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Good unis for Computer Science (w/financial aid and/or IB scholarships)?

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First of all, I'd like to start off by saying I still have two years ahead before I can really be worried about my uni career.
I haven't started the IB yet.
As you can see, I'm a worrying kind of person. Or anxious, whatever you want to call it.
Therefore, I'm already on the prowl for my perfect university.
I know things don't always go as predicted, but if I work my butt off, perhaps, I'll have a minimum percentage of probability my plans will actually go as they were supposed to.

I want to study Computer Science - or anything related to Informatics and Engineering, really - because I want to be a Software Engineer/Analyst in the future. I wouldn't mind a course wich has a little sprinkle of business in it, too.
Even though I live in Poland, I am not currently considering Polish universities as an option, as Polish isn't my first language. For this reason, I'm not picky about the country I want to study in, with the only condition it's Anglo-speaking. Australia, UK, USA, Canada, anything's fine to me.
To be honest, I'd rather not graduate from a university which has a low profile or is not recognised as a good school worldwide, but I guess this is a common hope!
Another thing which is vital for me is financial aid. Being the eldest of five children in a family where my dad is the only working person, I don't want to -err, I mean, I can't - count on my parents' help when it comes to paying for my education.

As for British universities, I'm advantaged by the fact that EU students have the same cost of fees as UK students. The cost of live, however, discourages me a lot.
I don't know much about American universities, but since I have relatives in New York, I'd prefer to attend university there rather than in any other state, so I could stay at their's instead of having to rent a house or end up paying even more to live in a campus...
I'm only considering Canadian and Australian universities as long as their degrees are recognized globally AND the overall cost (flight, cost of life, school fees) doesn't outweigh the benefits of studying there.

Edited by vals

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For the UK depending on the predictions you'll get you can consider top unis like Oxford, Cambride, Imperial College (they will only make an offer to you if your predictions are 40-41 for oxbridge and for imperial you need at least a 39).

Bear in mind that for Computer Science most of the good unis will ask you for a 5 or a 6 in Maths HL which is something else to think of considering that Maths HL is a hard subject.
Check out: http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/league-tables/rankings?s=Computer+Science

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Hey! I'm majoring in Computer Science too :) I'm going to Urbana-Champaign in the US. Its ranked #4 for CS. Its in Chicago though. Kinda far away from NY. Buuut you could also look into Carnegie Mellon which is supposed to be really good for engineering. And Carnegie does accept IB scores and gives both conditional and unconditional offers. I got a conditional there for 36 which isn't too bad. There's quite a few other good schools for CS but they're scatted across the US. To get you started you should just google the top ten unis for CS in the US and go from there :)

And US unis arent too particular if you take Maths HL or SL Although they say that Physics for atleast two years is a must. They look at your maths, chem, and physics scores over your other ones.

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For the UK depending on the predictions you'll get you can consider top unis like Oxford, Cambride, Imperial College (they will only make an offer to you if your predictions are 40-41 for oxbridge and for imperial you need at least a 39).

Bear in mind that for Computer Science most of the good unis will ask you for a 5 or a 6 in Maths HL which is something else to think of considering that Maths HL is a hard subject.

Check out: http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/league-tables/rankings?s=Computer+Science

Actually, standard offers from Cambridge and Imperial for Computer Science range from 40 - 42 with 766 - 777 at HL, whilst Oxford's one is fixed at 39 with a 7 in Mathematics HL. However, I do agree that these three are the top dogs in the UK for what concerns Computer Science (and Mathematical Sciences in general).

For the USA I think that top Universities for Computer Science (ranked in no order whatsoever) are: MIT, Caltech, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley and Princeton. All are very hard to get in I guess, but their scholarships, grants and bursaries are very generous ;)

Moreover, they will notice you are a girl, and since there are very few girls applying for Computer Science (and like none from Italy, possibly a few more from Poland), you are advantaged in the US selection process (which kinda sucks in general, since it is not purely academic anymore! Whilst in the UK it is usually more merit based).

Edited by Zarathustra

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Princeton isn't too well known for CS. It's more for the sciences and liberal arts. And they actually don't see what gender you are in the selection process. I had an interview with UPenn and the interviewer made that very clear to me. And yes, you might be advantaged that you are international, but MIT selects VERY FEW internationals every year. Also, some of the top US colleges do not offer scholarships to internationals.

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Princeton isn't too well known for CS. It's more for the sciences and liberal arts. And they actually don't see what gender you are in the selection process. I had an interview with UPenn and the interviewer made that very clear to me. And yes, you might be advantaged that you are international, but MIT selects VERY FEW internationals every year. Also, some of the top US colleges do not offer scholarships to internationals.

I know some IOI people who went to Princeton to study Computer Science and Mathematics, this is why I deduced it was good, I might be wrong though (perhaps they went there only for the Math, which surely is top notch).

I am very sorry, but I am sure the international selection process at US based schools in biased to a certain degree. For instance, a girl from an exotic country intending to study an engineering subject has more chances to get in than a Chinese guy with better grades, since there are more excellent students from China than from the aforementioned exotic country. And this is unfair in my opinion, since the Chinese guy is a better student.

There are some interesting articles on the internet, that are related to this phenomenon:

http://blog.tanyakhovanova.com/?p=150

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/massachusetts-institute-technology/1416674-why-did-mit-reject-guy.html

I am sorry, but these guys shouldn't have been rejected, no matter how competitive the place is. Especially when I am pretty sure there were less impressive students accepted at the same institutions.

