US Colleges?

I posted this on a college discussion forum, but it was received with silence, so once again I’ve come back to the all-encompassing knowledge base of elysiun ;]

my original post:

I’ve been attending university in Canada for a few months now, and I was wondering if I should transfer to a school in the US. For a lack of ambition I didn’t think about doing this in highschool, but seeing several of my class mates accepted to Princeton and Harvard I’m having other thoughts.

My first semester gpa at sfu was 4.0, and I qualify as a “national ap scholar”, having achieved at least 4 on 6 highschool ap exams. I haven’t taken the SAT or the ACT as of yet.

I’ve done some research and I understand Stanford has a relatively low transfer gpa, and that they look more at your extracurriculars - which I have in abundance.

I have very good relations with my highschool principal, having done literally hundreds of service hours at the school developing their presentations and website. I am also an accomplished graphic/webdesigner, having contributed to several large ad campaigns in Vancouver as a part of the design firm Kubix Media (if you live in Vancouver, you may have seen the orange “travelsavingstoday” bus ads ;] During highschool, I won several awards for my design and animation work, including the provincial teen animation contest and the electronic arts teen scholarship. I currently study at SFU engineering and do freelance design work part time under my registered proprietorship PurewebDesigns.

I’m pretty sure I can get good recommendations from my old creative director at kubix, as well as their marketing director Lorne Furtner - the guy who originally created the air miles program.

From my credentials, is it worth the effort to apply? Also, my family is well off, but not rich. I may have to apply for financial assistance. Will this hurt my chances?

thanks very much for any advice

You saying that Canada Colleges aren’t as good as the US Colleges ?

sigh… frankly yes - the stats between us and canadian colleges are very skewed.

My personal beef (god that sounds like a bad pun…) is that there seems to be very little engineering opportunities. When I apply for co-op, all I can find are comp-sci jobs, when I’d rather be doing something more physical and relevant to my major, which is systems engineering.

I realize that there’s no getting away from computers, but I just don’t want to find myself working as a software developer and debugging code the rest of my life. I feel there are more engineering opportunities abroad and I thought with my credentials I might have a fair chance at going to a good school in the us.

Engineering will probably involve computers anyways, if you take computer science perhaps you could do the work faster, better and cheaper, that is if you make you own plug-ins and/or software.

I agree that mechanical systems are controlled by software, and there’s no escaping programming. But my interests lie in the more physical and material type of engineering. It could be micro fabrication, or aeronautical design, or anything of that sort. I just don’t want to be in a strictly comp-sci environment like data encryption/compression (as an example from co-op) or database management.

Still has to do with the job, alot of company use data encryption and they are getting better everyday, it’s not just a right but a must in todays business world to protect there data and end up in the hands of exploiters. Not sure what database management has to do with computer science.

yes, it is important but what I’m saying is that it’s not the type of work that I personally enjoy :]

I’d much rather develop (or learn to) integrated mechanical systems, with tangible, physical results. And there is a big difference between pure comp-sci and engineering. After all, they are different faculties. I was just using that particular job as an example. I believe there are too few engineering opportunities here compared to computer/communications jobs, such as network admin or data encryption etc.

I’m sure there’s one somewhere in Canada that will teach this position.

I’m thinking of going to Stanford myself… my parents went there, and I visited it a few years ago. It’s a nice place, and they certainly have the sort of equipment you would be looking for. I suppose MIT would be better again, from what I’ve seen Stanford is slightly more focused on physics (eg. they have a particle accelerator etc.)

apparently they only accept around 50 new transfers each year, so my chances are pretty slim.

If I apply quickly I could go in as a freshman though. I think I’ll go talk to my school’s counselor today.

Please pardon me while I throw some ice-cold water in your face, and drop a gauntlet on the ground in front of you. I’m not going to pull any punches here, and I don’t mean anything “personally.” (As the character said in the old movie, Top Gun, “I’m not gonna blow sunshine up your a*s…”) So, here goes.

I frankly suggest that you complete a degree in Canada, whether it’s an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s, before you contemplate any changes.

When you have done this, you will have a locked-in set of real college grades which will never expire … and a several-year established history of being able to succeed at a non-trivial amount of college-level course work. These grades, and this established, demonstrable track-record, is transferable anywhere.

To be frank, I don’t see anything in your postings to indicate anything more than fairly-unfocused dissatisfaction, or simply angst. I cannot believe that an accredited Canadian school is any less accredited or reputable than any American school. I cannot and do not believe that you could possibly have a bona fide beef with the school: the issue is with yourself. And it could be … pardon me again for being quite blunt … “growing up.”

