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High school preparation for US student looking at Oxbridge/Imperial

mdpmdpmdpmdp 52 replies4 threads Junior Member
edited January 12 in United Kingdom
My S23 is on a trajectory to be a decent candidate for a T20 school in math and/or CS, at least as it appears three years out: 34 ACT as an 8th grader, current USACO silver, likely AIME qualifier all four years, strong grades, etc.

The problem, as it often is, is money. Other than UIUC (in-state), all of them are a lot more expensive than what we're willing to pay — and we'll get little-to-no aid from any of them. (I've run the FA calculators.)

However, one option that excites my son is the possibility of studying in the UK. Prices are very similar to UIUC in-state (after factoring in three v. four years). We happened to go to Oxford this summer for Harry Potter reasons (about which he couldn't care less) and he liked it quite a bit.

In his mind right now that's his #1 university option — and while I don't want to put too much stock in a HS freshman's #1 college preference, I also don't want to discount it entirely. (Especially since affordable options of that caliber aren't plentiful.)

So I've been reading up on the British system and Oxford/Cambridge/Imperial in particular, and I'm looking for a bit of a sanity check on what he should be doing if this is a realistic option. Let me know if I'm on the right track:

* It looks like anything not fairly closely related to math/CS would be discounted entirely.

* It looks like he needs five 5s in AP tests in related subjects — and ideally before senior year, so he doesn't need to wait for a last-minute AP result to see if he gets in. Right now he's tentatively slotted for Calc BC (10th), CS A (10th), Physics 1 (10th), and both Physics Cs (11th), along with APUSH and English Language (11th), which wouldn't seem to count. Would it make sense to try to get Stats in as well in 11th grade?

* It looks like once you've met that criteria, the important things are the MAT/STEP tests (depending on the university) and the interview. The MAT I gave him this year's test, and he got a 66/100 — missing about 20-25 of those unrealized points because he doesn't know any calc yet. But the average on that test was 45, so I would guess that won't be an issue. STEP I hear is harder, though.

I'm sure there's more I should know about this. So I'd be happy to hear any opinions, or misconceptions I might have, or...anything, really. Thanks.
edited January 12
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Replies to: High school preparation for US student looking at Oxbridge/Imperial

  • Twoin18Twoin18 1850 replies18 threads Senior Member
    edited January 13
    You are in a not dissimilar position to ours a couple of years ago - we didn't see the point of paying $300K for college, but three years at Oxbridge was half that and not much more than our in-state options. Since both of us went to Cambridge for undergrad and PhDs (and our kids have dual citizenship) it was natural to consider the UK as an option. So I would consider this to be a very viable proposition (though unfortunately my S didn't get in, he may consider going there for grad school), but don't underestimate how different the UK system is and how much you have to *love* your subject to be happy there (and just to get in). You also have to be really good at hard exams, because that is almost all of your grade (at Cambridge the whole year came down to four 3 hour exams over 2 days).

    A few things to consider:
    1) Oxford is generally much more favorably disposed to Americans than Cambridge, it admits more of them and the MAT (in early November pre-interview) is much better timed than STEP (in June so you don't have a result until August by which time most US colleges have already started their fall semester - the most realistic option, although only possible for a very advanced student, is to take STEP at the end of the junior year of high school).
    2) The cost differs by subject: math is substantially cheaper than math+CS (by about $10,000 per year). Also Oxford is cheaper than Cambridge (by about $5000 per year).
    3) At least in the UK (and some other places like Singapore), Cambridge is viewed as more prestigious than Oxford for maths, but conversely, Oxford is better known and perhaps more respected than Cambridge in the US.

    So although I did maths at Cambridge I would generally recommend most US students to focus on Oxford for undergrad (see my comments here: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/united-kingdom/2091170-oxbridge-admissions-for-americans.html). Then you only need a minimum of three 5s in related subjects, which makes life more straightforward (though if you got a top STEP score in junior year of high school then I very much doubt any offer from Cambridge would be conditional on senior year results).

