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Introverted.
04-18-2011, 01:00 AM
hi guys new to this forum. i am almost at my last 10 months of my NSF life(:D) and am looking to apply for next years summer intake at UCB, UCLA, UM, UIUC and maybe purdue, looking to major in computer engineering or its equivalent(i.e electrical engin and computer sci at UCB)
i've always wanted to study overseas, though admittedly i havent worked at it much :p, 2 H2 a's at a levels has pretty much ruled out UK for me(or has it? if anyone thinks otherwise please say so, only a school ranked similar or better than NUS in my intended major will do it for my parents though)

i last took my SAT 1 after o levels and scored not too well, slightly over 2000, and i am taking my subject tests in the upcoming SAT dates in 3 weeks time.

now i've just done one of the practice test on the math II prep book im using(barron's) and i scored a 700 according to their scale(34.5 raw). this has me a tad worried but i have read that barron's practice tests are harder than the real thing and im wondering if i should be overly worried?

another that this has got me thinking is if i dont score well enough(i.e close to 800) for my subject tests. there is one more international test date coming in june and i had initially planned to retake the reasoning test then but im wondering what should i do if i should take the subjects tests instead should the need arise.

thank you in advance :)

patryn33
04-18-2011, 07:17 AM
with UCB, UCLA, UMich - whats is your CCA?
I know UMICH has alot of RJC ppl.

without strong CCA or good SATs your best bet would be Purdue.

myguy
04-18-2011, 09:39 AM
There has been a surge in applications to US Universities this year and acceptance rates have plunged. It would appear that the better US Universities are now much harder to get into than the better UK Universities. So, if you don't have a stellar record, the UK may still be the better bet.

Its not so much the 2 H2 A's that you have, but what were the rest of the grades. If they were B, then you have a chance, but if you have D or S, then it will be extremely difficult.

Going overseas is more than just whether a school is ranked higher than NUS. You get a more diverse education and experience and that will make you more competitive in work life.

As patryn33 said, academics are not enough to get you into better US universities, your CCA counts heavily, kind of like "discretionary admission" at local U. They also want you to write an essay about yourself and that also counts heavily. If you have 4H2 A and write a lousy or even average essay, you will most likely be rejected by UCB. In the essay, Universities like to see a passion in applicants, applicants who have maximised their potential and challenged themselves. Work experience in a real job helps. Volunteering in far off places and other charity work helps.

The SAT is used less and less by the better U's. For a foreign student, 2000 is just passable for UMich and Purdue, but for UCLA and UCB, you might need to get up to the 2200 range. Many Singaporeans get 800s in Math II and science subjects, so you will be competing with many many applicants from Singapore who have higher scores than you unless you get into that range. It is generally thought that most US Universities throw all the Singapore applicants into a pile and the rank them. If they decide to take 1 (like Harvard), they will take the top from the pile. If, like Cornell, they decide to admit the top 30, they take those from the top of the Singapore pile too.

germatory
04-18-2011, 09:45 AM
hi guys new to this forum. i am almost at my last 10 months of my NSF life(:D) and am looking to apply for next years summer intake at UCB, UCLA, UM, UIUC and maybe purdue, looking to major in computer engineering or its equivalent(i.e electrical engin and computer sci at UCB)



You should be in for UIUC and Purdue. Berkeley values A-Level results a lot, and requires min B (or C?) for all subjects taken. 2000+ for SAT I is safe for all the schools you have listed

Application numbers have surged and will rise again this year. The Singaporean pool is just getting more and more competitive.

Good Luck!

Introverted.
04-18-2011, 12:53 PM
firstly, thank you for the replies.
There has been a surge in applications to US Universities this year and acceptance rates have plunged. It would appear that the better US Universities are now much harder to get into than the better UK Universities. So, if you don't have a stellar record, the UK may still be the better bet.

Its not so much the 2 H2 A's that you have, but what were the rest of the grades. If they were B, then you have a chance, but if you have D or S, then it will be extremely difficult.

Going overseas is more than just whether a school is ranked higher than NUS. You get a more diverse education and experience and that will make you more competitive in work life.

As patryn33 said, academics are not enough to get you into better US universities, your CCA counts heavily, kind of like "discretionary admission" at local U. They also want you to write an essay about yourself and that also counts heavily. If you have 4H2 A and write a lousy or even average essay, you will most likely be rejected by UCB. In the essay, Universities like to see a passion in applicants, applicants who have maximised their potential and challenged themselves. Work experience in a real job helps. Volunteering in far off places and other charity work helps.

