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Admission to Stanford,Harvard, MIT or other Top of the line Universities

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According to my experience :
1.All require GRE subject Test. Some claim that it is not needed but in order that your application stands out I recommend you take GRE subject Test. This will facilitate a decision in your favor.
2.They need some research work. Preferably published individually or jointly with a professor. You may even have some peer reviews. People plan this well in advance and somehow wriggle through and get their name inserted along with a professor.
3.Your field of interest should match with a professor willing to accept you as a graduate scholar.
4.Excellent Recommendations written by Professors / Superiors knowing you well and willing to write specifically about your reseach interest and scholarship. These should not be vague or general.
5.Outstanding Essays. Each School should be provided an essay specifically written for it and should not be a ‘copy-paste’ exercise.
6.Excellent GPA
7.Good GRE and TOEFL scores
8. Apply early.
9. Above all plan early about the steps required to be taken. Succesful people start taking the initial steps from Junior year. Do not wait till the Senior year.
All or some of these come to play to decide on your application.

If you are admitted by these institutes than financing your education will not be a problem.
An important observation
Admission in PhD is difficult as compared to admits to MS degree.
Universities generally require good academics and/or good research experience. If you have these you can get into a very high rank university. It is believed that good research experience can lead you to a top 1-20 ranked university.But this does not imply that academics and subject test is not given due weightage.
As you go to low rank universities (21-40) they concentrate more on academics and subject tests.Universities Ranked 41 and below concentrate on academics and experience but not subject test.
But once you get admits 80-90% of the times you get assistantships.
Academics play an important role if you don’t have experience.

A more Important Note

I am well aware that every applicant will not meet each of the criteria listed above.However if you cover about 80-90% of these you have a fair chance of admission and you must try. You may be lucky.GOOD LUCK
NBS

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Bschooltalk – informative Podcast

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BSchool Talk is a weekly show and video podcast produced by For Your Imagination, Vault.com, and a select group of business school insiders ranging from admissions directors, test preppers and the premier MBA event organizers.

For viewing the videos go here Bschooltalk

The following topics have been covered till now:

GMAT as an Indicator
Student Attributes
Favorite Application Essay
Advice to Applicants
“Must Have” Professors
Reasons for Rejection
Campus Visit
Interview Tips
Important Factors
Recommendation Letters
Community Service
Wait List
Welcome Events
Blowing the Interview
Factors That Determine Fit
Choosing an MBA
Choosing a Career Path
Extra-Curricular Activities
Alternate Funding
Flexible Career Goals
Applicant Appeal
Restructuring Essays When Reapplying
Special Considerations
Undergraduate Students in Engineering

Experts from the following schools have provided their commentary
American University
Bordeaux
Boston University
Baruch College
Cornell University
Dartmouth University
Emory University
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Fordham Business
Freeman School of Business
Georgia Tech
Gonzaga University
Georgetown
Hult International Business School
John Hopkins University
NYU Stern School of Business
Northeastern University
Rutgers Business School
Stockholm School of Economics
Tulane University
University College for the Creative Arts
Univerity of Southern California
UCLA
University of British Columbia
University of Connecticut
University of Miami
University of Pennsylvania
University of Texas at Austin
University of Virginia
University of Maryland
Virginia Tech
Vanderbilt University
Wake Forest University
Wharton School

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Graduate + Undergraduate Enrollment – USA Schools

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About 22000

Auburn University, Main Campus

Cypress College

Diablo Valley College

Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton

Kansas State University

Kent State University, Main Campus

Palomar College

Salt Lake Community College

San Diego Mesa College

University of Akron, Main Campus

University of Pennsylvania

Utah State University

West Virginia University

About 23000

De Anza College

Macomb Community College

Mesa Community College

Pasadena City College

Riverside Community College

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Southwest Texas State University

