Highlights of international graduate student counseling

Stanford University. Image: Rao Advisors.

What do you get as part of individual counseling? 

Pricing information on this page applies to students pursuing Master's degrees in STEM fields and MBA programs that only require a Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose (SOP). It does not apply to MS or MBA programs that require multiple essays, MS/PhD joint programs, or PhD programs - for these students, our Tier-B per-hour charge and terms and conditions apply.  

Summary: Up to 1½ hours of one-on-one counseling in a private, secure video conferencing environment.  [No free introductory counseling minutes].  We make extensive use of Google Apps for Business in the cloud and email.  All interactions are secured using 128-bit encryptionOur package fee, which includes all the services indicated by the bullet points below and the development of one Master SOP, is $599.

[In some cases - such as changes of major - it is difficult to finalize an SOP for the above fee and additional hours of service may have to be purchased. An example is of someone who has received admission to an MS degree in Computer Engineering, but wants to pursue an MS degree in Computer Science instead. Understanding the differences between the two is a crucial first step. See the last bullet item in this section].

Payment terms are half upfront before our first call and the balance before we release your SOP. We only accept credit card payments from international clients and our bank assesses a 4.9% transaction fee.

  • Branding:  We will help you define your profile and interests, identify your higher education needs and evaluate other options.  For example, if you are a Mechanical Engineer, should you be studying in Germany where tuition is free?   

  • Field Selection Strategies (i.e. map interests to careers):  We provide advice regarding the field of study that best exploits US market conditions.  For example, should you consider a Professional Science Masters program in the US?  Which industries are hot?  What are work visa restrictions?  For example, it is not a good idea to pursue Aerospace Engineering because many jobs require US citizenship.

  • Find US States and regions that are economically strong:  Not all US states are equal.  We will help you find company concentrations and job clusters in hot states and regions.  The premise is that if you are educated at a college nearby, you will become a local candidate with specific skills and thereby more easily get an internship or a job.

  • Find Colleges: We will counsel you on college selection of up to 12 schools using a combination of your profile, hot regions, college rankings and desired course availability - diversified into three groups (dream, core and safe).  [If the only assistance you want from us is our college shortlisting and selection service, our price is one hour our Tier-A rate. This is an offline service so there are no audio or video communications with the client.]

  • Subjective Criteria Strategies: We will counsel you on how to write strong SOPs and optimize your recommendation letter strategies.  We provide advice regarding composing resumes and cover letters, including providing you with free templates to make it easier.

  • Work Flow and Task Plan: We will provide you with a detailed checklist of when to do what until you are ready to apply for your visa. This website from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is an excellent resource for visa information. We will also provide two detailed original presentations with all the information you need to be successful.  Most slides are linked to our website for additional detail.

  • Statement of Purpose (SOP) Review:  We will professionally review and make offline edits to no more than three essay revisions for the master SOP.  Note that your SOPs will only be reviewed by our founder, Rajkamal Rao, who is an accomplished author of 4 books.  We don't review cover letters and resumes. Some restrictions apply.

    Other SOP-related services

    If the only assistance you need from us is to review your master SOP, our fees are two hours at our Tier-A rate. Our SOP product is 100% tailor-made to your profile. We use Grammarly Premium to edit your essays for correctness, clarity, engagement, and delivery - and for plagiarism checks.

    You will also get all of our flagship guides including how to first compose a strong first draft of an SOP, how to successfully apply to U.S. graduate schools, and how to pursue higher education in Europe and Commonwealth countries. This is an offline service so there are no audio or video communications with the client.

    Our terms are simple. As soon as you submit your profile, we will bill you for half the payment. Once we receive confirmation of payment, we will send you our guides. If you have selected the Find Colleges option, we will send you this information within 24 hours.

    As soon as you send us your first draft of your SOP, we will bill you for the second half of the payment. We will begin the work and inform you that we're ready with the product - within 48 hours during the workweek and 72 hours over the weekend. We are often able to work faster than this window.

    You pay the balance and we release the product to you as soon as we receive confirmation of payment.

    We only accept credit card payments from international clients and our bank assesses a 4.9% transaction fee.

  • Additional Hours:  You can buy additional hours of counseling (including for visa advice) at our Tier-A rate
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