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American universities
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bathsh3ba · 05/06/2020 09:27

Can anyone advise me on how difficult/easy it is to get into an American university as a British student (not the top universities but a decent one)? Also how much it costs given that I assume no bursaries/loans are available to overseas students?

My youngest really wants to do this and I'm trying to figure out how much I'd have to save up and if I need to dash her hopes now or if it might be feasible.

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CatandtheFiddle · 05/06/2020 10:12

What about looking at UK degree programmes with a year abroad? You can look at programmes/universities which have year abroad agreements with some top-notch US universities.

Most US universities (worth the time & money) will cost a minimum of $US20,000 per year for overseas students. For 4 years.

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TheVanguardSix · 05/06/2020 10:26

Your DC MUST take the American SAT exam in addition to doing A levels, OP. She won't get into any American uni without sitting her SAT exam. So, that's something you'll have to research. It's an additional burden on top of A levels.

As an American parent with a DC who was gasping to go to uni in the States, I will say this: If it's not a top-notch school, it's NOT worth it. I agree with cat completely. Look into a degree programme with a year abroad. That's the best solution.

As for fees: you're looking at a minimum of £50,000 per year, not including spending money/money to live off of. It's not worth it unless it's Harvard, believe me. Look at the fee break down on different universities in the States. Your DD will also need American health insurance. She won't be classed as an out-of-state student, but international, which is hella expensive. Sorry to sound discouraging.
You could look into bursaries and scholarships, but again, they're not offered liberally.

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TheVanguardSix · 05/06/2020 10:32

By the way, when your DD is in Sixth Form, there will be talks held for parents and students looking to study in America and Canada. There will be a lot of info on how to go about applying for loans, bursaries, and scholarship, plus information on the SAT (American unis). If you find this is the route your DD really wants to travel and she really has her heart set on an American university, then attend these talks when the time comes.

What school is she looking into?

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affor · 05/06/2020 11:06

You are not looking at a minimum of £50k per year thats insane. $20,000 is more realistic for a reasonably good uni, like USC or USW. But yes there are more costs on top.

OP have a look on internationalstudent.com you can filter by price. But I second PP who said look at U.K. universities with a study abroad year, much cheaper.

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Ginfordinner · 05/06/2020 11:25

By the way, when your DD is in Sixth Form, there will be talks held for parents and students looking to study in America and Canada

Not necessarily. DD’s school didn’t discuss studying abroad at all. I would think that even less likely now.

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BubblesBuddy · 05/06/2020 12:43

My DD got a place at an American university and it was $20,000 per semester plus living expenses which were estimated by the university to be $20,000 pa. So add that to flights and incidentals it really adds up. I simply don’t recognise $20,000 pa. I would question the value of the degree from anywhere charging this over and above a British university.

I know students who have sports scholarships there so is that a possibility? My DD was awarded a small scholarship but we didn’t take it up.

The Ivy League unis are generous with needs blind scholarships. Others really don’t splash the cash for Brits.

I went to a Fulbright seminar in London and you will find there is next to nothing available to help with costs for the average Brit. It is different for post grad. As a result, leave it until then unless DC is super bright or do an exchange as suggested above. The costs for the best unis are around £50000 and you are not likely to be eligible for much help and bursaries go to Americans. There are lots of them but Brits don’t qualify.

American universities discount fees to locals as well. We looked at William and Mary in Virginia recently. Generous discounts for Virginians but not for Brits. It simply isn’t worth it unless you get in needs blind.

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BubblesBuddy · 05/06/2020 12:44

Few schools give talks on the USA for higher education and only around 450 dc go every year. Most are rich.

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bathsh3ba · 05/06/2020 12:45

Thank you everyone. At the moment she thinks Architecture but she doesn't know enough about the different universities to know where. Basically she loves America and all things American, wants to emigrate and sees this as a way in. She is bright, at a fee-paying school in the UK and should get good results if not the very top results.

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Xylophonics · 05/06/2020 12:57

I think it's the preserve of the very rich. My DCs state 6th form certainly don't actively support their students to apply abroad.

