Presentation on theme: "Study in the USA. Promoting peace and cultural understanding through educational exchange Awards for postgraduate study and research in the US and UK."— Presentation transcript:
Promoting peace and cultural understanding through educational exchange Awards for postgraduate study and research in the US and UK Fulbright Advisory Service offering information and advice on all levels of US study to the UK public Part of EducationUSA global network of more than 400 advising centres supported by US Department of State US-UK Fulbright Commission: President John F Kennedy signing the Fulbright-Hays Act; Senator William J Fulbright (far left)
Terminology Differences: USUK High school, grades 9 - 12Years 10 - 13 College, university, institute, school University Class, courseModule Degree program, majorCourse PublicState-funded
Open Doors 2011 Data British Students in the US American Study Abroad Students in the UK
Key Facts UK Student Interest: Largest ever USA College Day fair with 165 exhibitors and 4,000 attendees –Twice as many students as 2009 event –50% increase in exhibitors from 2009 –43 new universities in 2011 –Diversity of institutions 40% increase in web traffic over the last year 30% increase in SAT and ACT test takers in the last two years Some universities reported up to 50% increase in applications in 2010-11
6. Learn About a New Culture & Expand My Horizons Jorja Hudson, British student at San Jose State University
Overview & Key Differences: Degrees on offer: –Two-year/community colleges (Associate’s degrees) –Four-year (Bachelor’s degrees) –Law and Medicine studied at postgraduate level Less government control: –More institutional diversity and freedom –But no set fees or centralised admissions process Application process: –Slightly longer application form –Apply to the university, not the department –Holistic review of your application
Typical Timeframe Time Before Enrolment Notes Spring / Summer - End of Lower Sixth 1 – 1 ½ Years Learn about US higher education and application process Begin researching and choosing universities Autumn of Upper Sixth – Before Semester Holiday 10-12 Months Finalise your selection of 4-6 universities Register for admissions exams Attend USA College Day (28, 29 Sept 2012) Begin admissions and funding applications Autumn of Upper Sixth – After Semester Holiday 8-10 Months Submit admissions applications (Early deadlines in November; Regular deadlines in January – March) Submit funding applications Spring of Upper Sixth 4-7 Months Receive admissions decisions (1 April at the latest for regular deadlines.) Summer after Upper Sixth 1-3 Months Notify universities by 1 May Apply for your visa Read the Pre-Departure Section of Fulbright website. Aug. / Sept.--Begin study in the US!
Application Components: Application form Admissions exam scores Transcript and/or school report 2-3 essays 2-3 recommendation letters Application fee
Selection Criteria: Academics –GCSEs –A levels Admissions exam scores Extracurricular involvement Personal Attributes –Interest in your academic field of choice –Character –Leadership abilities –Reasons for wanting to attend the university
Admissions Tests: Options: –SAT Reasoning & Subject tests –ACT & ACT with Writing –English-language proficiency exams What’s required Choosing between the SAT and ACT –Taking practice tests –Differences in format –Test sites and availability How admissions tests used in admissions How to prepare
Essays: Importance of admissions essays Opportunity to set yourself apart and showcase your unique qualities as an applicant 2-3 essay questions per university Likely able to re-use elements of essays for different universities
Recommendations: Ask someone who knows you well, both in and out of the classroom Letter should be a marketing tool for you as an applicant Consider meeting with your referee to discuss letter Make sure referee is aware of deadlines and paperwork to complete Above all, encourage referees to be enthusiastic, positive, descriptive and anecdotal and avoid being restrained and too modest
Recommendation Letters (cont.): UK: Joe Normal is a very likeable student with a solid future ahead of him. He interacts well with his classmates and seems to be quite popular amongst his peers. Academically, he achieves decent marks and has good relationships with his tutor, although he could be more focused upon deadlines... US: It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Joe Normal who ranks amongst the top five percent of students within his classes. He is not only passionate about his field of study, but also about involvement in the community and school. I have no doubt he will be an asset to your programme…
