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    I am an American looking to attend undergraduate university in the United Kingdom and Durham is my first choice. However I am also applying to St. Andrews, Exeter and the University of Edinburgh.
    Because I am applying to the English department at Durham, the requirements are 5,5,5 (A-levels) in relevant subjects, to include the English literature AP test. I'm curious to see if anybody knows the system or has had an experience that suggests I may be accepted unconditionally, or if I absolutely must wait for my AP scores (which will not be available until MID-JULY!). My "achievements" are as follows:
    _________
    AP Scores: 5 US History, 4 World History, 4 English Language and Composition
    APs to be completed: European History, Microeconomics, US Government and Politics, Psychology, and, of course, English Literature and Composition.
    (My referee has predicted I will receive 5s on all, apart from Microeconomics, for which he has predicted a 4)
    SAT scores; 2070 overall, 770 Writing, 700 Reading Comprehension, 600 Math.
    SAT Subject Tests: Literature and US History (I haven't received my scores yet but I am confident I will get over a 700 in both)
    GPA is around a 97, or 3.9-4.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    Extracurriculars include 2 years of Varsity Golf, 2 years acting as Vice President/Co-Founder of my High School's International Club, 2 years as a member of the National Honor Society, 2 years as a member of the National Latin Honor Society and multiple regional, state and national Latin awards. I know extracurriculars are not even important for UK schools, but these are a few.
    Also, me English teacher of two years is acting as my referee and I believe he will write an excellent recommendation as I am one of his top students (also is making predictions that would satisfy requirements). I have also showed him my personal statement and he said it was fantastic.
    _________
    I know this is an extremely long post, but I am dreaming about attending Durham and hoping that I may be accepted unconditionally or even conditionally. I hear that they will sometimes show leeway to Americans with test scores, because In the US most students have already enrolled in University by April or May. My dilemma, therefore, is that If I receive a conditional offer from Durham I will not know whether I have been accepted until Mid July, which is months after American decisions must be made.
    Also, If anybody can comment on my chances of being accepted to my other choices (St. Andrews, Edinburgh and Exeter), I would greatly appreciate it. My brother was accepted into St. Andrews a few years ago with lower SAT scores and fewer AP scores, so Im assuming their requirements (which are extremely vague on the website) are not as demanding.
    Thank you SO MUCH to anybody who can help me. It's so difficult to find information, even online, about my circumstances and I am incredibly grateful to anybody who takes the time to read this and write a response!
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    (Original post by ashleymissoni)
    I am an American looking to attend undergraduate university in the United Kingdom and Durham is my first choice. However I am also applying to St. Andrews, Exeter and the University of Edinburgh.
    Because I am applying to the English department at Durham, the requirements are 5,5,5 (A-levels) in relevant subjects, to include the English literature AP test. I'm curious to see if anybody knows the system or has had an experience that suggests I may be accepted unconditionally, or if I absolutely must wait for my AP scores (which will not be available until MID-JULY!). My "achievements" are as follows:
    _________
    AP Scores: 5 US History, 4 World History, 4 English Language and Composition
    APs to be completed: European History, Microeconomics, US Government and Politics, Psychology, and, of course, English Literature and Composition.
    (My referee has predicted I will receive 5s on all, apart from Microeconomics, for which he has predicted a 4)
    SAT scores; 2070 overall, 770 Writing, 700 Reading Comprehension, 600 Math.
    SAT Subject Tests: Literature and US History (I haven't received my scores yet but I am confident I will get over a 700 in both)
    GPA is around a 97, or 3.9-4.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    Extracurriculars include 2 years of Varsity Golf, 2 years acting as Vice President/Co-Founder of my High School's International Club, 2 years as a member of the National Honor Society, 2 years as a member of the National Latin Honor Society and multiple regional, state and national Latin academic awards. I know extracurriculars are not very important for UK schools, but these are a few.
    Also, me English teacher of two years is acting as my referee and I believe he will write an excellent recommendation as I am one of his top students (also is making predictions that would satisfy requirements). I have also showed him my personal statement and he said it was fantastic.
    _________
    I know this is an extremely long post, but I am dreaming about attending Durham and hoping that I may be accepted unconditionally or even conditionally. I hear that they will sometimes show leeway to Americans with test scores, because In the US most students have already enrolled in University by April or May. My dilemma, therefore, is that If I receive a conditional offer from Durham I will not know whether I have been accepted until Mid July, which is months after American decisions must be made.
    Also, If anybody can comment on my chances of being accepted to my other choices (St. Andrews, Edinburgh and Exeter), I would greatly appreciate it. My brother was accepted into St. Andrews a few years ago with lower SAT scores and fewer AP scores, so Im assuming their requirements (which are extremely vague on the website) are not as demanding.
    Thank you SO MUCH to anybody who can help me. It's so difficult to find information, even online, about my circumstances and I am incredibly grateful to anybody who takes the time to read this and write a response!
    It's totally at the discretion of the admissions tutors. Unconditional offers are becoming more common because a cap on student numbers was lifted for the first time in the 2014/15 admissions cycle and some universities have taken to giving out unconditional offers, mostly for financial reasons. With Durham, I think it's anybody's guess but, if I had to guess, I'd say the chances are pretty slim. If you get an offer, it will likely be conditional on getting those three 5s in your APs.

