After a long log time I am posting anything of substance here...As promised (although a bit late) here is the updates from my college visit.
I visited USC Marshall on Jan 27th. I tried booking a class visit on-line but their system was down but the admin lady booked a slot for me anyway.
As I did not own a business suit I went to the college in formal trousers/shirts and was feeling good that I did that. Basic rule I follow is that if you are not going to a college for an interview don't go in a suite as the students are also dressed casually.
First impression of the USC was mixed. There are many different schools housed in the same campus so the crowed is very diverse; it ranges from skateboarding undergrads in literature to fully suited graduates of school of business. But the atmosphere seemed very energetic and helping. So with the help of an undergrad student I was able to find the Marshall building. I was not very impressed as it looked very small to me with a tiny cafeteria. But I think it will be the same all over.
It started with a class visit; the class was a boring finance class. To be very truthful I was not really impressed either by the professor or by the caliber of the students. It was pretty mediocre in my opinion. The participation of the students in the class was very limited as only few guys kept answering the professor and almost all other kept silent. The girl sitting next to me was very helpful, she shared her case study with me and explained (in hushed tone) during the class what the case was all about and what has happened in the previous classes.
After the class I chit chatted with some of the students. I got to know of a very interesting policy followed in Marshall; the school does not allow you to use laptops during class, it is because previously allegedly lots of the students were checking mails and chatting during the class. Found it a little disturbing as after 5 years in IT and word docs I find it difficult not to use my laptop to take notes.
Another interesting thing is that in Marshall in the first year the whole batch is divided in 2 sections and you sit in the same class throughout the year and professors come and go.
Then we had an info session by the admission director. The usual stuff about why this school is the greatest and all. I asked her about their loan policy as I told her that I have neither a co-signer nor a credit history in USA. She explained that there are some scholarships available but one should not count on them. The same was confirmed by a Indian student later who is in 1st year that it is very difficult to get a scholarship there and if you do not get it, it is difficult to get a loan with good interests rate.
So here is a list of pros and cons from my visit.
1) Very strong alumni network and advantage LA.
2) Proximity to Silicon Valley if you do not get in Stanford etc.
3) Good track record of placement.
4) Very helpful student.
1) Difficult to attend if you do not have enough cash in your bank
2) Intellectual vitality of the school very limited.
3) No laptops during class.
4) Every body commutes to the school from all over LA, so I guess not much of a bonding among students.
Result: Did not apply at the end, it was too dicey to spend all the money and effort and not get a loan or a scholarship.
For all Wharton R2 applicants, R2 invitation for interviews started going out on Jan 19th, from s2s board saw that only one person has got interview invite yet. So this is the nail bitting time.
Question for R1 applicants, after how many days did you get a "ding" or an invite for interview.
I too am in the same state. have applied in duke,yale,ucla,&cmu; all in R2. So far interview invite from CMU only, which I think everyone who applied have received. All other schools are maintaining frightening silence.
If anyone has got an interview invite from any of these institutes, plz let me know.
Other than that, life is back on track- no more essays, no more data forms.
Just to start the ball rolling in this forum..I applied to 3 colleges in R2.
1)Wharton 2) Kellogg 3) Stanford. Due to lack of time dropped MIT and due to not so good repo about the career management center dropped Babson.
Status as of now, only Wharton says that my app has been forwarded to the AdCom. Kellogg is insisting on TOEFL but got my unofficial transcripts and Stanford no news till now, looking at number of Indian applicant this year, the competition will be fierce.
My research till now about fin aid, if you want to stick to the high-tech sector, your bset bets is in California. But only 2 schools in CA offers international student loans without co-signer or US credit history:Stanford and Marshall (USC) applying to USC in R3 and to queens in Canada.
Btw If your US geography as bad as mine check out my blog, where I have imposed the colleges over a google map of USA, to have a better view of where exactly it is... http://babel_fish.blogspot.com/
Dropped all the top schools (as per rankings) like Ross, Duke, Tuck as it did not meet my requirements of a strong high-tech focus and a strong alumni network in that sector. I think I am one of the oddballs who really looks for a fit :-), this way I guess I am jeopardizing my chances by putting all my eggs in 3 baskets, but i am not willing to spend 100K $$ if I am not sure that the schools meets what I want.
How are the other R2 applicants holding up, any further communication from any colleges yet: interview calls, change in Status, additional info request.
Btw, I am in USA right now and plan to visit Stanford and Marshall end of this month, plan to write a long blog with my experience. So watch out this space 😃
Most of the R2 application deadlines are over or fast approaching. This thread is for the R2 applicants who is waiting for further information from the Bschools.
Let us share our experience with the application process for schools. Updates on the application status (e.g. interview calls/experience, TOEFL waiver, additional comments etc)
PS: To the moderators I did not see a thread like this after searching, if such a thread exists please merge it