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shiny
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#41
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#41
(Original post by sjoshi64)
Btw, I dont think anyone can complain about money in the US - if you can't afford to go and you are clever and rounded enough to get in and you are accepted, the universities will make sure you go. You CAN afford it if you need to be able to, and furthermore, application is usually need-blind and need-based - that means the person who decided whether you get in doesnt care how much money you need.
They may not care, but you might! Financial aid doesn't necessarily come in raw cash either. For example, at Harvard: "For international students who qualified for financial aid for the 2001-2002 academic year, an average aid package includes a $1,500 job offer, a $1,650 loan and $27,650 in scholarship. Compare these average award figures to 2001-2002 tuition, room, board, insurance, fees and personal expenses that total $37,400."
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H&E
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#42
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(Original post by amexblack)
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.
I agree. The marketing departments of many American universities are very effective at papering over the cracks of their institutions. If you are qualify for tution fee reductions in the UK, then that is the cheaper option. Even if you get full financial aid (no tutition fee) you will stay pay dearly for flights, living expenses, and other bills. I know a guy at Harvard who had to work up to 20 hours a week just to pay his bills - and he wasn't even an international student!
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sjoshi64
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#43
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I disagree on many points. Firstly, you say no one can walk in and take the SATs - I did. I also got what I consider a decent score. My expense for this was a large book called '10 Real SATs' which wasn't too expensive. If you have GCSE maths and GCSE English you do NOT need tutoring, unless you're lazy. Just keep doing practice papers regularly and this should be enough, if you're doing fine in school.

Secondly application fees need not be an issue - cant afford them? Get a fee waiver. All US universities provide these (I imagine they're obliged to do so) and you can ask for one which if approved, means no payment is required. I do agree the payment is normally very expensive, expecially if you're applying to many universities as most people do.

The interview: first, this is not compulsory. It DOES NOT adversely affect your application if it's not conducted. Regarding travel, I'm biased since I love in London anyway but you do not always need to travel to London. There are mnay interviewers outside London for all the main unis (esp. HYP) and moreover, they all paid for lunch/dinner.

Let's compare this to UCAS fees, travel to universities (so heading to Durham is cheap?), food whole you're there, accomodation, etc and i dont think it's at all out of the question.

(Original post by amexblack)
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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H&E
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#44
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(Original post by Ellie4)
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?
1. You don't need to take ACT.
2. Many people do not repeat any SAT's.
3. The procedure is less academically focused, not least because you are not applying for a specific subject. Much more information on your non-academic activities is required.
4. Excellence in any field is welcome. If you are a great rower you may be offered a place despite mediocre (or worse) academic performances. Academically, admissions to Oxbridge, or a competitive subject at LSC, IC, Warwick etc is more demanding than to Harvard.
5. The admissions system to the Ivys is a complete and utter disgrace. It is very flexible and therefore knowing how to play the system can be more important than ability. From http://ivysuccess.com/ :

Congratulations to IvySuccess student Jonathan, who has been accepted to every college he applied to, including Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, UPenn, Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, Duke, Johns Hopkins, U.Chicago, and Berkeley. As a student with 1260 and 1350 SAT scores, we are particularly proud of his record-breaking accomplishment.

How did Jonathan do this, despite frankly **** SAT socres? Well, he paid IvySuccess $18,000 (that is not exceptional - some consultants charge over $30,000). This company is made up of retired Admissions Tutors at all the above universities. They told him how to write his personal statement, which activities to pursue (they process starts 18 months before applying), how to get good reference letters, and hundreds of other details other people don't realise you can even include in your application.

