The moment you start with your application process the question on which universities to apply daunt you. Some feel the university is too high fetched, another one feels it is clean sweep and some other one around feels I am confused I like them all. In this confusion most of us remove and waste loads of time in this confusion rather than applying before deadlines. We realize this is a common occurrence with almost all students applying to USA. However the solution is not very straight but with a clear roadmap you achieve the same.
- Fix the Coursework
In the foremost steps you need to decide on few things. Course you want to apply for - like for eg. - Masters in Data Science or Masters in telecommunications or specialize in VLSI design etc. So this is your primary filter to see which all universities fall in your pool.
- Like the Location
If you are opinioned about some fix location like silicone valley due to jobs, or someone lives there or its too cold use these as a next level of filter. This will refine it further.
- Check the Tuition Fees
If funds is restricted or you need some economical range of fees check the university portal for this first ideally. So check whether university is public funded or not. This will give you a kickass filter.
With above three filters you would be able to come to very crisp options. Now after this you can use various ways to choose the 6-8 universities you should apply. Normally these many universities are more then enough to apply. More then this we feel is just waste of money and add to indecisiveness at all stages. After this you now have to decide which are safe, moderate and ambitious. For this various methods can be useful. Most sort-after can be a good counselor, which are rare these days but a few of them promise to be very helpful, and life changing. Or it can be forums online to check the feedback of students. And further it could be connecting with the alumni of those universities to share the credentials of their class. This will bring you down to your 6-8 universities and help you make you the most crucial decision. Do not fall prey to unnecessary and faulty information which is also very easily available online. So you need to validate your data either with your counselor or alumni.
After all this you can place your universities in the bucket of safe, moderate and ambitious. There is no golden rule on how many of each from these tags you should apply follow your mind. Some prefer more on safe as they want to take less risk absolutely fine. And some are the high risk takers want to be in make or break situation so apply only to ambitious one. So it all depends on your attitude and you follow that. Safe universities are the ones where you have got maximum answer for your profile as yes. Moderate is the one where you have got mixed reviews. And Ambitious ones are those, which are like grapes, which you do not know whether they are sweet or sour but you want to attempt them, as they are your dream universities. So segregate our universities the best strategy is to apply in all sections. Jump into this process beforehand as it takes time and is very important. Also remember to apply beforehand of deadlines as it helps to be up the queue, receive scholarships or funding and also get more positive responses.
University shortlisting is the crucial stage as you decide here which university among these chosen one would be your life-changing chapter in your career. Hence do take time and efforts and start with this process smartly.