    STEP is really tough and most colleges prefer STEP 2 and 3, not STEP 1 and 2 (you usually only do STEP 1 if you haven't taken Further Maths A level, and the vast majority of students do have Further Maths). The level of preparation in the UK (and places like the Far East and Eastern Europe which contribute most overseas students) is very significant, because you specialize in maths for two of your three or four A levels, and the top schools which contribute many of the most able students have very strong teaching. As an example, in school I spent two years doing 3+ hours of maths per day for A levels, with three different math teachers (plus physics on top) who all had Oxbridge math degrees or PhDs. 5 of the 10 kids in my math class went to Oxbridge, 4 got firsts. Difficult problem solving was emphasized, not plug and chug at all, and exams are really long tail - usually 70% is an A in the UK system.

    Don't worry too much about AP stats, take MVC once you've done Calc BC. If you get to Linear Algebra then you'll be ahead (although everyone does the same set of compulsory courses in the first year, and it is very heavily proof based from day one). And perhaps study the Further Maths syllabus (but there's no need to take the exam). If you look at the STEP exam you'll see it is heavily weighted towards pure maths questions, which is fairly representative of the UK A level coursework (and the majority of the strongest Cambridge students ended up focusing on pure maths). The STEP exams (including the marking scheme) are almost identical to the structure of Cambridge undergrad math exams.

    The thing that will impress the most is getting beyond AIME: IMO qualification is essentially an automatic admit (see the article in here: https://share.trin.cam.ac.uk/sites/public/Alumni/The_Fountain_Issue_19.pdf) and AMO qualification would be a really big boost. Other math competitions and math circles would be helpful too.

    @HazeGrey has a son at Oxford doing math+CS and I'm sure will chime in.
    edited January 13
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  • mdpmdpmdpmdp 52 replies4 threads Junior Member
    edited January 13
    Thanks for your insightful comments, Twoin18.
    Twoin18 wrote: »
    You also have to be really good at hard exams, because that is almost all of your grade (at Cambridge the whole year came down to four 3 hour exams over 2 days).

    He definitely prefers classes that are highly test-grade based right now, although to that extreme...it's probably hard to guess. But stylistically he liked the 2019 MAT questions (excluding the multiple-choice Q1), which might bode well for him?
    Twoin18 wrote: »
    Don't worry too much about AP stats, take MVC once you've done Calc BC. If you get to Linear Algebra then you'll be ahead (although everyone does the same set of compulsory courses in the first year, and it is very heavily proof based from day one).

    After BC Calc his sophomore year, he'll take Calc 3 and Linear Algebra his junior year at his high school, and then probably Diff Eq and Probability Theory through UIUC his senior year. Likely Discrete Math at a local college at some point, too.

    He'd be thrilled to take even more math and do a schedule like you had to do — "in school I spent two years doing 3+ hours of maths per day for A levels" — but we're running out of possible classes for him to take. Plus it'd get hard to fit more in and also take a schedule that also looks balanced enough for US universities. I guess that's why most Americans go to American colleges...
    Twoin18 wrote: »
    The thing that will impress the most is getting beyond AIME: IMO qualification is essentially an automatic admit (see the article in here: https://share.trin.cam.ac.uk/sites/public/Alumni/The_Fountain_Issue_19.pdf) and AMO qualification would be a really big boost. Other math competitions and math circles would be helpful too.

    He's not IMO quality, I'm afraid. IOI (the CS equivalent) he would at least have a chance at, but it's still awfully unlikely. He does have a decent shot at USAMO/USAJMO, I think.
    edited January 13
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  • HazeGreyHazeGrey 243 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @mdpmdp @Twoin18 has already hit the important stuff (and a lot more). Just adding my perspective:

    My son chose Oxford over Cambridge because of the MAT vs. STEP timing difference and the lack of a true joint degree program.

