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US universities.. advice please?

rob500rob500 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
edited May 2008 in International Students
Hi, I'm a junior in high school (year 12 here) in the UK. I have a 4.0 GPA, and am looking at applying at some Ivy League schools. I have read through the info on a number of college's websites but have a few questions:

1. How easy are the SATs? I'm doing A-levels and get As fairly easily. Also, how alligned are they to the A-level curriculum, ie. how much of my summer will I have to give up to learning for these exams?

2. When colleges say you must do 4 years of English, 3 years of Science etc., does this apply to internationals? Secondary school in UK starts at 11, so I have done 5 years of all main subjects. However, in the US equivalent of high school I have only done 2 years of foreign languages, Science and English, and 4 years of History, Social sciences and Math. Although the high degree of diversity required by US colleges is extremely unusual in the UK, will I be penalised for not taking these courses? If so, will it be possible to redeem myself by taking SAT subject tests in say, Physics and English?

Also any general advice about colleges/ admission procedures would be really great.

Post edited by rob500 on

Replies to: US universities.. advice please?

  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 12,282 Senior Member
    rob500, schools will evaluate your record although if you are doing A-levels I am pretty sure you'll have no problems meeting Ivy League reqirements. Those requirements are aimed primarily at American students who have more leeway in terms of choosing their high school curriculum. I also think that if you are doing A-levels, and get excellent grades, you will not find the SAT a "hard" test. However, you should familiarize yourself with the format of this test. Take some (free) practice tests online, or buy prep books (there are zillions of them available on Amazon.com). To see which tests you will need to take, check out each school's website -- or use a site such as princetonreview.com or collegeboard.com.

    One final word of caution: getting into an Ivy is as hard as getting into Oxford or Cambridge. You are competing for admission with literally the best and the brightest from around the world. Plus, you are competing with those who 'normally' get into these schools (those with names such as Bush, Rockefeller, Kennedy or de Rothchild... if you get my drift) and top notch athletes. So it's very, very tough. I would recommend you apply to a wider selection of schools: consider such universities as Stanford, New York University, MIT (if you're technically inclined) Amherst, Williams, University of Chicago, Berkeley, UCLA, etc.
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 22,785 Senior Member
    Rob500, are you aware of the difference in cost between universities in the US and the UK? I, for one, find it hard to imagine why a British student who could reasonably expect to get into a top university in the UK and pay very little would consider paying $50K per year for a US university. Unless your family is prepared to pay full tuition and room and board, you should look into whether schools that interest you provide any financial aid for international students, and attempt to figure out how much you might expect to get. Be aware that FA is unlikely to meet your EFC.
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