The SAT is used less and less by the better U's. For a foreign student, 2000 is just passable for UMich and Purdue, but for UCLA and UCB, you might need to get up to the 2200 range. Many Singaporeans get 800s in Math II and science subjects, so you will be competing with many many applicants from Singapore who have higher scores than you unless you get into that range. It is generally thought that most US Universities throw all the Singapore applicants into a pile and the rank them. If they decide to take 1 (like Harvard), they will take the top from the pile. If, like Cornell, they decide to admit the top 30, they take those from the top of the Singapore pile too.

forgive my ignorance as i pretty much threw UK out the window once i saw my A level results. i was under the impression i would need at least 3 As. would grades of AAB/C for 3 H2s/H1 and B for GP give me a chance to get into say, imperial of edinburgh? also a quick look through the ICL website does not turn up a course for computer engineering, my intended degree of choice, the closest being Information Systems Engineering. is this similar?

i dont think my CCA record is stellar, all i have to show for it is a team silver at inter-schools and an individual top 8 placing. will this severely affect my chances for the my US applications?

and yes going overseas is about the diversified experience but my parents are semi-retired and only working part time, and therefore feel that if i dont get into a "brand name" school i might as well just stick to NUS. it is singapore after all.

again, thank you for the advice.

myguy
04-20-2011, 01:14 PM
I'm not that familiar with the UK, but generally NUS is as hard or harder to get into than most UK Universities, so I'm sure there is a "fit" for you, not necessarily ICL. Try asking on the UK thread. In anycase, you should probably apply to both UK and US. Why shut off any potential outcomes.

With AAB/C and SAT of 2000 and a non stellar CCA, UCB and UCLA would be reaches for you. They don't require teacher recommendations, but the essay is pretty important, so you can improve your chances by spending a month slowly crafting out the best essay to improve your chances. You are probably a pretty decent student overall and can easily handle UCB/UCLA, but reality is that you are an international from Singapore and will be competing with many candidates that have better A level results, so you need to distinguish yourself somehow.

Unless you think that your college cost is going to derail your parents' retirement or impair your siblings education, you will be surprised how much parents are willing to sacrifice for their kids. Singaporeans are obsessed with brand names, but it doesn't mean that you have to be too. Education at a top liberal arts college like Amherst or Swarthmore will be something you wouldn't want to miss. IMHO, an overseas education is something you should push for if your parents can make it with a little loss of quality of life. You can make it up later when you work.

Note that the UK also costs about 50% of the US, in part because you finish in 3 years rather than 4 years and the collapse of the sterling. For the US, if your parents earn less than USD200K/yr, there is the possibility that you could get some form of financial aid, but for many colleges, applying for financial aid may reduce your chance of admission because most are not "need blind" for internationals.

Edit: If you plan on getting some financial aid, don't bother with the public schools like UCB/UCLA etc. California is almost bankrupt. You have to apply to the schools with huge endowments. The Ivys may be beyond your current stats, but there are some LACs that may take you. Some have liberal arts/engineering programs. Dartmouth comes to mind

Introverted.
04-21-2011, 12:19 AM
thanks for the advice myguy!

after my last post i spent my off day looking at UK universities instead of studying :rolleyes: i was wondering though, UK universities offer courses such as "engineering with business studies" or similar, how differently potentially would my career options be than if i were to enrol in such a course versus a "electrical engineering with computer science" course in the US.

i will be retaking my SAT in june so hopefully a 3 year gap means ive gotten older and wiser. some schools are looking more and more like a pipe dream though. :(

regarding financial aid: its not absolutely necessary but i will try to get it. maybe i should try for yale, i hear their engineering faculty isnt the best, plus i hear they waive fees for students with family income lower than a certain threshhold :p

myguy
04-24-2011, 09:30 AM
Amherst is one of the few schools that is need blind for internationals

https://www.amherst.edu/aboutamherst/news/news_releases/2008/04/node/44842

However, if you "don't really need it", you won't get it as financial aid is based on need rather than academic merit. So if your parents are semi retired and have little income, but own a $5m semi-d in Bukit Timah, you won't get any aid.

I don't think the US or UK are that different in employment prospects. Reputation of the University may help you get that first job, so Oxbridge or the higher Ivys would be somewhat equivalent.

As for Yale, the typical Singapore admit would probably have a perfect academic record and represented Singapore in something. I imagine only a few (2-3) Singaporeans are accepted each year. I would say if you think you are President Scholar material, then you should be hopeful of a place in HYP.

On the other hand, Cornell, which is the lowest of the Ivys, and in some boondocks place called Ithaca took in 74 Singaporeans this year. About half of them came from RJC and HCI.

