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I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Old Apr 18th 2019, 1:11 pm
  #61  
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

The path to getting a GPA and credits is not easy, but very possible. If I had known the process ahead of time I could have saved a month or so of effort after arriving. Hence my advice to get the syllabus before moving - it is critical in helping the Counsellor at the school come to the right decisions, and, depending on their experience, they might need some "coaching". We did well out of it in the end - my daughter essentially had a wasted Semester but had all her credits to graduate a Semester early once we got through that initial pain. We had some challenges in converting the old A-G grades into something they understood - so a C was better than a C! - and we had to trawl the syllabus in some subjects to show she had studied enough of the content at the right level to get the credit. Math was a particular problem child - she is still finding in her first year at College that she is covering stuff she has done before at GCSE, 3 years ago.
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Old Apr 18th 2019, 6:35 pm
  #62  
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

we had to do all that from the french system. Everything in French and with a school that (at the time) refused to give any gpa credit for out of district studies ( never mind out of country). Nightmare - and in fact was the reason for my first posting on BE.
However, since DD got no credits when she applied to US universities her personal essay covered this aspect and how she overcame it ( worked bloody hard). She didn't really overcome it, her GPA remained well below what it could/should have been. Before applying to US universities, we contacted them in advance to warn them of her application and how her GPA had been affected, most of them just told us to apply through the international departments. This was a successful strategy generally. Her SAT +SAT subject scores were excellent, her French results were excellent, her current grades were excellent. GPA was low and so this bore out everything we had been saying.

My advice is to ask the high school registrar in advance how they assess out of district students for GPA credit - weighted and unweighted.
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Old Apr 19th 2019, 12:27 pm
  #63  
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
But at the moment he has a free ride to the US, and potentially a green card, on his parents' coat tails, but immigrating to the US himself, after he is past his 21st birthday, will be somewhere between "difficult" and "impossible", depending not least on his degree subject.
Agreed, hard to tell at 15 also whether going to the US with parents or staying in the UK is best. If OP wants to stay in the US, then go now, if other aspirations are on the cards, stay in the UK..
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Old Apr 19th 2019, 12:48 pm
  #64  
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
But at the moment he has a free ride to the US, and potentially a green card, on his parents' coat tails, but immigrating to the US himself, after he is past his 21st birthday, will be somewhere between "difficult" and "impossible", depending not least on his degree subject.
As a full time student continuing his studies, his "home" address remains his parents. His LPR status should be fine. However, once studies have finished he would have to return to the USA.
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Old Apr 19th 2019, 2:27 pm
  #65  
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Originally Posted by PetrifiedExPat View Post
Agreed, hard to tell at 15 also whether going to the US with parents or staying in the UK is best. If OP wants to stay in the US, then go now, if other aspirations are on the cards, stay in the UK..
But if he comes to the US it would be relatively easy to return to the UK at any time, but if he opts to remain in the UK after uni, then coming to the US later would be very difficult, and or take a long time, if sponsored by his parents as an adult.
Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
As a full time student continuing his studies, his "home" address remains his parents. His LPR status should be fine. However, once studies have finished he would have to return to the USA.
I was taking the "remain in the UK" literally, so not getting an L-2. Granted, I don't think there is much downside in getting an L-2 and staying the the UK for both A levels and uni.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 19th 2019 at 2:33 pm.
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Old Apr 26th 2019, 2:27 pm
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

One thing Brits don't seem to get about prestigious US universities is the amount of financial aid available, even for upper middle class families. For example, if your household income is under $65,000 (higher than the US median), Harvard is completely free. And that isn't just tuition, it's housing, meals, everything. 70% of Harvard students get financial aid of some sort. My neighbors make $150K a year and still get substantial financial aid for their son at Harvard. Other prestigious schools are generous as well. For example, at Princeton the average cost after aid including tuition, housing, and meals is less than $9000 a year. Other private schools not in the very top echelon are a bit more expensive, but still way cheaper than their sticker price would indicate. A poster above mentioned UChicago's tuition being $50K. OK, but that's the sticker price - most people aren't paying that. 65% of incoming UChicago students last year got scholarships averaging $37,000 a year. As you go down the scale of prestige, the amount of financial aid goes down, but less prestigious schools often try to lure academically strong students with merit scholarships. The point is, if you are a top student, the US university system is your oyster and you could very well find a better deal than would be possible in the UK.

