Education loans Vs. Demonetization

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Education loans Vs. Demonetization

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Visas and more visas As always, Manhattan Review’s students have got student (F-1) visa to USA in good numbers. And some of them have left for USA in the last two weeks. MR is extremely pleased to assist them with their selection of universities, application process, admission and the visa. We did not stop there for our valuable students. We conducted a Pre-Departure Orientation session (PDO) for some of our successful students who got their visas. Not only a lot of useful information was given, but also a very useful and practical gift from Manhattan Review – which will help them stay with their loved ones in India and of course, the US.

Education loans Vs. Demonetization – Some of the aspirants to USA and other countries who got admission were doing their visa documentation but are facing an unexpected problem. Most of the banks are not in a position to grant them educational loans to study abroad. Even if the loans are granted, the necessary paper work is getting delayed due to demonetization and it’s after effects. Some students could not get the ‘sanction letters’ on hand due to which they could not establish financial credibility with the US consulate and here were denied visa. This is an unfortunate situation on which there is no control for many.

Thankfully, there are companies like Avanse (www.avanse.com) and Credila (www.credila.com) which provide educational loans to students for their study abroad. The process is fast and the paper work is smooth and quick.  Manhattan Review will be pleased to assist students with their loan processing, in association with Avanse and Credila. What more, you will get discounted pricing (in the form of reduced interest rates) if you avail the loan service through Manhattan Review. Talk with our counselors and they will be pleased to provide more details of this service.

2017 – New Year is just a few days away. With plenty of good (and some bad too!) memories and a lot of hard work in 2016, you have come to a defining stage in your life with bigger academic goals and aspirations to study the best possible courses in the greatest countries of the world. As you brace yourself to take on the world, we at MR will be with you in supporting each of your endeavors and make you reach the highest pinnacle of academic success. We are ready to give winds to your plans and help you land in the “Lands” of opportunities – USA, Canada and Germany. We are just a step/call away from you.

Congratulations for having a great 2016 and best wishes from all of us at Manhattan Review for a fantastic and successful 2017.

Let’s meet again in the New Year!

Manhattan Review offers comprehensive test-prep and Admissions counseling programs for GMAT, GRE, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS, PTE . Go through our website http://www.manhattanreviewindia.com to see the latest updates.


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US Visas – change in photo requirements!

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Effective 1st November, applicants for any category of visa to USA will not be allowed to wear spectacles, unless they have to wear it for medical conditions.

However, The US Passports and International Travel, US Department of State ­ Bureau of Consular Affairs, has clarified about a small exemption. “If any applicant insists on wearing eye glasses for medical reasons, he has to obtain a signed statement from a medical professional or health practitioner”, the rule says.

Many Indians (both students and others) were rejected visa last year due to poor quality of glasses and other technical reasons. Worldwide, more than two lakh people submitted poor quality photos which could not be accepted due to poor quality of glasses.

“We had to put their passport applications on hold because we couldn’t clearly identify them from their photo. We can see you more clearly now and you will experience fewer US passport and US visa application delays and can move faster through US ports of entry,“ the announcement adds.

So, students beware! When you go for a photograph for US visa purpose, please get it without your spectacles. Avoid last minute hassles.

UK – not OK!

Under the new visa rules announced by the UK Home Office, anyone applying after November 24 2016 under the Tier 2 intra-company transfer (ICT) category would be required to meet a higher salary threshold requirement of 30,000 pounds from the earlier limit of 20,800 pounds.

Indian IT workers accounted for nearly 90 per cent of visas issued under this route. “The first of two phases of changes to Tier 2, announced by the government in March following a review by the Independent Migration Advisory Committee, will affect applications made on or after November 24 unless stated otherwise,” a UK Home Office statement said.

You might be wondering as to why you should be concerned about this news, since you are a student. Well, when you see the trend of UK government placing restrictions on the student visas first and then on employees later, the pattern seems to be clear – they don’t want to encourage students or employees to come and study or live in UK. Also, with ‘Brexit’ (see our Newsletter dated 4th July 2016), things are looking gloomy for students. Are you OK with this?

Great Opportunity:

Here’s some wonderful news for not so ‘bright’ students who have lesser test scores and percentages. Manhattan Review has customized a new package that will help such students to still study in USA – the land of unlimited opportunities. And, the best part is the cost advantage. It does not cost much to take up our service and take-off. For those who are looking to fly soon to USA to study, this is the time to start on the ‘marker’ and be a WINNER soon. Contact our counselors at a center nearest to you. Take your next step for a great academic career in USA.

Manhattan Review offers comprehensive test-prep and Admissions counseling programs for GMAT, GRE, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS, PTE . Go through our website http://www.manhattanreviewindia.com to see the latest updates.


