Navigating the Ballot Box: Understanding US Elections and Admission Policies for Indian and International Students
Request Sent Successfully
Something Went Wrong

Navigating the Ballot Box: Understanding US Elections and Admission Policies for Indian and International Students

Admission Counselling :
  • Written by UnivAdmitHelp
  • Category: Insights & Information
  • Published on 23 May 2024

Navigating the Ballot Box: Understanding US Elections and Admission Policies for Indian and International Students

As Indian high school students dream of studying in the United States, it's vital to grasp the basics of US elections and university admission policies. Let's break it down:

Understanding US Elections:

  • What's the fuss about? In the US, citizens vote for their leaders, from the President to local representatives. It's like choosing class monitors, but on a bigger scale!
  • Presidential Elections: Happen every four years. The President leads the country and influences education and immigration policies.
  • Congressional Elections: Occur every two years. Members of Congress make laws that affect everything from student visas to financial aid.

Navigating Admission Policies:

  • What do colleges want? Good grades, test scores (like SAT or ACT), and involvement in activities outside of class. Plus, they'll want to hear your story through essays and letters of recommendation.
  • International Student Requirements: If you're from India or another country, you may need to prove your English skills with tests like TOEFL or IELTS.

Impact of US Elections on Education and Immigration Policies:

  • Why does it matter? Changes in US leadership can mean changes in rules for students. New laws might affect visas, scholarships, or jobs after graduation.
  • Stay in the Loop: Keep an eye on the news and how it might affect your plans. Knowing what's happening can help you prepare for any changes.

Pattern: Changes in Visa Policies for Indian Students

Effect of Democrats Winning:

  • Example: When Democrats won the presidency and majority in Congress in 2008, under President Barack Obama's administration.
  • Policy Change: The Obama administration introduced the STEM OPT (Optional Practical Training) extension, allowing international students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields to work in the US for an additional 17 months after graduation, enhancing opportunities for Indian students pursuing STEM degrees.
  • Effect: Indian students studying STEM subjects could gain valuable work experience in the US, increasing their attractiveness to employers and potentially leading to opportunities for long-term employment or immigration.

Effect of Republicans Winning:

  • Example: When Republicans won the presidency and majority in Congress in 2016, under President Donald Trump's administration.
  • Policy Change: The Trump administration proposed changes to the H-1B visa program, which is popular among Indian professionals seeking skilled employment in the US. These changes included raising minimum wage requirements and prioritising visa allocation based on salary levels, potentially making it more challenging for Indian students to secure H-1B visas after graduation.
  • Effect: Indian students faced increased uncertainty and competition for H-1B visas, as the proposed changes could limit their ability to obtain work authorization and pursue career opportunities in the US after completing their studies.

Impact on Indian Students:

  • These examples illustrate how changes in US elections can directly impact visa policies affecting Indian students. Depending on the political party in power, policies may be enacted or altered, influencing the ease of obtaining work authorization and opportunities for employment in the US after graduation.
  • Understanding these patterns can help Indian students make informed decisions about their education and career paths, considering potential changes in visa policies based on the outcome of US elections.

In a Nutshell:


Given that countries are struggling to provide jobs to all prospective candidates even within the country, and there is an imminent slowdown, in general, irrespective of the ballot outcomes, prospects for international students are likely to remain highly competitive.

Understanding US elections and admission policies is like learning the rules of a game. The more you know, the better you can play!  Stay informed, keep a close eye on the ballot box.