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Tag: USA

Passport to the World: A Snapshot View of College Education around the World

Its May! And even though traditionally December is the end of the year, for students May can often represent that end, especially since they have their eye on summer vacation around the corner. May 1st brings an end to the admissions cycle for US applicants who may their final decisions on colleges. Later in May, as Board results come out, other college decisions are made.

However, for other students, namely those starting their college journey, May is the beginning! Summer vacation brings holidays to fun places, catching up with school and working through reading lists. And so, as you explore higher-education opportunities around the world, we at CollegeCore decided to create a quick introduction to approaching college applications to colleges and universities around the world.

United States of America (USA): The idea of the American Dream isn’t a new one. Nor is the fact that US colleges and universities consistently rank amongst the best in the world. Which is why it isn’t surprising that the United States is probably the most popular destination for students venturing out of their home countries to study abroad. Most US institutions offer flexible programmes for all students, which help them find their interest before deciding on a major; this is particularly interesting to students coming from rigid curriculums like the majority of those offered in India. However, with 3000 incredible universities and an application process which is both involved and complicated, it is no wonder CollegeCore helps dozens of students through their applications every year! Whether its understanding the difference between Ivy-League and Public-Ivies, figuring out whether to ACT or SAT and wading through dozens of essays, the US application is a convoluted process with big rewards at the end of the journey.

Canada: Oh Canada! Now, more than ever, students applying to college in the US are also looking to Canada for more college and university options (especially considering the tenuous political climate and its impact on employment in the US). With incredible, world class universities to choose from, co-op programs which allow students to blend studying with valuable work experience and a more welcoming employment environment than the country to its south, Canada is an option we see more and more of our students choosing each year. And to great success! We have students attending all the top 10 universities in Canada with students making a clean sweep in their applications every year so consider Canada (though beware the cold weather that impacts the majority of universities). Like the US, Canada offers 4 year programs. However, co-op programs which includes work experience along with the academic course extends 4 year college to 5 year.

United Kingdom (UK): UK is a popular destination for students from India and why not! The UK and India may have had a difficult history fraught with conflict but there is immense familiarity in the education systems – three year programs, academically driven college decisions and education in English. But as is the case with most academic driven college decisions, competition is tough and so, we guide students as they apply to Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, UCL and LSE, truly the best of the best universities. With only one application allowing you to apply to a maximum of five schools, every step of the application counts to secure the college of your dreams. The UCASApplication form allows you to apply to 5 programs. It could be 5 different universities or 5 different programs in 1 or more universities. Moreover, it is important to note that due to the Oxbridge system, students can only apply to Oxford OR Cambridge, not both. While UK is still understanding the impacts of Brexit, the education system has felt no big impacts.

Singapore (S’Pore): With its relatively affordable education and top-notch courses in computer science, applied science, law and economics, Singapore is an excellent destination for students who are academically inclined and ready to perform their best. Being geographically proximate to India also means getting the chance to study abroad without ever feeling too far from home. Its rigorous curriculum, world-recognized degrees and a Ministry of Education Tuition Subsidy (Scholarship) to ease the financial expenses, mean that Singapore attracts more and more students to every year. The Ministry of Education Tuition Subsidy requires the recipient to work in a Singapore-based company for three years after graduation but is an excellent opportunity. Moreover, Singapore list of top universities universities also include Yale-NUS, which is the Asia location for Yale’s excellent faculty allowing students to access incredible education closer to home. Yale-NUS has the same application needs as US universities so it is different from the other Singapore universities such as NUS and SMU which are focused on grades to make admissions decisions.

Hong Kong (HK): What is it that your mind conjures when you hear the words ‘Hong Kong’? If you are thinking about a city of skyscrapers, busy businesses and maybe Bruce Lee movies, then your guess is right. But Hong Kong is also one of the major hubs for education in Asia, giving Singapore stiff competition as an excellent place to study STEM courses and engineering. Students can make the most of these technical courses taught in English Language while successfully positioning themselves to get great jobs in its fast-paced economy. So whether its HKU, HKUST or City University of HK, Hong Kong is definitely becoming a strong study-abroad destination for students who are looking for the next hub in Asia.

