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University of Edinburgh transfer to U.S Colleges

england2022england2022 81 replies8 threads Junior Member
Hi,

I've just finished my freshman year at the University of Edinburgh. I'm now looking to transfer to colleges in the States. I wont be returning to Edinburgh this year due to mental health issues, and instead have a year off. I will be applying as a rising sophomore to colleges.

I just want to know if anyone else has done the same? I feel very on my own and can't seem to find anyone else who has been in a similar position.

I left Edinburgh with good academic standing, finishing the year with a 2:1 (Upper Second Class honours). We dont do GPA's, and our grades are different to that of US colleges, but I gained 4xB's and 2xC's during my year.

My SAT grade is a 1530, and I am applying to Barnard, Middlebury, UMichigan Ann Arbor, UNC-CH, NYU, BU, Bard, Carnegie Mellon and Williams.

Please let me know if you are in the same boat, or have been! And if anyone can give me a rough idea of my chances (I wont be pursuing financial aid).

Thanks!
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Replies to: University of Edinburgh transfer to U.S Colleges

  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13630 replies32 threads Senior Member
    You have a shot at some of them if you can afford to pay.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 7029 replies2 threads Senior Member
    "If you can afford to pay" is indeed an important questions for schools in the US. Since you are international, you are likely to be full pay at all of the public schools.

    Your range of B's and C's for grades at Edinburgh are a sharp contrast to your very high SAT score. I am guessing that this is related to your health issues. My expectation is that universities in the US would want to look at your high school grades also, and would want to know that your health issues are taken care of. As such it seems too hard for me to guess your chances but I hope that you have some good safeties in mind also.
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  • england2022england2022 81 replies8 threads Junior Member
    edited August 2018
    Thanks for the responses !

    My mental health problems were linked largely to dislike of my course and school, all of which were acknowledged by health professionals and the university itself.

    High school grades were A*,B,B at A Level, with 3A*,2A,4B at GCSE. Again, we dont do GPA in highschool nor school rank.

    I have a pretty wide set of EC's, including theatre awards, student run publication president, regional athletics, student body president, plus frequent volunteering positions throughout high school.

    I'll be applying as a Theatre major to most of these schools also, so will also involve an audition.
    edited August 2018
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  • jupiter98jupiter98 328 replies2 threads Member
    It might be a good idea to get a letter from disability office with input from your personal tutor, explaining your struggles.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8376 replies91 threads Senior Member
    Umm...I think you need to do a little more research. For most undergraduate universities, only those offering a BFA in theatre will have an audition component. Afaik, from your list only NYU-Tisch, UMi-AA, BU and CMU offer a BFA; Barnard, UNC-CH, Bard, Williams, and Middlebury offer a BA in theatre, and those do not require an audition. For the CMU BFA transfers count as 1st years (dk about the others).

    In the US if you have 1 year of college they also look at your HS record (in total- stats & ECs). Your A-levels would have been problematic for a number of the schools on your list (and they will all know how A-levels work). Your 2-1 is fine, but what you given actual letter grades or were they %? and if they were %, how did you convert them to letter grades?

    Be aware that UNC-CH has a hard cap of 18% Out of State students, and that includes recruited athletes. Also, expect Tisch & CMU BFA admissions to be ferociously competitive.

    Finally, can you say more about why these particular universities? You are leaving a northern, urban, large university, and looking at applying to:

    3 very small (less than 3K students) Liberal Arts Colleges (LACs) that are essentially rural, northern, and don't have particularly strong theatre programs: Middlebury, Bard, Williams

    2 New York universities, so very urban, small programs inside a larger university: Barnard (~3/10K), NYU-Tisch (~3/25K), one of which has a super-competitive theatre program and one of which offers theater as part of a liberal arts curriculum

    2 large state (public) universities, one northern (UMichigan Ann Arbor, 30K students) and one southern (UNC-CH, 18K students), both in large towns, and only one of which has a strong theater program

    2 smallish urban universities, both northern: BU, CMU.

    Although there are probably people who could be equally happy in all of these environments, I don't think that there are many, and given that your environment had such a strong impact on you last year, I suggest taking a hard look at the relevant factors and considering which of these places are most likely to be a good fit for you. If you can say more about what factors matter most to you, we can help think of more suggestions.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43463 replies473 threads Senior Member
    You should apply to Fordham for theater (audition required).
    I think you ought to consider at least 3 universities that are less competitive than the ones you listed. Read through Princeton Review's Best Colleges to have a better idea of the "vibe" at each university.
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  • england2022england2022 81 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Hi collegemom.

    I appreciate the time you've taken to write such a lengthy response.

    I've actually done a lot of research into my decision to transfer, and all my choices, though not necessarily BFA programs, have strong Theatre MAJORS. Middlebury College actually has one of the strongest theatre programs in the country, with their own Equity run theatre company which takes off Broadway shows to New York City to perform for 5 weeks.

    I believe that you actually asserted, through no actual evidence, that I had no idea what I was applying for. I didnt feel it necessary to explain my choices for schools, as they are the ones which I feel would be a best fit for me. I am not a urban/rural, large/small kind of person; I disliked Edinburgh for a number of reasons, and none of them were to do with the city or the location.

    Furthermore, yes it would not surprise me that the majority of BFA programs are competitive. I'm not sure why that should be a reason for me not to apply. It is the same for drama schools here in the U.K. The first step in achieving what you want is believing you can achieve it.

    In regards to grades, I'm not sure why you view mine as "problematic". A close friend of mine attends Dartmouth, achieving the same as I did at A Level. I agree that my college grades appear low, but actually the marking system is very different here in the UK. It is very rare to achieve a 1st class qualification in your first year of university, and a 60-70 (which is where the majority of my grades fall) is classified as "very good" on our transcripts.

