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elephantfeet
05-29-2011, 10:11 PM
Hey guys, I was just wondering, is it possible for me to apply to US as a freshman for the class of 2016 if I enroll in NUS for this year? Or is it only possible for me to apply as transfer next year?

Here's the situation- I just got out of JC last year, scored straight As in my A levels with a merit for H3, 2200 for SAT I (760CR 760MA 680WRITING) 790 (Chem) 800 (Math lvl 2) 790 (Physics) for SAT II and pretty strong ECs. I applied to several US universities for engineering for the class of 2015 but was either rejected or waitlisted for all of them... and it kills me that I don't know why exactly. My parents won't allow me to take a gap year, but I think that if I try again this year I may have a much greater chance of getting cuz I had to rush out my apps last year due to preparation for A's and stuff so my essays may have been weak and stuff. So the thing is that I may have to stay in NUS for this year first, but I thought I may have a greater chance of getting in as a freshman as compared to as a transfer cuz there's so many extra factors in the transfer process like college GPA and recommendations.I don't really mind enrolling again as a freshman in the States... it's just been something I I've been wanting since a very long time and I think my rejections had something to do with me not filling my commonapp properly like missing out on writing about my volunteer projects and achievements (yes my fault but I can't mope on that now...)

Any advice?? Any tips on international transfer too? (I know there's a thread for this but yeah I thought I'll just lump it in here together...) Any constructive feedback is much appreciated. Sorry if I sound a little incoherent in this post- just a tad confused and lost right now.

myguy
05-30-2011, 08:56 AM
If you attend NUS, you would become a transfer and getting into top schools like Ivies is much more difficult as a transfer. Last year was a particularly difficult year in terms of acceptance at the top schools with many dipping into the single digits so many are in a bind like you, especially those who didn't apply to any safeties. You are not alone.

I suggest that you gently persuade your parents to let you have a gap year. Many of your classmates are in NS so its not as if you are really disadvantaged. However, you need to plan this gap year so that it improves your application and its already almost June! Get a good job or a long, significant and difficult volunteer project so you will have something heartwrenching or awesome to talk about in your class of 2016 application. Spend at least 3-4 months writing your essays. The schools didn't have your almost perfect A level results when you applied and may be skeptical about predicted scores, so this will be an advantage. If you haven't already taken your SAT 3 times already, then really prep. Most schools will dock you for taking it more than 3 times. You have a great CR score for a Singaporean, but most can get 800 for Math. Also, unlike CR, SAT writing can be improved significantly with practice. You should try to target 2300+ for a shot at the top schools.

A few years ago, there was one well-known Singaporean chap on College Confidential who was rejected by all his schools except Duke, which he didn't want to go to. Fortunately he was in NS and he gathered all his efforts into the next year's application and is now at Princeton.

mengshuen
05-30-2011, 02:47 PM
Firstly, will it be convenient for us to know which schools you've applied to? The MIT/Caltech/Stanford level, the Berkeley/Cornell level or?

Secondly, international transfers are extremely competitive, at least as competitive as international freshman admission. The transfer applicants usually come from community colleges and some may have specific schools to feed into. This skews the number admitted.

If you really want to attend an engineering school in the US, I would suggest a gap year as well. Build a robot, code an app or do something that is able to show a demonstrated interest in engineering.

elephantfeet
05-30-2011, 05:50 PM
Hey, thanks for the replies so far... I applied to ucberk, cornell, carnegie, penn (business/engineering double degree) and a couple of others... so the general consensus is that a gap year is best?? Should I just hold out for my waitlists first? I'm just scared that I may get stuck in Singapore for the rest of my college life... that's something I really don't want happening to me. Is it recommended to retake the SATs again? Or should i just build on other aspects of my application? Is it really impossible to disregard my record in NUS to apply as a freshman for the class of 2016?

eho
05-30-2011, 10:06 PM
Hey guys, I was just wondering, is it possible for me to apply to US as a freshman for the class of 2016 if I enroll in NUS for this year? Or is it only possible for me to apply as transfer next year?

Here's the situation- I just got out of JC last year, scored straight As in my A levels with a merit for H3, 2200 for SAT I (760CR 760MA 680WRITING) 790 (Chem) 800 (Math lvl 2) 790 (Physics) for SAT II and pretty strong ECs. I applied to several US universities for engineering for the class of 2015 but was either rejected or waitlisted for all of them... and it kills me that I don't know why exactly. My parents won't allow me to take a gap year, but I think that if I try again this year I may have a much greater chance of getting cuz I had to rush out my apps last year due to preparation for A's and stuff so my essays may have been weak and stuff. So the thing is that I may have to stay in NUS for this year first, but I thought I may have a greater chance of getting in as a freshman as compared to as a transfer cuz there's so many extra factors in the transfer process like college GPA and recommendations.I don't really mind enrolling again as a freshman in the States... it's just been something I I've been wanting since a very long time and I think my rejections had something to do with me not filling my commonapp properly like missing out on writing about my volunteer projects and achievements (yes my fault but I can't mope on that now...)

Any advice?? Any tips on international transfer too? (I know there's a thread for this but yeah I thought I'll just lump it in here together...) Any constructive feedback is much appreciated. Sorry if I sound a little incoherent in this post- just a tad confused and lost right now.

I am also for the idea of taking a gap year in your case. Do apply more realistically to a range of schools so that you won't end up with nothing! You already have outstanding academic record so work on your essays! I think your SATs are fine already! If you want to you can still try and improve upon them but I don't think it makes or break your application really. In the worst case, please do consider studying in NUS. It's not the end of the world! It's one of the top universities in the world too! You'll be fine i'm sure! :)

Oh yes, please do reapply to those waitlisted schools because you stand a very high chance of entering them with improved essays. As for those that have rejected you already, you probably won't stand a strong chance. Most likely you will be rejected again. Do try and apply to schools you haven't applied to so that they can have a fresh look at you.

mengshuen
05-31-2011, 12:32 AM
The thing is, if you enroll in NUS and start taking courses there, I don't think you're allowed to apply as a freshman. UPenn's Jerome Fisher Program is indeed tough to get in!

That being said, if you are able to improve your CV (though interesting or targeted activities) and essays (and possibly the writing section of the SAT), I say you stand a good chance at CMU and Cal.

I'd let others talk about the problem of enrolling in NUS or going for a gap year...