FAQs for Prospective Ghanaian Applicants to Graduate Study in the U.S.
Payments: Application Fees, SEVIS Fees, Tuition and Funding
1. I can’t pay my SEVIS fee from Ghana. Can GRASAG USA help me?
Yes. We understand and your frustration and will be able to help. Please send an email with a copy of your I-20 to firstname.lastname@example.org . GRASAG USA will discuss the details of the payment with you.
2. I have really good credentials but I cannot afford the application fee or to register for the GRE. Can GRASAG USA pay for me?
We do understand that it is difficult for most Ghanaian applicants to pay these fees (especially in dollars) but we do not currently have a scholarship scheme for this. But we do hope to have one in the future to assist prospective applicants. However, we are able to pay the application fees and SEVIS fee on your behalf. You will be required to send in the money for this payment
3. I got admission but with no funding, do you know of how any external source of funding for Ghanaian students in the United States?
Ghanaian students admitted without assistantships or fellowships may apply for GETFUND Scholarship, the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship (whilst in Ghana). You may also check with the Ghana Scholarships secretariat. Unfortunately, on-campus jobs in the U.S. do not provide enough funds to cover the tuition and living expenses and the US embassy in Ghana will require you to provide a proof of funding before granting the visa.
4. Are there schools that don’t require the GRE?
Yes! Check out these links: But confirm with the school if there hasn’t been a change in policy.
5. Are there schools that are free to apply?
Check this out!
Application Process: Status of My Application
1. My Ghanaian university does not use GPA. Can you convert my CWA to U.S GPA?
While we cannot tell exactly what your CWA is, we know that most Ghanaian students didn’t need to convert their CWAs. Individual U.S schools have a way of doing this. Some schools may require you to send your transcripts to professional evaluation bodies— It costs money! But many schools don’t require you to.
2. Can GRASAG USA get me a student in my prospective school to ascertain the status of documents I sent to the school?
While we do not make general inquiries on behalf of students, you may contact a GRASAG USA state rep and discuss this possibility with them via email. Please note that federal or state law may require you to provide a note authorizing the student to receive such information.
3. Can GRASAG USA help me apply for admission?
While GRASAG USA does not collect an applicant’s credentials (such as transcripts, certificates, GRE Scores etc.) in order to apply for admission on their behalf, we are able to respond to general and sometimes specific inquiries regarding applying to study in the United States.
4. I don’t know the status of my application. Efforts to reach the department has proven futile. Can GRASAG USA contact the school on my behalf?
Please note the time differences and possibility of holidays during such times. While a simple google search will reveal this information, GRASAG USA can also help you find out whether the school is on break or is operating at the said times. If emails to the department does not work, you may contact other offices in the school such as the graduate school, the admissions office or international students’ office.
5. I have started the application process; can you connect me with a Ghanaian Student in my prospective school?
Yes. That is why we exist. Please fill in the mentor application form.
Accommodation, Apartments and Rent
1. I have my visa now. Can you help me secure accommodation?
We do not advise students to finalize accommodation arrangements before arrival unless they are deeply convinced about their choice. US housing arrangements are medium to long-term contracts. Often, a tenant has to be in a contract to live in the apartment for not less than 6 months. As a result, we advise you to arrive on campus and see the apartment for yourself before you seal the deal. Schools often provide international students with temporary residence for a day or two as they finalize their arrangements. Contact us if you have any more questions.
2. What is a good price to pay for an apartment?
The price of an apartment may depend on several factors. Most importantly, price increases with, the location of school (if it is in a city) closeness to the school campus, fewer number of co-tenants, being furnished and availability of private bathrooms and inclusion of utility bills. However, the good price to pay will depend on your own finances. Are your stipends able to cover the costs and leave you something for an emergency? From our understanding, most Ghanaian students like to economize.
3. What are the right questions to ask about an apartment?
How many minutes’ walk is it from the campus? (If you have the address, you can confirm this on google maps). You don’t want to be walking for 20 minutes to pick up an item you forgot when it is -23 degrees Celsius! How many people share the living room, the kitchen and the bathroom? Is it a non-smoking apartment? Does the rent include utility bills? What’s the minimum number of months for a lease— the smaller the better. Is it furnished (does it have a bed, couch, etc.). What is a typical electric bill during winter? Ask us if you have any questions!
After My Degree What Next?
1. What do Ghanaian Students in the U.S do after graduation?
Many Ghanaian undergraduates go on to obtain graduate degrees (Master’s and PhDs) and some find jobs in their fields. However, PhD graduates often find jobs as professors in the United States or in industry or return home to serve mother Ghana. It is our wish that many of us will serve mother Ghana— one way or the other.
2. Can I work during the holidays or after graduation?
Yes. Federal laws allow all international students on valid student visas to undertake paid and unpaid internships if they meet the eligibility requirements for the Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) During the course of their program. Upon completion of a program of study, a student may also apply for the one-year Optional Practical Training (OPT) which allows you to work. Please check with your school to confirm your eligibility.
3. Can I easily get a job after graduating?
No! You CAN’T easily get a job. Just like any other country, you have to apply for jobs, go for interviews and if the company finds you a good fit they may employ you. Note, visa sponsorship requirements (federal immigration law) make many international students unattractive to many US companies.
4. Can you connect me to Ghanaians working in industry for mentoring relationships?
Yes. GRASAG USA is still building a database of Ghanaian professionals in the USA. While we cannot guarantee linking you to someone it is our hope to be able to link every single Ghanaian student to a mentor. Feel free to find out from us if we can help you. A simple google search may also give you more information.
-Ahmed Salim Nuhu
(Interim Financial Secretary, GRASAG-USA)