Oh and I am pretty sure that the likes of Stanford, Princeton, etc. don't distinguish between international and home students when it comes to financial aid and grants ;)

EDIT:

I'll transcript some quotes from the two aforementioned articles:

You have to look at the process on the ad. officers' angles. May be that year they wanted to get more students from India, Vietnam, Singapore, less from China, Korea, Japan, etc for their international student pool.
The top schools in the US draw an incredibly talented pool of applicants. They narrow it by eliminating those clearly not up to snuff, and then from the rest, from this pool, they create a class. It’s not the same as taking the best 10%. In fact, since they only take about 10%, they can be extraordinarily arbitrary in their decisions. They may have already had too many kids from your son’s school… or even from your state. They may not like your son’s school. Perhaps this year they wanted their mathematicians to play a musical instrument. Who knows? Or should I say, no one knows. It is arbitrary
Skip the word "quota." Over time they seek a balance for internationals. If it's been a while since they took a kid from Uganda, a strong candidate might be interesting. Or might not be.

I don't find it fair.

And btw, don't you think that a male Indian applicant applying for engineering has less chances to get into Harvard than a female applicant from Ecuador with similar grades and ECs? Oh come on :confused:

Edited by Zarathustra

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Lol yeah I can see why you deduced that. I guess the prestigious name of the uni speaks for itself, so it doesn't really matter if the engineering department is top notch. And they don't look at just grades though. It might be that the girl from the exotic country is stronger in another area rather than academics. And every year quite a few asians are admitted to MIT. But yes, the international process is definitely biased, and I actually lost my admission at UPenn for that reason. They preferred more nationals this year. :/ But anyways, there are always 'less impressive' students at any university.

And well I was talking about scholarships, not financial aid. Those are two different things :) Financial aid is open for everyone. :P

Edited by ak18

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Lol yeah I can see why you deduced that. I guess the prestigious name of the uni speaks for itself, so it doesn't really matter if the engineering department is top notch. And they don't look at just grades though. It might be that the girl from the exotic country is stronger in another area rather than academics. And every year quite a few asians are admitted to MIT. But yes, the international process is definitely biased, and I actually lost my admission at UPenn for that reason. They preferred more nationals this year. :/ But anyways, there are always 'less impressive' students at any university.

And well I was talking about scholarships, not financial aid. Those are two different things :) Financial aid is open for everyone. :P

Yes, but some schools are need blind for internationals, others aren't :P

Cool we settled this, although you might have skipped my edited post :P

But you see, saying "perhaps the girl from the exotic country is more well rounded" is kinda an excuse to justify some absurd decisions. Frankly, I don't see how writing for a school journal or volunteering in a foreign country rather than at home can justify the fact that the Chinese guy is actually better at what he is applying than the exotic country girl. See what I mean? :P

Edited by Zarathustra

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Oh yeah, I think I replied by the time you edited or something. And well no, he doesn't. It all depends on the circumstances of the applicant as well. The admissions process is really vague and at times screwed up. There's not clear cut admissions requirements. People with an 1800 SAT Score but a perfect 45 IB score have been accepted. One of my friends got a 2020 on the SAT and still was accepted to Stanford.

And yeah i know what you mean. But it's all about showing how diverse the uni is. It's pointless trying to determine how the unis go through the admissions process ><

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I don't know if you're considering Asian unis, but I think that Hong Kong University of Science and Technology would be pretty good for CS. It's consistently ranked as one of the top universities in Asia. English is the medium of instruction, and quite a lot of local people understand English. The cost of tuition is quite low, currently at HKD$120,000 a year, or approximately 11-12000 Euros annually, and I think the cost of living isn't that high. Plane tickets might be somewhat expensive, though, especially if you intend to visit home often.

HKUST also offers scholarships and financial aid to all entering undergraduate students who get the diploma, provided that you get 36 or above. Here is information about the financial aid they offer. And they have interdisciplinary programs, such as being able to get a dual degree in both technology and management, for instance. More info on that here. Their entry requirements also aren't that bad. I was given a conditional offer, and the conditions were overall 34 with no subject lower than 4, I believe.

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I've never considered Asian universities, to be honest! But looking at this uni's website I must say I quite got interested. Thankfully I still have two more years to make up my mind!

@ApotheoCarp, I have a question for you about the Hong Kong University:

while surfing their website, I came across this page. Here it says that applicants who possess an International Baccalaureate diploma can only apply for 3-year courses. But what's the difference between 3-yr and 4-yr courses? I'm puzzled.

p.s.: and why is the admission for 3-yr courses program-based, while the admission for 4-yr courses is school-based? What does this mean?
Edited by vals

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There are courses in English in Poland, though some of them have high tuition fees. But some are free, I don't know anything about computer science though. And I heard about NYU abu dhabi (again, I don't know about the courses) that it provides a lot of financial aid, depending on your house income. NYU has unis in other countries too I think. Also, some British unis will give you a scholarship if you have good grades, but they're not the best ones. For example Kent's offers are at 33, and if you exceed 35 and go there, they'll pay you for it ;d Oh, and UCL had this need-based scholarship programme for Polish students, among others, but it may be changed in 2 years, and I don't know if you'd qualify, depends on your citizenship I suppose.

Can I ask in which area of Poland you live? :)

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I have both Polish and Italian citizenships, I'll take a look at UCL's website later to see if I can find any useful information.

Currently I'm in Warsaw, hopefully I'll meet many international students like me *fingerscrossed* :)

Edited by vals

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Warsaw is certainly more international than other cities, but in my IB class there wasn't anyone who wouldn't have Polish as a first language but that's more likely in Warsaw I guess. Anyway, good luck with your search ;d

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