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Old 05-20-2016, 10:35 AM   #61
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Cambridge would be an experience of a lifetime and not many get the opportunity. It will not only expose her to an amazing educational experience but living in Europe will broaden her horizons in a way that will open many doors in the future. I say go for it!
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:53 AM   #62
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Thanks!
She does; that analysis is part of the application process.
UK secondary schools have an extra year. To adjust for that, UK schools grade US students on AP exams. DD had good grades (3.5) but much better AP exams. There is no question that she would not have been accepted to Michigan, Wisconsin, or Northwestern, but because of the focus on admittance to a specific program in the UK, she got into Cambridge and St. Andrews.
I doubt that they even looked at her HS grades. Not sure how IB works, but I'd think a typical IB student would rock AP exams.
Just to clarify - IB and AP are not mutually exclusive if you're at a school that offers IB. The plan is for son to take 3 AP exams in addition to the IB exams. And like AP coursework - the IB courses are "weighted grades" meaning a higher scale - which pulls the GPA up.

In theory, if you totally work/ace the system you can eliminate 30 units of college coursework. UC schools and most Ivy's recognize/credit IB exams.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:58 AM   #63
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My kid had 10 APs, only one was useful and that was Calculus AP BC. It allowed her to skip two math classes. It's not that helpful. She has high units which helps with her class standing, which helps with registration if you don't have Regents. She has Regents scholarship. So it's basically a NOP.
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:12 PM   #64
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Cambridge would be an experience of a lifetime and not many get the opportunity. It will not only expose her to an amazing educational experience but living in Europe will broaden her horizons in a way that will open many doors in the future. I say go for it!

Not as exclusive as a number of universities here...

Looked it up and they have close to 20,000 students... My DS was accepted to Rice which has just about 6,600...

MIT has just over 11,000...


Decided to look up Oxford... over 22,000 students....



Not saying it would not be an experience, but there are good schools here that accept fewer people which you could claim is more exclusive...


I think people get swayed by the name...



OH... just read this.... you cannot apply to both Oxford and Cambridge in the same year (with two exceptions)... from Wiki...
To allow a more personalised judgement of students, who might otherwise apply for both, undergraduate applicants are not permitted to apply to both Oxford and Cambridge in the same year. The only exceptions are applicants for organ scholarships[70] and those applying to read for a second undergraduate degree.[71]
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:28 PM   #65
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It's true they don't look for soft factors, no essays, no ECs, nothing. It's strictly academics. But also unless this student has visa to work in UK that might help deferring some cost.
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:37 PM   #66
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Interesting, my daughter didn't apply to any UK schools because she heard from a guy from her school who was accepted to Stanford that it's much harder to apply to Oxbridge. Was there an interview?

I was curious about acceptance rates and was surprised to see it's 21% for Cambridge and 18% for Oxford. That's higher than I expected. For US Ivy League schools it's usually in the single digits, around 5% for Stanford and Harvard.

Of course, this number depends on a lot of factors, none of which I looked into. Maybe there are less, but higher quality applicants, to the UK universities?
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:42 PM   #67
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It's easier to get in for high stats students, not necessarily so for US Ivy League. So a high stats students with not great GPA, probably an indication of harder high school, have better chances in UK schools. In USA, high GPA is the focus, it's much harder for students with lower GPA to get into Ivy League schools unless you have hooks.
But I know Oxford has that interview question, I don't know if Cambridge has the same thing. But I would think so but I'm hoping someone here will tell me I'm wrong.
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:44 PM   #68
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A friend told his kids. "Take out student loans! When you graduate, I will pay them off. If you don't graduate, you pay them off." His first son dropped out. When the bills came due he went back and got his degree.
Sounds like a good idea. DS washed out in an attempt at college at 17. I told him that if he wanted to go back the first semester was on him but if he got Bs or better that he could give me his report card and the statement and I would reimburse him and he could use that money to pay for the next semester and so on until either he graduated or I became comfortable enough that he was serious about his studies.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:43 PM   #69
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To Op, you know your child, the only way to attend may be plus loans which you will be on the hook for, this is your choice, Will your kid pay the bill for you when she is able? I have had friends win and lose doing this, If it is made clear morally this is her debt and she is willing I personally don't see a problem. Only you know her character and what her word is worth.
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:21 PM   #70
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My two daughters were three years apart I said I would pay for their first three years but they would be responsible for their 4th plus any additional. Tuition was relatively cheap, but rent, food, cars, and insurance really added up. They both graduated, one with a Masters. They both had jobs set up before graduation. I helped them each get a new car at graduation. I ended up with 60k debt which took 6 years to pay off. They paid off their student loans in their first two years working. They are very successful in their careers 10 years later. I remember driving my oldest to start school. She said "I'll probably flunk out first quarter". She got her Masters. You have to live it one day at a time. I don't regret any of it.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:15 PM   #71
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The boys(or maybe boys in general) in my intermediate family seem to have problem in college, too many distractions. But not the girls. They are more perfectionists, as in they sweat if they get a B. So far 2 graduated with Latin honors and two more graduating next year. But they are all with the work hard play harder mentality.
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:00 AM   #72
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What is her major and do you have any hard data that for her major a degree from Cambridge would have quantifiable benefits? We're seeing with our kids and their friends that the biggest indicator of post college job and salary prospects seems to be major more than school, though none are in fields like investment banking or law where a name school make a big difference.