Europe: For the longest period of time an education in Europe meant studying in the UK. And though the UK continues to be a strong favourite, stricter visa rules and the decreasing number of employment opportunities are resulting in students considering other choices. And for good reason! European colleges offer great education but they also offer the opportunity to experience cultural diversity. However, language of instruction is often in the local language so we encourage students to take that into consideration when applying. If you don’t know French or German reconsider the application or look for programs in English which are limited. So whether you want to study Hotel Management in Switzerland, Engineering in Germany or Political Science at Sciences Po France, explore Europe as more than just a vacation spot.

ApplicationsDurationStyleCost
USACommon App+
Individual
Apps
4 yearsLiberal
Arts – allows
flexibility
to study beyond
major
Approx.
35-45
lakhs
Canada Individual
Apps
4 years (5
with co-op)
Flexible but less
than USA
Approx.
35 lakhs
UKCommon App
(UCAS)
3 years (4
in a few)
Restricts classes
to major
Approx.
25-35 lakhs
EuropeIndividual
Apps
Depends on
major
Restricts classes
to major
Differs by
college &
degree
S’PoreIndividual
Apps
4 yearsRestricts classes
to major
Approx.
18-25 lakhs
HKIndividual
Apps
4 yearsRestricts classes
to major
Approx.
18-25 lakhs

With the myriad of opportunities out there, we encourage students to use their summer break to explore, bring thoughtfulness and clear direction to their application process, and seize those passports to explore the world!

CollegeCore works with students applying to a myriad of colleges around the world and has been doing so for well over 17 years. Reach out if we can help you seize your passport to the world.

Rejected: Class of 2021

Rejection

Apr 1st, 2017. You wish someone would jump out and yell “April Fools Day!!!!” but they didn’t. #IvyDay has come and gone. Your dream school has crushed those elaborate castles of whimsy you had built in your head about your lives together. And life plain SUCKS. Like SUCKS!!

Rejection 2

They built you up with posts saying “COME TO US!” only to rip you right down to this stage.

Dealing with rejection is difficult. Most students take it personally that they were turned down. Some compare it to a break up. They feel like the “Sorry we can’t offer you a place in the Class of 2021…” really stands for “You Suck” but nothing could be further from that. And we aren’t just trying to make you feel better.

Hell, check out Frank Bruni’s awesome article on this from last year – College Admissions Shocker. 

Its not you, it really IS THEM! It becomes a game of Supply and Demand really – too many students are applying and there are only a handful of seats available.

So take a little time to feel upset – you worked hard for it. But then, pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Accept that this may be the first big rejection but that life hasn’t come to a standstill. You may do incredibly well in the college you have been accepted to and that could set you on a path for success. You could perhaps even apply to your dream college for grad school (applications? AGAIN?) Really though, embrace the school that embraced you and move on.

In case you are stuck in Waitlist Limbo, check out our advice on working through the 5 stages of Grief.

Timing is Everything: Figuring out the difference between EA, ED and RD

When to Press Send

When do you hit that Submit Button?

To add to your world of acronyms (SAT, ACT, PSAT…) we bring a few more! EA, ED, RD!

It’s October, which means you should have decided what colleges you want to apply to or at least brought it down to a shorter list. However, now, it’s all about timing.

While the terms EA, ED and RD apply mostly to the US colleges, it’s important to remember that even for the UK which has two deadlines (Oct 15 and Jan 15) and colleges in Canada and Singapore which have later deadlines, sometimes, applying early can make a major difference in the outcomes because the Admissions Officers have a lot more time to review the applications and thus, can get back to you sooner.

