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Old 02-12-2015, 08:24 PM   #1
yonghao123
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Default Applying to non-top US university.

I've completed A Level last year and am waiting for NS and results. I think I may not do that well for A level, so I am considering to go US to study uni. From what I know I will need O and A level results and SAT, with CCA, but I am not sure of my chances.I'm planning to apply as undecided, but am interested in geography and computer science now.

O level grades:
English B3
Chinese B3
Elementary Mathematics A1
Geography A2
Combined Science(Physics/Chemistry) B3
Principle of Accounting B3
Combined Humanities(Social studies/English Literature) B3

My A level grades may be quite bad, but using my prelims as a guide, they are:
H1 Project Work A
H1 Chinese B
H1 General Paper C
H1 Mathematics A
H2 Geography B
H2 Economics D
H2 Literature in English E

SAT score:
Critical Reading 590
Math 700
Writing 510
Total: 1800

Is CCA really important? Due to a lack of motivation, my JC CCA looks quite bad although secondary school still look ok. I was in military band in secondary school and a Symphonic band in junior college. In 2010 my band won gold with honours in SYF(Singapore Youth Festival) and Best display band of the year. But in 2012 we only got a silver. I was also the instruments in-charge for 3 years(2010-2012) and Section leader and Drills in-charge for 2 years( 2011-2012). Also i was a section leader in symphonic band during my time in junior college, in 2013 we won a Certificate of Accomplishment.

I'm looking at schools like SUNY University at Buffalo, Iowa State University and universities around that tier. Do you guys have any university to recommend for my situation(that are affordable)? What are my chances for admissions? And due to NS, when do I actually even try to apply?


Thanks
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:08 AM   #2
patryn33
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CCA not important for these uni

if U applying to read Geography U should consider
- Arizona State Uni
- Uni of Minnesota
- Uni of Arizona
- SUNY Buffalo

Computer Sci
- Purdue
- Uni of Minnesota
- Rutgers - New Jersey New Brunswick
- UMass - Amherst
- Uni of Arizona
- Arizona State

These Uni you can get in without CCA, your grades and SAT shouldn't be a problem.

when will u be done with NS? cant tell u when to start applying without knowing that.

say SUNY there are 2 admissions a yr.
http://www.buffalo.edu/international...deadlines.html
not CCA needed, just SAT 1 (Critical reading) of 500
http://www.buffalo.edu/international...-criteria.html

Of course if u want to try uni such as UCLA or UT Austin or UWisc etc it's possible just not the direct way.

If Canada is an option I can suggest something.
If u looking to work a few yrs overseas today, Canada today better option.

In fact not many Geo school to choose
http://www.cag-acg.ca/en/department_links.html

Last edited by patryn33; 02-22-2015 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply patryn33, It was really helpful. I think I'm finishing NS in Feb 2017 (i got in this year feb).

I'm still quite torn between choosing geography or computer science, but most probably i might want to try computer science. Is SUNY Buffalo good for comp science? As the local environment looks kind of nice, but if the department isn't that good I would prefer to go to the best place in terms of academics in my range.

I'm not sure about anything in Canadian schools since most people around me only talked about US or UK schools. Do you have any suggestions?

I'm currently also need to factor in the cost of attendance, since I'm from a average median household, overseas university is not entirely out of reach but its best I make it reasonable to make it accountable for my parents.

Thanks
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:10 PM   #4
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if U were to read Liberal Arts degree, U can always double major in Geo and Comp Sci. but ability to double major varies from uni to uni.

How to tell the local environment looks kinda nice?

if U could save up your leave and use your leave to ROD early U can enter the
spring session. for SUNY springs classes starts on 26 Jan. U have to be there like early or mid Jan to enroll. else U looking at Fall.
Spring 2017, U have to apply by Sept 1st, 2016. with that U have start preparing your papers and ship in early like June 2016.
Fall 2017, U have to submit like Sept 2016 to Feb 1st, 2017.

since U are looking at SUNY lets do the cost part 1st.

