Any suggestions for US kid living in UK?

<p>I'm a US citizen who would love to attend college in the US. I will need serious financial aid to make it less than it would cost to stay in England, though. I've read all the magazine articles and looked at the websites, but I still don't feel like I know how good I am and what tier to aim for. I've got good grades (7A*s, 3 As and a B at GCSE level), and 5 As at A/S level, with predictions for 5 As at full A level (Maths, Applied Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Biology). I'm (unofficially) ranked first in a state selective school that takes the top 15% in my area, and have been advised to apply to "Oxbridge" (here you can only apply to one or the other). All of my teachers will do whatever is needed on recommendation letters. I took the SAT over a year ago and scored 1320 (660 on each), and I will reluctantly take the Sat II Math IIC, Chem, and Physics next month. I really don't want to take that SAT again for several reasons. My activities are pretty intense for England, but I can't believe some of the EC lists I see for others in the states. Where do they find the time? Could anyone recommend schools for chemical/ biochemical/biomedical engineering with decent financial aid and weather that is better than Britain's? I would qualify for need-based aid as well as merit based if they don't reject me with that SAT score. Thanks.</p>

<p>I would bite the bullet and retake the SAT. Get the 10 Real SATs book and study - you will improve your score. And I would get a review book for the SAT II test you are taking. Some admissions departments will have more familiarity with the British system than others, but typically, statndardized test scores are given more weight when a student has not had a traditional U.S. secondary education.</p>

<p>whether or not you should retake depends on where your aiming
ivy-level? you must almost certainly need to retake
good, but not ivy-level? you won't need to, but you're jeapordizing your chances
average? you're fine</p>

<p>best weather=florida, cali</p>

<p>I see no reason for you to leave the UK for undergrad. You can go to a really good school in the UK at tuition rate that the US cannot compete with. Besides the UCAS form is SO easy to fill out. There's merit money out there in the US, but it's hard to get a lot of financial aid from top schools in the US unless you are really quite needy. There are a few top schools that give merit aid, like Grinnell, Washington University, and University of Chicago, but the competition is fierce for that.</p>

<p>I say, go to the US for grad school, and save a whole lot of money and time by getting your bachelor's in the UK!</p>

<p>I found this board when I was considering applying to a US college but I decided against it because I don't think I would even get into the most obscure community college. Grades seem hardly valued at all in the US whereas they are all that matters in the UK. It's all about ECs which, as you have pointed out, don't really exist in the same way at UK schools. US students seem to plan for college years earlier and start doing all these activities just in order to get into college. I am a Brownie leader (like girls scouts) and play in a band but I am sure my university doesn't know this nor care. </p>

<p>Basically what I am saying is if you apply to a US school you will have to lower your sights due to lack of ECs, but you could get into any UK uni. Oxbridge is a bit random but you will certainly get an interview. Anywhere else will take you as I'm sure you know.</p>

<p>Thanks for the replies! I have been SO fortunate on the recommendations!</p>

<p>Cupcake - yes, that EC bit is hard, but I'm in a better spot than most British kids so that doesn't worry me too much. It's mainly that I DON'T want to retake that SAT.</p>

<p>Tallyrand makes a good point, but I just really want to go to the US for the college experience.</p>

<p>How is the weather in PA? (Florida has hurricanes...) I just discovered the Lehigh site and they seem to look past test scores, want US citizens from abroad, and there's need based and merit based aid. Does it mean it? Anybody know anything? It seems to be known for engineering.... That's what I need: a good school that really does look past the test scores if any exist.</p>

<p>Go and look in the parents' forum. There is a thread about exactly this issue. You can read about the experiences of parents living abroad getting their kids into college. I think they will be able to help you.</p>

<p>Hehe thanks, binx and usmom are asking the questions I am wondering about - which schools really look beyond application statistics.....and usmom is my mom ;)</p>

<p>Check out Bowdoin in Maine they overlook the SAT's but its weather is probably similar to yours</p>

<p>Hi, USkidabroad. I've been chatting with your mum in the parents forum. I don't know anything about your particular field so can't recommend colleges but wanted to make sure you realised that coming from a state selective school is a big plus for you. As you're probably aware, UK applications to US colleges have surged in the past couple of years but most of these are coming from the private sector. That is definitely the case for the Ivy for which I do alum interviews - the Adcom there is always on the lookout for strong candidates from the state sector. So make sure you play that up in your essays! One or two posters have suggested you stay in the UK for uni and go to the US for grad school - my experience is that it is almost a rite of passage for US kids abroad to 'go back' for college, so the decision has an emotional dimension that just isn't there for domestic applications. This was certainly true in my case - I had never lived in the US until I went there for college - and it is proving to be the case for my d now. Did you make it to the US College Fair a few weekends ago (sponsored by the Fulbright Commison and held at ASL)?</p>

<p>Hey USKid ... I was you a few months ago (American, living abroad, not sure where to apply). I'd say take the SAT IIs, retake the SAT and apply to a few schools ... see how much aid you get. Also apply to schools in the UK in case you don't get enough $$. S'what I'm doing, anyway. ^_^ </p>

<p>And dude, DITTO on the ECs. People in the US go crazy with extra-curriculars. I think it's stupid. Sigh.</p>

<p>samuck - no, missed the college fair because we didn't know a thing about it until today. We would definitely have gone to London for it. That's the down side of being in the state system and living on the south coast.</p>

<p>lilybbloom - where are you going to apply and how did you decide? Have you found anywhere that appreciates a foreign education? Do they take you seriously without a campus visit?</p>

<p>After more reading, I'm now wondering about another issue: drinking. I'm an athlete so I don't very often, and I know most people do and that's ok, but I keep reading about how great the parties are and how much drinking goes on as tho' that makes it a great school. My mom says engineering majors won't have time to party so I don't need to worry about it. Is she right? Can anyone comment on this?</p>

<p>You don't need to drink, but I would seriously condider another shot at the SAT. Especially as you seek money. Even at a Lehigh, they want higher scores for merit money.</p>