USA University Help..Please?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by nerdy/asif, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. nerdy/asif macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #1
    Hi Guys & Girls,

    I'm looking for a bit of help about USA universities. Hopefully someone can give me a hand..

    I really want to attend university in the states, and I'm trying to find the best way to do it. I've enrolled in an 'American University' based in the UK, named Richmond (http://www.richmond.ac.uk). From my research it seems to be accredited in both the US & UK. It's my intention to attend Richmond for a year, then transfer to a US university. I figured this would be best because I'll be studying US-style already, and it may make me a more attractive transfer student..

    My problem comes with transfers. Harvard isn't taking any transfers this september or next september either. Stanford tells me their transfer acceptance rate is just 1.5%. Practically impossible IMHO.

    I'm taking AP & SAT exams in the next few months to beef up my application. I've also got good UK A-Level & GCSE grades.

    I just wanted to ask - if I take a year of university here, can I apply as a freshman next year and forfeit what I've done so far? Because to me it seems easier to enter as a new (freshman) international student as opposed to an international transfer student.

    Any ideas what the best path for me to take is? I've even looked into taking a PG year. But that seems a little extreme.

    So, basically, my question - can I take a year of university here and then apply as a freshman next year?

    I really hope you guys/girls can help me!

    Thanks,
    nerdy/asif
     
  2. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #2
    Transferring credits is completely optional. You should however expand your search for schools outside of the IVY league, as it is very hard to get into anyway. Check out "US World and News Report" rankings of US Colleges and Universities to find ones who are best in the subject you want to study, or has the best program (such as those with manditory internships throughout your career at the school, such as Kettering University) that fits your situation.

    TEG
     
  3. JurgenWigg macrumors 6502

    JurgenWigg

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Location:
    Delaware
    #3
    Typically schools are looking for students that they can have from start to finish, so transfer acceptance rates are generally lower all around to begin with. Applying to Ivy League schools that typically accept under 20%, i think Harvard may be under 10%, I'm not surprised that they aren't accepting transfers.

    I think you need to re-evaluate right now. Transfer credits are beneficial, you don't have to explain not graduating in 4 years, lost time, so on and so fourth. You need to see if you're looking at these prestigious schools because of their name or because of the quality of education. If you're looking for an excellent quality of education, there's a whole lot more schools out there that are on the same level educationally as Harvard, Yale, Princeton etc, with a lower pricetag and a better chance of transferring in.

    As to what school, well, depends on what you want to study. Different schools are good for different programs. If I wanted to study in music performance, I'd choose a school like Oberlin far before I picked a school like Harvard.
     
  4. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #4
    Also, US Universities are a great deal more expensive than UK universities. Furthermore, as a non US citizen you will probably not be eligible for most of the scholarships/financial aid awards that the university offers.
     
  5. nerdy/asif thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #5
    Thanks for the replies folks.

    In terms of the universities I'm applying to, I think I have the capabilities to attend an Ivy League - but it's not the be all and end all. I'm definitely going to explore other options too. It's just that if I can..I'd like to go to an Ivy League college. If not, at least I can say I tried.

    With regards to transfer vs freshman entry, surely going to a top class university will cancel out the one year added to my studying time [if i do have to enter as a freshman]? It doesn't bother me too much, hopefully employers in the future will understand my reasons for doing it too..

    I guess even if I don't get to attend my first choice college now, I can try later for grad school..

    swiftaw, thanks for the info about pricing. I know to go to university here is a lot less - about £3k/year, but the way I see it - this experience is one I can only have once. Being young, living in dorms, being free and far away from home - I really don't want to do it in the UK! (much much as I love it ;)) Thankfully and fortunately I'm not paying for it myself so I won't be absolutely crippled with £100,000 worth of debt when I'm done :/
     
  6. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

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    Nov 11, 2005
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    Stuck in the middle with you
    #6
    Transferring credits is optional, but most schools require you to submit transcripts for any college credits you've earned. You may not need to transfer them to another school, but they'll want to know about it. Having earned past college credit may hinder your chances of being admitted as a freshman.
     
  7. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #7
    Many private universities in the US outside of the eight ives are great. Also publics like Berkeley, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and UCLA are top notch.

    Petersen's, the Princeton Review, and the Gourman Report are great resources for looking at quality educational programs based on curriculum. US News and Businessweek have rankings largely based on name recognition, reputation and popularity. I suggest looking at all these resources. In the working world, HR people, like I once was, will know of the newsstand sources. In the world of education and research, the other ranking sources are used and respected more.

    The very top schools will usually rank pretty decently in all rankings.
     
