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PhD School Suggestion; MS Complete


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I am completing my MS (with project option) from an university of Ohio, USA in Fall 2014 with a GPA of 3.84 (may change a little after 6 more hours); with major field in power systems. My undergrad GPA was 2.87 (class top 3.99) from Bangladesh. 
GRE- V-150, Q-168, A-3.0
TOEFL- 104 (R-29,L-27,S-22,W-26)

I need to apply for the spring 2015 semester and I am selecting schools from USNews Grad Engineering ranking. Looking for schools ranked 80 and plus (as I also need funding). I have selected the following--
1. West Virginia
2. Arlington, Texas
3. South Carolina -- [it's ranked 94; but still guess it would be too good foe me]
4. Clarkson
5. Uo Kentucky
6. Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
7. Marquette Univ. 
8. Vermont, Maine

9. Arkansas (Fayetteville )

I know all of these are low ranked schools for PhD, but I'm kinda afraid of Big Schools. Anybody have some other suggestions of any other schools. Please suggest. Thanks a lot in advance.

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If your focus is power systems, then you may want to consider CU Boulder, UIUC and Virginia Tech. These universities all have strong Power Electronics programs.  However you should be aware that the deadline for the Spring 2015 semester is September 1 for all three universities, if you want to be fully considered for funding.


Are you are worried about your legal status after you finish your Master's after the 2014 Fall semester? Is that why you are focusing on the schools that have Spring admissions? Have you also looked into Optional Practice Training (OPT)?

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Actually I am targeting mid ranked schools. Thanks for your suggestion though. All three school you mentioned seems a little too good for me. 


I know I can go for OPT. Just dont want to waste time from Jan 2015 to the start of fall 15, 

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