SUNY is est at usd$35k a yr, coming from JC U get like half a term off sure. but starting in 2017, your cost you looking at ~usd$40k a yr. or usd$120K for 3 yrs. good thing with SUNY they charge U flat rate after 12 credits, so if U do load up u dont have to pay extra and U get to finish degree sooner saving living expenses.
http://admissions.buffalo.edu/costs/

to save money U can always take summer classes. but SUNY summer credits are at same rate with regular term. U saving on the next yr price increase really.
http://studentaccounts.buffalo.edu/tuition/summer.php

on other hand SUNY Buffalo is not really known for Comp Sci.

now look at Uni of Arizona which is better in both Geo and Comp Sci.
cost is usd$44K now which is Usd$9k higher estimated.
http://financialaid.arizona.edu/unde...ost-attendance

however in summer you pay in state rate! which is usd$400 per credit vs SUNY at usd$815. they also offer winter session too, if U are not too burn out u can be studying all year round and theoretically be done like 2yrs!
http://summer-winter.arizona.edu/summer/fees.html

Uni of Arizona also practice fix tuition rate after 12 credits. if U plan well and overload U could be saving more than SUNY and getting a better degree.
http://www.bursar.arizona.edu/students/fees

UMN a better school then both SUNY and UofA
they do offer 13+ credits fix rate policy too.
http://onestop.umn.edu/finances/cost...e_tuition.html
today its est at US$40K, 2017 maybe usd$45K or so.
http://admissions.tc.umn.edu/admissi...ntl_costs.html

iirc UB no liberal arts college much like UofA
but UMN does, U could minor in Geo and major in Comp Sci
http://cla.umn.edu/academics-experie.../undergraduate

Go Canada your options
- McMasters
- Uni of Western Ontario
- Uni of Calgary
- SFU

with Ontario Uni you apply thru http://www.ouac.on.ca/

UWO fees ~cad$23K plus living ~cad$10K today, 2017 maybe ~cad$40k. Jan admission is rolling so U have to apply early say 6 mths in advance.
http://www.registrar.uwo.ca/student_...ule%20INTL.pdf

UWO Comp Sci program pretty flexible, u should be able to major in Geo
http://www.csd.uwo.ca/prospective_st...html#s_tuition

Uni of Calgary only has Fall admission

McMasters cost similar to UWO
http://www.mcmaster.ca/bms/student/pdf/fees_artssci.pdf
https://iss.mcmaster.ca/incoming-exc...ing-costs.html

-----------------------
Transfer path

if you wish to take this "more" risky path to save some money

Go Community College and transfer to Uni such as UCLA or UC Irvine.
Community college cost is low at ~usd$20K but UC is high at ~usd$57k (UCLA) or US$52k (irvine) today
UCLA GPA req maybe at 3.85 to get into their Comp Sci, UC Irvine maybe at 3.5 not hard to achieve in CC.
https://www.admissions.ucla.edu/pros.../Tr_Prof13.htm

a little easier maybe thru inter uni transfer.
say U go study in UMN Morris and transfer to UMN twin cities CLA GPA required just ~3.5, 1st yr pretty easy for us asians to score above 3.8.

the cost at Morris is usd$20K. U could study there a yr and transfer to UMN saving U ~usd$20K.
http://www.morris.umn.edu/registrar/...er/frommorris/
http://admissions.morris.umn.edu/costs/

U can do so with Canada too.
study in CC and transfer to UBC. or do UBC-Okanagen to UBC Vancouver transfer.
iirc CC to UBC needs like above 3.5 but Okanagen to Vancouver needs like 3.3 to go to their famous Sauder.