    His AP path was similar - CS A in 10th, BC & Physics C in 11th. That was all Oxford cared about and I believe it was helpful for those to be completed at the time of application.

    My son was a three time AIME qualifier and on our state's ARML team for three years, but he never got to the JMO/MO level. Senior year he did do a math circle that competed at HMMT/PuMAC, but that was after application.

    At Oxford, the joint Maths/CS program is a four year program, so not as much savings there, plus as was noted, that is one of the more expensive degree programs. The three year straight maths is a more cost effective option.

    My son's experience so far - prelims and second year exams have been quite challenging. Way above and beyond the MAT.

    Please feel free to DM with any specific questions.
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1850 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Cambridge publishes an extremely detailed description of its math courses (https://www.maths.cam.ac.uk/undergrad/course) which should give you some idea of the starting point. First term courses are:
    1) Vectors and Matrices
    2) Differential Equations
    3) Groups
    4) Numbers and Sets

    And second term courses:
    1) Analysis I
    2) Probability
    3) Vector Calculus
    4) Dynamics and Relativity

    So some of the senior year courses you mention above would overlap, but that would probably be helpful given the intense workload and rigorous treatment. Some of the assumed A level math background (e.g. mechanics) comes under the Physics AP courses in the US.

    I think the most useful background would be some of the proof and problem solving approaches typical of AOPS, which I don't really see in my kids' US high school curriculum (or even in first year college courses, I know my D got an A in Honors Calc 3 just by memorizing the formulae). So I would seriously look at whether any of the AOPS courses might be of interest. Number theory is an obvious one to consider.

    That focus on proofs and problem solving is what we spent our time doing in high school, without needing to go way ahead into linear algebra and beyond. And that's why AIME, AMO etc are valued because problem solving ability is critical to success there. The exam marking schedule https://www.maths.cam.ac.uk/undergrad/files/schedules.pdf indicates just how sensitive your mark is to the number of "alphas" (which means a near complete solution) - 10 total questions correct across four papers is roughly the borderline between a first and a 2:1.
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  • TigerleTigerle 432 replies5 threads Member
    edited January 14
    As you have already noted, it is really hard to keep a foot in both camps as it were for your high school preparation.

    One option would be to pick out UK safeties to add to your UCAS list - and Uk safeties are real safeties, since admissions are straightforward (particularly if you’ve got your three APs in by junior year) and the expense is known upfront. Look at London schools and Scotland schools and Warwick for maths, @Twoin18 will be able to make recommendations I am sure. You’ll get 5 apps for the effort of one, and in the end, he may like his UK options best even if Oxford doesn’t work out.

    You’ve already gotten great advice for structuring his math education. To emphasise the right mindset once more, Oxford profs will want to see maths, maths and more maths, oh yeah, our system requires a third A level, throw some physics or CS in if you must. As mentioned, forget stats, make sure he’s got those three AP 5s under his belt by junior year so he’s got a chance at an unconditional offer, then try to sort of recreate the further maths A level with the classes/competitions he has access to. If he is the person who thrives on that, UK universities will be the best fit.

    Conversely, he may find that he does care more about the breadth of a US education. No reason not to try for Oxford anyway, but the way he his academic focus develops in high school will determine whether he is better off focusing on US or UK elites.

    edited January 14
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1850 replies18 threads Senior Member
    I think Warwick, Imperial and Durham would be next on the list for math, assuming you want to stay in England for a three year degree to keep costs down. But I don't have any personal experience as I didn't apply anywhere else (I skipped a couple of years in elementary and high school so I was applying at 15 and would have reapplied the following year if I hadn't got in).

    London will be much more expensive than any other location you might choose, the accommodation prices potentially make it comparable in total cost to a four year Scottish degree, and a very different experience, as a big city which is not dominated by its university like Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, etc. Warwick is very strong academically but perhaps not so appealing (architecture and location wise) for Americans.