Source: NCES Cost of Attendance: Tuition and fees can vary significantly between universities May be a set semester/yearly rate or calculated on a per-credit basis The average tuition and fees rates in 2011-12 are: $20,770 (£13,100)/yr - out-of-state public four-year institutions $28,500 (£18,000/yr - private four-year institutions The average cost for all other expenses (books, room, board, travel, etc.) is $13,724 (£8,700) per year. Source - College Board, 2011
Sources of Funding: Personal or family funds Loans Merit-based scholarships and need-based financial aid from US universities, as well as sports scholarships Scholarships from external organisations
Visas: F-1 Student Visa or J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa (Fulbright and other government-sponsored programmes) Generally, straight forward process in the UK: –Receive your I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) from the US university –Complete SEVIS application (I-901) and pay fee ($200) online –Complete visa application and pay fee ($131) online –Schedule an interview at the US Embassy in London Refer to US Embassy for visa enquiries: –http://london.usembassy.gov –09042 450100 (Operator Assisted £1.20/min)
Social Media Facebook Page –US-UK Fulbright Commission –British Students in the US Group Twitter – Follow both our Feeds! -Advice: USAStudyAdvice -Commission-wide News: USUKFulbright -Awards: FulbrightAwards YouTube -Channel: USUKFulbright Flicker –To view photos from our programmes and events.
Choosing: Setting Your Goals: If you definitely want to study in the US, select: –Well-rounded list of 4-6 universities –2 dream/reach schools (Your Oxbridge) + 2 match schools + 2 safety schools (Think: Your UCAS insurance choice) If you need to get funding in order to go to the US: –Schools that offer financial aid to international students (many do, but not all) –Schools that offer the type of aid that best fits you: need-based, merit-based or talent –0-1 dream/reach school + 2-3 match schools + 2-3 safety schools If you are just throwing your hat into the ring, make sure you have a good back-up plan in the UK.
Choosing: Our Three-Step Process: 1.Think before you search. Prioritise the factors that are important to you. 2.Begin your search using online search engines, print guides and personal recommendations to narrow your search to 10-20 good options. 3.Do your homework. Roll up your sleeves and research these, narrowing the list to the 4-6 you apply to.
Factors to Consider: Type of university –Four year vs. two year –Public vs. private –Large vs. small –Ivy League (and other issues with prestige!) –“Public Ivies” –Association of American Universities or Carnegie Classification of Very High Research Activity –Liberal arts colleges –Land grant universities –All-women’s colleges –Specialist institutions –US universities abroad
Factors to Consider: Academics –Competitiveness of admission –Majors offered –Enrichment opportunities: Study abroad, internships, co-ops, undergrad research, honours programmes, etc. Location –Cost of living & lifestyle issues of being in urban, suburban or rural areas –Proximity to public transport / airports –Cultural differences –Weather and climate –Centres of excellence for certain fields Costs and availability of university funding –Reduce up-front costs –For university funding Campus life - atmosphere; activities; campus size; student body
Approximate Grade Conversions: GCSEs and A Levels: UK Letter Grade US Letter Grade US Numeric Value A*A+4.3 AA4.0 BB+ / A-3.5 – 3.7 CB3.0
Tips for Success: Be strategic about your choice of essay topics and link to admissions criteria Do not re-hash your CV or activities Use clear, concise language If you re-use an essay, be careful to double-check that all references within the text are to the correct university Proofread extensively Most importantly, be yourself! Don’t give the admissions officers the answers you think they want to hear; give them the truth.
Tips for Success - Funding: Start your scholarship search early Be willing to put in extra time and effort to seek out and apply for scholarships Be flexible in choosing universities Note you may need to ‘collect’ funding from multiple sources Other sources of financial assistance will likely be available once the student gets to the US, but these often cannot be taken into account in visa interview stage