How Hard Is It To Get Into Top UK Schools As An American?

I just want to get an insight on how hard it is to get into schools like UCL, King’s College London, University of Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Oxbridge, and Manchester as an American. Apparently, these schools didn’t look at American transcripts few years ago and judged students solely by AP and SAT scores. Is this still true? What are my chances of getting into these schools considering I meet the entry requirements. Any help is appreciated. I want to study classics BTW.

For KCL, Manchester, Edi & UCL if you have the entry requirements and a decent LoR & PS you should get an offer. Being an American is a strong positive, as you bring those nice $$ with you…

St Andrews considers GPA more than most UK unis, and is a little bit more holistic than average. On the other hand, classics is not a typically one of their most over-subscribed courses, so if you meet the requirements I would fancy your odds.

You can only apply to one of Oxford or Cambridge. fwiw, Cambridge has a rep for being cooler on US applicants than Oxford. Both have an aptitude assessment- Cambridge at interview, Oxford as part of the interview selection process. There is really no way to handicap Oxbridge admissions- the entry requirements just qualify you ,and the aptitude test is critical to getting the interview, but in the end a lot of it comes down to the interview.

Thanks for the help. However, wouldn’t these colleges consider my essays and other factors such as GPA? Or am I almost guaranteed admission?

I’m more familiar with the Scottish schools, but at least as to Edinburgh and St. Andrews, you should be able to find their requirements on their websites - it is much more cut and dried than the US. The requirements are different from department to department, so you need to look at the Classics department specifically. Also, on CC, there should be threads for all or most of the schools you name, so you should be able to find more information there. When you look at schools you should also check whether they will accept the Common App (at least some do) or whether you will need to use UCAS. In any event, you will need to prepare a personal statement, which is different from a Common App style essay and will focus more on why you want to study classics and what you hope to accomplish, etc.

Manchester notionally wants a 3.0 GPA, but that’s mostly a sop to American students who keep insisting on asking about GPAs!

You only write 1 essay - the Personal Statement (PS), that goes to all the places you apply. The focus of the essay is on why you & the Classics program are a good fit.

As posted above, as a U$ payer, if you meet the reqs & make a decent fist of the PS & LoR you will most likely get an offer. There are some courses- IR at StAs for example- that are a bit tougher, b/c they are so oversubscribed, but if you are genuinely interested in classics, and have done the homework to know how to focus your PS, you should be fine- except for Oxbridge, obviously.

Some UK universities do accept the Common App, but you can only apply to UK unis through Common App OR UCAS (you can’t mix’n’match) so if there are places that you want to apply to that aren’t on the Common App, you have to go UCAS. You get 5 choices on UCAS.

@tkoparent is correct: every UK uni has the “typical” offer posted online, special requirements by course, and international equivalents,

Your Personal Statement goes to all 5 UK unis you apply to. It should be about how well suited you are to study Classics, from your previous work and any extra reading or research you have done. Your application is evaluated by the people who will be teaching you, not an admissions officer. There is a ton of advice about writing a good PS out there - plus the UK version of this site The Student Room.

Your Letter of Rec needs to be from a teacher who can say how great you are at Classics - or something related like Latin, or History, or at least what a great researcher and writer you are.

Oxford never saw my transcript/GPA during the entire process (I applied for 2020 admission); it was only scores for AP and SAT.

Oxford states on their website that I need to have at least 5 APs since they don’t consider SAT subject tests to fit entry requirements. Is there any way around this?

You don’t need to have the APs in hand already. Predicted scores should be submitted for senior year courses by your reference (and should be 5s). Then you would only receive a conditional offer of admission which requires you to achieve specified number of 5s in particular subjects otherwise the offer expires. In that case you wouldn’t know if had got in until July, and you would need a backup option in the UK or elsewhere.

You are mixing up Cambridge & Oxford requirements. Oxford requires 3, not 5, APs and although the tutors prefer APs, subject tests are accepted.

As @Twoin18 pointed out, conditional offers are the norm, not the exception in the UK.

But: based on your other posts you have other issues, such as the ACt - in another post you say that you are hoping to get a. 29 on the ACT- Oxford requires a 32.