    My S applied to other London universities (for PPE) but was never particularly excited about those options (though finding out in early November about KCL made for a nice safety). He couldn't see himself going to somewhere outside London and didn't apply to any of those universities, and in the end he stayed instate (we are in CA) because its very hard to find a better deal than UCLA and UCB.
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  • mdpmdpmdpmdp 52 replies4 threads Junior Member
    edited January 14
    Twoin18 wrote: »
    So some of the senior year courses you mention above would overlap, but that would probably be helpful given the intense workload and rigorous treatment.
    I agree. If he's going somewhere as demanding as Oxford/Cambridge, I don't mind him repeating material he's seen in high school.
    Twoin18 wrote: »
    I think the most useful background would be some of the proof and problem solving approaches typical of AOPS, which I don't really see in my kids' US high school curriculum (or even in first year college courses, I know my D got an A in Honors Calc 3 just by memorizing the formulae).
    He's done a couple AOPS classes, although they were a couple years ago now. The Intro to Number Theory was one of them, which he liked a lot. Could look at the Intermediate Number Theory class.

    HazeGrey wrote: »
    His AP path was similar - CS A in 10th, BC & Physics C in 11th. That was all Oxford cared about and I believe it was helpful for those to be completed at the time of application.
    Thanks — very good to know.
    HazeGrey wrote: »
    At Oxford, the joint Maths/CS program is a four year program, so not as much savings there, plus as was noted, that is one of the more expensive degree programs. The three year straight maths is a more cost effective option.
    I see the cost difference on Oxford's webpage, but both the Maths and Maths/CS pages seem to say 3 years for a BA and 4 years for an MMath (or MMathComSci). It's very possible I'm misunderstanding something, though.

    Thanks for everyone's comments — they've been very useful to me!
    edited January 14
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  • mdpmdpmdpmdp 52 replies4 threads Junior Member
    edited January 14
    Tigerle wrote: »
    As you have already noted, it is really hard to keep a foot in both camps as it were for your high school preparation.

    One option would be to pick out UK safeties to add to your UCAS list - and Uk safeties are real safeties, since admissions are straightforward (particularly if you’ve got your three APs in by junior year) and the expense is known upfront.
    That's a good idea. But even with the UK safeties, since UIUC is a real option (particularly if he ends up preferring CS over math), I still don't want him to step *too* far away from the American system. (Then again, CS at UIUC is pretty much a reach for everyone.)

    I suppose he could try to straddle both, doing a schedule like this (each line a year-long class):

    10th:
    English (req.)
    AP Calc BC
    online/college math class
    AP CS A
    AP Physics 1
    Spanish 3

    11th:
    English (req.)
    American History (req.)
    Calc 3/Linear Algebra
    online/college math class
    AP Physics C
    community college CS (beyond AP CS A)

    12th:
    English (req.)
    Government/Econ (req.)
    online/college math class
    another online/college math class
    Biology (req.)
    community college CS (beyond AP CS A)

    That's doubling up on math every year, taking computer science every year (quite a bit past the AP level), and at least getting to AP Physics C. So closer to what a British-patterned education looks like, while still getting to level 3 in a foreign language and 3 years of social studies. I know the consensus in CC is that level 4 in a foreign language and 4 years of SS is best...but since we can't afford the top 20 USA schools, I believe three years of each is sufficient?
    edited January 14
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1850 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Well the alternative in the US is to go somewhere with a big merit scholarship and save your money. For example my D chose Utah (which offers 30 full rides per year) over UCB and UCLA. Although admission is straightforward (and they have auto merit up to full tuition), the top scholarships are judged more holistically. The same would apply to top merit scholarships at other big universities.