[ Please… before you fly off the flame-handle, consider this: impressions matter. From the point of view of someone who completed his undergraduate-work more than twenty years ago, who might well be in the college Admissions office now, that impression cannot be dislodged. Ergo, don’t make that impression to begin with. Criticize the school, and these folks are gonna stop listening. As well they should… they know better, and so should you. ]

On the undergraduate level, save your money altogether with regards to Princeton … the only time that it might be worthwhile to fight to get into one of those “prestigious” (~$10,000US/semester!) schools is at the graduate level.

The first two years of an undergraduate degree (an “Associate’s”) can be completed … frankly anywhere. It’s P.E., Freshman Lit, and all sorts of required-courses from hangers-on departments… schlep that you must take but that you can promptly forget. Find the cheapest accredited school closest to home-base. The last two years can be completed anywhere that has the degree that you want… and if you can bring a completed Associate’s degree with exemplary grades, you can get admitted very quickly.

Yes… that means bagging a 4.0 out of Professor Geriatric in Interesting Poetry from the 17th Century. %| That’s exactly what that means…

I’m glad that you scored a 4.0 … you deserve to be proud of that. “You have met the minimum standard.” Now what I want to know is, as Billy Joel said, “can you han-dle pres-sure?” Or, to quote Don Henley, “How bad do you want it?”

Get out there and prove that you can bring down one 4.0 after another, every time for two years more, when your course-load includes some truly challenging course-work. Do that, and doors will open for you all across North America. You have proved that you can do it once, and I see no acceptable reason why you can now repeat the performance every single time. Your demonstrated goal should be that nothing less than 4.0 is good enough. Your cumulative GPA at the end of the Associate’s should be no less than 3.95. That is the standard in Graduate School; that should be your personal standard in Undergraduate school.

The gauntlet is thrown… Are you up to it?

I would rather go to Canada College, that’s where all the orgy are, Damn you theeth I envy you :<

thanks sundail. What you said has pretty much been the concensus of the people I’ve talked to. And don’t worry, I’ll slap you silly with your gauntlet :]

al_capone: damn, didn’t go to juggs and muggs night with the rest of the ensc peeps. There’s always next year though :x

wait… the legal age for strip clubs is 19… yeah, have to wait a year anyways

I am delighted to hear it.

Canada court rule that up to 10 can take part in a orgy at a night club, don’t really have anything to do with beer. Unless there are stripers in there.

yes, strip club = naked women :]

I’m still a year away from the age of ascendancy in canada, so I still can’t go… And it’s strange that they allow orgies in clubs, but have such strict laws against porn and booze.

good thing we have a federal election soon :<

Yeah, back down the age of consent before the yanky hystarial of white slavery!!!

Do Not Think about it, just go ahead and apply if thats what you want to do. Standford is one of the best schools for engineering in that nation(The very best9. , i would prepare to get a letter of denial. If you are looking to move up, and aren’t satisfied with the college that your at, start looking for other schools to apply to. Chances are you won’t get accepted, but if you apply to some other great engineering schools it would be still better than where you are at now…I would think about applying to some of these schools also…RPI,MIT,CIT,GIT,Duke,Rice,Cornell,Carnegie mellon. Financial aid shouldn’t hurt your chances any. Being a transfer hurts you, and being an international transfer hurts you even bigger. Usually only the best of the best people outside of the united states apply for us schools, so usually the national kids are really smart(from what they say at college confidential)

Though, it would be really nice if you choose to go to Georgia institute of technology, because thats where i want to go. they have a rhodes scohlar for 2005, and there in the top ten engineering schools by usnews report. In the city of Atlanta, and very diverse. Good athletics/weather. Haven’t got an acceptance letter from them yet, but if i don’t i won’t be suprised, and vice versa. I have loads of dreams, about where i want to go and stuff, but no one ever can have complete control of their life. It would be like a dream come true(for me to get accepted into GIT), and my stats compare with the average GTech students. Something tells me though, that dreams don’t always come true, and it doesn’t always come out as planned. Thats the scary part.

Better to be making 4.0’s at SFU, then making 2.0 at standford though. There will always be people making straight A’s at any college. So if you don’t get in, just remeber that you could end up with better credintials, than a bad standford student if you make straight a’s. Which could lead to any number of scholarships for you to pursue masters or anything.

Hope you build up the courage to apply. I regret not applying to duke, a college that sent me the coursebook, and mail weekly. It was once a dream of mine to go to cornell also, never liked standford though.

America has some of the best colleges in the world

I think thats comming from mostly of your American pride. But they did educate alot of bright young religious extreamist.

Which brings me to my next point, the green card will be harder and longer to get because of threat against the country.

play nice now ;]