I would have thought if your DD turns out to be very academic then it would be easier to do a postgraduate degree there.

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GalesThisMorning · 05/06/2020 13:04

No way can you go to an American university as an overseas student for 20k per year

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LadyLeucadia · 05/06/2020 13:21

It cost me circa $30,000 a year to attend a good private university about 15 years ago as an American.

It's $70,000 for an international student there now. USC is about $80,000. University of California is around $70,000 as well. And remember this is for four years.

The immigration system has tightened up massively recently. And a work visa doesn't necessarily lead to settlement.

I think her best bet is to self fund or get really good at sport and get a sports scholarship.

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JBX2013 · 05/06/2020 13:24

Hi Bathsh3ba! (Bathsheba Everedene?)

I agree with most points made so far. We looked at this in some detail in 2016 for 2017 entry. We also visited one Ivy League campus whilst on vacation out there.

The top courses are 4 years for a first degree. Does your daughter really want to do that?

She will also have to do a range of topics at a top Uni in their ' Liberal Arts' approach. Some first year courses and some second year courses may be too basic if she has good A Levels.

Money? Try the Funding Calculator most Unis have on their web sites and do check the fine print for eligibility for financial support. Harvard is now $70,000 per year all in; some are around $35,000.

SATs or equivalent will need serious prep immediately after Year 12 finishes, then straight into the UCAS work for UK Unis; so it's quite a grind.

We have Architects in our family and now know some students in that field, too. It's a long, tough road, with sometimes little paid professional work at the end of it. Quite a few students simply take the first 3 years in the UK as a degree and never go on to qualify professionally.

How about your daughter finds out which 6 US Architecture 'post grad' 'schools' she wants to qualify out of and which 6, if any, undergrad schools she fancies? Worth then planning for meeting entry requirements, running some rough financial numbers and then emailing the individual Admissions Departments for their guidance?

My daughter, too, wants to work in the US, one city in particular. She is a new Cambridge graduand, twiddling her thumbs for now!

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DulciUke · 05/06/2020 13:27

Many U.S. universities are getting of rid of the SAT as a requirement--you would have to check with the individual school. Also, many people make the mistake of going to an Ivy, or school with a famous name, without researching whether their particular major is highly rated there. A less well known (and cheaper) school may be tops in the country for that particular area of study. But Harvard has name recognition back in the U.K. whereas most other US schools do not (assuming that they returned to the U.K. for work).

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taraRoo · 05/06/2020 13:30

Hi op. Can't give you advice on uni but if your dd wants to study architecture I wouldn't recommend the us. You need to study of a minimum of five years to become an architect and I believe it is similar in the US. It's a very expensive course as you need to buy materials and have a high spec laptop. American architecture is not that well considered and she would be better off in a European school.

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Imohsotired · 05/06/2020 13:40

If your daughter wants to move there then it might be easier to study something that provides employment in a multinational. There are transfer visas which can often convert to company sponsored green cards. I moved via this route and met countless friends from UK who had done the same. We were in banking and finance roles

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Ginfordinner · 05/06/2020 13:52

Few schools give talks on the USA for higher education and only around 450 dc go every year. Most are rich.

That will be why it won't have been covered at DD's state comprehensive school then.

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Needmoresleep · 05/06/2020 14:15

DS has just finished a two year taught Masters and is going onto a four year PhD, all fully funded by the University.

He did his UG and first Masters in the UK.

Undergrad and post grad in the US are very different. No frat houses or the other stuff associated with campus life. However a few random observations:

  1. DS was surprised at the grind. All sorts of mid term exams and a need to keep up a tip top GPA and class position. Scores were very concentrated on the top end, so you had to get very close to 100% to get your A. It felt like every three weeks he was revising for another set of tests. Most were multiple choice so it was more about knowledge rather than your ability to expand on that knowledge. That said he did sufficiently well through the year that he did not have to sit the end of year exams. His friend, who did badly in one paper early in the year, was never going to be able to recoup the lost marks. DD reckons that her friends who went to the US are having to work harder. Indeed DS was a bit surprised at how hard his peers expected to work.