    Utah have a strong math department (one of my classmates was actually a professor there after doing his PhD at Caltech) and have sent the top math or science student to Cambridge with a Churchill scholarship every year for the last four years (eg https://unews.utah.edu/university-of-utah-student-awarded-prestigious-churchill-scholarship-3/). They offer lots of support and opportunities for the top students, far more than her twin brother gets at UCLA. She’s having a great experience (not doing math) and saving $100K over our instate rates. Many CC posters have had similarly positive outcomes with merit elsewhere. Going to Cambridge for Part 3 maths (whether with a scholarship or with the money you saved in undergrad) and doing well there is an entry point into any top PhD program.

    So I would tend to keep the fourth year of social studies and Spanish in the schedule, especially as you’ll want to make UIUC admission more certain also.
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  • TigerleTigerle 432 replies5 threads Member
    edited January 15
    I’m not based in the US, so take my comments, as far as they refer to your son’s high school schedule for what they’re worth.

    For Oxford, the three AP 5s in Calc BC, CS and physics are non negotiable. So his schedule in the year(s) he is taking them should reflect that.

    I’d put the same emphasis on AP physics 3 and linear algebra, if he can take the AP exam for that - it appears it is offered at your high school, but not as an AP class? Oxford is fine with self study for an AP, in fact it reflects the qualities they are looking for quite well.

    So in the years he is doing AP maths and physics and CS, I’d look carefully at whether taking another two classes at community college in those subjects will inspire and energise him, or rather exhaust and burn him. Yes, we’ve talked about how much maths his competitors in the UK are doing and how he can emulate that, but he’s still got reqs they just don’t have. (Some kids feel absolutely exhausted by the social sciences, so there’s that...)

    You said you want him to keep his US options open, UIUC and others, so in your case I’d make sure to identify those now and, before dropping foreign languages and the social sciences (isn’t it three years of FL at high school rather than level three which is required by most colleges?) make sure he’s not losing opportunities he might regret.

    Hard to prepare for both, I know.
    edited January 15
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  • TigerleTigerle 432 replies5 threads Member
    Because I am sure I am beginning to sound super confusing, to clarify: it’s NOT holistic. He needs (at least) those three AP 5s to apply, otherwise that’s it for Oxford, even if he takes CC math up to the yin yang. It’s not just the learning, he needs some kind of standardised score for it. Now he may be the kind of kid who drops AP 5s left right and center without breaking a sweat while pursuing intense interests (and honestly, that’s the kind of student Oxford likes best) but he may need more focus.
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1850 replies18 threads Senior Member
    edited January 15
    However I’ll just point out that there are rare circumstances where the rules regarding admissions scores can be broken (though I don’t think they are particularly applicable in this case): some Cambridge colleges will view an S in the STEP-3 paper (or being selected for the IMO) as a sufficient demonstration that you are one of the best mathematicians in the world and won’t care if you haven’t even been to school. After all they don’t want to miss out on a future Ramanujan!
    edited January 15
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  • mdpmdpmdpmdp 52 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Twoin18 wrote: »
    Well the alternative in the US is to go somewhere with a big merit scholarship and save your money. For example my D chose Utah (which offers 30 full rides per year) over UCB and UCLA. Although admission is straightforward (and they have auto merit up to full tuition), the top scholarships are judged more holistically. The same would apply to top merit scholarships at other big universities.

    Oh yeah, that's certainly an option for him. Michigan State is on our radar, as is Florida (if he's a NMF), and Utah sounds like a good option as well.
    Twoin18 wrote: »
    So I would tend to keep the fourth year of social studies and Spanish in the schedule, especially as you’ll want to make UIUC admission more certain also.

    We might split the difference and have him do 4 of SS and 3 of Spanish...if only because he hates Spanish class (his only B last semester). Replacing it with university-level math probably won't hurt *too* much, especially since UIUC is the only college he's likely to apply to that recommends four years of a foreign language. But we have a year to decide that.
    Tigerle wrote: »
    I’d put the same emphasis on AP physics 3 and linear algebra, if he can take the AP exam for that - it appears it is offered at your high school, but not as an AP class?

