What makes US Graduate Schools Stand Out?

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    Mansi Topa

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    With all the competitive schools worldwide, why US schools stand apart from the rest?

    Getting educated in an institution and stand low at ROI when compared to others makes it clear that education matters along with the institution. Apart from the institution, it’s been observed that undergraduate does not have a promising future with ROI. All in all, there’s a need for a graduate degree.

    The school with academic ability holds the prime importance while being analyzed for admission or other purposes. Apart from academics, there are certainly important factors which determine the fact that US schools deserve to stand out.

    Considering all the factors such as academics, ROI, financial aid and more, here’s how graduate school makes a difference.

    Number of Graduates per Teacher

    In many cases, the number of students per teacher ratio is very high which may go such as 100:1 i.e. 100 students per teacher.

    In such cases, the students are unable to interact with the professor freely and get assistance, also the professor is unable to get mixed up with the students and thus, may not be able to interact one-to-one which is necessary.

    In US graduate schools, the students have a better student to teacher ratio when compared to other universities and the US undergraduate students too. The average student to faculty ratio may be around 18:1.

    Harvard’s student to faculty ratio is 7:1 while for Yale it is as low as 6:1.

    Out of 310 universities, #1 university in terms of student to faculty ratio is Princeton. The average ratio is around 5:1. The other universities with the size of Princeton have a higher ratio. Princeton has the best student to teacher ratio in the US.

    Research Opportunity for Graduates in the US

    Graduate students get an opportunity to explore their own theories in their graduate school. Even if not their own theories, graduates can always participate in a funded research. Some programs such as archeology require traveling for research purpose, therefore to them, graduate schools are a bonus in this field.

    Not everyone is well suited to teach, but the graduates who have applied for Ph.D. and have chosen a position to teach may get a good salary and a research assistant. This is how graduate schools may prove to be an important component of the students’ life.

    In some cases, if you are playing the role of a research assistant, the college might not only waive the tuition but may also provide a stipend for the work.

    Not all researches complete within 1 or 2 years but they need to be shut down due to lack of finance. The researchers in the US in such cases may get financial help from the institution if the research is going in a fruitful direction.

    Flexible Education

    Most graduate schools in the US offers flexibility in choosing a course and dropping it if not required. Graduates can select the courses according to their study-load i.e. major and minor courses. This ability to choose the desired courses attract other graduates from around the world.

    Online, blended or accelerated classes are another solution to the flexible graduate school schedule. Students can adjust their classes according to their availability and have a combination of online and in-person lectures together known as blended classes in the evening schedule.

    Though US universities are very expensive esp. private universities, so it might be difficult for many to study here. Graduates can always take admission in public universities as they may charge less but offer great programs.

    Other modes of flexible education

    • Interactive Television Classes
    • Flex Labs
    • Independent Study

    Financial Assistance for Students

    US graduate schools have huge expenses for tuition and living. As the graduate schools have settled for high-level career and income, the cost of graduate school is a big amount. US Graduate Schools provide opportunities to the students to cut down their cost through the following ways: -


    Graduate fellowship is the best solution to cut down the cost and earn something along with the studies. Typically, it waives the tuition and provides stipend which is helpful for cost of living in the US. It’s like you are earning to graduate from the US school.

    Fellowships provide an opportunity to take free classes, do the research in the area of interest without any commitment to teaching.


    Similar to fellowship, the assistantship is provided to selective students by the graduate school. This comes with the partial or full tuition waiver and stipend. Another benefit is that the students gain work experience. The college assigns the students some lectures or assists faculty members in labs which is still less than full-time faculty load.

    Graduate Scholarship

    The US graduate schools offer scholarships to the deserving students. If the students are returning or sponsored by the employer, they get financial benefits but in return, the students need to return the favor to the organization.

    School Culture

    The culture makes a noticeable difference in the school. It is strong or weak, depends upon the people in the school. In a strong culture, the organization will have many overlapping and cohesive interactions amongst the employee while vice-versa in weak culture.

    Beliefs, values, and actions are spread across the organization through interaction. The students in strong school culture have direct interaction with leaders such as principal, counselors, and administrators who spread the actual message.

    A weak culture will have limited interaction and lesser connections. Say, if there is no direct interaction between the principal and the students, it would be difficult to know the beliefs and actions which institution demands.

    High ROI (Return on Investment)

    Depending upon the type of field opted, ROI is decided according to the industry. Tech companies pay premium salaries with median salary to be around 108,000 USD with 11% hike by 2024.

    The median of the assistantship may be around 12,000 USD, which is definitely less but good enough for the students to cope up with their expenses in the US.

    Some jobs for graduates with ROI more than 100,000 USD: -

    • IT Manager
    • Economist
    • Financial Manager
    • Lawyer
    • Mathematician

    Students with advanced degree enjoy a low rate of unemployment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Graduate schools which offer masters degree are experiencing a high growth rate of approximately 18% in this decade.