How Much GRE Score is Required for Scholarships in USA for Indian Students? The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test required for admission into many graduate programs in the United States and other English-speaking countries. A good GRE score is essential for Indian students looking to secure scholarships and financial aid to study in the USA. With the high cost of overseas education, scholarships can help reduce the financial burden significantly. This comprehensive guide will provide Indian students with complete information on the GRE scores needed for scholarships in American universities.
The GRE is conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to assess a test taker’s verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills. It is a computer-based exam taken by thousands of students every year who wish to pursue their postgraduate education abroad.
A high GRE score is considered positively by most US universities during the admission process and can improve an applicant’s chances of securing merit-based financial aid. However, ETS itself does not offer any scholarships or rewards for good GRE scores. The various scholarships and assistantships are provided directly by the universities and external organizations.
Therefore, Indian students should aim for a competitive GRE score to qualify for university-sponsored financial assistance and significantly lower the cost of their overseas education. Scoring well requires thorough preparation over several months using reliable study resources and mock tests.
This guide will provide a detailed overview of the types of GRE scholarships available, important factors considered, minimum scores required, and tips to improve your chances of securing financial aid for studies in America.
Types of GRE Scholarships for Indian Students
There are several types of university and external scholarships that Indian students can avail based on their GRE performance:
1. Merit-Based University Scholarships
Most US universities offer merit scholarships to high-achieving international applicants who demonstrate academic excellence. These are awarded based on grades, test scores, research potential, and overall profile.
A high GRE score is often the primary criteria for merit-based aid and can make you eligible for partial or full tuition fee waivers. The award amount and requirements vary across different programs and institutions.
2. Need-Based Financial Aid
Some universities provide need-based scholarships for international students from disadvantaged backgrounds who require financial assistance. These evaluate your family income, assets, and overall financial need rather than just academic merit.
You may still have to submit GRE scores above a certain cutoff for need-based aid consideration at some universities. The amount awarded depends on your financial circumstances.
3. External Scholarships
Reputed organizations like the Fulbright Program, Rhodes Scholarship, and Scholarships for Indian Students offer full or partial scholarships for postgraduate studies in the US. These have their own eligibility criteria including academic grades, test scores, research achievements, and recommendation letters.
A high GRE score improves your chances if it is an important requirement as per the provider’s guidelines. You need to apply separately on their website or portal to be considered.
4. Teaching/Research Assistantships
Many universities provide teaching assistant (TA) and research assistant (RA) positions to graduate students which come with partial or full tuition fee waivers. You need to have sufficient subject-matter knowledge and good GRE scores to qualify for these assistant roles.
TAs support faculty in teaching classes while RAs help professors with ongoing research projects in their department. These provide excellent financial aid as well as valuable work experience.
Key Factors Considered for GRE Scholarships
While your GRE score is important, it is not the only criteria used to award scholarships. Universities and external agencies evaluate various aspects of your overall profile and background when deciding scholarship recipients including:
- Academic grades and transcripts – Your undergraduate percentage, honors, and academic achievements influence your chances. A consistent record of academic excellence is preferred.
- Letters of recommendation – Strong LoRs from professors highlighting your skills, achievements, and research potential can improve success probability.
- Statement of purpose – A compelling, focused SOP explaining your goals and interests related to the program can make your application stand out.
- Relevant work experience or internships – Prior exposure to research projects or the field of study gives you an edge over fresh graduates.
- Extracurricular activities – Awards, leadership roles, community service etc help show you are a promising, well-rounded candidate.
- Financial need – For need-based aid, your financial circumstances are evaluated to determine award eligibility and amount.
Minimum GRE Scores Needed for Scholarships
The GRE score required to be eligible for scholarships in US universities depends on factors like the program you are applying for, university rankings, and degree of competition.
- Verbal Reasoning – 165+
- Quantitative Reasoning – 165+
- Analytical Writing – 5.0+
Ivy League colleges like Harvard, Stanford, MIT have very high cutoffs with average scores above 320. Candidates with less than 165 have lower scholarship chances.
- Verbal Reasoning – 160+
- Quantitative Reasoning – 160+
- Analytical Writing – 4.5+
Reputed public universities have more reasonable cutoffs around 160. Private colleges also prefer scores above this range for scholarship eligibility.
- Verbal Reasoning – 155+
- Quantitative Reasoning – 155+
- Analytical Writing – 4.0+
Lower ranked colleges provide scholarships to students scoring above 150. Some universities may even offer assistantships for 145+ scores based on other profile factors.
Top organizations like Fulbright, Rhodes, etc. mostly require scores similar to good universities. However, each scholarship has its own GRE requirements which vary.
Though these figures provide a rough idea, check the official website and contact the university financial aid office to learn their specific minimum scores for scholarships. Do not rely entirely on unofficial third-party estimates.