    There isn't an AP test for linear algebra, unfortunately, so a high school or college class in the subject is the best an American student can do.
    Tigerle wrote: »
    So in the years he is doing AP maths and physics and CS, I’d look carefully at whether taking another two classes at community college in those subjects will inspire and energise him, or rather exhaust and burn him.

    I think (and he thinks) it's the former, but you can't really know 'til you do it. It could backfire.
    Tigerle wrote: »
    (isn’t it three years of FL at high school rather than level three which is required by most colleges?)

    From what I've seen from lurking around here, most colleges are looking at the highest level completed rather than the years in HS.
    Tigerle wrote: »
    Now he may be the kind of kid who drops AP 5s left right and center without breaking a sweat while pursuing intense interests (and honestly, that’s the kind of student Oxford likes best) but he may need more focus.

    The 5s I'm not too worried about; he's a very strong test-taker. That's why he'd probably be better suited for the British college admission system than the American one (other than going to an American high school).
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12812 replies29 threads Senior Member
    edited January 23
    Well, the good news is that he's not trying to reach for top American privates, and the publics aren't generally so holistic (assuming you've met their basic requirements) when it comes to someone in-state as stellar academically as he is on track to be (assuming a tip-top GPA). UIUC CS is not a safety for anyone these days but 1. He's on track to have a pretty good shot there (still not as insanely competitive to get in to UIUC CS as Ivies/equivalents) 2. They are strong (nationally ranked departments) in several quantitative majors that are easier to get in to than CS (that he can list as a second major). Engineering Undeclared allows you to not declare a major until after freshman year. There are also a bunch of CS+X majors that probably are easier to get in to than Engineering CS (as of now).

    So taking the toughest quant classes possible but easier non-quant classes (and getting A's in them) while just doing the ECs that interest him if he has time sets him up for both England and American publics.

    Other options:
    1. He could get a bunch of AP credits that knock off a lot of Gen Ed requirements and graduate in 3 years or less at other state schools. The UCs and Wisconsin are required to give credit for 3's on AP tests (he could probably graduate from UIUC in 3 years too).
    2. Purdue OOS isn't much more expensive than UIUC in-state.
    3. Some top Canadian unis may not cost much more than UIUC in-state too (top ones tend to be even bigger, overcrowded, sink-or-swim publics, though). Waterloo CS has a stellar reputation and pipeline to Silicon Valley.
    4. If NMS, UT-Dallas is good in CS and has many good honors programs. NMS knocks off half of tuition costs at USC.
    5 You could consider moving to GA. Currently, a 3.7 HS GPA gets you the Zell Miller which covers in-state tuition costs and GTech has a high reputation in CS and other quantitative fields too. 3.0 HS GPA gets you the Hope Scholarship, which currently covers most of in-state tuition costs (they may adjust the amount and/or criteria depending on funding).
    6. He could (but may not) consider first starting out at a LAC with a 3-2 engineering partnership with Columbia/WashU/USC/RPI (the transfer to Columbia is not guaranteed these days, USC says they treat them like any other applicant while it's nearly guaranteed for WashU). Costs may come out close to 4 years of UIUC engineering/CS in-state if he gets a full-tuition/full-ride scholarship to the LAC.
    edited January 23
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12812 replies29 threads Senior Member
    BTW, while for math, the (everything depends on tests) English way is fine, I personally believe that working on a lot of coding projects is better for a CS major, and at top American CS programs, you will be forced to do that.

    Then again, nothing prevents anyone from coding and uploading to GitHub on their own initiative.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12812 replies29 threads Senior Member
    edited January 23
    Oh, and I just remembered:
    Big merit scholarships to Ivy-equivalents are almost impossible to get and Ivies don't offer them, but
    Duke has some (that are insanely tough to get). WashU, Vandy, and USC also have them (and would be easier to get but still very difficult).
    JHU has two full-tuition scholarships a year for their engineering school.
    Olin and Cooper Union offer automatic half-tuition scholarships.
    Rice's list price is slightly lower than other Ivies/equivalents and it's possible he could get enough AP credits to graduate in 3 years from there. They also offer big scholarships to their top admits.