Now, let’s dive into what timing means for the US Admissions. EA and ED refer to Early Action and Early Decision. What does that mean?

Deadlines & Decisions

Early Action and Early Decision deadlines are, well earlier (around the 1st of November) and the decisions also come out earlier (around Mid-December). There is also something called ED II and of course RD or Regular Decision and their deadlines are usually at the end of the year.

EA vs. ED

EA (Early Action) applications are non-binding that means an applicant is not required to commit to the college, if accepted. You can still keep your options open till May 1. You can put in multiple EA applications and can also simultaneously apply ED to your Dream School. Basically you can have your cake and eat it too!

REA/SCEA (Restricted Early Action / Single-Choice Early Action)

Some schools like Yale, Stanford, Princeton and few others offer single-choice early action, i.e. you can’t apply early action or early decision to any other school. So you’d better choose wisely.

ED (Early Decision) applications are binding. This better be the school you are in love with and will be happy to give up on all others if you are accepted. Needless, to add you can apply ED to only one school. If accepted you HAVE to withdraw your application from all other schools unless the financial aid package offered does not meet the need specified by your family while applying. Do not even think of accepting an admission offer from a school other than your ED school. Remember you signed a contract and so did your parents and your high school!

ED II (Early Decision II) like ED is also binding however, unlike ED is a later deadline. Colleges like NYU and the Claremont Colleges offer the option to apply ED II thus showing your interest in the college but, because their deadlines are usually the same time as RD deadlines, you get more time to work on your application. Results come out Mid-Feb.

RD (Regular Decision) deadlines fall between November end and early January, well a majority of them do. A few RD deadlines spill into February/March and decisions start getting released by Mid-March. Competition gets tougher with everyone fighting for the spots left by the pro-active early applicants. It’s a good option if you are unable to decide on the one school that is the love of your life or are not ready in time for the early applications.

An early bird catches the worm, or does it?

early-bird

Yes, your application will be reviewed much before the RD applications but does that give you a clear edge? Not necessarily!

The ED applicant pool is usually the strongest. The applicants whose school grades are pretty much where they would like them to be by October, SAT Scores are in hand by early November and the essays have been written and re-written several times! You will be pitted against the strongest but will have an edge because you are committing early and not fishing for other worms.

You could treat EA applications as your Safety Net. It never hurts to have a couple of admission offers by mid-December to ease of some of the admissions pressure! If the offer is from a Dream School like UChicago or UMichigan, you’re home free!

When you finalize your University List, it is important to have a strategy of applying EA/ED/RD to the schools on your list. Take well informed decisions and consult an expert, as there is no going back on your decisions!

5 Takeaways On Visiting Colleges

We may live on the other side of the world from universities in the US and UK, but some students take the opportunity to go visit in the summer.

College Visits

Why Visit?

Visiting colleges can help you realize if it is the right place for you. You get a chance to connect with Admissions Officers, the mysterious beings who will be reading your applications. Additionally, your experiences can make for some interesting, personalized tidbits in the dreaded Why University essays.
For those venturing out on college trips, here are a few tips!

1) Sign up: Don’t show up unannounced, especially if the college only does tours by reservation. Go to their website and check out what times the Information Session and Campus Tours are. Sign up if you can to make sure you have a spot. Also, sign up for other opportunities if they offer them – sit in on a class, have lunch with a current student or maybe do an overnight visit.

2) Stalk them on Facebook: In this day and age, chances are that the colleges you visit will have an excellent website and a social media presence. Before you visit, read up about the school to get the full experience! Figure out the questions you might have, what you’re interested in. Moreover, you should be ready with questions to impress the tour-guide! Ask them about their experiences their first year -“What is your favorite general education requirement…” or more specific than that “I heard that the business school is adding an entrepreneurship lab, have you had any experience working with it?” Remember, YOU = STUDENT and not mom and dad. Mom and dad should take a back seat, this is your application process, own it.