U can do the same thing with Uni having a big Uni system namely
- Uni of Wisconsin
- Uni of Texas
- Uni of Illinois
- Uni of Cali
- Uni of Minnesota

Lastly I dont know what is affordable, that is very ambiguous.
is usd$200K affordable? may not to true for you.
MUN much like UMN-Morris is CAD$20k a yr or total of cad$80K for a full 4yr degree is that affordable for your family?
http://www.mun.ca/undergrad/international/fees.php

SUNY is at USD$120k to usd$160k for the entire degree is that affordable for your family?
Is your family looking to spend ~usd$160K? thats ~sgd$220k. with hallf a yr off, and if U take extra class during summer not hard to finish in 3yrs. in fact many A levels scholar do and they took on masters (cramp 2yr work into 1 yr) to finish in 4yrs.

talk to your parents on budget, balance the risk and the amount of work load you can take to graduate. best budget for 3 yrs and plan to take some summer classes.

Last edited by patryn33; 02-23-2015 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:32 PM   #5
Davelye
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Hi

Patryn gave really good advice with regards to the path in which you took. Some things to take note of is the environment and place in which you want to study in. West coast or East coast? Climate and the number of international students? Do you have any friends, extended family members living in the States? Do you think you'll excel in a big state school or in a smaller school? Will the demographic of the school population be crucial in your decision making?

While researching for the schools, you can also call the international department, or the statistical department for the number of students from... In this case, Singapore or Malaysia. You can also find some facebook groups and start contacting people to find out more.

If you want to know more, you can PM me and maybe we can hook up and discuss while i'm still in Singapore.

You can't go wrong with any of the schools Patryn provided.

if U applying to read Geography U should consider
- Arizona State Uni
- Uni of Minnesota
- Uni of Arizona
- SUNY Buffalo

Computer Sci
- Purdue
- Uni of Minnesota
- Rutgers - New Jersey New Brunswick
- UMass - Amherst
- Uni of Arizona
- Arizona State

Since you might want to try for a SUNY school, you can add in Stonybrook as well (only for ComScience). You can't go wrong with many of the schools he mentioned because they are all big state schools (Arizona, Twin Cities, Rutgers, SUNY). Some schools, for example Purdue is extremely strong in CS.

Just want to note that you are not able to save up leave and ORD early. They have since changed it. ORD dates are fixed, you can take your leave before you ORD to prepare for your impending overseas studies, but you cannot leave the country. Read it up on MINDEF website for more information. IIRC, since you're a JC batch you will probably ORD during/before Spring and have more than enough time to prep for fall school.

You should also retake your SATs during army and try to score higher for the Reading & Math portions. No harm done trying again

Last edited by Davelye; 02-26-2015 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 02-27-2015, 01:45 AM   #6
patryn33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davelye View Post
Just want to note that you are not able to save up leave and ORD early. They have since changed it. ORD dates are fixed, you can take your leave before you ORD to prepare for your impending overseas studies, but you cannot leave the country. Read it up on MINDEF website for more information. IIRC, since you're a JC batch you will probably ORD during/before Spring and have more than enough time to prep for fall school.
I am not finding the info on MINDEF, can you share the URL?

JC enlisting in Feb if just do 1yr 10mths just in time for Spring intake otherwise if cannot change ORD date one will be sitting at home from say March to Aug waiting for Fall.

the again can one choose to disrupt and return in Summer to finish the 2-6 weeks of service? maybe a costly option.

but then some Uni even allow Summer intake, can leave say May and go clean up those Gen edu classes if one choose not to waste time
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Old 02-27-2015, 12:58 PM   #7
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"Disruption is only considered on the basis of equity to allow those from the same school cohort but enlisted in the later intake to proceed for further studies at the same time as those enlisted in the earlier intake. Disruption will not be granted to NSFs who are enlisted ahead of their age cohort with equivalent qualifications as the basis of disruption is to maintain cohort equity"

You can read up on minimum service period as well all in this link: (pg11)
http://www.mindef.gov.sg/dam/publica...dbookApr12.pdf

Since OP enlisted this year in february (typical timing window for A level students) he will not be granted disruption. Firstly, he has to serve 23 months, and he will not be able to be ahead of his cohort.

It is the norm for A level students to wait for 4-6 months for fall school.

However, if OP PES status is A or B and he serves 1y10months and completes in December, he can still make it for Spring semester in January. Albeit it is in a rush, but he may save 8 months of waiting. However if he is PES C,BP or E and has to serve the full 2 Years, he will have to wait for fall school.