_rawr_
04-24-2011, 10:35 PM
for your case, I don't think you should be worried abt your SATs.. 2000s for your first test is not that bad. many improve dramatically with practise. you should definitely get close to 800s for your subject tests though (math in particular) considering that you intend to be an engineer..

in any case, focus on your essays. for the us ivies, they reject thousands of applicants a year. sat scores are not all that important. get a decent score, and then focus on distinguishing yourself from the rest. the top usa colleges are special and unique in their own rights.

and don't strike off top schools just because you're not "president scholar material".. i think we're the only country that obsess about public sector scholarships so much that scholars are treated as the best of the best..
you'd be surprised how many non-scholars get into top universities.

germatory
04-25-2011, 12:15 AM
Amherst is one of the few schools that is need blind for internationals

https://www.amherst.edu/aboutamherst/news/news_releases/2008/04/node/44842

However, if you "don't really need it", you won't get it as financial aid is based on need rather than academic merit. So if your parents are semi retired and have little income, but own a $5m semi-d in Bukit Timah, you won't get any aid.


Fyi, Amherst admitted 3 Singaporeans this year. I think the number's around the same for Harvard and Dartmouth.

Only 6 schools are need-blind for internationals - Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Amherst and MIT.

If you plan to apply for financial aid, you can generally ignore most of the other top-tier schools. Most of them are extremely stingy, especially to Singaporeans, as our pool is super-competitive. Think of it, you have two applicants from Singapore, both equally (or nearly) capable, but one needs full aid, who would you admit?

eho
04-25-2011, 12:45 PM
As for Yale, the typical Singapore admit would probably have a perfect academic record and represented Singapore in something. I imagine only a few (2-3) Singaporeans are accepted each year. I would say if you think you are President Scholar material, then you should be hopeful of a place in HYP.

On the other hand, Cornell, which is the lowest of the Ivys, and in some boondocks place called Ithaca took in 74 Singaporeans this year. About half of them came from RJC and HCI.

Where do you get these statistics from?

myguy
04-26-2011, 02:00 PM
If you are referring to Cornell, I know someone who attended a welcome to the Cass of 2015 admits this year and those stats were given

Introverted.
04-26-2011, 08:12 PM
Amherst is one of the few schools that is need blind for internationals

https://www.amherst.edu/aboutamherst/news/news_releases/2008/04/node/44842

However, if you "don't really need it", you won't get it as financial aid is based on need rather than academic merit. So if your parents are semi retired and have little income, but own a $5m semi-d in Bukit Timah, you won't get any aid.

I don't think the US or UK are that different in employment prospects. Reputation of the University may help you get that first job, so Oxbridge or the higher Ivys would be somewhat equivalent.

As for Yale, the typical Singapore admit would probably have a perfect academic record and represented Singapore in something. I imagine only a few (2-3) Singaporeans are accepted each year. I would say if you think you are President Scholar material, then you should be hopeful of a place in HYP.

On the other hand, Cornell, which is the lowest of the Ivys, and in some boondocks place called Ithaca took in 74 Singaporeans this year. About half of them came from RJC and HCI.

i really dont think my parents will be receptive to the idea of sending me to a LAC.
my house isnt worth $5m nor is in bukit timah but its probably worth a couple mil im guessing. rules me out from financial aid i guess. but would having another sibling in college in australia affect my eligibility? probably just a shot in the dark but im a real scrooge :p

ive heard that UMich tends to admit students more freely if they apply before the ED deadline. is this true?

eho
04-26-2011, 11:50 PM
i really dont think my parents will be receptive to the idea of sending me to a LAC.
my house isnt worth $5m nor is in bukit timah but its probably worth a couple mil im guessing. rules me out from financial aid i guess. but would having another sibling in college in australia affect my eligibility? probably just a shot in the dark but im a real scrooge :p

ive heard that UMich tends to admit students more freely if they apply before the ED deadline. is this true?

Totally true for UMich. They operate on a rolling applications basis. So they give out offers as and when they deem suitable.

Personally, I applied to UMich twice. I applied rather late the first time (late Jan) and was waitlisted in the end. The following cycle, I applied super early (Sep) and was given a place by Nov. So yeah. Apply early to boost your chances.

myguy
04-27-2011, 12:49 PM
i really dont think my parents will be receptive to the idea of sending me to a LAC.
my house isnt worth $5m nor is in bukit timah but its probably worth a couple mil im guessing. rules me out from financial aid i guess. but would having another sibling in college in australia affect my eligibility? probably just a shot in the dark but im a real scrooge :p


You can always try to apply for financial aid and then see what comes out. Just wanted to point out that LACs are wealthy and more likely to give you some aid. If you get into Williams and UMich, and choose UMich most people will think you are not making a rational decision.

