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Australians going to Princeton

  1. Jun 28, 2008 #1
    How rare is it for Australian students to go to an American University for Undergraduate studies? Is it hard to get into say Princeton or Harvard if your not American?

    Say i am a student who participated in the IMO (International Mathematical Olympiad) or the IPhO (International physics Olympiad) and win a medal, does that increase my chances dramatically?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 28, 2008 #2
    Pretty rare I would suppose. Yes, it's very hard to get into top undergrad schools as an international applicant. I'm not sure about quotas or separate application piles for international applicants but the competition is fierce.

    Of course it would help your chances, but I wouldn't say dramatically. If you won a gold medal at the IMO, which is a very very impressive feat, you still might not be accepted if you were a terrible slacker. However, most international students who participate in olympiads are probably very intelligent AND hard working.
  4. Jun 29, 2008 #3
    Actually this is not completely true. I went to school in Belgium, to a European School. Normally those schools are intended for children of people who work at European institutions and therefore move a lot inside Europe. Most European institutions pay the tuition for those schools, which is much higher than a normal school (about 30,000 euros a year). Of course, children whose parents do not work at an European institution can also apply but they have to pay the tuition themselves. So I had this Belgian guy in my class who was really rich and played golf and all (you can imagine the kind of guy). He wasn't especially smart. I mean, he was maybe in top 10% of the class but worked quite hard for it and didn't really excel. Now, he's a Princeton undergraduate in physics. I find this rather unfair cause there was another guy in class who was really smart and deserved in much more to get an education in Princeton. Unfortunately, his parents were not rich enough to be able to pay for it.
    This shows that I you don't have to be exceptionally smart to get admitted for undergraduate studies at Princeton (I don't know if this is also true for Harvard, MIT, Stanford,...). You have to have some brains and A LOT of money. I know this is unfair but it's how this world works...
  5. Jun 30, 2008 #4
    I'm going to hazard a guess and say most wouldn't bother.

    Education in AU is more or less an interest free loan to be paid of whenever you feel like is basically. A degree from Princeton might actually hurt your chances with some employer because they'd think you were a pretentious rich person.
  6. Jun 30, 2008 #5
    I believe at least MIT and Harvard offer free tuition if your parents total income is < $75k
  7. Jun 30, 2008 #6
    Can you be sure of this, for if it is true, then thats great!
  8. Jun 30, 2008 #7
    hey....well i think if your looking to move to the US I would consider it for a phd or something else like that...ANU n Uni Melb have one of the best undergrad programs anyway so u have to consider that anyway
  9. Jun 30, 2008 #8
    Harvard does for sure; I think the rest of the Ivy League schools have also started to adopt this. And at Harvard, if your family makes less than about $160,000 USD, you can get some pretty substantial financial aid.

    Generally the top American universities (like Princeton and Harvard) have what's called "need-blind" admissions. They accept students without referencing their family's financial status, and once you are accepted you are *guaranteed* sufficient financial aid (either through scholarships, grants, or loans) to be able to pay tuition.
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