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NZ student applying to US uni's

Penguins23Penguins23 3 replies2 threads New Member
edited May 14 in International Students
Hi,

I'm from NZ but have US citizenship. So I'm just wondering how things will pan out for me. Things like: tuition fees, Do I pay out of state or in-state fees? When do I go to college since my school year does align with the American school year?

If you know anything about anything that might be of use for my situation please let me know!

Thanks.
edited May 14
19 replies
Post edited by CCEdit_Suraj on
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Replies to: NZ student applying to US uni's

  • Sam-I-AmSam-I-Am 670 replies25 threads Member
    Expect to pay out of state tuition at state schools as a US citizen living abroad. Private schools don't give in-state discounts. School here starts in the fall (some as early as August), though this year the start at some schools may be pushed back (or even moved online) due to COVID. School here is much more expensive than Uni in NZ. You might seek to establish residence in a US state to save money before applying, but you would have to know which schools you were interested in and which state(s)...and there may be restrictions on that.

    You could also consider studying in the US for a semester or a year if a school at home in NZ appeals to you. My daughter enjoyed a semester at Canterbury.
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15787 replies1056 threads Senior Member
    To establish residency in a state you would generally have to live in that state for a full year while not enrolled in any university. The vast majority of freshmen start in late August or early September. Many schools allow students to start in January but you may be out of sync with the majority of other freshmen. The elite privates may not allow a January start.

    What schools are you considering?
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  • Sam-I-AmSam-I-Am 670 replies25 threads Member
    There are a few top schools, like Middlebury, that have a path for students to start their college career after the majority of students have been on campus for a semester. Middlebury's program starts in February and there will be a good sized group starting at that time with the college providing an excellent program for them to bond before they start classes.
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 2151 replies21 threads Senior Member
    “To establish residency in a state you would generally have to live in that state for a full year while not enrolled in any university.“

    Not just live there but be self-supporting, otherwise state residency is generally based on where your parents live. There are two exceptions, Utah and Missouri, which allow you to gain residency while in college. Utah requires a year of physical presence in the state (not leaving for more than 28 days) plus a few other things.

    Even at instate rates US universities are quite expensive, potentially $25K per year or more including living expenses and you won’t be eligible to borrow more than a small proportion of that. So do you have a plan to pay for your college costs?
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15787 replies1056 threads Senior Member
    As a general rule states that make it easy to get in state tuition are not home to the most desirable state schools.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43229 replies471 threads Senior Member
    You apply during your Winter, as soon as apps are available, that is, July-January, then you complete your schooling and have several months to do whatever you want (beside taking college classes).
    You're probably better off with state schools that offer merit scholarships for your stats and private schools.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 30752 replies197 threads Senior Member
    You should get in touch with the EducationUSA advising center that is closest to where you live. If none of the counselors there have worked with a US citizen recently, they have colleagues at other locations who have. They will know the process for students applying from NZ secondary schools and can give you some useful advice. https://educationusa.state.gov/find-advising-center?field_region_target_id=&field_country_target_id=291&field_center_level_value=All

    Wishing you all the best!
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6537 replies1 threads Senior Member
    Since you live in NZ, you would be out of state for nearly all public universities in the US. Private universities might or might not provide need based financial aid and/or merit aid depending upon your personal circumstances.

    Even being a US citizen, it is not clear that universities in the US would be as affordable as universities in NZ, or in Australia, or in some other countries.

    I recall hearing from someone from North America who was admitted to a university in Australia but ran into the same problem with the school years not aligning. He ended up staying in North America for this reason. Some schools here do allow a January start, but there is a good chance that you might end up taking half of a gap year if you wanted to attend university here. The other issue is that when you get acceptances to US schools might not align with when you get acceptances to schools in NZ (or Australia), so you will probably need to decide whether to attend a specific school on one side of the world without knowing what acceptances and what financial aid you will be getting from the other side of the world.
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  • Penguins23Penguins23 3 replies2 threads New Member
    No financial plan at the moment. Probably a student loan. I will apply for many scholarships and whatnot - will be heavily relying on that. I'm not really sure what my citizenship really provides in terms of financial aid.
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  • Penguins23Penguins23 3 replies2 threads New Member
    Aw thank you so much. A huge help!
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7899 replies84 threads Senior Member
    ..what my citizenship really provides in terms of financial aid
    .