    The extracurriculars aren't as important for UK universities as they are for U.S. universities. Don't get me wrong, they're important to most universities here in the sense that they want some evidence that you're not just a book nerd. But because you apply for a specific subject, the academics are far more important and, unlike in the U.S., somebody with lower academics and excellent extracurriculars will never get an edge over somebody with high academics and average/not so good extracurriculars.

    I don't know about whether Americans get leeway or not -- that's the sort of thing they're unlikely to talk about publicly because the party line for UK universities is always that they treat everybody fairly and equally (unlike the silly concept of 'legacies' that you have in America ). I can see it's a dilemma but it is what it is: if they give you a conditional offer, you'll need to meet it to be guaranteed a place. In some instances, people get accepted having missed their offers but there's no guarantee that will happen in any one case. You'll just have to see how it develops, I suppose.

    One small correction: When you get a conditional offer, you know you've got in. You just need to get certain grades and then you're guaranteed entry. Not getting in is when you don't receive an offer at all.

    It's not my business, but why not just go to a US university if you get an offer? At least those offers are unconditional. Plus the situation with tuition fees and financial support for internationals in the UK is absolutely horrendous. The system works for Home/EU students but it's pretty unforgiving for internationals.
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    I too am applying to Durham as an American!

    I think it is possible, but that's based on my experience as a fellow international applicant.
    I've received an unconditional offer from York already so I do think that Durham would lean more towards giving you an unconditional offer based off of the fact that you already have various APs and Subject Tests under your belt. I'm only speaking from personal experience here on how UK universities treat American applicants of course. I don't know if my experience with York also carries over to Durham, though I hope so.

    Good luck and I hope you get into your dream school!
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    Thank you so much! I may apply to York as well, considering I have one empty choice. I hope you get into your dream school, as well. Who knows, we may meet someday!
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    Thanks for your reply! In response to your question, there are many reasons why I am primarily considering British unis over American. My older brother with whom I am very close lives in Scotland, so it would be nice to live with/near him. Second, believe it or not, British unis are REMARKABLY cheap compared to the average private liberal arts education in the US...usually these schools are about $48,000 a year purely for classes...tack on another $17,000 for accommodation, books living expenses and plane flights-around $60-65,000 per year.
    Of course culturally/socially Britian would be superior for me, I really feel that different varieties of cultures and opportunity for travel can best be experienced in the UK. And I don't know if this is a generalization, but it seems that your educational system produces better thinkers who prize learning (especially mastering one subject) above grades. I'm so tired of the people at my school who are far above me in grade rank but think that Scotland is a city in England (I kid you not- a girl who's #2 academically in my grade level asked me that the other day). And of course, English schools have 3 year degrees, which would save time considering I know what I want to do. Long response, I know, but there really are many reasons why I would pick your UK schools over the American ones.
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    (Original post by ashleymissoni)
    Because I am applying to the English department at Durham, the requirements are 5,5,5 (A-levels) in relevant subjects, to include the English literature AP test.

    AP Scores: 5 US History, 4 World History, 4 English Language and Composition
    APs to be completed: European History, Microeconomics, US Government and Politics, Psychology, and, of course, English Literature and Composition.
    Your 4 in ELC won't look terribly good. You have only one 5 currently, meaning that any offer you get is almost guaranteed to be conditional.

