We all have certain phases in life where we fail to give our 100% for some reason. Some get it earlier in life, while some get it later. For me that phase was university. I could not get good grades in my computer engineering. To be honest, I got 71% which is first division (80% above is counted as a distinction) so I won't call it a bad grade, but it's not the level I would have achieved if I had given it 100%. (That's what I believe and although I might be wrong, that's why I am seeking for a way to validate my knowledge again).

I want some form of scholarship (a 50% scholarship, for example, would be great help) for a Master of Science in the United States. The subjects that I intend to study are "computer networks" "distributed systems" "Linux systems", and so on. ... Something related to the computer science of system and network administration.

How can I demonstrate my knowledge?

We have a few interesting tests in Nepal:

  • Engineering License Exam.

  • Public Service Commission Exam.

In the engineering license exam, they don't show your grades, but you pass if you get 50% or above. It's an objective based entrance exam.

In the Public Service Commission Exam (used for admission to the Public Service/Civil Service), you are asked both subjective and objective questions and I genuinely think it can be a good way to validate my knowledge . The Public Service Commission Exams are probably the toughest thing here. But I don't think any universities in USA will take it seriously.

I don't think I've resources for writing a research paper. (I assume by research paper you've to find something totally new that's why I find it complicated).

I am working as a System Administrator and doing well there, but I don't think that's relevant at all.

I've a working repo of Computer Science Topics that I immerse myself into in github that I learn regularly, but neither do I think it carries even 2 cents of weight.

A Masters degree in Nepal could be an option, but I don't really want to waste years studying in Nepal. The learning environment is not great here. It is impossible to even find books (physical books I mean) and, especially for a Masters degree, the resources are negligible.

From what I see, IELTS and GRE are my only option. But I don't think even a good GRE result can compete with a half decent grades.

Am I overthinking? Any solutions?

  • 1
    Perhaps you are capable of being a good student, but your record shows you did not perform as one. The question is why not?
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 10 at 16:14
  • 8
    MS scholarships are extremely rare in the US. You are expected to pay for it with your increased future earnings. I would set that plan aside.
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 10 at 18:27
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    @barnyard9 Individual programs will have information on their funding opportunities - that's where you should look. The "percentage scholarship" is not a very useful measurement because some US schools (private schools in particular) have far higher tuition rates that few students actually pay; it doesn't really matter if you have a 50% scholarship if tuition is 3-4X an equivalent public university.
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 11 at 13:48
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    @barnyard9 You mentioned partial scholarships which are common at private schools where no one except wealthy international students actually pays full tuition, which is why I mentioned that. I'm not going to collect information from hundreds of universities for you. The people up voting my comment are likely doing so because they are also aware this is how it works in the US. Go to the specific programs you want to apply to and see what they say about scholarships for master's students.
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 11 at 13:54
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    academia.stackexchange.com/q/38712/63475 is another post with a question about masters funding in the US.
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 11 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


There're a few ways:

  • You can explain the hindering circumstances in the statement of purpose.
  • You can get your recommenders to explain it.
  • You can cite kickass work experience.

IELTS is nothing, it just demonstrates English competency. GRE is something, especially if your field has a subject GRE, but not much.

Just be warned that the hindering circumstances need to be temporary & something most people will sympathize with, you need to show that they're really behind you, and perhaps most importantly, there are few MS scholarships in the US. PhD scholarships are common, but not MS ones.

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