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Help please: planning first college trip to the US (visiting from the UK)

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Replies to: Help please: planning first college trip to the US (visiting from the UK)

  • mackinawmackinaw 3040 replies54 threads Senior Member
    I also like the suggestion of Colby (it's 2+ hours driving from Boston). In midwest, some of the smaller schools are quite strong academically and not as selective as Chicago.

    Carleton (Minnesota), Grinnell (Iowa), Beloit (Wisconsin) [easy to reach from Chicago), Lawrence (Wis.), Kalamazoo College (Michigan). All very credible for grad schools as well.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13449 replies31 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    Though note that Northwestern merit scholarships tend to be quite small and would barely make a difference.

    UChicago and BC may give out bigger ones to kids they really want, but there would be only a handful of those each year and would be extremely difficult to get (especially at UChicago; think someone who Oxbridge believes will do great things in econ/PPE).

    However, just as a lot of unis and colleges give credit for AP scores, many give for IB and some for A-Levels as well, which may allow you to cut down from spending 4 years worth of money to 3 or 3.5 (though selective LACs in general are pretty stingy about the credit they are willing to give).


    I also assume that her safeties are in the UK and much cheaper than full-pay at an American private.

    How did she come up with her list? Why those schools instead of UK unis?
    edited May 2016
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  • londondadlondondad 2092 replies61 threads Senior Member
    Two schools where a lot of UK kids apply to and often get merit scholarships are Northeastern and University of Miami. Both of these schools are near international airports with convenient flights to London.
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  • coolweathercoolweather 5878 replies82 threads Senior Member
    GWU scholarships for international students:

    https://undergraduate.admissions.gwu.edu/scholarships
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  • valent2016valent2016 68 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Simply overwhelmed with the thoughtful and helpful points and guidance.

    Fully recognise the financial commitment and as per the "spot on" analysis from @GMTplus7 ...as a family we can support the tuition etc but it is a very big commitment (especially with my S soon to follow)...and ideally if we can get any merit scholarship that would be a welcome relief. Recognise, the probability of that happening is very Low. Many thanks for the Kiplinger link ...would be researching / following up on the lead...

    @Purpletitan ...yes, our "safeties" would be in the UK ...which are generally easier to call, given the very specific academic criteria for admission. Per the likely predicted grades for my D...she would be well over the cut-off for a number of good UK schools. It would also be much cheaper. However, both my D and S ...are extremely keen to study in the US....given the academic flexibility / difference in approach etc ...so here we are :) The credits for IB etc will be very helpful...

    @Intparent, @MYOS1634 Will try and weave in Haverford/Bryn Mawr for a day trip / researching the others now...

    @sue 22 - Will be researching / following up....will revert

    Thanks @londondad ....for the many helpful tips. Will follow up. One thought though - for the schools we are talking about ...how well are they recognised back in the UK for post Uni jobs etc? I was trying to research this aspect, but difficult to unpeel / or am looking at the wrong places....


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  • Mom24boysMom24boys 927 replies47 threads Member
    @valent2016 Another reason to look at/visit Northeastern is that they have strong programs with international co-ops.

    http://www.northeastern.edu/geo/globalcoop/
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14468 replies104 threads Forum Champion
    For a match school that is affordable I would suggest SUNY Binghamton...
    It is around $38,000 for internationals and is generous with IB credits so they can graduate early/doublemajor/study abroad/intern. My daughter graduated in 2.5 years (with some summer courses) with her IB credits.

    It is up there in best values for Public Colleges:
    http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-public-colleges/


    https://www.binghamton.edu/harpur/advising/transfer/ib-credits.html

    International Baccalaureate Program
    Binghamton University recognizes schools offering the International Baccalaureate program. The International Baccalaureate curriculum is the most challenging and comprehensive curriculum available and IB participation is recommended, taken into account and considered during the application process.
    Binghamton University students may earn credit by exam for coursework completed in high school under the International Baccalaureate Program. Credit is awarded only for Higher Level exams, with exam scores of 4 or 5 receiving 4 credits and exam scores of 6 or 7 receiving 8 credits.
    SUNY General Education requirements can be satisfied by completing Higher Level exams in five of the ten areas of competency. In addition, the General Education requirement for foreign language is satisfied by a score of 4-7 on either the Higher Level or Standard Level exams.
    Binghamton University requires an official International Baccalaureate transcript in order to evaluate credit. Official scores may be delivered electronically through the International Baccalaureate website (please see below). International Baccalaureate courses and grades listed on a high school transcript are not acceptable for evaluation.
    Students in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program may receive up to 32 credits. To receive the full 32 credits, the following conditions must be met:
    The IB Diploma must be completed with a score of 30 or more points; and
    The student must complete at least three Higher Level exams with a score of 5 or higher.
    Diploma holders who meet these conditions receive credit for their individual exam scores plus additional liberal arts elective credit to total 32 credits.
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  • jym626jym626 57405 replies3010 threads Senior Member
    Keep in mind that many of the schools will be pretty dead in the summer months. Some have summer programs ( Vassar has its powerhouse theater summer program) but it will be a very different feel from what it is like when school is in session and campuses are bustling with students.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13449 replies31 threads Senior Member
    I'm not British, but I know some Brits and people who have gone to the UK to work after college in the US, and just as I would tell Americans who want to work back in the US that an American school makes more sense than an equivalent in the UK, I'd say the same to a Brit. For instance, I consider UCL/KCL/Edinburgh/St. A to be roughly equivalent to UMich/UVa/UNC/UT-Austin/W&M, but for an American who got in to one of those American schools, likely only Oxbridge/LSE would be worth traveling across the pond for as, outside of academia and a handful of international (and granted, elite) industries, most UK unis just wouldn't be known in the States so an American grad from Edinburgh/St. A (which both have decent-size American populations, even) would have to work harder to land a job back in the States. In the UK, I imagine that it's the same with only the Ivies/equivalents (like UChicago) and top American publics being much recognized, though @londondad would know more.

