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US College System

Old Jan 12th 2009, 4:03 am
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Default US College System

We just moved to California in August 2008 with our 16 year old daughter who is now in 11th Grade (Junior Year). Later on this year, she will be applying for a place in the University of California system which is complicated by the fact that she spent 9th and 10th grade at a UK high school where she left with 11 good grade GCSEs. Is there anyone out there who was in a similar position? (we trust the UC university will recognise the value of her GCSEs) How did you find the process? Were you able to access any grants or loans? (These seem only to be available to US citizens)
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 5:45 am
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Default Re: US College System

Originally Posted by boltonja1 View Post
We just moved to California in August 2008 with our 16 year old daughter who is now in 11th Grade (Junior Year). Later on this year, she will be applying for a place in the University of California system which is complicated by the fact that she spent 9th and 10th grade at a UK high school where she left with 11 good grade GCSEs. Is there anyone out there who was in a similar position? (we trust the UC university will recognise the value of her GCSEs) How did you find the process? Were you able to access any grants or loans? (These seem only to be available to US citizens)
I would suggest talking to someone in admissions / recruiting at the UC school of choice ASAP to get correct information.
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 6:54 am
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Default Re: US College System

Being in California, she could save a ton of money by doing 2 years at a community college doing the general education then transfer to the UC or state system for the remainder to get the final degree.
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 10:15 am
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Default Re: US College System

You don't say what type of visa you have, but the vast majority of loans are for USC *and* PR's. If I were you, I wouldn't "trust" that the uni stuff will get worked out - didn't you find this out before coming?
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 11:01 am
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Default Re: US College System

Originally Posted by boltonja1 View Post
0 Were you able to access any grants or loans? (These seem only to be available to US citizens)
Federal Loans and grants and the majority of all scholarships are typically only available to USC and Perm. Residents, not visa holders. You'll find it pretty difficult, if not impossible, for your daughter to get into uni without a high school diploma or the equivalent GED (general education diploma) and she more than likely will need to take achievement/placement exams to guarentee her admission (i.e. SAT or ACT). Don't count on GCSE's being recognized, but you need to verify this.

Personally I don't understand why you are so fast to throw your daughter into college life, after only being in a high school for a year, but it's your choice.
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 12:48 pm
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Default Re: US College System

Originally Posted by boltonja1 View Post
We just moved to California in August 2008 with our 16 year old daughter who is now in 11th Grade (Junior Year). Later on this year, she will be applying for a place in the University of California system which is complicated by the fact that she spent 9th and 10th grade at a UK high school where she left with 11 good grade GCSEs. Is there anyone out there who was in a similar position? (we trust the UC university will recognise the value of her GCSEs) How did you find the process? Were you able to access any grants or loans? (These seem only to be available to US citizens)
Most colleges are mainly interested in the SAT results which are normally taken in the Senior year and the GPA. If she does well with the SATs she should be OK.
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 1:24 pm
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Default Re: US College System

It's been a while, but I just went ahead and got a GED(used a study book) to get into college, even though I had already had 10 O levels and 4 A-levels. I think I only got PELL loans with just being a perm resident (green card).
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 1:45 pm
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Default Re: US College System

Hi we have just gone through all this with our 20yr old (who took a 2 year gap year !) I think each state may have its own rules but we have worked our way round the Florida ones ...just. The main thing you must have is a SAT score, without this your going no-where. My DD said this was very easy and did not take any classes to help her, just bought a book and looked through it, passed with flying colours (gets her brain form her dad) Her GCSe's were taken into account along with her AS levels and A level to give a her a huge head start in her credits. She started with 24 credits and so after her 1st semester has moved onto being a 2nd year student (sophmore I beleive) which will in the end save her time and us money. We were able by more luck than anything else to get her insate fees which saved us $14.000 dollars this year so make sure you look into that and keep going at it untill they cave ! With regards to Loans and Grants that is another minefield we are still trying to sort. There was no grant available for this year due to DH earning in the UK last year. But I was assured that as long as we are a Florida residents for the next giant form filling session we could apply for grants and seeing as we now both work for pittance we should get some. DD was just offered a financial loan but it was a non subsidized one so need to look into that. Some of this may be different depending on your status here. I am a USC but had never lived here till this year and DH is a PR.

As a side I have tried to apply to go to ' evening school' as such and untill I have lived here a year and become a resident the fees are way to high

Feel free to PM me if I can help any further
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 1:57 pm
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Default Re: US College System

Each state is different, so your high school's guidance counselor should be your first stop but don't depend on them to do all the work. They have way too many students to deal with. You can sign up online to take the SAT/ACT (depending on what your prospective uni requires). Most kids take them both where I am from....and sometimes more than once to improve their scores. Then you can start getting info. from the unis you want to attend.

You do not pass or fail an SAT or ACT. . . you get a score that ranks you amongst other students that took the same test at the same time. Each school has different admissions requirements based on these scores GPA from HS, extracurricular, etc., etc. Community college usually requires only a checkbook/credit card and a GED or HS diploma and a pulse (some may require SAT/ACT scores).