    Short answer is: nothing. It's the same most places- tax residency > citizenship for financial aid, b/c it's taxpayers who pay for the subsidy for financial aid.

    What it *does* get you is seriously improved admissions chances, and if you test well that can get you substantial aid. Look for lists of 'automatic' scholarships- Alabama and South Carolina are two states with strong discounts for high grades and test scores, but there are others.

    Similarly, if you are a very strong student there are some great scholarships out there, and being a US citizen means more of them are open to you. But: they are competitive.

    Finances are the key to university education in the US.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13628 replies32 threads Senior Member
    edited May 14
    Citizenship will allow you to borrow some loans, but those won't be enough to cover tuition + R&B virtually anywhere.

    You need to figure out how much your parents will be willing to pay or if you can get scholarships (best achievable ones usually school-specific).
    edited May 14
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43229 replies471 threads Senior Member
    What's your EFC?
    Would you be ok moving to Utah or Missouri? Both states make it easy to become a resident.
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  • Penguins23Penguins23 3 replies2 threads New Member
    I live with my single mum. I'm not sure if that provides an advantage in terms of finances.

    I have been thinking of finishing my last year of high school in America. I'm not sure if it's worth it though. It would mean I would have a GPA for my record, US residency and whatnot. However, it does mean won't be able to finish NCEA (our school system).

    I'm not really sure what is best to do.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13628 replies32 threads Senior Member
    Where would you stay to finish your last year of HS in the US? How would you pay for that?

    Does NCEA give you advantages? Say for uni in NZ?
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  • Dream20schoolDream20school 33 replies0 threads Junior Member
    My son applied to US universities as an international student. The options are quite limited to us. We only picked private universities that provide financial aid and scholarship to internationals. Most of the schools are need-aware for admission. Since you are US citizen I guess you could borrow some loans.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43229 replies471 threads Senior Member
    edited May 15
    Your residency depends on where your parents live, except in some states where you gain residency if you graduate from HS but some have a time requirement.
    You'd have to figure out which state would consider you instate for tuition purpose after a year AND have financial aid for in state residents. (There aren't that many).
    Obviously you'd have to cross reference this with where relatives live.
    It's probably easier for you to apply as an internationally educated American, targeting meet-need colleges.
    How do you rank in your school?
    What do you do when you're not in school?
    What's your address EFC? (Please calculate it.)
    We can't really give you more targeted and useful help without this information.
    edited May 15
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 30752 replies197 threads Senior Member
    You can try running the Net Price Calculators at the websites of a few places and see what the results look like. The NPCs aren't as accurate for students from international situations, but will give you and your mom something to start with.

    There is no reason to move to the US to finish high school. Colleges and universities evaluate foreign high school records all the time, and won't have trouble evaluating yours.
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  • lvgnzllvgnzl 1 replies0 threads New Member
    We live in NZ and have one student in college in the US, one at uni in NZ and one finishing NCEA this year and applying to college in America. You can get in touch with the American Consulate in Auckland and use the counselor at Education USA NZ to talk with someone about your options.

    If you finish school in Dec and start in the US in August, you'll have several months to work and save money before going.

    Have you taken the SAT? NZ students can do the SAT in Mar, May, Oct and Dec. Definitely use online resources and order study guides through Amazon. The way math and grammar is taught in NZ is extremely different than in the US - studying and practicing the areas where you have problems will make a huge difference!

    Another option is to finish NCEA, apply to uni in NZ and then spend a semester or year abroad. For instance, Otago has great exchanges with many US universities, including UNC Chapel Hill, UVA, Univ TX Austin, Univ of Richmond, etc. If you have good grades you'll have more options. This would be a great way to see how you like America, make some connections and return once your NZ degree is finished.
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