Want to study in the US but come from a working class background

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GunnaFat
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I’ve been scouring the internet looking for an answer to my question but I am yet to find one. I really want to study in the US most preferably in a community college due to it’s lower tuition fees and easier entry into universities. I’m currently doing 4 A levels. Maths, Computer Science, Economics and Sociology and I’m predicted BA* AA. I would like to do a computer science transfer degree so I can enter an university there. I come from a working class background and I really need advice on how I am going to pay or afford tuition.
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Joleee
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https://uk.usembassy.gov/education-culture/study-usa/
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GunnaFat
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Thanks I really appreciate it 🙏
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scrubbucino
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(Original post by GunnaFat)
I’ve been scouring the internet looking for an answer to my question but I am yet to find one. I really want to study in the US most preferably in a community college due to it’s lower tuition fees and easier entry into universities. I’m currently doing 4 A levels. Maths, Computer Science, Economics and Sociology and I’m predicted BA* AA. I would like to do a computer science transfer degree so I can enter an university there. I come from a working class background and I really need advice on how I am going to pay or afford tuition.
If cost is what's important, then def go with community college. It's on average about 1/3 the price of a regular public university. Academics really don't matter for getting admitted too, the only thing you really need is a high school diploma or some other certification of completing secondary education (GCSEs would probably suffice). Some states (such as California or Minnesota) don't even require that. Make sure you choose one with a large international population, they'll be used to different academic standards. Also try to find a community college in the same state as the university you plan to attend so you have the least trouble with getting credits transferred.
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GunnaFat
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(Original post by scrubbucino)
If cost is what's important, then def go with community college. It's on average about 1/3 the price of a regular public university. Academics really don't matter for getting admitted too, the only thing you really need is a high school diploma or some other certification of completing secondary education (GCSEs would probably suffice). Some states (such as California or Minnesota) don't even require that. Make sure you choose one with a large international population, they'll be used to different academic standards. Also try to find a community college in the same state as the university you plan to attend so you have the least trouble with getting credits transferred.
Thanks for the advice. I’m looking attend a college in California then transfer to an uni there for exactly the reasons you just made. My GCSE grades should make the cut.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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https://us.suttontrust.com/

This programme was running when I was in school, many many years ago. Good to see it's still going! Check if you're eligible, etc.
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Trinculo
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I'm really, really struggling to see what the advantage of doing this might be.
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GunnaFat
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
https://us.suttontrust.com/

This programme was running when I was in school, many many years ago. Good to see it's still going! Check if you're eligible, etc.
I fit most of their criterias and have filled out a form which will notify me when I’m able to apply for it. Thank you so much!!
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GunnaFat
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(Original post by Trinculo)
I'm really, really struggling to see what the advantage of doing this might be.
The benefits for me are personal. I really just want to explore the world. I’ve resided in the UK for all my life and I despise being confined to one spot for such a long time especially due to financial issues. I want to leave my comfort zone and start fresh if that helps you understand.
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Grizwuld
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(Original post by GunnaFat)
I’ve been scouring the internet looking for an answer to my question but I am yet to find one. I really want to study in the US most preferably in a community college due to it’s lower tuition fees and easier entry into universities. I’m currently doing 4 A levels. Maths, Computer Science, Economics and Sociology and I’m predicted BA* AA. I would like to do a computer science transfer degree so I can enter an university there. I come from a working class background and I really need advice on how I am going to pay or afford tuition.
Are you mad?

"how I am going to pay or afford tuition" - well that's an interesting question in itself.

And then:

Your trying to go to California. Where will you be living? California rents make London look cheap.

Medical insurance at $2-300 per month, not including co-pays, disbursements etc.

Travel - you'll need a car and insurance for young people is as expensive there as here.


And this degree you get from a community college will it be recognised in the UK and how will UK employers evaluate it?

Have you checked the visa requirements?

I will stop here - you might think I'm being obstructive :confused:.
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GunnaFat
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(Original post by Grizwuld)
Are you mad?

"how I am going to pay or afford tuition" - well that's an interesting question in itself.

And then:

Your trying to go to California. Where will you be living? California rents make London look cheap.

Medical insurance at $2-300 per month, not including co-pays, disbursements etc.

Travel - you'll need a car and insurance for young people is as expensive there as here.


And this degree you get from a community college will it be recognised in the UK and how will UK employers evaluate it?

Have you checked the visa requirements?

I will stop here - you might think I'm being obstructive :confused:.
No you’re not being obstructive not at all besides I’m the one here asking for advice. I have family who reside in the Southern region of California which is another factor of why I’m looking into studying there however I will have to look into accommodation. When studying at a community college I’m opting to do a 2+2 program which is 2 years in a community college where I receive my associates and transfer to a uni for 2 years and I receive my bachelors which saves me thousands of dollars. I really don’t see myself coming back to the UK after completing my 4 years in the US as I might take up employment and start a new life there.
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Grizwuld
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(Original post by GunnaFat)
No you’re not being obstructive not at all besides I’m the one here asking for advice. I have family who reside in the Southern region of California which is another factor of why I’m looking into studying there however I will have to look into accommodation. When studying at a community college I’m opting to do a 2+2 program which is 2 years in a community college where I receive my associates and transfer to a uni for 2 years and I receive my bachelors which saves me thousands of dollars. I really don’t see myself coming back to the UK after completing my 4 years in the US as I might take up employment and start a new life there.
Argh!
You were holding out on me

Now that you have provided further and better information I will wish you all the luck you deserve
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GunnaFat
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(Original post by Grizwuld)
Argh!
You were holding out on me

Now that you have provided further and better information I will wish you all the luck you deserve
I appreciate the good luck and your advice
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Trinculo
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(Original post by GunnaFat)
The benefits for me are personal. I really just want to explore the world. I’ve resided in the UK for all my life and I despise being confined to one spot for such a long time especially due to financial issues. I want to leave my comfort zone and start fresh if that helps you understand.
If this is your plan, then this is your plan.