    I know this is an extremely long post, but I am dreaming about attending Durham and hoping that I may be accepted unconditionally or even conditionally. I hear that they will sometimes show leeway to Americans with test scores, because In the US most students have already enrolled in University by April or May. My dilemma, therefore, is that If I receive a conditional offer from Durham I will not know whether I have been accepted until Mid July, which is months after American decisions must be made.
    They do not care when American decisions need to be made. I received a conditional offer (a minimum GPA requirement, as I was already completing my first degree) which was actually impossible for me to not meet, barring not actually passing the courses. Results did not come out until August. They did not make my offer 'unconditional' until I had sent in my results. I had to be in Durham less a month later for orientation - meaning getting my visa was an extremely stressful process (which they don't care about).
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    (Original post by ashleymissoni)
    Thanks for your reply! In response to your question, there are many reasons why I am primarily considering British unis over American. My older brother with whom I am very close lives in Scotland, so it would be nice to live with/near him. Second, believe it or not, British unis are REMARKABLY cheap compared to the average private liberal arts education in the US...usually these schools are about $48,000 a year purely for classes...tack on another $17,000 for accommodation, books living expenses and plane flights-around $60-65,000 per year.
    That's fair enough. Although it's still pretty expensive for internationals. What's different about universities over here is that almost all of them are public universities, not private ones. As such, the UK government caps the amount that most universities can charge Home/EU students at £9 000/year (although that's set to rise with inflation in future) and if you're Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish, even this amount is subsidised by the regional governments to varying degrees depending on where you study.

    For internationals, however, the universities can charge whatever they like and they frequently charge upwards of £20 000/year for internationals, so you'd have to look at what the universities you're applying to will charge you to decide whether it really is less than $48 000/year. The living costs, however, are almost certainly going to be less than $17 000/year, especially outside London. Not sure about books. Plus, if you're into focusing on just one subject instead of starting off broadly and then specialising towards the end of your degree, then studying in the UK is definitely your cup of tea.

    Of course culturally/socially Britian would be superior for me, I really feel that different varieties of cultures and opportunity for travel can best be experienced in the UK. And I don't know if this is a generalization, but it seems that your educational system produces better thinkers who prize learning (especially mastering one subject) above grades. I'm so tired of the people at my school who are far above me in grade rank but think that Scotland is a city in England (I kid you not- a girl who's #2 academically in my grade level asked me that the other day). And of course, English schools have 3 year degrees, which would save time considering I know what I want to do. Long response, I know, but there really are many reasons why I would pick your UK schools over the American ones.
    It's debatable whether we produce the better thinkers in this country; America, despite its reputation for bad education, does produce more innovations and more Nobel Prize laureates than any other country. About the grades however, I'll have to disappoint you: the British education system is just as grade-obsessed as the American one. Again, it's debatable whether it imparts better thinking skills but grades are certainly as important here if not more, especially since excellent extracurriculars are never considered acceptable substitutes for lower grades in the UK as they are in America. In that respect, entry to university is less holistic and more grade-focused. :dontknow:

    As for prizing learning, it's the same as it is in America: some do, some don't. You will almost certainly meet people here who're just attending university 'for the experience' rather than any real passion for their subject -- it's considered an automatic thing here. If you don't leave formal education at 16 and go to what's called 'sixth form', university is seen as the natural move and schools more or less expect it that you'll go to university after leaving them.

