With university courses being cut at drastic rates and tuition fees soaring to a whopping £9000, it is no surprise that more and more UK students are setting their sights on top US universities instead.
For the first time, trebled tuition fees have made the price difference between a UK and a US education negligible and students are responding accordingly, with record breaking numbers attending a recent US university fair in London. In addition, as bursaries for universities in England are squeezed and slashed, Ivy League institutions offer a beguiling package of generous support options. Many UK students from low income families find that an Ivy League university would be able to fund almost their entire tuition and accommodation costs, and many even offer extra incentives such as book grants and free flights home during the vacation.
Oxbridge vs. Ivy League
It’s not difficult to see the many attractions American universities hold for UK students. There are far more institutions to choose from within the elite ‘Ivy League’ group, allowing more variety and room for personal preference than the Oxford vs. Cambridge conundrum in the UK. In America, students can choose from prestigious institutions in exciting cities all over the country, from Harvard in Boston to Columbia in New York.
Wider Subject Choice
The American university system allows students to study a much wider variety of subjects alongside their main area of interest, which appeals to many who haven’t yet decided exactly what they want to do. You can ‘major’ in your chosen subject whilst still taking a range of courses in completely different academic disciplines, all of which will eventually contribute towards your final degree. This opportunity to tailor your course to suit your own personal interests and preferences simply doesn’t exist in the UK and is extremely appealing to many who wish to escape the rigid, restrictive university course choices available here.
With the UK economy embroiled in a seemingly endless struggle to recover from the recession and postgraduate employment at a record low, it is no surprise that many hope America will provide greener pastures after graduation. And for those planning to seek work in the US, trying to get into an Ivy League school just makes more sense than staying at home and paying extortionate prices for UK degrees with very little promise of financial reward at the end of the road.
If you’ve been thinking about Ivy League applications, keep your eyes peeled for next week’s blog, ‘How to get into the Ivy League’. It will be full of top tips for UK students hoping to study across the pond!