    I guess the difficult thing is that there really aren't any LACs in the UK, though St. A is smallish and more undergrad-focused, and it isn't so easy to switch majors in the UK as in the US. However, they could go to uni in the UK and do an exchange/study-abroad in the US/Canada (Canada's is close to the US system; unis there are essentially identical to American publics). Granted, I'm not sure how difficult that is or what restrictions they may put on flexibility, though I would think the Scottish unis offer more flexibility. Anyway, I know that Richmond is a LAC that has exchange programs with Edinburgh, St. A, and Warwick (possibly only certain departments).

    You may want to look in to Mount Allison (a Canadian LAC that has produced some ridiculous number of Rhodes Scholars).

    W&M and St. A do have a joint degree that you may want to look in to as well.

    Also, if your son is very strong in math and sciences, he may want to look in to the Integrated Science Program at Northwestern. I would compare it to the Natural Science tripos at Cambridge. It's designed so that you could finish it in 3 years if you don't double major in anything else. They want to send kids on to PhD programs from it.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    Someone above suggested dropping UChicago. But I think you said it is the one your son asked to see. I agree that your D's stats probably aren't quite there. But if your son is a strong student, keep it on your list. It is unique.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13449 replies31 threads Senior Member
    ^ I think stats are within range for the U of C, but at that level, they're super-reachy for all but a select few.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10481 replies576 threads Super Moderator
    Agree with @Sue22 that you need match and safety schools. It would be a shame to do such an expensive trip and only see colleges that are very difficult to get into. You should get a hold of the Fiske or Princeton guides if possible. They both list wide ranges of colleges and you should easily be able to find more likely schools to get into that are excellent and near your locations. Also take a look at the website college Niche. It will give similar schools that students look at, when any one school is displayed. Fiske also has a crossover schools list.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13449 replies31 threads Senior Member
    @Lindagaf & others: they have some very respected unis in the UK as matches and safeties (and for cheaper), I'm sure.

    Speaking of which, there are courses with multiple subjects like PPE and the Scots seem to feature a ton of double honours (I imagine that it isn't difficult to drop one of them if you lose interest).
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  • wisteria100wisteria100 4409 replies49 threads Senior Member
    I disagree with some of the posters who are saying all the schools on your list are reaches. With a 33 ACT, your D is above the average at BC, Bates, Tufts and Vassar, and being in the top 10% of her class also bodes well. Sure those schools are selective, but they can be considered matches. Doesn't mean she will get accepted, but she does have competitive stats for them
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13449 replies31 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    Yep, I'd say Bates, BC, Vassar (for a guy) are matches or more. Possibly Wesleyan and Tufts as well.

    Especially for a full-pay international with that profile who's not from China.
    edited May 2016
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  • coolweathercoolweather 5878 replies82 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    I think the important thing to consider is the purpose of the visits.

    For me, the purpose of visiting colleges is to know: a. How a college looks like? b. How is life in a college? What is the application process? What does the admission office want from the student? What does a parent need to do in order to help a child? How does the child feel about college?

    I believe colleges have more similarity than difference. With that thinking in mind, I would visit only some colleges from the list of colleges that my kid will apply to. 4 to 6 colleges are enough. It's hard to expect a student to visit all colleges they he/she will apply to. It's about time and money. And it's also hard for a student to remember all the things about the visited colleges at the application time.
    edited May 2016
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10481 replies576 threads Super Moderator
    @PurpleTitan I know, my hubby went to two of them:-) I am guessing that the OP's kids want to go to college here in the US though.

    @wisteria100 , Tufts has a 14% acceptance rate. Most of the others hover around 20% or so. Not matches with acceptance rates like that, IMO. My kid had very similar stats and was denied at Tufts and WLed at Bates.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13449 replies31 threads Senior Member
    @Lindagaf, depends on how badly they want to go to school in the US and for what reasons and what options they have in the UK.

    As an analogy, if an American who plans to come back to the US is pretty much guaranteed admission to UVa and W&M at in-state costs, does it make sense to apply to UK unis that not only aren't known in their country but aren't even considered elite in the school's home country? To me, that would make zero sense no matter how badly they want to study in the UK. I would urge either study-abroad or the W&M-St. A joint program in that case.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    @coolweather, it is hard to know where your kid would want to apply without visiting. If the OP can afford it, it is well worth the time. Otherwise they may to apply to schools that look good on paper but don't fit the student in person. Colleges do have real differences. And saving visits for after admission isn't really practical, especially for schools that admit in late March and want an answer by May 1.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13449 replies31 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    ^ Granted, as mentioned above, the schools will feel very different over summer break vs. during the school year.
    edited May 2016
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