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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8376 replies91 threads Senior Member
    I believe that you actually asserted, through no actual evidence, that I had no idea what I was applying for.

    Actually, I did not assert that you had 'no idea' what you were applying for. Because you specified that you would be auditioning for 'most' of the schools you were applying to, I pointed out that most of them would not have auditions. Because you specified that you had been unhappy with both the place and the course I pointed out some differences between the places that you listed that might not be obvious from a distance- and *asked* if there were other factors that were relevant. As I said, there are some people who would be equally happy at all of those colleges and universities. but ime they are rare. Also, there are other theatre programs that you have not included that might be interesting- if we had more of an idea of what you are looking for (eg. Emory, Tulane, UT-A etc).

    Finally, the 60-70 is exactly why I asked if you received % or letter grades. As it happens, I am actually very familiar with the UK marking system, and I know that translating 60s to Bs & Cs is misleading for a US forum. The universities you are applying to will know how to calibrate it.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43463 replies473 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2018
    For American readers:
    70 is a top grade, 60 is very good/distinction.
    I'd say to got mostly As (A, A-,B+).

    For OP: a British C is about an American B. A D is not passing (in most cases, a C is required if you want to continue the next class in the sequence although a B would be strongly recommended if you want to actually know what's going on in class) and E's don't exist.
    edited August 2018
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  • england2022england2022 81 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Hey. Thanks for responding. Was in no means trying to be hostile! :)

    I looked at UT-A, but was hesitant due to distance from home. I know nothing about Emory and Tulane, so will definitely look in to them!
    My criteria for picking schools is generally ones that look friendly, have some level of school spirit, and a good - amazing theatre program.

    Yeah it is complicated. I actually got 67, 65, 65, 60, 58, 51 - so the 51 is my only grade which really drags my whole average down, though 59 is still classified as a "C".
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  • england2022england2022 81 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Hey MYOS! Yeah I figure you are about right. I think they will hopefully know that when I apply to transfer. I have pretty good extenuating circumstances, and some great references from my University. I hope I get into at least one of the schools I wish to go to! Right now, according to our Edinburgh website, I have just a 3.5 so fingers crossed they can look past my C's :)
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13630 replies32 threads Senior Member
    @collegemom3717, FYI, the UNC-CH hard cap of 18% of non-NC natives is only for freshmen entering from HS. Transfers can be any percentage (but are largely NC natives who went to NC CC's, as you'd expect).

    I'll leave the discussion of marks to others though several of those have elite theatre programs (NYU, CMU, UMich) meaning they are very difficult to transfer in to and several others are highly selective and small.

    I don't know how good your acting skills are so hard to tell about chances.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8376 replies91 threads Senior Member
    Tx for that clarification, @PurpleTitan.

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  • SybyllaSybylla 5117 replies61 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2018
    What is it you are doing to address your mental health issues? How will that continuing care work in the USA with a brutal audition process full of rejections?
    You should go the theater section on CC, any desirable audition BFA school has tiny admit stats that won't be improved by citing "being unhappy" and mental health issues requiring a gap year as the reason to transfer. What you call extenuating circumstances is no hook. Admission numbers for freshman are tiny in say, CMU or Tisch, but transfers? You probably can't even get a stat for that. You need to look at much less competitive schools if you want to transfer, where your full pay status would be the hook.
    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/theater-drama-majors/
    edited August 2018
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  • england2022england2022 81 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Hi Sybylla. Thanks for your concern about my mental health, clearly you dont understand the complexity of mental health if you just refer to it as "being unhappy". During my freshman year my mother was battling aggressive Breast Cancer. I would appreciate if you would be more sensitive to people's issues, instead of coming in and telling me that I am unable to apply for top schools because my mental health means that I cant handle the rejection of audition. I wasn't trying to use my extenuating circumstances as a "hook" (that's a bit sick), rather for an explanation as to why my grades were lower in my second half of my freshman year. It is clearly important, as any prospective schools will want to know why I had a year out between freshman and sophomore years.

    Appreciate the time though.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43463 replies473 threads Senior Member
    ^ that's a very good point: theater programs are very hard to transfer into, regardless of other factors - some programs may not admit any transfer.

    What did you study at Edinburgh?

    No matter what you really need more universities than the ones you listed. Your odds of getting shut out with that list are very high.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 5117 replies61 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2018
    IMO in your major, the grades are the least of your issues in the huge reach BFA audition programs where you are looking to transfer. The admit numbers are tiny, and your lead story needs to be about your talent and passion, what is your year off plan? Why the USA? Again what are you doing re your mental health and how will you manage it in the USA? If you struggled at home, struggling in the USA is a whole different ball game.
    edited August 2018
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43463 replies473 threads Senior Member
    And mental health issues are a red flag for adcoms.
    Keep all of that in mind.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13630 replies32 threads Senior Member
    ^ But forget about adcoms.

    The key question is what would make you become happiest/fulfilled (which would mean improving your mental health).

    For instance, why do you want to transfer? In all these posts, I don't believe I've seen a rationale.
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  • england2022england2022 81 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Sorry, I thought my rationale was clear in my original post. My reason for transferring is because I have a real passio n for theatre and it wasnt possible for me to fulfil that at Edinburgh. My EC's are full of Theatre and Performance so its support by that. The BFA colleges I am applying to have rigorous, professional conservatory programs, and the BA's have equivalent immersion in theatre with the added bonus that I can explore other areas of study.

    My main reason will come from the fact that I felt unfulfilled (both academically and creatively) at Edinburgh, and was craving a much more intense program of study. My anxiety was mainly due to an abundance of free time (Edinburgh has very limited contact hours) and not feeling a sense of belonging, as I was in a course which I wasnt passionate enough about (e.g not Acting)!
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