It makes very little sense to me. You'd be leaving a place where you a have a measure of financial support in terms of student loans etc, and where the HE system is known to you and suited. You'd be swapping that for an unusually expensive place where you would have no financial support and the HE system is very very different. I'm not sure exactly what the in-state requirements are for CA, but I'd imagine they're at least 2 years residency or a parent living there. If you're not an American, I don't even know if you can qualify at all for in-state fees.

On top of this, you do have to consider how the system works there - an undergrad degree typically doesn't qualify you for much of anything and the costs are very high. The graduation rate "on time" is actually very low - i.e. the number of people who graduate in 3-4 years is something you might have to think about.

My wider point would also be that Southern California is an absolute hellhole, and people are leaving the state if they can.The taxes are the highest in the country and quality of life is awful. Are you even sure you can qualify for a green card?
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Trinculo
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How about this one - do your university here with a year abroad to get a footing elsewhere, but with the security of the loans system here. Then, when you have your qualification and some experience abroad - make your move.
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GunnaFat
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(Original post by Trinculo)
If this is your plan, then this is your plan.

It makes very little sense to me. You'd be leaving a place where you a have a measure of financial support in terms of student loans etc, and where the HE system is known to you and suited. You'd be swapping that for an unusually expensive place where you would have no financial support and the HE system is very very different. I'm not sure exactly what the in-state requirements are for CA, but I'd imagine they're at least 2 years residency or a parent living there. If you're not an American, I don't even know if you can qualify at all for in-state fees.

On top of this, you do have to consider how the system works there - an undergrad degree typically doesn't qualify you for much of anything and the costs are very high. The graduation rate "on time" is actually very low - i.e. the number of people who graduate in 3-4 years is something you might have to think about.

My wider point would also be that Southern California is an absolute hellhole, and people are leaving the state if they can.The taxes are the highest in the country and quality of life is awful. Are you even sure you can qualify for a green card?
I see where you’re coming from but as I stated earlier the reasons for me wanting to study elsewhere is mostly for personal reasons. Really my main reason for picking CA over the states is due to family ties. I’m aware about the issues in California and if I was to finish studying there depending on how bad the situation in there I may consider moving to another state maybe Arizona ?? About the green card situation if I decide to reside there we will just have to wait and see. Thank you for your concern .
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GunnaFat
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(Original post by Trinculo)
How about this one - do your university here with a year abroad to get a footing elsewhere, but with the security of the loans system here. Then, when you have your qualification and some experience abroad - make your move.
About Year abroads do I decide to go where I want like a list of universities that I get to pick from or is it just picked out by the uni
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username5422752
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Hey,

I lecture in California for a small private college i.e University so I hope I can provide some useful insight for you going forward.

Firstly, I recommend you research entry requirements for different colleges - some will openly list them others you will be required to ask admissions - do not be afraid to question them about it. Most private colleges like mine offer "rolling admissions" until a class is completely full.

Secondary, as you are not a U.S citizen you will not be admitable for tuition aid, however CA do provide other initiatives which in some cases can assist foreign students, however these are extremely limited and on a strict means-tested basis,

Thirdly, you will most certainly be required to sit either a SAT or ACT test before you apply, be careful as some (smaller) colleges will mistakenly try and pinpoint a GPA score based on your high school (A-Level) results - obviously this is inaccurate but it's due to the unfamiliarity with the UK education system some colleges use this. I would recommend explaining this to them (politely).

Hope this helps!
Dr Adams
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bant_bus
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(Original post by GunnaFat)
I’ve been scouring the internet looking for an answer to my question but I am yet to find one. I really want to study in the US most preferably in a community college due to it’s lower tuition fees and easier entry into universities. I’m currently doing 4 A levels. Maths, Computer Science, Economics and Sociology and I’m predicted BA* AA. I would like to do a computer science transfer degree so I can enter an university there. I come from a working class background and I really need advice on how I am going to pay or afford tuition.
Hi! I was born and raised in the UK, graduated from Columbia on a full-ride (went for free), I come from a similar background. I created a resource to help students through the entire process - How to Get into US Unis. DM me your email to, let me share with you. It's free, just want to help as many people as possible

To answer your question in short, if you have great grades, you can go to any of the best unis for free. As in, you can go Harvard for free. Lots of the best unis offer up to 100% financial aid, which means you only pay what you're able to.
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GunnaFat
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(Original post by bant_bus)
Hi! I was born and raised in the UK, graduated from Columbia on a full-ride (went for free), I come from a similar background. I created a resource to help students through the entire process - How to Get into US Unis. DM me your email to, let me share with you. It's free, just want to help as many people as possible

To answer your question in short, if you have great grades, you can go to any of the best unis for free. As in, you can go Harvard for free. Lots of the best unis offer up to 100% financial aid, which means you only pay what you're able to.
Just sent you a message
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