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Can you study in UK?

Can you study in UK?

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The British government is considering further restrictions on student visas in line with its often-stated goal to reduce net migration to the UK. In a 4 October speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that the government will shortly open consultations on student immigration policy.

According to the proposed policy, there will be a two-tier visa system for international students. Those students who apply for top/best universities will have more structured visa processing (in other words, ‘easier’). Whereas those students who plan to go for ‘not so good’ universities may have tougher restrictions and visa process. Presumably, this is to help top-tier universities attract best talent, while bad or average universities will attract lower quality students. Obviously, this will put a big break on so many international students – especially from India – who want to study in UK in average/below-average universities. Looks hunky dory!

Fixed Deposits OK? 

We come across quite a few students (and parents) who would like to show their funds in FDs for admission purpose. As a matter of practicality, most US universities do not accept funds that are ‘locked’ in FDs. They want funds to be immediately available so students could pay the tuition and fees. Some universities do accept Fixed Deposits as a proof of funding for admitting students. There is no hard and fast rule which university accepts and which do not accept FDs as a proof of funding. Each university has its own policy and one could know only when reviewing the financial documentation information on their websites.

In this scenario, there are two options:

  • Apply to universities without submitting the financial certification form (if the university accepts). Once they confirm your admission, you could ask them if FDs are acceptable as proof of funds availability. Based on their response, you could act accordingly.
  • Show only liquid funds in the Savings Bank account of your sponsor. This is the safest method.

This is one of the ‘situations’ students face, when they start the application process. This will be so confusing and troublesome. Why don’t you leave this type of problems and issues to professionals, who will handle everything on your behalf and make sure you have the time to concentrate on your studies or scores? Manhattan will be with you all throughout the process till you attend the visa interview. Just discuss with your counselor at your center. We will be glad to be of help.

Admits 

We are pleased to inform you that many of our students have started receiving their I-20s from US universities for Spring intake. And, we have started guiding them for their visa documentation and interview, already. Congratulations to all our students who got admits. Many of them got more than 2 admits by now. We are waiting for several more students to feel happy about their admissions and visas. We will update you soon.

In the meantime, happy learning and planning for a ‘dream’ future – with MR’s assistance.


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GRE – High score but no admit?

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Application advise This is the time of the year, when most of you take the tests (GRE/GMAT and TOEFL/IELTS) and want to apply to universities. Two very important things have to be kept in mind while you are getting ready with taking tests and applying.

  • You will be very close to deadlines of most universities which admit better-profile students. As a result, you will be under pressure to meet the application deadlines. This will put additional pressure on your test preparation, which might affect your scores. There is no need to emphasize the fact that lower scores will bring down admission chances in good universities. Therefore, if you are planning to take tests, schedule quality time for test preparation and leave the applying part to professionals like Manhattan Review.
  • When thousands of students apply to universities around the same time, it puts a lot of pressure on the admission committees, graduate schools (which issues I-20s) and the departments (which consider your financial aid) In many cases, pressure gets to them too and some admissions may not be based on proper evaluation. Result, genuine and strong applicants might be affected badly. Where you had definitely expected admission, such universities may ‘reject’ with or without reason. The ultimate loser will be the applicant who falls in that ‘application zone’. What is the solution to this? Apply as early as the universities permit. Arrange for your application material to be submitted even later (but definitely, well before the deadlines). This will give ‘breathing time’ for universities to consider your applications but put them on hold. After all the materials are received, it takes much shorter time for universities to process your application and give a decision.

Remember, the following are myths which you SHOULD NOT CONSIDER.

  1. That even without test scores, universities will decide on application – No, unless all the materials and scores are in place, they will not decide.
  1. That without the final transcripts, one cannot apply – Again, wrong. Even with the 6th or 7th semester transcript also, one could apply and still get a favourable decision if everything is done properly, carefully and in time.
  1. That applying to more universities will increase admission chances – Well, that depends on which universities one is applying to. If one applies to just one university, he might get admission. Applying to ten may not necessarily mean that one might get more admits. Not necessarily! So, be judicious with your selection and number of universities you wish to apply to. This is where the expertise of Manhattan Review comes in.

One piece of advice – don’t fall into the trap of ‘know all’ masters (some of your friends or seniors) and/or the internet knowledge.  While you get a lot of ‘free’ and ‘unwarranted’ advice, that might not be the RIGHT Advice for you. Be careful with the loads of information you obtain from many sources. Finally, make a prudent decision to seek the help of experts who charge you, but also recharge your career – academically – for a fabulous future. Don’t you want to have a great life after your education?

