanical engineering student at Jamshedpur REC [Regional Engineering College]. I have scored 77%, 74% and 81% respectively in the first three years. My GRE [Graduate Record Exam] scores are: Verbal - 640, Analytical - 660 and Quantitative - [missing]. My TOEFL [Test of English as a Foreign Language] score is in range of 207- 263 and I am sure of getting above 250 finally. I have presented three papers on Total Quality Management in leading colleges in India. What are the prospects of Industrial Engineering in the States? Can I get information about financial aid from the various universities sites? Do I have enough time for the next session? From where and whom should I get the write up of my college's reputation and about my performance in college? Are the chances of getting a visa in next 6 months is very bleak?

USA Bound, Delhi, India

Dear USA Bound:

Your academic scores are good, particularly because you showed substantial improvement in the most recent year. Also, the RECs in India are considered to have a good reputation, because of a their national scope. We are missing your Quantitative score on the GRE, but assuming that you did well, your GRE score is respectable. Your TOEFL score must exceed the threshold set by individual colleges. Your presentation of technical papers is also a valuable asset. Your prospects of admission are good; the prospects of financial aid may be a bit more challenging but surmountable if you adjust your expectation for the reputation of target colleges.

You can use the iMahal College Finder in the iMahal Education Channel to identify colleges that best match your performance and needs. College websites do include the information to apply for financial aid. You can find the List of Engineering Colleges in the US in the iMahal Education Channel. You can also find information on the Rankings of Engineering Colleges in the US.

You are thinking along the right path when you ask for the write-up on your college. It is extremely helpful to the prospective college when you offer information on the quality of your education and the reputation of your academic institution. Your college must have some type of a write-up in the prospectus or promotional information. Third party write-ups, such as in newspapers, magazines and websites on ranking, research, competitiveness, of the entering classes, etc. are valuable. A write-up on the concept of the RECs would also be helpful. You can search the Web and ask your college for this information.

You are not late for applying, but you must begin the process immediately. You can submit the TOEFL score even after submitting your application. The chances of getting a visa are not bleak, as you have put it. After the attacks on the US, the visa process is liable to become more thorough, but the student visa would still be granted.

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