  2. No alcohol! DD was seriously miffed when we visited. You need to be 21, and one place was even a bit funny about her being with us when we went a pizza, as it was labelled a "sports bar".

  3. In technical subjects, the UK specialisation from A level onwards means that four years in a UK University (through to Masters) takes you a lot further/deeper than in the US. However because of the specialisation you do not get the same breadth.

    I am not sure I believe Bubbles assertion that only 450 kids from the UK go on to study in the US each year. Numbers are growing pretty exponentially, and most academic London private schools , and their boarding equivalents, are sending significant numbers. I assume that quite a few of these will have at least one American parent, or parents from non British backgrounds, so may not count as "British", though there were quite a few scholarships for those with strong sports or academics.

    Many US Universities do recruitment trips to London and it would be worth going to some of these at an early stag. Applications are different, and it is not uncommon for DC to apply to a dozen or more Universities. Some have a "Common Application" but far from all, so you spent the summer before Year 13 writing applications and essays. UCAS is much easier.

    I agree with others. Unless there is a real reason to study in the US, do it as a year abroad.




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affor · 05/06/2020 14:37

Will hold my hands up and say i was wrong! I had the wrong USC - the Australian one!

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Ginfordinner · 05/06/2020 14:45

Numbers are growing pretty exponentially, and most academic London private schools , and their boarding equivalents, are sending significant numbers.

That is quite a small number of schools though, given that most students in the UK will have have a state comprehensive education.

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highmarkingsnowbile · 05/06/2020 14:46

If you can afford it, I'd look into it but honestly if she's going for a master's it might be better to do a year abroad there and then do a master's there.

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candycane222 · 05/06/2020 14:49

My ds did a uk course with an exchange progrmme for one if his years. He had a terrific time, and is still in touch with many (international) friends he made there. Gave him a great idea of what US is like - one $1800 medical bill for a butterfly stitch after falling over when drunk ( he turned 21 out there) was enough to cement his belief that it wasn't going to be his home long term! Grin (Insured, tf)

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DreamingofSunshine · 05/06/2020 14:55

The other thing to consider is that even if she does her degree there, I don't think she'd have the right to stay afterwards.

I did a year abroad in New York as part of a four year degree in the UK and it was brilliant. I can understand her wanting the experience but it's incredibly expensive, and unless the visa has changed you can't work even on campus for the first year.

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Needmoresleep · 05/06/2020 15:35

Ginfor dinner,

Of course most kids are not educated in London private schools. Indeed most kids are not educated in London. However things have changed fast in the decade and a half since Bubbles DC started thinking about University. London in particular has become a lot more international. Parents are educated elsewhere and they do not automatically have UK Universities as their first choice.

The number going from the UK to the US must be higher. DCs school used to send about 30 a year, and there are a number of schools, London and boarding, which are sending significant groups. Then international and American schools like Southbank and ASC/ASL, not to mention colleges like DLD. And sporty schools like Millfield and Kings Bruton Then kids with American links.

If a DC did want to study in the US it would be easier to switch at sixth form to a school used to preparing for US entry.

US universities like diversity amongst their student body, and amongst internationals, British applicants are usually well represented. So dual nationals often focussed on being Lebanese or Palestinian or whatever their other nationality was. (Or that’s my guess as to the reason behind Bubbles odd number.)

Anyway DS has no regrets about waiting till post grad to study in the US. Career wise, that is the better time to attend a research heavy University.

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GalesThisMorning · 05/06/2020 15:58

My DS in dual national American-British and really wanted to study in America, but he can't. It's too expensive and the way student loans need to be repaid is really punitive and difficult for young people.

Postgrad is a better, cheaper option

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CatandtheFiddle · 05/06/2020 16:20

I think, too, with something like Architecture, it would be so nation-specific in terms of learning the building regs etc (and architecture training is far more nuts & bolts than desinging glamourous Sydney Opera Houses) that unless a person were to be able to stay on in the US, the degree might prove less than useful back in the UK.

And why would you go past the excellence of the UK Bartlett School, for example? It's an internationally leading school of Architecture, right there in London, where there are still some amazing building projects.

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