    Finally, if he is open to it and went somewhere cheap/free the first 2 years:
    Vandy also has (last I checked) a considerably higher admit rate for transfers than straight from HS and both USC and NYU take in a ton of transfers (not easy to transfer in to these schools but not near Ivy-difficulty either).
    Or if he went somewhere cheap/free but still wants a fancy elite private school degree and/or better recruiting opportunities, he could look in to Master's programs (only 1/2 years of costs vs. 4).

    And of course, any American STEM PhD program worth attending is funded (obviously requires doing stellar in undergrad).
    edited January 23
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  • mdpmdpmdpmdp 52 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Well, the good news is that he's not trying to reach for top American privates, and the publics aren't generally so holistic (assuming you've met their basic requirements) when it comes to someone in-state as stellar academically as he is on track to be (assuming a tip-top GPA). UIUC CS is not a safety for anyone these days but 1. He's on track to have a pretty good shot there (still not as insanely competitive to get in to UIUC CS as Ivies/equivalents)

    Assuming good grades the next couple years, I would think he'd be a strong candidate for CS or CS+Math or CS+Stats. But yeah, not a sure thing by any means, though. Looking at Naviance for his high school, there are 35/36 ACT students with strong weighted GPAs that were rejected from UIUC -- I assume in Engineering somewhere.
    1. He could get a bunch of AP credits that knock off a lot of Gen Ed requirements and graduate in 3 years or less at other state schools. The UCs and Wisconsin are required to give credit for 3's on AP tests (he could probably graduate from UIUC in 3 years too).

    He'll end up with ~10 AP tests and maybe 6-8 math and CS post-AP dual enrollment classes, so that seems fairly reasonable -- something I'll take more of a look at.
    4. If NMS, UT-Dallas is good in CS and has many good honors programs. NMS knocks off half of tuition costs at USC.

    UT-Dallas is a real option if he decides on CS. (Less of one in math.) Problem with USC is that even with half off tuition, it's still $50k/year -- it'd only really work if he got the more rare full tuition scholarship.
    5 You could consider moving to GA.

    Okay, I'm a little crazy about colleges, but I'm not quite *that* crazy. :smile:
    BTW, while for math, the (everything depends on tests) English way is fine, I personally believe that working on a lot of coding projects is better for a CS major, and at top American CS programs, you will be forced to do that.

    There's truth to that, I think. Although for him, at this point he's most interested about the logic/algorithms/etc. aspect of computers -- the more true computer science side than software engineering. (He does like coding as well, though.) So for him, maybe not as big of a deal? But I'm out of my depths a little bit.

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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1850 replies18 threads Senior Member
    One other thing to be aware of if you are considering getting through an undergrad degree in the US (say in 2 or 2.5 years) using AP credits and dual enrollment, is that Oxford and Cambridge allow existing graduates to do a second undergrad degree in 2 years. See http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/applying-to-oxford/second-undergraduate-degree

    This was traditionally what Rhodes scholars would do, although nowadays it is much more unusual.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12812 replies29 threads Senior Member
    Some American unis have double degree programs (typically done in 5 or more years if you don't bring in a lot of credits from AP, etc.) Double majors are doable almost everywhere (more for math and CS through arts&sciences). Getting a master's is a possibility too (whether you graduate in 3 or 4 or however many years from undergrad). A few schools allow a scholarship (like NMS) to potentially cover a master's too.
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3407 replies40 threads Senior Member
    Does he wish to work in the UK as well? I do think it is harder to land internships and jobs in the US from a UK school, even Oxbridge.
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