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

University of Virginia, Main Campus

About 24000

Eastern Michigan University

George Mason University

Georgia State University

Northeastern University

Northern Illinois University

Oakland Community College, Bloomfield Hills

Orange Coast College

University of Kentucky

University of Missouri, Columbia

University of New Mexico, Main Campus

University of South Carolina at Columbia

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

About 25000

Cerritos College

El Camino College

Harvard University

North Harris-Montgomery Community College

Portland Community College

SUNY at Buffalo

Texas Tech University

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of Oklahoma, Norman Campus

Virginia Commonwealth University

University of Utah

About 26000

Austin Community College

California State University, Sacramento

University of Kansas, Main Campus

University of Tennessee

About 27000

Central Michigan University

Colorado State University

Iowa State University

San Francisco State University

San Jose State University

Tarrant County College

University of California, Davis

University of Pittsburgh, Main Campus

About 28000

Broward Community College

East Los Angeles College

Indiana U.-Purdue U. at Indianapolis

San Diego City College

Santa Ana College

Santa Monica College

Santa Rosa Junior College

University of Cincinnati, Main Campus

University of North Texas

Valencia Community College

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State U.

About 29000

American River College

Boston University

California State University, Fullerton

College of Du Page

Mount San Antonio College

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Pima Community College

Temple University

University of Iowa

Western Michigan University

About 30000

California State University, Northridge

Community College of Southern Nevada

University of Colorado at Boulder

University of Southern California

About 31000

California State University, Long Beach

Wayne State University

About 32000

Florida International University

Louisiana St. U. & A&M & Hebert Laws Center

San Diego State University

University of California, Berkeley

University of Georgia

About 33000

Brigham Young University

University of Houston, University Park

About 34000

Florida State University

University of Central Florida

University of Maryland, College Park Campus

About 35000

University of Arizona

About 36000

Rutgers University, New Brunswick

University of South Florida

About 37000

University of Washington, Seattle

University of California, Los Angeles

About 38000

Indiana University, Bloomington

New York University

Northern Virginia Community College

About 39000

University of Michigan, Ann Arbo

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

About 40000

City College of San Francisco

Purdue University, Main Campus

About 41000

Houston Community College System

Pennsylvania State University, Main Campus

University of Wisconsin, Madison

About 44000

Michigan State University

About 45000

Arizona State University, Main Campus

Texas A&M University

About 46000

University of Florida

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

About 47000

Miami-Dade Community College

About 48000

Ohio State University, Main Campus

About 50000

University of Texas at Austin

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Admission Process

Five Important points to be noted while selecting universities

1. For graduate programs you have to be accepted by the graduate school as well by the program where you apply.
2. Many universities have a minimum criteria of GPA that means percentage in our case. I have observed that they want at least 60% marks from Indian candidates. Please do check on this aspect before you apply.
3. Several Universities have a minimum TOEFL requirement. Check about this before capplying.
4. Please keep in mind that a Graduate school may have a different requirement than a program where you are applying.
If the requirement varies than generally the programs requirement shall be higher.
5. Observe the application Deadlines. If you cannot then you are likely to be rejected.

You will appreciate this if you observe the process of selection. Every graduate application is scrutinized by the Graduate School and the department you are applying to.

I present below the movement of your application:
1.You send the application to a Graduate School. In some cases you simultaneously send a copy of it to the department you are applying. In other cases the graduate school forwards the applications meeting the basic criteria observed by them.
Every Graduate school has set up a basic criteria like minimum GPA, TOEFL and in some cases GRE scores. Candidates meeting these criteria are only considered further by the department. Upto now the selection is very objective as only those applications are passed to the department which statistically meet the norms set by the Graduate School.
2. When your application reaches the department of your choice it is here that the subjective angle comes into play provided the department has not set any norms for itself. Let me point out that the department if it has set any minimum criteria it is usually higher than what is required by the Graduate School.
3.Once the application comes through this then the departments admission committee makes the final decision and it is here that your higher GRE , RECOS and SOP come into play.