How to Improve GRE Score for Scholarships
Here are some useful tips to help Indian students prep effectively and maximize their GRE score:
- Start preparation early – Begin studying 4-6 months in advance using prep books and online resources. Spending several weeks understanding concepts and solving practice questions is vital.
- Take mock tests – Appear for official practice tests in the ETS GRE book as well as free tests online. These will help gauge your progress and identify weak areas.
- Improve vocabulary – Learn new words daily, understand roots/prefixes/suffixes, and take quizzes to expand your vocabulary which is key for verbal reasoning.
- Strengthen quantitative skills – Review basic math concepts including algebra, geometry, trigonometry, etc. Master formulas and learn shortcut techniques.
- Seek expert guidance – Take coaching classes or get private tutoring to learn useful test strategies that can significantly boost your score.
- Give multiple attempts – APPEAR for the GRE more than once over several months if your score is below your target. This helps improve familiarity and accuracy.
Dedicate sufficient time specifically towards GRE prep using the right mix of books, online material, mock exams, and coaching to achieve a high score necessary for scholarships.
Application Process for GRE Scholarships
Follow these steps to apply for university scholarships:
- Research university websites – Check the financial aid section to find available scholarship types, criteria, and application procedure.
- Contact university departments – Get in touch with the graduate program department to learn more about scholarships offered for admitted students.
- Send GRE scores – Submit your official GRE score report to all target universities before their application deadline.
- Fill application forms – Provide all required information accurately including academic grades, test scores, references, essays etc.
- Follow up post-application – Contact the department again after a few weeks regarding the status of your scholarship application.
Additionally, apply separately to external scholarship providers through their portals and keep track of various deadlines.
A good GRE score enhances Indian students’ chances of securing merit-based scholarships and financial assistance at American universities. By scoring above the minimum required levels and having a strong overall profile, you can substantially reduce the cost of your postgraduate education abroad.
Aim for GRE scores of 160+ for good universities and 165+ for top colleges to become eligible for scholarships and assistantships. Prepare thoroughly starting 4-6 months in advance using reliable prep resources. Research university websites, contact departments, and apply well before deadlines.
Scholarships allow deserving students to access world-class education by overcoming financial constraints. With sound planning and diligent effort, Indian students can achieve the required GRE scores to avail these beneficial awards.
FAQs on GRE Scores for Scholarships
Q1. How is the GRE exam scored?
The GRE has three sections – verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing.
- Verbal and quant are scored on a 130-170 scale in 1 point increments.
- The analytical writing section is scored from 0-6 in half point increments.
A combined score of above 320 is considered very good by most universities.
Here are some additional FAQs related to GRE scores and scholarships:
Q2. Which universities offer GRE scholarships?
Some leading US universities offering GRE scholarships include Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Columbia, Yale, UPenn, Cornell, Duke, UChicago, Northwestern, UCLA, UC Berkeley, University of Michigan etc.
Q3. How do I find scholarships I can apply for?
- Research university websites thoroughly for available options
- Use scholarship search platforms like Scholly and UniScholar
- Check external scholarship providers like Fulbright, Rhodes, etc
- Contact university graduate departments directly to inquire
Q4. Does a perfect GRE score guarantee me a scholarship?
No, a 340/340 GRE score does not automatically qualify you for scholarships. Universities consider various factors like academic grades, research potential, achievements etc besides just GRE scores.
Q5. How much weightage does GRE have for scholarships?
The GRE is often the first filter when shortlisting scholarship applicants. A high score is necessary but not solely sufficient. Your overall profile and strengths are evaluated holistically while making final selections.
Q6. Can I submit my GRE score after getting admission?
Ideally your official GRE score must be submitted before the admission application deadline. However, some universities allow submitting missing scores after admission up till a certain date.
Q7. How do I send my GRE scores to universities?
You can send additional official GRE score reports directly to universities through your ETS account. Select the desired institutions and pay the relevant fees to have your scores delivered.
Q8. Is the GRE similar to the SAT?
No, the GRE is an exam for master’s and Ph.D admissions while the SAT is taken by high school students for undergraduate admissions. The GRE tests advanced verbal, quant and writing skills required for graduate programs.
Q9. How long is the GRE score valid for?
GRE scores are valid for up to 5 years from the test date. However, some universities consider scores valid only for 2-3 years so check their official policies. Taking the test again can renew your score validity.
Q10. Can I submit only my best GRE scores?
You can decide which test administrations to send score reports from. Universities consider the highest scores if you submit multiple attempts. However, they can still access all your attempts if required.
- High GRE scores enhance chances of getting merit scholarships in US universities.
- Aim for 165+ in Verbal and Quant for Ivy League and top colleges.
- Apart from GRE, grades, research potential and achievements also matter.
- Prepare thoroughly starting 4-6 months in advance using prep resources.
- Research university websites and contact departments about aid options.
- Apply well before deadline and follow up post application.