Last edited by Davelye; 02-27-2015 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:48 AM   #8
patryn33
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With that uni such as the below do summer intake

http://www.iss.purdue.edu/admission/ugrad/deadlines.cfm
http://admissions.arizona.edu/intern...-international
https://students.asu.edu/international/future/undergrad

Uwo or McMaster by 2017 your expenses est ~cad$40k or usd$32k cheaper than any of the usa Uni listed. U looking at ~usd$100k vs usd$120k to usd$160k. Most only fall admission. Spending 3 yrs in Canada will get you 3 yrs of work visa to stay and find job if u seek overseas working experience
http://future.mcmaster.ca/money-matters/cost-estimator

McMaster one of the few to offer summer intake
http://future.mcmaster.ca/admission/deadlines/

Last edited by patryn33; 03-02-2015 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:01 PM   #9
yonghao123
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Thanks for all the advice patryn33 and Davelye.
So i just got my A level results they aren't good but is better than expected.
H1 GP-B
H1 Math- A
H2 Geography- A
H2 Literature- C
H2 Economics- C
H1 PW- A

As for my NS liabilities my ORD date is 15 Feb 2017 since my Pes is BP.

In terms of cost I'm not very sure since my parents didn't really say anything yet. So i'm still exploring options.

As for application to which university how many university should I apply to? All the university you guys have mentioned are great schools but it is still hard to compare and understand what i want in a university as I'm the first in my family going uni, so none of us know what to do.

And is double majoring both CS and Geog possible there since it would be impossible for me to do that in SG, so if i were to go overseas, I want to try doing that.

Thanks again for the great advice.
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:19 AM   #10
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Budget - you have to explain to your family on that matter. You dont know but U have to find out somehow and think if its OK for them to spend more.

U need to identify if U wish to work overseas after grad maybe it be temp or perm. USA only allow 1 yr OPT (30 mths if U do Sci). before your grad U get 1 yr OPT, upon finding a job you can try apply for extension (18mth) or apply for H!B/H1B1. From H1B to PR its like 10yrs wait.
Canada - 3yrs of Edu get 3 yrs of work VISA today, U can apply for PR after 1 yr

if U wish to work in your edu
USA - Only can work on campus (20hrs during school term and 40hrs holidays); off campus work you have to apply for CPT which is 1yr. CPT has to be related to what you study, if you used up that 1yr, OPT is no longer available to you.
Canada- you can work on campus without a work permit off campus u may have to apply for permit.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/work.asp

Number of Uni to apply - 2 reach Uni, 1 stretch and 2 safety will be my suggestion for USA. if U wish to try canada and USA. try 3 stretch Uni, 2 reach Uni and 2 reach Uni.

say for your grades today and its comp sci major
3 stretch Uni - Uni of Waterloo, Uni of Toronto, UiUC
3 reach - Uni of Texas at Austin, McMasters, Purdue
2 safety - Uni of Minnesota, Arizona

not all Uni allow such double major some its a double degree and I advice against it. minor in Geo maybe ok. Its good if U can read a complementary program to Comp Sci. else its really for interest only, U dont want to hurt your GPA and lower your chance of getting honors. U have to decide your career. if U choose to major in Geo and Minor/Major in Comp Sci ans seek for a career in Geo; U wouldnt go far with a bach degree in Geo.
doing an extra major means you need more credits to graduate. This may translate to cost and time.

Uni of Waterloo - only allows double degree
Uni of Toronto - Allows double major/minor.
UiUC - Allows double major http://cs.illinois.edu/prospective-s...s-offered/cs-x
UT Austin - allow double major https://www.cs.utexas.edu/undergradu...gram/academics
UMN - Allows double major
McMasters - allows double major http://artsci.mcmaster.ca/program/
Purdue - allows double major https://www.cs.purdue.edu/future-stu...rs-minors.html
Uni of Arizona - allows double major http://cos.arizona.edu/content/majors-and-degrees

Last edited by patryn33; 03-03-2015 at 12:56 AM.
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