Why 2019 is the Best Time for Indians to Study in the US
Last updated on May 7th, 2019
Recent news reports show that Indian students have started choosing Australia and Canada as study abroad destinations rather than the US.
We believe there are two things that could have sparked this trend. One is the seemingly hostile political climate towards immigrants under President Trump’s administration. The second is the soaring costs of studying abroad.
However, both these are actually beneficial trends for Indian students who want to study in the US. In this article, we will talk about:
- Increasing Odds of Admission
- Better Scholarship Opportunities
- Changes in H1B Visa Regulations
- Expected Change of Government
These are pertinent factors that greatly impact your decision to study abroad. So, let’s take a look at each one in further detail.
1. Increasing Odds of Admission
As per reports, the number of Indian students applying to universities in the US has reduced.
The decline in the number of international applications has been sharp enough to spur US B-Schools into taking action to boost the numbers. In fact, even the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took note and started offering STEM MBAs via US B-Schools to help attract international applications.
Now, here’s why this should matter to you:
Remember that the number of available seats remains the same irrespective of the volume of applications received. This means that a rising volume of applications will reduce the acceptance rate and therefore, your odds of getting in to study abroad.
At the same time, though, a decline in applications will raise acceptance rates across the board. By extension, this means your odds of getting an admit rise when the volume of applications falls.
Additionally, remember that you will only be competing against other Indian applicants.
This means that your chances of getting in are not affected by the number of applicants from other countries. So, a fall in the number of Indian applicants raises your odds exponentially.
As such, your chances of getting into an American university are higher than they’ve ever been.
2. Better Scholarship Opportunities
You’re probably quite familiar with the price war that’s been on between e-commerce companies around the world.
But did you know that the same has been going on between American universities?
People have missed this phenomenon among news articles about rising tuition costs across the US. To be fair, it is quite true that tuition costs and other fees for higher education programs are rising.
However, international students are spending less on getting advanced degrees today than they did a decade ago.
How’s this possible, you ask?
It’s simple. Look at university expenditures on scholarships instead of just the rise in tuition and other fees.
Universities across the US have been using scholarships to lure the best candidates towards themselves since before 2014. This has had a two-fold result: firstly, the absolute prices of higher education have risen over time; secondly, it has become cheaper for international students to study abroad in the US.
Our point here is simple:
The number of international applications is declining, so the competition for these abundantly available scholarships is lower than ever, too. This means you have excellent chances of getting great scholarships from US universities if you apply now.
3. Changes in H1B Visa Regulations
Statistics show that most students applying to universities in the US want to stay and work there, as well.
Even though the current US government in 2019 is known to be anti-immigration, the US desperately needs qualified people to take up the jobs the economy is expected to generate in the near future.
Therefore, the US needs to attract international students to stay and work in the US after completing their education. So, there’s a proposed reform in Visa regulations aimed to attract young professionals.
H1-B visas are given out based on two lottery rounds, one is exclusively for those holding advanced degrees from American Universities and the other one is a general round for all.
The proposed reforms look to maximize your chances of getting an H1-B visa if you hold an advanced degree from an American university. To understand the reform, we’ll have to compare it with the current system under which these visas are granted.
Here’s how the current H1-B visa system works:
The first lottery round is only for specialists holding advanced degrees from US universities. The second round is a general one, where everyone who wants the visa can apply for it. Only 20,000 visas are handed out in the first round and 65,000 in the second one.
Here’s what the reform plans to do:
In the new system, the rounds get reversed, meaning that you have to apply through the general round first irrespective of your educational qualifications. If you don’t get a visa through this, then you can apply through the specialist round.
Statistically, this increases your odds of getting the visa by close to 15%.
For more details on how this reform works, read our article on everything you need to know about US visas.
Now, let’s talk about Trump!
4. Expected Change of Government
If you’re planning to apply to the US, you’re definitely aware of the socio-political climate. Or, at least, you should be – after all, Visa and immigration regulations are among the first things to get changed when the government changes!
Every year, the US sees a massive influx of immigrants looking for a piece of the “American Dream”.
As a result, immigrants and immigration reform are a huge part of public discourse and are highly vulnerable to political whims. For example, under President Obama, the American immigration policy was very immigrant-friendly but it became hostile nearly as soon as President Trump took over.
Immigration is likely to play a pivotal role in the upcoming election of 2020.
For those of you who are still wondering, here’s how this affects you:
Assuming that there is a regime change and President Trump does not get re-elected, there will be changes to the policies and regulations that determine how easily you can get a US visa.
This matters right now because if you’re taking your GMAT and applying in 2019-20, you are likely to graduate around 2021-22. This means that the next government will be the one determining whether you get an H1-B Visa or not.
In essence, if you’re applying now, then the current government’s policies won’t be responsible for your visa.
So, consider this if your main concern is that you may not get to live and work in the US after graduation.
To conclude, we find that 2019 is the best time for Indian students to study in the US because the competition is lower than ever, granting each Indian applicant greater access to scholarships.
The proposed changes in the process of granting H1-B Visas as well as the upcoming elections, both look promising for Indian students with advanced degrees from American universities.
We recommend that you start building your profile for your applications right away!