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Lawz-
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#21
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#21
Actually alot of the Ivy Ls. are seen as liberal by a lot of America (although some people there seem tobe just to the right of el Duce). Columbia - Stanford - especially ..
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Nylex
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#22
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Stanford isn't Ivy League.
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renarr
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#23
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Anyone here applying to one of the American Ivy League Universities? I've thought about Harvard, but the whole ACT and SATs thing seems like a lot of work, and it's very expensive. Anyone know more about the procedure?
From what I've heard, ivy league admissions tend to place more of an emphasis then oxbridge on alumini and personal connections...whether your parents went there...or whether you can donate a new building...something like that... :mad:
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yawn1
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#24
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(Original post by africa)
Yes the capacities of Ivy candidates are often amazing. Read www.confidential.com... often they put their CVs up there. Most have been editors of school magazines, have had spectacular soprting careers and yet still have taken extra higher level courses. Many will have done several APs in 5th form, the equivlqnet of A-Levels. Many will also have have travelled extensively.

What interests me is the extent to which they all engage in charitiable activities. Tell trying an Ivy that you don't believe in charity, but in good old social welfare, let alone revolution. I don't think that would go down well.
Most students who are able to get together the massive quantity of paperwork must have extensive help. That, plus the fees, means they are mostly very well-healed. Not revolutionaries. This turns the Amercian Ivies into arch conservaitvie institutions wiht self-perpetuating cliques (a bit like Oxbridge, but worse). Ugggh.

There are many companies in the US who employ professionals to construct CV's for college applicants for a considerable sum of money so don't assume that all what is written is how it is - much is embellished!
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Ellie4
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#25
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(Original post by anguman)
Yes I am applying to 4 American Universities this year (HYP and Columbia). I asked my parents. They had no apprehensions about me applying as long as I can get some financial aid. 60% of international students get need based finaicial aid to study at the Ivy League. I am also applying to 6 in the UK so I have 10 applications altogether. I want to experience University life in America and considering British students make up the third highest international student ratio at Yale, I won't be the only person from England there (if I get in of course!)
SATs and SAT IIs are a somewhat irksome procedure but they still need to be done. One of my friends was admitted into Harvard last year to read History. He couldn't recommend it any higher so I thought I should give it a shot and see what happens.
Do you know where I can see some sample SAT papers?
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shiny
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#26
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(Original post by theone)
Many Unis, including Cambridge in certain subjects, offer years abroad to good American universitites. Always worth bearing in mind...

BTW, the competition for Harvard in particular is sick. A person, an american, i knew who lived 10 mins from Harvard told me you have to have achieved something extraordinary, way way above your expected level to get in. This may or may not be true, but I know of a maths applicant to Harvard this year and he appears to have completed all of a normal Maths degree over here already, and has proved new theories...
Remember that this is the same university that Laura Spence was admitted too. Her grades and background were excellent but nothing mind-boggling!
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hornblower
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(Original post by shiny)
Remember that this is the same university that Laura Spence was admitted too. Her grades and background were excellent but nothing mind-boggling!
I'm with you on that one. Definitely.
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d750
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#28
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A bit off-topic, but does anyone know much about Liberal Arts Colleges? They look like a good option.
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hornblower
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#29
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(Original post by d750)
A bit off-topic, but does anyone know much about Liberal Arts Colleges? They look like a good option.
Universities sound better.
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DrSoySauce
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#30
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I might be going to a liberal arts college next year. They're much smaller that universities, and most of them have only undergraduates, so no people studying for masters or doctorates. They're better in some ways because the classes are smaller, so you'll get more attention, you'll actually be taught by professors and not graduate students, and the atmospheres are much more supportive. (God, I sound like the promotional leaflet). Anyway, the kind of education you'll get in at least some of them (like Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore, if you're a girl Wellesley) is going to be on the same level as what you'd get in the Ivies.

But it really depends what you're looking for....
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shiny
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#31
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#31
Amherst is an excellent college.
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amexblack
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#32
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(Original post by Ellie4)
Do you know where I can see some sample SAT papers?
collegeboard.com is an essential resource for anyone applying to American Unis.

From there you register to take your SATs, you choose which schools will automatically receive your test scores, you see your test scores, and you can get help with revision.

There are sample tests there, but only a few. They encourage you to buy this great big red book that has loads of tests. However, if you are serious about SATs I seriously recommend you take a Kaplan SAT course. I took one (The intense 5 day course I think), and for the first few days I was thinking to myself how stupid all these americans were -- their maths skills especially were terrible. I knew more maths than even the teacher. However, what I realised was that it teaches you the technique and they make you sit through something like 4 intense full-length SAT tests and mark it for you. You get used to sitting a 3 hour exam, and you will know what exactly to expect. I don't have the self discipline to do that.