I've got one kid at OSU, one at community college, and a stepson moving over in the summer to start at a small university. All three are paying differently.... scholarship, daddy, loans, own money. It is a huge expense so starting out at the local branch of a big uni saves as does doing your first year at community....make sure you take classes that will transfer (many of the community college courses will not transfer to a university).
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: US College System

Originally Posted by augigi View Post
You don't say what type of visa you have, but the vast majority of loans are for USC *and* PR's. If I were you, I wouldn't "trust" that the uni stuff will get worked out - didn't you find this out before coming?
We are on an L1 visa. I have been told that her UK qualifications will be referred to the international admissions officer to be translated into US grades so I guess it depends on how much experience of this the college has. We did try and check the situation out before coming over - our main concern was to ensure that after 12 months here, we would qualify for instate fees which seems to be the case. Out of state fees would have been out of our reach.
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: US College System

Originally Posted by sunflwrgrl13 View Post
Federal Loans and grants and the majority of all scholarships are typically only available to USC and Perm. Residents, not visa holders.
There are also California state grants and, I think, subsidized loans. For these you must be defined as a California resident for tuition purposes, something you should make very sure your daughter is classed as from the get go. Check out the UC admissions and Cal Grant websites - pretty sure all the info is there if you dig deep enough.

Edit: looks like you've done the leg work for in-state tuition...

Edit: Be aware that the financial outlook for California tertiary education is becoming extremely dire due to the budget crisis. Fees have skyrocketed in the last few years and state financial aid diminished. Expect that trend to continue in an accelerated fashion over the next couple of years.

Last edited by Giantaxe; Jan 12th 2009 at 3:12 pm.
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 3:12 pm
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Default Re: US College System

Originally Posted by wisewol View Post
Hi we have just gone through all this with our 20yr old (who took a 2 year gap year !) I think each state may have its own rules but we have worked our way round the Florida ones ...just. The main thing you must have is a SAT score, without this your going no-where. My DD said this was very easy and did not take any classes to help her, just bought a book and looked through it, passed with flying colours (gets her brain form her dad) Her GCSe's were taken into account along with her AS levels and A level to give a her a huge head start in her credits. She started with 24 credits and so after her 1st semester has moved onto being a 2nd year student (sophmore I beleive) which will in the end save her time and us money. We were able by more luck than anything else to get her insate fees which saved us $14.000 dollars this year so make sure you look into that and keep going at it untill they cave ! With regards to Loans and Grants that is another minefield we are still trying to sort. There was no grant available for this year due to DH earning in the UK last year. But I was assured that as long as we are a Florida residents for the next giant form filling session we could apply for grants and seeing as we now both work for pittance we should get some. DD was just offered a financial loan but it was a non subsidized one so need to look into that. Some of this may be different depending on your status here. I am a USC but had never lived here till this year and DH is a PR.

As a side I have tried to apply to go to ' evening school' as such and untill I have lived here a year and become a resident the fees are way to high

Feel free to PM me if I can help any further
Thank you for your reply. Yes, we think we qualify for instate fees as we will have been living here for 12 months when she applies. Why did you have to wait for the authorities to "cave in" - is the situation open to interpreatation? (Please say not!) She is booked in on an SAT preparation course at the school which should help her but she will not have AS/A levels, just GCSEs and her high school diploma.
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: US College System

Originally Posted by sunflwrgrl13 View Post
Federal Loans and grants and the majority of all scholarships are typically only available to USC and Perm. Residents, not visa holders. You'll find it pretty difficult, if not impossible, for your daughter to get into uni without a high school diploma or the equivalent GED (general education diploma) and she more than likely will need to take achievement/placement exams to guarentee her admission (i.e. SAT or ACT). Don't count on GCSE's being recognized, but you need to verify this.

Personally I don't understand why you are so fast to throw your daughter into college life, after only being in a high school for a year, but it's your choice.
Yes, she will be leaving high school in June 2010 with a high school diploma (hopefully!) and SAT/ACT tests with 2-3 AP courses so she will not start uni until 2010. I just know that it takes time to get the full picture so I'm starting the preparation early.
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: US College System

Originally Posted by boltonja1 View Post
We are on an L1 visa. I have been told that her UK qualifications will be referred to the international admissions officer to be translated into US grades so I guess it depends on how much experience of this the college has. We did try and check the situation out before coming over - our main concern was to ensure that after 12 months here, we would qualify for instate fees which seems to be the case. Out of state fees would have been out of our reach.
I don't know if L1 qualifies but Stafford Loans (low interest for students) and ParentsPlus Loans (higher interest than student but still low) are options. Even if you are going to get the loan, I recommend you have your daughter get the loan in her name as it can be as much as 2% lower interest rate and deferred payments.
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 3:45 pm
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Default Re: US College System

Originally Posted by tamms_1965 View Post
I don't know if L1 qualifies but Stafford Loans (low interest for students) and ParentsPlus Loans (higher interest than student but still low) are options. Even if you are going to get the loan, I recommend you have your daughter get the loan in her name as it can be as much as 2% lower interest rate and deferred payments.
Suzy Orman was talking about student loans the other day on TV and said exactly what you've said (are you Suzie in disguise ??) That you should get your child to have the loan in their name even if you're going to pay it because of the lower rates.
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