Not only can you buy your way into Harvard and the like, if your parents went there you can get in no matter how badly your applications goes. I know a guy who got in with 4A*'s at GCSE and AAB at A-level. In addition, during his interview his mobile phone went off and he started talking to his mum. But his dad's an alumnus so he got in.
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sjoshi64
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#45
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#45
(Original post by H&E)
I agree. The marketing departments of many American universities are very effective at papering over the cracks of their institutions. If you are qualify for tution fee reductions in the UK, then that is the cheaper option. Even if you get full financial aid (no tutition fee) you will stay pay dearly for flights, living expenses, and other bills. I know a guy at Harvard who had to work up to 20 hours a week just to pay his bills - and he wasn't even an international student!
One more point - most unis will pay for flights home (since they don't provide accomodation during the summer) and one important thing you're forgetting is that British universities talk about tution fees whereas US unis talk about fees - UK unis dont factor in accomodation, dont factor in food. You may not be paying too much for these at Oxford, for example, but if you're at LSE the costs will add up. These costs are hidden, whereas they're openly included in fees for US unis.
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H&E
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#46
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(Original post by sjoshi64)
One more point - most unis will pay for flights home (since they don't provide accomodation during the summer) and one important thing you're forgetting is that British universities talk about tution fees whereas US unis talk about fees - UK unis dont factor in accomodation, dont factor in food. You may not be paying too much for these at Oxford, for example, but if you're at LSE the costs will add up. These costs are hidden, whereas they're openly included in fees for US unis.
Most British universities also provide bursaries and hardship funds etc.
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hornblower
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#47
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(Original post by H&E)
Most British universities also provide bursaries and hardship funds etc.
They're hardly that much.
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H&E
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#48
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#48
(Original post by hornblower)
They're hardly that much.
I agree, but most people manage to get by, albeit while incurring debts.
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shiny
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#49
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As I said before, they are private institutions and therefore can do pretty much what they want! Sad, but true.
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hornblower
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#50
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(Original post by shiny)
As I said before, they are private institutions and therefore can do pretty much what they want! Sad, but true.
Oxford and Cambridge used to be private institutions.
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H&E
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#51
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(Original post by shiny)
As I said before, they are private institutions and therefore can do pretty much what they want! Sad, but true.
It's not really because they're private institutions - British universities are too - it's much that they are extremely wealthy, and their alumni dominate American politics to a scary extent. For the period 1988-2008, i.e. twenty years, a Yale grad has/will be sitting in the Oval Office.
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hornblower
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#52
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(Original post by H&E)
It's not really because they're private institutions - British universities are too - it's much that they are extremely wealthy, and their alumni dominate American politics to a scary extent. For the period 1988-2008, i.e. twenty years, a Yale grad has/will be sitting in the Oval Office.
British universities are not private.

Most UK Prime Ministers are Oxbridge graduates, especially Oxford graduates in the last century.
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H&E
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#53
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(Original post by hornblower)
British universities are not private.

Most UK Prime Ministers are Oxbridge graduates, especially Oxford graduates in the last century.
But the whole concept of being an alumnus is different in the US - you hardly see Oxbridge alumni interviewing prospective students; their children's appliactions are not viewed favourably; and, most imporantly, far fewer of them contribute financially to the university.
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BossLady
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#54
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#54
(Original post by H&E)
Not only can you buy your way into Harvard and the like, if your parents went there you can get in no matter how badly your applications goes. I know a guy who got in with 4A*'s at GCSE and AAB at A-level. In addition, during his interview his mobile phone went off and he started talking to his mum. But his dad's an alumnus so he got in.
:confused:
Those grades aren't bad, sure AAAAAAA would be better, but DDD is bad not AAB, or 4A*s at GCSE.

Worringyly that site also says it has had success getting someone into oxford!