The financial aid application forms will ask your parents to declare their assets, including property assets. Not sure if they have the ability to check what you declare though. However, these days, if you list your address as 18 Chatsworth Road, they can just use Google Maps to see that its a huge bungalow.

Having a sibling in college will definitely improve your chances of getting aid.

Introverted.
04-29-2011, 11:12 PM
as far as i can tell neither williams nor amherst offer engineering? swathmore does but they offer you a generic engineering degree which isnt really what i want as im not really planning on graduate studies. rose-hulman and harvey mudd do offer engineering specialities but i have no idea whether they are recognised in singapore(i do have to consider this since the US is tightening their rules on immigration). i have heard that most HR departments in singapore know squat about colleges globally outside of the "brand name" ones.

all things considered i will probably be not looking to go to a LAC.

i was wondering though which colleges other than UMich operate on a rolling application basis?

myguy
04-30-2011, 12:06 AM
There are some 3:2 engineering programs at the LACs. Many engineers eventually do other things like work for banks. These programs open you to more possibilities should you later decide that engineering doesn't earn enough money.

http://web.williams.edu/physics/programs/eng.html

Sorry to steer you towards LACs, but for those who need financial aid, its sometimes the only choice. Note that the top Universities like Harvard and Yale have LACs built into them. I went to a LAC, then EE/CS at a top 10 grad school, then worked a top research lab, but now work for a bank because it pays better. If you're like me, you might change your mind several times :) Also, many engineers eventually get stuck at a certain level, and being more rounded helps you move into management.

You're right that perhaps some of the GLCs and local companies don't know much about non-Ivy colleges, but generally the MNCs do.

There is a bit of overemphasis on engineering in Singapore because of our history of developing the country through manufacturing. Seagate once contributed 3% of GDP when we were the disk drive capital of the world. However, since the Economic Restructuring Committee "remade" Singapore, the focus has changed to services rather than manufacturing, which is on the decline. In particular financial services, entertainment (Casinos etc) so if you think ahead, a rounded education may bode well for the future.

Introverted.
04-30-2011, 12:31 PM
:O
my goodness this look very interesting. i've always intended to pursue a management track after engineering which is why UK offerings such as "engineering with business finance" are looking more and more tempting, especially since its three years instead of four(then again im not sure if i want to start working earlier or prolong student life). but my gripe is that colleges in the UK are not as established for business or engineering as those in the US.
but neither columbia nor washington are paticularly renowned for their engineering programs. dartmouth too.

still having a hard time deciding :P

edit: i should be studying for my SAT instead of thinking about this :P

_rawr_
05-01-2011, 09:08 PM
:O
my goodness this look very interesting. i've always intended to pursue a management track after engineering which is why UK offerings such as "engineering with business finance" are looking more and more tempting, especially since its three years instead of four(then again im not sure if i want to start working earlier or prolong student life). but my gripe is that colleges in the UK are not as established for business or engineering as those in the US.
but neither columbia nor washington are paticularly renowned for their engineering programs. dartmouth too.

still having a hard time deciding :P

edit: i should be studying for my SAT instead of thinking about this :P

Just to point out that you may want to look at operations research and financial engineering. Columbia is pretty good at this. Ya it's not ranked highly for any traditional engineering disciplines but columbia definitely has one of the best financial engineering prog at undergraduate level and columbia also has its unique core curriculum which gives even its engineering prog a humanities slant.

eho
05-05-2011, 11:14 PM
as far as i can tell neither williams nor amherst offer engineering? swathmore does but they offer you a generic engineering degree which isnt really what i want as im not really planning on graduate studies. rose-hulman and harvey mudd do offer engineering specialities but i have no idea whether they are recognised in singapore(i do have to consider this since the US is tightening their rules on immigration). i have heard that most HR departments in singapore know squat about colleges globally outside of the "brand name" ones.

all things considered i will probably be not looking to go to a LAC.

i was wondering though which colleges other than UMich operate on a rolling application basis?

You are right that in Singapore most firms are not very aware of LACs.

There are many colleges which operate on a rolling basis. However, amongst the top universities you're probably looking at, only UMich has this admissions system.

Introverted.
05-29-2011, 01:37 PM
decided not to make a new thread, hopefully someone sees this!

i got a 780 for my mathII and am rather disappointed. but after thinking about it, is it really a bad score?

eho
05-29-2011, 01:56 PM
decided not to make a new thread, hopefully someone sees this!

i got a 780 for my mathII and am rather disappointed. but after thinking about it, is it really a bad score?

No, of course it is not a bad score! It will hardly even affect your application! Your SAT Reasoning Test is more crucial than this!