3) Take Notes & Pictures: College 1 might stand out, but slowly, the differences between colleges 3 through 5 will blur together. Take notes and pictures to remind yourself! This will help later when questions arise. Don’t just note facts either. Saying that you were fascinated by the “14.3% population of international students” is not as impactful as “Rory, our tour guide’s story about Max Hall…” Names of the tour guide, admissions officer, campus buildings is what will set you apart. Pro Tip: Take notes in a notebook instead of on your phone. The info session leader can’t tell if you’re texting or writing notes when you’re on your phone. And no one likes to see an audience member texting away instead of noticing them.

4) Explore the Campus: You’re there! So explore. First, take the tour. That will help you figure out the campus, see the highlights and get to know a lot about the lay of the land. Then, keep time to explore the campus on your own. Have lunch in the dining hall, go check out the library and maybe even see the dorms. Understand how your life as a student would be.

5) Meet the experts: Current Students, Tour Guides and Admissions Officers are the experts on the University, each in their own way. Stop by the admissions office and introduce yourself to the Admissions Officers. If they have a regional admissions officer (which most colleges do), email them before you go to tell them you’re visiting and ask to stop by and say hello. Ask them to connect you to a current student perhaps that you can meet with during your visit. Collect their contact information and send a thank you email after!

Bonus Tip: For Seniors – Don’t Forget to Interview
Interviews are far and few in between for international students, who often don’t get to interact with admissions officers because they don’t always come to India. You’re visiting them, so don’t forget to interview! There are two ways to request an interview

a) Online – while signing up for an information session

b) By emailing them – reach out on the admissions email or contact us email to request an interview when you’re visiting campus. Even if they can’t offer it, the college will make a note you asked and that will be valued when you apply. And, as always, don’t forget to prepare!

Do Colleges Rescind Your Admissions?

Rescind Offer

IB exams JUST ended and ISC Board results are already out! While we eagerly await the CBSE Board results at the end of this month, you begin to wonder, “Were your exams good enough?”

After working like a crazy person in high school, taking the SAT’s / ACT’s and finally receiving your college acceptance letter, it’s enticing to slack off and treat your college admission as a go-ahead to senioritis (basically means decreased motivation to study nearing the end of high school).

BUT… wait a second! It’s not over yet. Colleges can still rescind your application after they’ve accepted you. For those of you who stopped reading your college acceptance letters at “Congratulations” take another look, it says something along these lines “conditional on the successful completion of your final year in high school.”

Here are a few things you should AVOID at all costs to avoid admission rescission:

1) Drop in your grades:

RO Study

Colleges will not rescind your application in case there is a slight dip in your grades but if they plummet, there is a high possibility. Although you might think “How would the college find out about your grades?” It’s because the college you enroll with receives a Final Report at the end of the year with your high school transcripts.

Here is what happens – any grade lower than a C will make the colleges question. They will NOT cancel outright. They will send an email or request for information on the same. Be open, honest and don’t make excuses. Definitely don’t lie or say you were ill if you weren’t. Not only is this dishonest, I firmly believe it’s a karmic nightmare. In the case of the Math CBSE for example, send them a compilation of the articles illustrating that this grade isn’t an accurate reflection of your academic abilities. It’s ok, you WILL make it through this too.

2) NO to Illegal Activities:

RO Illegal

This goes without saying. Anything illegal is not received well by colleges. Even if you feel like “it’s a one time experience” or that “you’d never get caught”. For example, colleges frown upon getting suspended for drug or alcohol abuse.

3) NO breaking School Rules:

RO Cheat

School rules must be treated with caution. This includes avoiding cheating, plagiarism or disciplinary actions taken against behavioral issues.  That’s not what universities want to hear about.

4) Social Media:

RO Social

Don’t put up elicit photos of yourself on social media sites or apps that you don’t want colleges to look at.

Besides this, try to keep up the work you’re already doing and try to keep the excitement alive for when you actually go away to college!