FORGET ABOUT your SAT, GRE, GMAT scores, forget about past academic record. Whether you are a state rank holder or a university gold medallist – stop thinking about the same. Universities abroad don’t look for academics alone.


UNLIKE INDIAN institutions, they look for the vision inside you and how you can create new solutions and disruptions with the drive and passion to bring about change. Their view is – A scientist is an innovator, and not a class topper, as also one can’t become a scientist by studying science alone. Also iconic entrepreneurs are unique because they can identify opportunities and create new value and aspirations for the world, which very few can just visualise.


SO TALK of out of the box thinking you can bring to the class, and what are the potential areas of research where you see promise. Remember, your past academic excellence has nothing to do with being a great thinker who can solve unresolved issues or bring about disruption in businesses.


IN 2016, a 17-year old girl from Mumbai, Malvika Raj Joshi who is not even a matriculate got accepted at MIT with scholarship. Just think, would any Indian university accept such candidates? Indian institutes look for academic toppers but not innovators. The result is – there is hardly any technology which has originated in India. This also proves why all path-breaking inventions come from either US or European countries.


THE ADMISSIONS committee looks for future leaders and considers financial aid and scholarship for those who can make, create and innovate. So, if you can prove in your application that you have the Einstein, Edison and Tesla, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs inside you, well the scholarship may be very much on your way.



STUDENTS CAN can certainly explore prospects of financial aid like tuition waivers and teaching assistantships from foreign universities. This can reduce their costs to a certain extent. While aid may be limited at most institutions, it is not unavailable either for the really deserving candidates. In order to win funding, students need to portray their research oriented merit, rather than just academic competence. In short, all Universities look for an Edison, Einstein or Tesla inside you.


UNLIKE INDIAN centers of excellence, universities in the USA and Europe, look beyond a good GRE/GMAT/SAT score or past scholastic achievements. They look at a candidate’s potential to contribute something new to their area of studies. In other words, foreign schools prefer those who have an innovative and inquisitive mind to explore the area of their studies to emerge as a trend setter. On the other hand, aspirants who run after a degree or the university tag are not as encouraged though for admissions.


REMEMBER, PROFESSORS there are always on the hunt for a great research-oriented mind! Therefore, correspondence with the professor, prior to your application is of utmost importance. After short-listing target schools, students need to write to respective teachers as to why and how their areas of research interest them, and what they can contribute if selected. At the same time, discuss in detail about your projects and academic successes till date.


SO WHAT could be such an ideal thinking scholar? Inter-disciplinary and lateral thinking are considered the two most valuable attributes one can possess to discover a new result by co-relating and inter-relating diverse phenomena across a multitude of platforms.

After sending your application, if you feel that your explanation was not convincing because of your subject knowledge limitations, do not worry. The fact that you intend to logically progress on something you don’t know but can foresee possibilities for co-relating them to arrive at a new conclusion, would reveal your challenging and optimistic mindset. Even Newton had similar views about the falling apple.

Try to show how you have outgrown normal thinking to create projects that were unique and also explain your rationale behind building those. Portray that you are not a crammer, but a lover of resolving knots and bridging new width of knowledge. This would reveal your stamp of innovative excellence.


THE GLOBAL education system perceives that a student with lower grades can perform better than those with higher grades if s/he has genuine interest in the subject. They feel that aptitude brings out passionate thinking which opens up the universe of creative intelligence. This also explains why academic brilliance need not always translate into professional excellence.

The professor, if convinced by your presentation, as a candidate of immense merit for research-oriented academics, may use her/his discretion to grant you substantial financial aid. Over the years, we have observed several candidates receiving substantial financial aid through direct correspondence with professors.

Know your aptitude, use the resources at hand and look for opportunities that will enhance your abilities. This is our advice to all aspiring students.