We offered to pay for 4 years of in state or an equivalent amount if they wanted to go elsewhere, with the only caveats no six figure loans to make up the difference and they had to have a major that would allow them to be financially self supporting post college.
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:58 AM   #73
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Old 05-22-2016, 12:26 PM   #74
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How about send her to State U and then spot her with $10-20K for a trip to Britain for the cultural experience.
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Old 05-22-2016, 12:29 PM   #75
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I think if she wants to do investment banking, Cambridge is a better choice.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:48 PM   #76
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We saved for DD to attend State U (a Big 10 university) and be pretty much free from student loan debt.

However, DD got accepted to Cambridge University in the UK, which means $50,000 additional, which we would pay using Parent ("PLUS") loans. We can't afford to write a check for the additional $50,000, but we can afford the payments on a PLUS loan.

I think the default answer here as between, say, U of Illinois and Northwestern would be "go to U of I" - but I'm wondering if the twist of the exceptional opportunity to study in the UK changes that equation for any posters here.

Appreciate your thoughts.
Require her to make the loan payments when she is not in school (summers for example). There is too much regret to not do cambridge. Do that, figure out life lessons on money another way.
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:25 PM   #77
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If she wants a cultural experience she may be able to go to school in Germany tuition free:

How US students get a university degree for free in Germany - BBC News
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:27 PM   #78
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Congrats on raising a bright kid. I wonder about the assumption that she will like the culture enough to stick it out 3 years or however long the degree program is. Cambridge is DIFFERENT. I spent an undergraduate summer term at Oxford and, later, went through a hiring process there before deciding it wasn't for me. The UK is wonderful, just remember that Cambridge is the very heart of the rigid British class system, which is unlike anything any American kid is familiar with and she will have to adapt to it, not the other way around. Is it possible for her to do a summer study there of some kind to make sure she likes it?

American State U. for undergrad on parents' nickel and work study, then Ivy League or international grad school after some maturation and on someone else's nickel is a perfectly respectable way to go. Regardless, congrats and good luck!
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Old 05-22-2016, 05:45 PM   #79
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I have a PhD in economics, and was on the faculty at a Big 10 university for a while. More recently I helped manage major U.S. fellowship programs for graduate study, reviewing more than 10,000 applications in the process. I've seen how graduate faculty view transcripts from Cambridge and Oxford. I think your child would gain little or nothing from the Cambridge degree vs. a degree from a big 10 university -- in terms of gaining admission to a top graduate program in the U.S.. This is especially true in engineering, business, and many science fields. In the humanities the Cambridge degree may be better. I'm assuming he or she would have more difficulty getting the very top grades and research experiences at Cambridge.
However, the Cambridge experience would let your child see another very interesting culture and meet more interesting people. It may be worth the money. But if your child knows what they want to study, then look at the rankings of your state U.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:05 PM   #80
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Spent a year at Oxford during my college days. It was wonderful. In my limited and old (ancient? '70/'71) experience a lot depends on the major. In the sciences the better US colleges are as good or better (like CALTECH/MIT). In the non sciences Cambidge is likely to be much more difficult, more educational and probably lead to better employment opportunities, espically around the world. Although the normal BA program is 3 years ithere are programs to add a year and get an MA. A very different teaching method, it takes a lot of self discipline. Its not just a financial question its a compatibility question.
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