If you are less academically strong, private universities will cost a lot more for you as you won't be able to get into the ones with strong need-based aid, and you won't get much merit aid from less prestigious ones. As Pulaski said above, in that case you're better off going to an in-state public university, as less prestigious private schools won't really give you an advantage in the job market anyway. Most public universities in the US charge $10-15K a year for in-state students, which is not too far off from the £9250 most UK universities charge.

As for student loans, income-based repayment options are available which work just like the UK system. You pay in proportion to your income, and if you're not done paying in 20 years, the loan is wiped out. If you have a high income right after graduation, you'll end up paying more interest this way, so be sure compare all the repayment options. One cultural difference between the US and the UK is that in the US, there's more of an expectation for parents to contribute to university costs if they can afford it. Thus, university students classed as "dependent" will have government loans capped at $31,000 which is less than the cost of 4 years of in-state tuition. The rest should be made up by parental contributions, work study, and/or financial aid. I would never advise taking out private loans for university.

One poster above mentioned UK university being a better value than US because it's only 3 years. True, but to get into a UK university you need to have already completed some college credits, usually in the form of APs or IBs. Transferring those APs and IBs to a US university will shorten the time required to graduate as well.
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Old Apr 26th 2019, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

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Old Apr 26th 2019, 6:54 pm
  #68  
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Note that even 'free' costs money. Specifically scholarships, etc. that cover more than tuition create taxable situations. Yes, that tax liability is a lot less than the fees in the first place but for low income families that tax liability itself can be a burden. And I do acknowledge that the recent income tax changes have helped that situation - prior to the recent changes the amount subject to tax was taxed not at the student's tax rate but at the parent's tax rate - the so-called kiddie tax.

I have no idea...are scholarships etc. taxed in the UK?
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Old Apr 27th 2019, 11:58 am
  #69  
 
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Originally Posted by celticgrid View Post
Note that even 'free' costs money. Specifically scholarships, etc. that cover more than tuition create taxable situations. Yes, that tax liability is a lot less than the fees in the first place but for low income families that tax liability itself can be a burden. And I do acknowledge that the recent income tax changes have helped that situation - prior to the recent changes the amount subject to tax was taxed not at the student's tax rate but at the parent's tax rate - the so-called kiddie tax.

I have no idea...are scholarships etc. taxed in the UK?
No idea on the tax, but scholarships are not approached in the same way in the UK due to the funding model. There are some smallish bursaries for certain students, such as care-leavers, otherwise bursaries and scholarships seem to be strictly based on academic performance, not financial need, and never equate to huge chunks of the tuition cost, etc., except possibly in the most exceptional circumstances. On the other hand, the tuition is far lower in comparison, for the most part. For the Little Lion, the UK worked out best - aside from his own wish to study there and not here. He wanted to do Civil Engineering, and the unis for that here are competitive and not cheap and as a middle-income person I make too much money to get grants but not enough to pay the costs. Had my son been a superstar academic, some uni might have supported him more with more private funds, but he's just a normal, intelligent young man - the UK was a better deal. He is also hoping to go on and get his master's, and then work to becoming chartered an upping his earning power that way.
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Old Apr 27th 2019, 5:29 pm
  #70  
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

My daughter is a high school senior now and has recently completed the college entrance process. What I've learned:
1. All schools offer financial aid, often to very high income levels.
2. All schools offer scholarships, these are merit-based awards that are granted independently of your parents' wealth. You can often stack these scholarships. For example, my daughter was awarded three separate scholarships at the school she'll end up attending (Indiana University, Bloomington).
3. For the above two reasons, It's not always true that "in state" tuition is cheaper than "out of state" tuition. In fact, my daughter was offered a "full ride" at two different out of state schools (neither of which she accepted).
4. Private schools generally offer more aid/scholarship money than public schools. This is especially true of the prestigious schools that have large endowments. As a result, the headline tuition / room & board costs at a private school can be very misleading. Depending on your circumstances, private schools can often be cheaper than state schools.
5. Too many students split hairs about school choice, fret excessively about school choice and consider themselves failures if they don't get into Harvard. The fact is that you can get a great education most anywhere, it's more about what you put into it. Also, a lot of schools you've likely never heard of are actually wonderful places to learn with amazing campuses. I learned a lot about places I wouldn't have previously considered for my daughter (one example: Northern Arizona University, which I had never heard of, turns out to be kind of incredible) through this process.
6. Following on with the above point, in the US, where you got your undergrad degree matters in getting your first job, after that no one cares. Work experience is far more important. Where you went to grad school matters much more. If you want to be an engineer and want to stay in the US, worry more about getting into a good grad school.

Last edited by Hiro11; Apr 27th 2019 at 5:41 pm.
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