Elite US Unis – Update 2015

Brown – James Ketta

6.4 undergrads. 8-1 student faculty. 15% international. No core curriculum, no required courses. Most students at Brown do a range of subjects anyway. 2K courses offered every year. Interdisciplinary v important. Province – being renovated and revived. Residential campus. Demonstrate energy, curiosity and restless drive. 100% taught by faculty.

UPenn – Maxime.

1740. Benjamin Franklin founder – key principles: purposeful learning, academic flexibility, diverse learning community. Largest % of int students in Ivy League. 5Th largest city. Philadelphia. Campus. 12 houses. 4 undergrad schools. $900 million annual research budget. Centre of Undergraduate Research. Service to society.Wharton – work with non-profit start-ups in Philadelphia. Demonstrate energy, curiosity and restless drive. 100% taught by faculty.

Kyo – Stanford

V large campus – biological reserve, lots of resources. You have access to all 7 schools. Academic freedom – trying new things. Quarters – 10 weeks. 4-5 classes per quarter. Interdisciplinary subjects – e.g. symbolic systems (linguistics, computer systems, psychology). Completely diverse group. 45 athletes went to Olympic games – “6th in world”. Economic diversity – 60% first generation students. Demonstrate energy, curiosity and restless drive. 100% taught by faculty.

Wellesley – Milena

Beautiful campus – 12m from Boston. 1 in 4 inhabitants are students. 1000 classes every year. Cross registration with MIT, Babson and Brandeis. Everyday leadership. No graduate students. Research with faculty. 14% international this year. World’s most powerful women’s network. Demonstrate energy, curiosity and restless drive. 100% taught by faculty. Committed to full support if necessary.

Yale – Keith

Sterling Memorial Library. Incredible resources – available, not forbidden to touch the books, use the machines! e.g. 2 x Gutenberg Bibles. 800 labs. Lots of investment has been put in. Unfair proportion of the word’s great scholars. All faculty teacher undergraduates. 1.5 hours to NY. 5.4k undergraduates. Relatively small. Aim is to learn deeply. 1:1 ratio in Engineering. Emphasis is on being a scholar. 12 residential colleges. Oxbridge style presence of academics in each college plus a Master. Access to leading minds, informally. Demonstrate energy, curiosity and restless drive. 100% taught by faculty.

Tips from Elite Unis – Q & A 21st September 2015

– ED or EA for those who feel they can present themselves to best effect now rather than later. Not motivated by having a better chance. No need to re-take tests etc.

– Early evaluation available at Wellesley

– Restrictive EA – non-binding. Restrictive element is that you don’t apply to other private unis EA.

– Best fit is key.

– Top institutions will meet demonstrated need. Aim is to admit the strongest students.

– International students don’t qualify for US aid but institutions will be need-sensitive and seek to help you.

– No merit scholarships

– No preference for ACT, SAT or new SAT – will superscore regardless. Low SAT score students can be admitted, high score SATs can be denied.

Cornell, Tufts, Chicago, Dartmouth

Capture d’écran 2015-09-18 à 13.18.19 Capture d’écran 2015-09-18 à 13.18.39 Capture d’écran 2015-09-18 à 13.19.03 Capture d’écran 2015-09-18 à 13.19.22

All these universities will look closely at the subjects your chose at HL (IB). But you will flexibility – you may have aimed at a particular major but change your mind.

When you put application together, make sure it reflects who you are.  Be proud of who you are.  Be yourself.

Cornell -14k students, Ithaca, upstate – classic college town.  Lots of faculty teaching.

Chicago – College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Core curriculum.  Grea books curriculum.  19 max in class.  Discussion based classes from Year 1.  Multi-disciplinary approach.  Research opportunities. Early Action. Higher admit rate in the early round – c50% of early round.

Dartmouth – New Hampshire – very rural.  Mountains, forests, river.  Largest land-owner in state.  Own ski mountain, own garden, network of cabins.  Student-run lodge in mountains. 4k.  Smallest Ivy-league.  Undergraduates are the focus.  Get to know your faculty – babysitting.  College will pay for you to take your professor out to lunch.  Unique feature – academic calendar.  D plan – lots of flexibility.  1 summer term must be spent taking classes on campus – then you can take a term away at some other point. E.g. can do internships at less popular times.  Lead the Ivies in terms of study abroad.  Individual path through the university. 35% through early decision.  Strong advantage.  TOEFL mostly required.