I really wish I had applied to American Uni now -- I never got around to filling out all the application forms. Bugger If you do apply, I would recommend taking the "sawn-off shotgun" approach - apply to as many as you possibly can (I would say all the Ivies (+Stanford, MIT) and perhaps a few baby-ivies also) - it takes time, but it is more competitive than Oxbridge. Unlike most good English Unis, in America they don't simply choose the best academic applicants. They are very interested in forming a Class (ie Class of 2009 ... the entire yeargroup) - They want to make sure they have a good balance of students -- ie a certain number of full-out intellectuals, some athletes, some musicians etc.. Also, they are not bothered in the slightest over weather you went to state/private school. However, it seems to me that there is a fairly significant bias towards students at British Public Schools (they go to quite long lengths to recruit students).

Another thing you might consider is Early Decision/Action. (i forget the difference between the two) Usually, you will take this approach if you know you would love to go to one particular Uni above all the rest. The deadline for application is much earlier (November 1st usually). The chances of getting in early decision are much higher than normal. The advantage is that you will hear whether you get in before the "Regular Action" deadline .. that is, you will know if you have got in before bothering about all the other Universities. However, if you are accepted Early Decision you are "ethically obliged" to take you offer. They expect you to withdraw any other applicatiosn (even British Universities), and other american Universities probably won't let you apply.
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yawn1
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#33
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(Original post by shiny)
Remember that this is the same university that Laura Spence was admitted too. Her grades and background were excellent but nothing mind-boggling!
Remember though, that in addition to all her 6 A's at A level she had also completed (with flying colours) an Open University Foundation course in Maths!
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shiny
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#34
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A foundation course in Maths at the OU is hardly exceptional (and it was five As incl. General Studies).
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yawn1
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#35
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(Original post by shiny)
A foundation course in Maths at the OU is hardly exceptional (and it was five As incl. General Studies).
But finding the time to do it in addition to studying for A levels and all the extra-curricular activities is exceptional!
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shiny
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#36
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Her whole class did it as I recall. Presumably some people who weren't doing Maths A-Level decided they wanted a more practical maths qualification. The OU foundation course is more about the application of number and algebra than a study of maths in itself.
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africa
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#37
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(Original post by Ellie4)
more of an emphasis then oxbridge on alumini and personal connections...whether your parents went there...or whether you can donate a new building...something like that...
The colleges have "special" admittance procedures for those whose relations went to the same institution. On the forms, you will see always see a question. These candidates are called "legacies", and they follow a different route once they reach the Admissions Offices.
And from what I have read elsewhere, the going price for a top Ivy League place (HYP) for a middling condidate is around $500,000. Such an offer will also ensure your application goes a different route.

There is a brlliant book on the whole process, "A is for Admissions", by Michele A. Hernandez. See Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books

There have been several articles oin the New York Times about consultants you can hire who will craft your story (Hernandez talks about them too). Around $25,000 for a full years' service. There must be a few now in the UK, possibly even reading and contributing to this forum, ticking off potential clients!

I take it from the lack of comment on the social implications of these kind of practices that the the students here are all rich kids, who also have an interest in the self-perpetuating power of their clique, however medicore.

Legacy candidate practices are generally seen as corrupt and unethical in the UK. I am sure it does occur, humans being humans, but it must be very marginal now in Britain. The right-wing press in Britain trumpets at how great US college education is - and it surely is brillaint for a privileged few - but there is neer any talk of the social cost. Nor much awareness of the underhand practices.

Most agree that admissions should be based on merit. The Ivies indeed recognise that this isn't enough, and do reserve a few places and some money for those who are less privileged. But these places are so few that it seems to me like the rich trying to clean their conscience. All the more so when all the rich kids feel the need to have some kind of "charitable activity" in their trumped-up CVs.
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shiny
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#38
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I agree with Africa. We have to remember that most of these universities are private institutions. As long as they do not break discrimination laws, they can pretty much admit people anyway they want.
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Minta
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#39
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http://www.collegeconfidential.com/discus/ is a really good place to find out about all aspects of the American uni system.
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amexblack
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#40
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(Original post by sjoshi64)
Btw, I dont think anyone can complain about money in the US
Hmm, while I realise American Unis spend huge amounts on financial aid, I don't agree that money shouldn't be an issue. The cost of applying alone is enough to put the majority of english students off. If you are going to take SATs only once, that will be around $100 in fees. Bear in mind that most people take them at least twice. To get a good score on SATs, you need some sort of training. No matter your intelligence, you can't simply walk in and do well. At the least that's another $50 for the books (or far more if you're doing a course, like Kaplan). Then you've got the issue of application fees. I believe MIT's fee was around $60, and I think the other Ivy leagues had similar fees. Most people apply to at least 4 Unis. That's another $240. Also, most Unis will expect you to meet an alumni for an interview - often you would be expected to travel to London.

So, simply to apply I think you have to spend at least $400 - and, of course, it could all be for nothing if you don't get an offer.

I think it's completely out of the question for a british student from a poor background to consider a US education. The costs are simply too high, even with all the fancy financial aid.
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