The US College Fair held at Redlands School in early May was attended by over 600 students and parents, including the US Consul General Sharon Hudson- Dean, proved to be a huge success. The evening provided an opportunity to learn more about studying in the USA and the US admission process followed by a college fair where students and parents were invited to speak to US university admission representatives and alumni.
US Consul General Hudson-Dean welcomed the group providing the context of her own journey as a parent having recently experienced the US application process with her son. She also highlighted the diverse range of education institutions in the US and spoke of how US colleges and universities are integrated into their local communities and welcome international students. Hudson-Dean spoke of the extensive project and group assignments ingrained in the US university system lending itself to networking opportunities for both domestic and international students.
Eleven US universities were represented by admission staff that travelled to Sydney to recruit students for their respective universities and each spoke briefly of their institution:
Amherst College – a premier liberal arts college located in western Massachusetts. Undergraduate student body size of only about 1800 students nearly all of which live on campus for 4 years. Need based financial aid is available for qualified international students.
Claremont McKenna College – a top liberal arts college located in southern California. CMC focuses on practical application of the Liberal Arts with a particular emphasis on internships and research.
College of Creative Studies – A college focusing entirely on the creative studies and located in Michigan. SAT scores are far less important than a portfolio in gaining admission to this institution.
Davidson College - a top liberal arts college located in Charlotte, North Carolina. One of the smallest NCAA Division I institutions. Davidson seeks intellectually curious students with a commitment to leadership and service.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – The oldest aviation focused university in the world has campuses in Florida and Arizona. Students can choose from over 50 undergraduate areas of study.
Hofstra University – located just outside New York City in Long Island they offer more than 150 undergraduate majors and continually ranked amongst larger universities.
School of Visual Arts – located in New York City and offers courses in visual arts. Their 1100+ faculty continue to work in the creative industries while teaching. Admission is led by a student’s portfolio rather than the SAT score.
Transylvania University – a private liberal arts university located in Kentucky with over 46 areas of study including an opportunity to create your own area of study. Substantial merit based scholarships available to qualified applicants.
University of Notre Dame- a larger, private independent institution located in Indiana. They offer 74 areas of study and offer merit based scholarships to international students.
University of Buffalo, State University of New York- New York’s premiere public research university offers over 300 areas of study and enrols 29,000 students total.
University of Hawaii at Manoa - The state of Hawaii’s public research university offers over 100 areas of study. UHM also offers substantial merit based scholarships for international students.
All of the above institutions offer a four year bachelors degree and all of these eleven institutions offer merit based scholarship or need based financial aid. Need based financial aid is means tested based on a family’s income and assets and determined by a family submitting the CSS Profile or similar. Based on this, each institution will determine a family’s ability to contribute to the students education (called the expected family contribution or EFC). Institutions that offer need based financial aid to international students, although fairly rare, will cover the calculated financial need which is the different between the annual cost of attendance less the EFC. Other institutions offer merit based scholarships with criteria defined by the awarding institutions which may include SAT results, community involvement and/or your grade point average (GPA). Merit based aid is not means tested and is usually in the form of scholarships, which do not need to be repaid. Merit based aid at the above institutions can range up to $26,500 per year and are renewable for each of the 4 years of study provided the student meets the requirements set out in the award. What this means for Australian families is that studying in the US can be a lot more affordable than you may think.
The College Board, who administers the SAT test and Subject Tests presented on test scores and sub scores. An important take away from the College Board presentation confirmed the 2019/20 testing dates and the addition of an August 2020 test date for international testing centres which brings the total to five testing dates in a calendar year. As always, due to testing date limitations and limited testing centres in Australia and especially Sydney, students are encouraged to plan ahead and register early to avoid disappointment. To learn more about testing dates for the SAT test and Subject Test, click here.
Alexander Polk from Hofstra University spoke about US university admissions and the holistic admission process which can includes the application itself, course marks or transcripts from year nine, SAT or ACT test score, recommendations, extracurricular activities and personal essays. He spoke of the absence of a US governing agency to align university admission requirements which can add to confusion. As a result, many general admissions questions are answered with ‘it depends’ requiring students to research individual institutions for specific admission requirements and entry standards.
Following the presentation the crowd moved to the gym for a college fair which included 27 US universities demonstrating their commitment to recruiting international students with each represented by local alumni or admission staff. EducationUSA, a US Department of State service offering general information about studying in the US was also present on the night as students and parents were encouraged to move about freely to speak to the university representatives of interest.
The night was a huge success and interest to study in the US continues to grow as demonstrated by attendance on the night. A special thank you to Redlands School and EducationUSA for hosting this evening.
If you would like to be included on future communications regarding US universities visiting Sydney, please contact us with your details to be included on our mailing list.
Internationally Educated provides tailored assistance to students and their families through the selection and application process to United States universities. Given the lengthy US application process, the best time to begin working with us is early in year 11. Admission applications are due anywhere between 1 November of year 12 into January after you complete year 12 for a commencement in late August. Contact us to learn more about our services.