Hi all, I am a 27 year old engineer from Korea(South). To briefly introduce myself, 1. I was born a Korean, was educated in Korea for my entire life. 2. I have earned a bachelor`s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from one of the top3 universities in Korea. (Though I am skeptical such local reputation may not be taken into account when applying for grad school.) -Graduated in Feb 2015. 3. My TOEFL score is 112 which is way above the minimum requirements. I can speak/read/write English fluently. 4. GPA -> Overall (3.0/4.0 : When converted to the 4.0 scale), Major (3.4/4.0 : When converted to the 4.0 scale) 5. Work/Research experience in the relevant field. (Just for your info, all Korean males must serve two years in the army.) -> Currently I am working as an engineer for a well known multinational corporation in the field of semiconductors since Dec 2014. No additional lab experience, except enrolling in a mandatory course during my last semester. 6. GRE scores -> Since I work only four days a week, I am currently studying for the exam when I`m off. 7. Additional info : I recently got a permanent residence approval in the US. (a.k.a Green card) 8. Grad schools I am interested in : Purdue, UIUC, Georgia tech Okay so my questions are, 1. My GPA score definitely not outstanding compared to the applicants who have been accepted. However, could my TOEFL, GRE, SOP, and recommendation transcripts help me overcome the 'GPA-deficiency' I have? 2. Since I have a permanent residence in the US, does that also mean that I can get a student loan? 3. I don`t have any lab experience and to be honest I am currently working in a high volume manufacturing site as a process engineer. It may be a silly question but would my work experience be acceptible to academic institutions? I`m quite worried that such institutions may value lab experience over work experience even if it is of relevent field. Thank you for reading!