Saturday, August 30, 2008

Is the United States Department of Education currently facing any problems?

The U.S. Department of Education is always facing problems. A good share of those problems are associated with budget, and how to best distribute the U.S. Government's monies to the states to support education programs there. There is a constant battle to generate accurate statistics and to interpret them so that a realistic picture of education in the U.S. can be generated and maintained.

The Department of Education also administers student loans and works to improve educational methods and better equip teachers. A link is provided to the Department of Education website, and the curious person could cruise over and pick up a few slices of information.

Ediucation in the US

Education in the USA

US is a favourite destination for students worldwide because of its world class education. A total of 582,984 international students are enrolled in various colleges and universities in the US (Source: Institute of International Education's (IIE) 2007 report on international education exchange). Around 80,000 Indian students went to the US in 2006-2007. Compared to this, only 21,000 Indian students went to the UK, the other preferred study destination. In 2008, the figure for US bound Indian students is expected to touch the 90,000 mark. Additionally, If you are considering USA as an option for higher education, your chances of scoring well professionally are very bright. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 39,000 jobs were added to the business and professional services industry from March through April, 2008.

Popular Courses

Some popular areas of interest to students are:

  • IT
  • Engineering
  • Computer science
  • Business management
  • Liberal arts

Popular Institutes

The country boasts of over 3,500 colleges and universities. Colleges are usually for undergraduates; Universities concentrate more on research in addition to teaching.
America usually divides its higher education system into two classes – one comes under the public system and the other under private system.
You can take courses under the Public system or Private system. Public schools are funded by the State and the local government of the area in which they are located. You may choose to attend:

  • Two-year community college (Grants Associate Degree)
  • Four-year state college (Bachelor’s Degree)
  • Graduate University (Master’s degree, PhD and Doctoral Degree)
  • Vocational schools

Private System: The fee is much higher than that of public schools and you can attend:

  • Two-year College
  • Four-year College
  • Graduate University

Study Expenses

The tuition fees vary from program to program and institution to institution. It could range between Rs 4 - 15 Lacs per year. Programs like MBA, Engineering Medicine and Dentistry will always be on the higher side.

A tentative guideline is as follows:

  • Tuition - the cost can range from $5,000 to $25,000 per year.
  • Room and board- A rough estimate is between $3,000 and $8,000 per year.
  • Books and supplies- Approximate cost can range from $500 and $1,500 per year.
  • Medical insurance- A comprehensive insurance policy is likely to cost between $500 and $1,000 per person.

Loans and scholarships

The flagship international educational program sponsored by the United States Government and the Fulbright Program are two major grants for Graduate Students, Scholars, Professionals, Teachers and Administrators. Others include:

  • International Education Financial Aid (IEFA), Rotary International: This organization provides a few limited international student scholarships,
  • AAUW: This organization provides fellowships for women international graduate students,
  • American Councils for International Education: The councils provide international student grants and fellowships to international students from the former Soviet republics.

Some other scholarships and fee waivers that can be researched are:

  • International Graduate Scholarships
  • International Undergraduate Scholarships

There are four schools where the tuition is free, but admissions are highly competitive:

  • The Cooper Union, NYC
  • Olin College, Massachusetts
  • The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia
  • The Yale School of Music, New Haven - part of Yale University

Of these, the Cooper Union offers only Art, Architecture and Engineering. Olin offers only Engineering. Curtis and Yale both offer Music. Although tuition itself is covered by the respective universities, there are various other fees that would need to be furnished by a student.

Student Visa and other Eligibility criteria

The American education system requires that students complete 12 years of primary and secondary education prior to attending a university or college. This may be accomplished either at public (or government-operated) schools, or at private schools. For higher education, the student must complete 12+ 4 years of schooling before applying for a Master’s program.

In addition to this, each school has its own admission requirements and policies. Some of the general policies include:

  • personal application form;
  • official records of academic achievements;
  • teacher recommendations;
  • proof of financial capability;
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score;

United States Department of Education

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | Date: 2008

United States Department of Education executive department of the federal government responsible for advising on educational plans and policies and administration of the department, which provides assistance for education and carries out educational research. It was established (1867) as an independent government agency and then transferred (1869) to the Dept. of the Interior as the Bureau of Education. In 1939 the bureau, by executive order, was transferred to the Federal Security Agency, which in 1953 became the Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare. It became an independent department in 1979. Within the Dept. of Education are offices of elementary and secondary education, postsecondary education, special education and rehabilitative services, bilingual education and minority languages, vocational and adult education, civil rights, and educational research and improvement. The department also administers funds for Gallaudet and Howard universities, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and the American Printing House for the Blind.

Author not available, EDUCATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF., The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2008

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright 2008 Columbia University Press

Indians looking to study in united states

So you want to study abroad? Good idea. But choosing the right host country is probably the most important decision you'll ever make, one that will affect the course of your personal and professional life for many, many years. You'll be leaving your country for a new culture, a new way of life, and new people.

Almost as important as the academic advantages of an international education are the chances it offers to experience life abroad. Quite simply, there is no better environment for Indian students to take hold of their future...and be the best they can be. A study abroad education in the UK or USA has always placed great importance on the ability of students to work independently and to develop their own thinking.

The end result is that students emerge from an international education not only with a thorough understanding of their subject but also with analytical abilities and problem-solving skills that are much prized by employers in later life.

Please browse our wide range of articles that offer advice and information on all aspects of studying abroad and take advantage of our free Information and Application Service.


Recognizing the changing nature of the global economy, policy makers and opinion leaders have recently placed much attention on the subject of American economic competitiveness. The following study, commissioned to evaluate the opinion environment regarding higher education’s role in promoting policies that will ensure a competitive 21st Century workforce, seeks the input of a wide variety of audiences, both directly and indirectly linked to American colleges and universities. Following a series of focus groups nationwide and a national survey of 1000 registered voters, topics such as career choice, American economic positioning in an increasingly competitive global economy, curriculum rigor, incentive programs for academic programs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) , the relationship between colleges and students, and the value of college education were all analyzed. The findings lay the groundwork for understanding the environment in which policy reform will take place.


The study was prepared by The Winston Group at the request of the American Council on Education. The research conducted for this report consists of seven focus groups, including
Fathers of college or college-bound students (Philadelphia, PA; July 11, 2006)
Mothers of college or college-bound students (Atlanta, GA; July 13, 2006)
College and university faculty members (Atlanta, GA; July 13, 2006)
College and university administrators (Cleveland, OH; July 25, 2006)
Current college students (Cleveland, OH; July 25, 2006)
Business executives involved in hiring employees (Washington, DC; August 10, 2006)
College graduates five years out of school (Washington, DC; August 10, 2006)
These groups were followed by a national survey of 1,000 registered voters, conducted September 6-7 (margin of error = +/- 3.1 percent).