  8. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

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    #8
    Lots and lots of people have the "capability" to attend an ivy school, but not everyone gets in. There's a whole tier of schools that are sometimes jokingly called "Ivy Rejects", where students who wanted to go to an Ivy and didn't get in ended up. In New England where Harvard is, for example, I can think of a few: Tufts, Amherst, Brandeis, Wesleyan, BC.

    The point is that honestly if you pick up a copy of US News and World Reports college rankings, and look at the top ~30-35 schools, you're looking at some of the best the US has to offer for all-around education. I'd lay heavy odds that you could cold call students at all non-ivy schools in the top 35, and the vast majority applied to at least one Ivy, and probably were qualified to attend, but didn't get in, and so ended up at their next choice. Also, smaller schools and schools that are looking for diversity might be more willing to accept an international transfer student.

    I'm not trying to stomp on your Ivy dreams. I will fully admit I applied to Brown early decision (this is back in 1999, mind you) and was waitlisted then rejected. I went to Brandeis and don't regret for an instant the education or experience, and never thought "if only I'd gotten into an Ivy." Keep your options open and good luck!
     
  9. adroit macrumors 6502

    adroit

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    Victoria, BC
    #9
    I don't think studying in the US curriculum is going to help you much since every universities have their own curriculum anyway.

    I think what might help you the most is to enroll in top UK universities (ie Oxford, Cambridge). If they can see that you're coming from a UK university that they consider to be a top tier school then I think even Harvard will take a second look at your transfer application.
     
  10. guifa macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Auburn, AL
    #10
    £3k a year? That's more expensive than in the US! In-state tuition here is still under $6k a year at the three primary universities (UA, UAB, and AU). (At U Madrid Autónoma I think I'll be paying about 400€ next year :p)

    If you're planning on going to grad school, do yourself a favor and DON'T go to an Ivy league for undergrad. You'll accumulate a good bit of debt, and especially if you go to what they call "underrepresented areas" for undergrad, you have a better chance of getting into an Ivy school for a graduate program. Pretty much everyone I know with a decent GPA (not even necessarily a 4.0) but involved and with good GRE scores, etc, got into the MA/PhD/MS programs of their choice out of my alma mater, including to Ivy leagues. And the best part is, most universities pay you to go to grad school, so you save the money and get the name recognition in the end (once you have a masters, people don't tend to ask you about your where you got your undergrad, and once you have your doctorate, they tend not to ask where you got your masters either)
     
  11. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

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    Manchester UK
    #11
    That was my initial though. If you are accurate in saying that you could attend a top Ivy League school then you should look to get into the top universities in the UK. Plus, I'd never even heard of Richmond until just now!
     
  12. nerdy/asif thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2008
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    London
    #12
    The only reason I think I'm capable is because when I was at school there was only a few of us they referred for oxbridge interview - I was young and stupid and turned it down because I wanted to get a 'taste' of the real world! Biggest mistake ever, because everybody they sent for interviews, got a place. Plus, whenever in my life I've actually tried at working hard, it's paid off.

    Richmond is somewhere I picked solely because of the American slant. And because it's private it's a lot less hassle and paperwork to get in. [seeing as i want to start in a month].

    I think going to Richmond and then transferring next fall is going to be near impossible. I think I may be better of doing something productive with my time (some AP exams, volunteer work, who knows). All of this will hopefully help build up my application for next fall..
     
  13. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

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    #13
    So you're thinking of taking a year off from schooling entirely? If you do that, MAKE SURE you do something really great; an internship, a worthwhile volunteering assignment, etc. It has to be very good though...if you're worried about getting into a top school as a transfer student, it's going to be much more difficult if it looks like you spent one day a week fluffing old people's pillows and six days a week playing video games.
     
  14. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

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    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #14
    As the poster above said, I wouldn't take a year out completely unless you are going to do something. The worst thing to have on your CV or application is a completely blank period.

    I guess though, if you want to start this year you are way to late for Oxbridge and the general UCAS system in general. Have you considered the idea of entering a university through the clearing system. I'm not sure how likely you are to get into Cambridge, but I bet York, Durham etc have some places available.

    If you want to go to Richmond and they are still taking applications I would still say that is an option, no matter what people here (including me) say. Just don't end up sitting around doing nothing! You will regret that.
     
  15. nerdy/asif thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #15
    Indeed, a big gap is something that would be hard to explain. Unless I go abroad and start building schools or something!

    I think I've decided to take a year of Richmond and transfer to Oxbridge next september. I'll try for the US uni's in September too, but I doubt they'll take me! Guess I'll have to go there for grad school or something..

    So, off to Richmond I go. Then, two weeks later time to start applying to Oxbridge (again). my gosh, applying for universities is such a pain!
     

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