Studying at a US university

(13 Posts)
mathanxiety Sun 26-May-13 03:26:17

Misan, your DS should go on Facebook. He is sure to find a page for freshman entering NYU in the fall, maybe even an international students page. My DD has already joined a page for freshmen in the university she will be attending and as a result she looks forward to seeing some familiar faces when she gets there.

US universities hold orientation weeks for freshmen where they take them by the hand and introduce them to public transport, personal safety in the urban setting, etc. They are especially good at this in New York. You may think your DS is not street wise, etc., but there will be many US students who have never taken a bus or train in a big city before, or crossed streets teeming with traffic, or dealt with urban weirdos. Many US students come from farms or really small towns. Of course there are plenty from larger cities too, but your DS won't be the only one a long way from home or unused to NY city.

HoneyandRum Fri 17-May-13 07:31:01

One more thing! About FAFSA (Free application for federal student aid), international students cannot apply for federal aid, HOWEVER colleges often want international parents to complete the form (available in January) to see if the student is eligible for other forms of aid. By all students filling out the form they can directly compare all students who apply.

HoneyandRum Fri 17-May-13 07:23:59

Also HonestyisBest the Collegeboard website has a great search engine called Big Future to search for universities by region, size, academic area, cost etc.

I hope you are aware that attending US uni as an International student is very spendy. You will also have to provide documentation demonstrating the ability to pay up front for the student to receive a visa. Canada also has excellent universities which are often more affordable. International students can also take paid work during the week and in the holidays much easier than in the USA which has restrictions of 20 hrs per week of paid work the first year and only on campus.

Check out college web pages in the USA and Canada for merit scholarships and make sure the application is in in plenty of time so no deadlines are missed. In fact (unless your child is a US citizen) you cannot apply for financial aid, which happens in January. Therefore it is very much to your child's advantage to apply early - look for Early Action programs (Early Decision is different from Early Action and binds you to the college if accepted).

A student I know received a large scholarship from a university in Canada (she's in her first year). Deadlines in the US are usually a bit earlier than Canada but it depends on the university and the subject.

HoneyandRum Fri 17-May-13 07:04:41

A large number of well known universities use the Common Application, you can check out their website for more information. Look at the website of each University or College your child is interested in and see if you apply directly to the university or use the Common Application. The Common App is similar to UCAS in that one application is sent to a number of universities/colleges. However, the CP is more detailed and has more writing sections. Be aware that even though the student is already giving lots of information on the CP each university may have a supplement where they may want yet more information and another essay. You also have to pay for each university you apply to (using CP) and that can easily be $50 and up each time. The advantage is that you can apply to as many uni's/colleges as you wish as long as you pony up the application fee and are willing to spend plenty of time on applications.

The next SAT test is June 1st, check to see if the student can be a walk-in on the day otherwise the next date is October. Study for the SATs as the results are very important. Many US universities will give credit for A levels or IB exams so look into that as it can save time and money when taking a degree. Many of the best universiites are public - University of Virginia, University of Washington - Seattle, Texas at Austin, University of California (UCLA, Davis, San Diego, Berkley etc.). Look for public universiites that offer an "Honor College" program which A level students should qualify for. It's like a smaller uni within a much larger one with focused teaching and many advantages. The Honor Colleges are a method whereby large public institutions can attract top students.

The Common Application goes live for 2013/2014 entry in August, but the prompts (questions) for the essay are already online.

twojues Fri 19-Apr-13 09:11:59

Misan, my daughter went to college in Michigan last year. Like your son she was very shy and suffered from anxiety.
I was so worried about her going. We went out with her and made it a bit of a holiday. Spent a couple of days in Chicago and then went on to her college.

It has been the making of her. When I talk to her on Skype, I can see the change in her. She has got so much more confident.

She is so happy and has had a wonderful time. Making lots of different friends. She started in September and hasn't been home. She comes home next month and I can't wait. She will then return at the end of August for her second year.

Misan Tue 16-Apr-13 15:43:41

My son has been accepted by New York University he will be starting this year is there anybody out there whose SD might be starting this year. As I don't know what to do he will just have turned 18. He is very shy and reserved not at all streetwise, yet he is determined to go and I'm really worried about it. He has offers from Imperial College and Bristol but is not interested in them. Help and advice needed. Also if there are any first or second year students attending NYU please get in touch

mathanxiety Tue 12-Mar-13 05:22:26

You need to narrow down your choices -- see collegeboard. Then contact the universities you are interested in once you've sorted out the SAT, ACT, etc. Some universities prefer one over the other.

Some want the writing section of the ACT and some don't. In any case, many private universities will have a writing requirement to fulfill as part of the application process.

Financial aid -- FAFSA site here. But contact the universities you are interested in to find out what exactly they require. Many private universities require the CSS Profile which is on the collegeboard site in another section from the one above. You will need tax returns handy as well as other info such as salary, estimated value of house(s) and other property, stocks, shares, trusts, etc., when you fill out your forms.

Most good universities will be able to help you get all the paperwork sorted out, both wrt academic requirements and financial aid, and the visa process too.

If you contact universities by phone, it might be a good idea to buy minutes from some place like celtictel.com. Much cheaper than standard international rates.

MariscallRoad Mon 11-Mar-13 18:30:14

Now, when DS took tests, if you had missed a deadline for a SAT enrolment you could arrive on the day of the test at the centre, standby on a queue, pay and sit for the test. Find centres is the next step, try american schools near by! They have special arrangements for pupils who need extra time and other things - very nice people
If you wish questions PM me.

Honestyisbest Mon 11-Mar-13 16:28:49

ooh that SATS website is great. Thank you.

MariscallRoad Sun 10-Mar-13 11:55:00

DS had also acceptance at a US Uni. He studies in UK.

Useful is the collegeboard.com advice on 'find colleges' and taking SATS how to register practice and take exams.
You will also find universities in US have a representative for international admissions to guide you through the admissions process.

Honestyisbest Sat 09-Mar-13 21:54:16

Thank you boomting.

boomting Sat 09-Mar-13 14:07:28

I'd suggest having a look at The Student Room (UK based, but with good sections for international applications) and College Confidential (US based)

Honestyisbest Sat 09-Mar-13 07:51:05

Can anyone point me in the direction of advice on applying to US universities? Any good Forums? Has anyone successfully applied recently?

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