    But anyhow, I've rambled enough. If you wanna come here, come here. I'm sure you'll have a great time since you do seem kind of stifled by the limitations of American education. I'm actually applying to American universities in addition to UK universities because I'm kind of attracted by the prospect of deferring specialisation for a few years, so it's definitely an individual thing. :lol:
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    (Original post by ashleymissoni)
    I am an American looking to attend undergraduate university in the United Kingdom and Durham is my first choice. However I am also applying to St. Andrews, Exeter and the University of Edinburgh.
    Because I am applying to the English department at Durham, the requirements are 5,5,5 (A-levels) in relevant subjects, to include the English literature AP test. I'm curious to see if anybody knows the system or has had an experience that suggests I may be accepted unconditionally, or if I absolutely must wait for my AP scores (which will not be available until MID-JULY!). My "achievements" are as follows:
    _________
    AP Scores: 5 US History, 4 World History, 4 English Language and Composition
    APs to be completed: European History, Microeconomics, US Government and Politics, Psychology, and, of course, English Literature and Composition.
    (My referee has predicted I will receive 5s on all, apart from Microeconomics, for which he has predicted a 4)
    SAT scores; 2070 overall, 770 Writing, 700 Reading Comprehension, 600 Math.
    SAT Subject Tests: Literature and US History (I haven't received my scores yet but I am confident I will get over a 700 in both)
    GPA is around a 97, or 3.9-4.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    Extracurriculars include 2 years of Varsity Golf, 2 years acting as Vice President/Co-Founder of my High School's International Club, 2 years as a member of the National Honor Society, 2 years as a member of the National Latin Honor Society and multiple regional, state and national Latin awards. I know extracurriculars are not even important for UK schools, but these are a few.
    Also, me English teacher of two years is acting as my referee and I believe he will write an excellent recommendation as I am one of his top students (also is making predictions that would satisfy requirements). I have also showed him my personal statement and he said it was fantastic.
    _________
    I know this is an extremely long post, but I am dreaming about attending Durham and hoping that I may be accepted unconditionally or even conditionally. I hear that they will sometimes show leeway to Americans with test scores, because In the US most students have already enrolled in University by April or May. My dilemma, therefore, is that If I receive a conditional offer from Durham I will not know whether I have been accepted until Mid July, which is months after American decisions must be made.
    Also, If anybody can comment on my chances of being accepted to my other choices (St. Andrews, Edinburgh and Exeter), I would greatly appreciate it. My brother was accepted into St. Andrews a few years ago with lower SAT scores and fewer AP scores, so Im assuming their requirements (which are extremely vague on the website) are not as demanding.
    Thank you SO MUCH to anybody who can help me. It's so difficult to find information, even online, about my circumstances and I am incredibly grateful to anybody who takes the time to read this and write a response!
    I'm an American and submitted my UCAS application to Durham, Newcastle, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Warwick for Business on September 15th. I have a 2020 SAT, 750 on math 2, 740 on world history, and 660 on literature for subject tests plus a 5 on apush and 4 on lang. On October 14th Durham replied first with the conditional offer of one 5 on any AP test I take this year (I'm taking Comp Gov, US Gov, both Econs, and Stat) This morning Newcastle said I needed to graduate with a 3.3 GPA and earn 4s on all of my AP tests. It seems like the caliber of the uni won't necessarily mean the offer will be higher since I don't think their admissions offices fully comprehend how difficult (or not) it is to receive certain results. I feel like Durham only made their offer like that so I don't just completely slack off for the rest of this year, knowing I'll have a spot anyway.
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    (Original post by nfthakar)
    I'm an American and submitted my UCAS application to Durham, Newcastle, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Warwick for Business on September 15th. I have a 2020 SAT, 750 on math 2, 740 on world history, and 660 on literature for subject tests plus a 5 on apush and 4 on lang. On October 14th Durham replied first with the conditional offer of one 5 on any AP test I take this year (I'm taking Comp Gov, US Gov, both Econs, and Stat) This morning Newcastle said I needed to graduate with a 3.3 GPA and earn 4s on all of my AP tests. It seems like the caliber of the uni won't necessarily mean the offer will be higher since I don't think their admissions offices fully comprehend how difficult (or not) it is to receive certain results. I feel like Durham only made their offer like that so I don't just completely slack off for the rest of this year, knowing I'll have a spot anyway.
    Thanks for your reply! Not going to lie, I'm a bit jealous of your offer- I've been offered a place, given that I make a 5 in AP Lit (which I hear is really difficult!). Hopefully this time next year we'll both be Durham students. Good luck!
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    (Original post by ashleymissoni)
    Thanks for your reply! Not going to lie, I'm a bit jealous of your offer- I've been offered a place, given that I make a 5 in AP Lit (which I hear is really difficult!). Hopefully this time next year we'll both be Durham students. Good luck!
    Well I actually decided to firm Edinburgh after they gave me an unconditional offer but good luck on the lit test. Im dropping lit at the semester because its so hard and I thankfully dont need to take the test
 
 
 
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