Tufts – Boston – great location – just north of Boston.  Under the river – stop at Harvard, then MIT, then Davis.  If unsure of what you want on a campus.  Internships can be done a couple of days a week for credit – 15-20 minutes to Boston.  5k undergrads.  Lots of double majors – trying different things.  Different views, being out of your comfort zone.  Highly intellectual.  « Cool to be smart » – accomplished, brilliant.  Reliably unpretentious.  Excited about academics but lots of things going on. Early Decision – nearly 50%!  Not easier to get in but regular is harder.

Brown and UPenn Visit Report

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 08.13.26 Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 11.20.50

Brown University, Rhode Island

Distinctives – arts and academic equal interests – focus on undergrads – liberal medical program –

  • 7th oldest uni, est. 1776. Ivy League. Location – Providence, Rhode Island – between Boston and New York. On hill – East side. Residntial college. Advantages of city without distraction.
  • The « Ocean » state – sailing etc.
  • Classes – 6.4k undergrads, 1.6k grads. 17 or fewer students in many classes.
  • Campus – archaeological digs !
  • Open curriculum – 1st year – core curriculum (typical liberal arts approach). All are chosen courses, however. Active understanding and learning – genuine interest encouraged.
  • 4 courses each semester. 2K courses offered each year ! A lot of variety.
  • Guidance is given during the choosing process. End of 2nd year you dcclare a Major. 80 pre-set « concentrations ». 25 % of students « double-concentrate » – doable.
  • Advisors provided for whatever you choose to do – e.g. Sport, thesis etc – Enable you to do what you wish to.
  • Faculty know that students keen to learn. Focus is on the undergraduates.
  • Research is happening in all disciplines.
  • Rhode Island School of Design – can take courses there. Ie Dual Degree Program – 5 year program.
  • Liberal Medical Education – non-accelerated – know they want to be doctors but want to do other things as well – not just hot-housed biomed choices…
  • Division 1 athletic program. 4Th largest in country. New swimming facility.
  • 350 student groups.
  • Study abroad – anywhere allowed. You can create your own programme.
  • Required residence on campus 1st 3 years. 9 dining halls. Loads of restaurants in Providence. Art museums.
  • V international presence.
  • SATs – holistic admissions.
  • Need-blind and all scholarships are need-based. Not just tuition fees – all costs included.
  • 4 year courses

University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia

Maxine Mendoza

  • Urban school. 5Th largest city in US. Balance of campus and city.
  • Founded 1740 by Benjamin Franklin – his ideas continue to shape the spirit of the uni.
  • His philosophy – focus on one core academic field. But also flexibility – interdisciplinarity. 1St US ambassador to France
  • Founded 1st hospital in the US.
  • « Great end of all learning is service to society » Learning with a purpose !
  • Wide range of backgrounds welcome.
  • For international students, commitment to support.
  • 111 different countries represented.
  • West Philadelphia – v accessible and walkable. No need for public transport – everything on campus. Good sense of community. Over the river and you will be in downtown Philadelphia.
  • 10k undergrads, same number grads.
  • Regular access to faculty members.
  • 11 different college houses. Freshmen arrive 1 week before other students. You can practise languages on corridors in the houses.
  • 4 undergrad schools – College Arts Sciences, Business, Engineering, Nursing. Not separate campuses – but majority of your courses taken within these schools. Majority enter Coll Art Sci. Majors in sciences, humanities, interdisciplinary courses such as Bio-Neuroscience. PPE department.
  • 1.6k combinations ! 70 % of classes have fewer than 25 students.
  • Business – Economics, Applied Econ
  • Lots of interdisciplinarity possible
  • Possible to do 2 undergrad school at same time.
  • Primarily a research university. You can get involved! 4 hospitals on campus.
  • Lifelong access to Penn career services. 93 % of grads employed or in grad school within 6 months after graduation.
  • SATs – seek to view through cultural lens

BOTH

  • NO SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ACADEMICS OR SPORT – ONLY NEED-BASED !
  • Assessment of applications – holistic.