GRE – High score but no admit? Many students have a very painful experience of having good/high score in GRE but denied admission in universities in which they ‘thought’ they could get in. The ‘Quant’ section score is high, the ‘Verbal’ section score is decent. Where could the applicant have done wrong? Why were they rejected when they were ‘sure’ of admission?

The devil lurks deep in a seemingly unimportant section – the AWA. While preparing for the tests or talking with seniors, it is not highlighted with enough emphasis that the Analytical Written Assessment section score is equally or more important not only for admission but also for an assistantship. As a result, students don’t prepare well for this section and the average for most Indian students is about 2.5 to 3.0 out of 6. Unfortunately, this score is insufficient for most US universities to consider for admission and assistantships. So, a ‘rejection’ will be sent to students after review. By the time a rejection is received, deadlines for other universities will be almost over and students will not have any option but to go for universities that are much less compatible with their profile. The result? Poor education, non- compatible degree and finally a bad start to the career. Is this required? Should they not know what is important and concentrate for a better score to improve admission and aid chances?

This is exactly what Manhattan Review strives to educate and concentrate upon (while preparing students for the tests). We encourage students to practice more, get trained better and score better. If they score 4 and above in the AWA section, the chances will be very BRIGHT! If the chances are bright, the future is brighter. This is why you are looking for education abroad. Right?

Colours and Crackers We are in the midst of festive season. The colourful Dasara and the soundful and bright Diwali are here for our enjoyment. Perhaps, this will be one of the festive seasons you would spend in India for some years to come. Once abroad, the gaiety and celebrations galore will not be as ‘original’ as you could find them in our motherland. So, make the most of this season by celebrating Dasara and Diwali with your near and dear ones. Have an unforgettable time. Wish you and your family members a VERY (Belated)  HAPPY VIJAYA DASAMI AND DIWALI.

 


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Brexit and studying in the UK

Brexit and studying in the UK – With Britain breaking away from EU, there have been fears and apprehensions among people in all fields. What is the impact for students who want to study in Britain? Here is an excerpt from an interview with a Head of one of the top universities of UK.

Study In UK | Study In US

Kevin Featherstone is Head of the London School of Economics (LSE) European Institute discussed Brexit, racism, ­ and students caught between, in The Times of India. Excerpts:

“British universities are very worried. Whether a Brexit government can maintain similar levels of research funding is doubtful.”

“Operational models of many universities rest on overseas and EU students. Their fees fund a university sector that is world class. At present, universities are guaranteeing fees for the 2016-17 academic year will not change ­ but, beyond that, the position depends on any change of government policy and public funding. So, students must wait and see. Also, there are reports of isolated instances of racist attacks.”

“However, it is reasonable to imagine that a Brexit will make the UK less attractive to European students. There will be less financial aid, tuitions would likely increase, the UK will be outside of Erasmus+, and new immigration requirements may arise. All that to say, a British exit from the EU would certainly open the door to the UK’s international competitors.”

“Leaving the EU and putting up barriers to work and study makes it more likely that European students and researchers will choose to go elsewhere, strengthening our competitors and weakening the UK’s universities.”

What does all this mean to students who want to study in UK? High level of uncertainty, lesser opportunities, much higher cost of education and most importantly, reduced opportunities for employment. What do you say?

Doctoral (PhD) admissions – We have many students coming in for information on studying at the Doctoral level in US universities. A few points are highlighted here for your benefit.

  • Doctoral level admissions are considered mostly for Fall (August) semester. Processing applications for Spring is rare.
  • The application process takes longer than for MS. Be prepared to start at least one year in advance.
  • Application deadlines will be around November/December for most programs and universities. Don’t miss them!
  • Financial aid may be available partially or in full, depending upon field of research and university. In some programs and universities, funding may not be available at all!
  • In addition to free tuition and fees, most PhD students will be given a stipend to meet their living costs.
  • A PhD program could take 3-5 years to complete

There is a lot of process, follow-up and work involved with PhD admissions. If you are interested, don’t wait. Talk to your counselor and he/she will provide you with all the right information. Manhattan Review provides top-of-the-line services for PhD applicants. Take full advantage.

More visa news – Manhattan Review is pleased to inform you that more than 40 students have received visas to USA till date. The number is increasing by the day!

There are a few subtle changes in the way the visa interviews are being conducted by the US Consulate staff. In view of what happened during the previous semester (Spring 2016), the staff is conscious and being careful about how and why they should issue visas. With our experience and expertise, we are in a positon to help students prepare ‘properly’ for the visa interview, document well and answer all the tricky questions successfully. Want to know how we can help you to reach USA successfully? Contact one of our counselors who will be pleased to help you.