As for people "buying" their way in, well they can't all be stupid, HYP and the others are still some of the best (if not the best) places in the world to study and have a great academic record. If they were admitting loads of not so clever people, well their standard would have decreased alot by now wouldn't it!
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shiny
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#55
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#55
(Original post by H&E)
It's not really because they're private institutions - British universities are too - it's much that they are extremely wealthy, and their alumni dominate American politics to a scary extent. For the period 1988-2008, i.e. twenty years, a Yale grad has/will be sitting in the Oval Office.
British Universities (except that one - what is it called? Can't remember) are public institutions. They are funded by taxpayer money. Harvard is not.
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CamSPSer
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#56
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(Original post by sjoshi64)
Btw, I dont think anyone can complain about money in the US - if you can't afford to go and you are clever and rounded enough to get in and you are accepted, the universities will make sure you go. You CAN afford it if you need to be able to, and furthermore, application is usually need-blind and need-based - that means the person who decided whether you get in doesnt care how much money you need. One unfortunate byproduct of this excellent system is a huge amount of funds are needed, obtained through charging those who CAN afford the fees good money, and letting legacies in to keep the donations coming. Ask an Oxbirdge graduate if they have ever given money to the university, the asnwer will almost always be no. Ask the same of an Ivy Leage graduate and you wil find an amazing amount give in a regular basis which goes some way to explaining how they achieve this huge amount of aid. Whatever you call it, its not unfair - I'd like to see UK universities claim they can give out this sort of aid, then they can complain about egalitarianism.
1) people can and do complain about money in the US - one of the great things about the uk system is that anyone can go to any university (providing they get in) and then go on and do whatever career they want to. in america you only go to HYP if you can really afford it and are going to do something that earns a lot of money, or go on to do research
2)some oxbridge candidates will actaully have been given money, a number of colleges have hardship funds. and almost every single college subsidises room costs for everyone - some rents are as low as £50 and meal costs around £5/6 a day. this keeps costs down for students
3) while it may be needs blind it certainly isnt blind to rich people who want to send their daughters and sons to their university
3)they dont need 2 give out large amounts of aid as we have student loans, which are not available (as far as i know) in america which admittedly dont cover all living costs but are interest free
4) some universities are going to give out that kind of aid when the new fees come in
5)id like to see good american universities turn down people like george w. bush jr, then they can complain about egalitarianism
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CamSPSer
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#57
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(Original post by shiny)
British Universities (except that one - what is it called? Can't remember) are public institutions. They are funded by taxpayer money. Harvard is not.
the university of buckingham
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shiny
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Aha, that's the one. Thanks.

There are student loans in the US but these are commercial although usually the State or a rich university like Harvard will help to negotiate a better interest rate for students.
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CamSPSer
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#59
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(Original post by shiny)
Aha, that's the one. Thanks.

There are student loans in the US but these are commercial although usually the State or a rich university like Harvard will help to negotiate a better interest rate for students.
can imagine they are lining up to lend ivy league undergrads money in the hope that they'll bank with them when they're millionaires
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sjoshi64
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#60
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sorry, but a lot of this is crap - did you even bother to read my second post? There a lot of people here on these boards who want to apply to US unis and don't know how. These sorts of misleading, uninformed comments will really put them off which is unfair.

Dealing with your comments in turn:

1. What?? HYP if you can afford it? Why? What the hell has your future career got to do with this? I would understand aif you pointed out expensive tutoring can give an applicant an advantage, but to say you only go to HYP if you can afford it is just plain wrong. What you do afterwards makes no difference, what you want to do there makes no difference (unlike in the UK, look at compeition for courses such as veterinary science and compare them to a course like ASNAC).

2. 'some oxbridge candidates will actaully have been given money' - and US students haven't? I have no doubt that total aid is tenfold in the US than it is here, and that hardship funds and bursaries (excluding aid in the conventinal sense) dwarfs anything offered here. Meals and accomodation is subsidised in the US as well, that much should be obvious.

3. 'while it may be needs blind it certainly isnt blind to rich people' - what on earth does that mean? The concept of need-blind admission is terrific, and I don't know how on earth you could argue against that. It's simply good morals and good economics.

4. True. So what? US universitie are doing it now, and they've been doing it for longer. They've found innocative, sensible and excellent ways of raising funds. This sort of business acumen it toally lacking from educational establishments in this country and it will hold them back for yeras to come - the headstart is signifcant.

5. This one's a stupid point - should Prince Charles have been let into Trinity, Cam? I hardly think youre in a position to decide whether he should have got in or not

---


(Original post by notyourpunk)
1) people can and do complain about money in the US - one of the great things about the uk system is that anyone can go to any university (providing they get in) and then go on and do whatever career they want to. in america you only go to HYP if you can really afford it and are going to do something that earns a lot of money, or go on to do research
2)some oxbridge candidates will actaully have been given money, a number of colleges have hardship funds. and almost every single college subsidises room costs for everyone - some rents are as low as £50 and meal costs around £5/6 a day. this keeps costs down for students
3) while it may be needs blind it certainly isnt blind to rich people who want to send their daughters and sons to their university
3)they dont need 2 give out large amounts of aid as we have student loans, which are not available (as far as i know) in america which admittedly dont cover all living costs but are interest free
4) some universities are going to give out that kind of aid when the new fees come in
5)id like to see good american universities turn down people like george w. bush jr, then they can complain about egalitarianism
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