Curious fact: along with the American on the Moon, the flag of Princeton University was installed. The graduate of this famous university, astronaut Charles Peter Conrad (he became the third person stepping on the surface of the Moon), thus clearly showed which peaks - in all senses - can be reached by students who graduated one of the best US universities. Indeed, top universities give a powerful impetus and an incentive for personal and professional development, open up the broadest career and working perspectives, form a harmonious and modern personality.
In the USA there are about 4,500 universities, and the cost of studying is usually far from the most accessible - obtaining a degree will cost a small fortune. For example: to complete a Bachelor's degree at Stanford University, which regularly enters the TOP of the best universities in the country and the world, will take almost a quarter of a million dollars - and even this space sum is not the limit.
Is this education worth the money spent on it?
American citizens are very scrupulous and demanding in matters of higher education - in this country your income level and social status directly depend on it. The shortest and most reliable way to the world of political and business elite is the universities of the legendary "Ivy League": Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and others. These solid and majestic corps represent educational institutions that have been on the list of the best all over the world for decades, make up the backbone of the most prestigious and privileged, elite educational institutions. Even entering them is already a success, and graduates often make an impressive career and become famous all over the world.
Forge of millionaires
This title can be safely awarded to Harvard University, which issued 8 US presidents - Yale lags behind it, with 5 rulers of the nation behind it. Harvard also holds the lead in educating the most enterprising and rich people of the Earth: according to statistics (consulting company Wealth-X and the Swiss bank UBS) from its walls came 65 modern billionaires.
Stanford University is no less attractive to those wishing to build a financial empire - it has 24 billionaires, and Columbia University (15 people). It is worth noting the business school of the University of Pennsylvania (13 billionaires) and the University of Chicago (11 people who have made a huge fortune). In total, about 1347 people now have millions and billions in the world - and most of them were graduated from American universities. Graduates of American business schools create huge influential corporations - so, only in one Silicon Valley by the forces of former Stanford students created such giants as Google Inc, Yahoo! and Cisco.
How to measure prestige or what gives leadership in the rankings Times
According to various international rankings, US universities consistently occupy more than half of the list - out of 500 positions more than 200 belong to them. There is no country in the world that could repeat this success.
According to the latest tests and studies conducted by the prestigious British edition of Times Higher Education (THE), the results remain the same - ahead of the whole planet the US universities (43 out of 100 ) and Great Britain (12 out of 100). They are followed by Germany (6 universities were in the TOP). The winner is Harvard University, which is followed by Cambridge and Oxford. The fourth place is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the 5th is Stanford.
This statistic is especially valuable for its volume of research - in total about 6,000 educational institutions are estimated. For accounting, all possible achievements and advantages, teaching, scientific and student activities, volunteer work, the number of publications and the citation index, the merits of teachers, reputation among employers and scientific communities are taken into account. The Times ranking is deservedly considered to be one of the most prestigious and reliable indicators in the world - high positions allow the university to attract more teachers and students, apply for large-scale investments and grants, actively cooperate with employers, attracting them for employment of their students, organizing internships and practices.
The Road to TOP High Schools
If you are fired up with a desire to get an education in an American university, the most reliable way is to finish high school also in the USA. This will allow to perfectly adapt to the language, cultural and academic atmosphere from a small age, and also get an advantage when considering documents by admission commissions (the American certificate is highly appreciated, especially in the presence of high scores). American schools provide strong academic preparation for children (while following a national curriculum), develop useful leadership and academic qualities, an ability to work independently and in a team.
At the same time, it is surprising that there is no general, strict federal regulation of school education in the USA. Of course, funding is allocated from the budget of the country and the individual state, but at the same time in each region there are elective committees that develop and control the curriculum and monitor the educational process. A single standard simply does not exist - in each state its norms and statutes. In the school of your choice, the teachers will independently specify for you the composition and content of the curriculum, the intensity of the lessons in each direction, and tell you which teaching materials and manuals are used in this school.
For admission to the best universities in the USA it is worth to finish a two-year program of the senior school - grade 11-12 (High School Diploma). This is almost entirely devoted to preparing for the university course, starting usually and at all with the 9th grade (from 14-15 to 17-18 years). At this stage, each student independently selects subjects for his curriculum - this allows to pay the most attention to the disciplines that correspond to the chosen profile in a higher education institution. There are also mandatory for all, standard courses:
- Social sciences (history and political science as a minimum)
- Physical culture and sports
- Foreign language (one minimum)
- English language and literature
- Natural science course (combines physics, chemistry and biology).
In order to get a certificate of secondary education, you must score the required minimum points (credit units) in compulsory subjects, and success in core subjects will be an advantage in admission to a university. If you choose the most popular disciplines among American students, you can note:
- Foreign languages
- Computer disciplines and computer science
Many universities, especially the most prestigious ones, issue special information booklets (and duplicate data on the official website), which indicate which disciplines are desirable and compulsory for admission to a particular faculty or specialty. You can also contact the special consultants in each school and university: they will tell in detail what admission requirements are accepted for a particular profession, how to achieve a sufficiently high academic level, will help with the choice of the future profession.
The Advanced Placement (AP) courses will be a great advantage for the entrants. This is an in-depth course of studying selected subjects, which is almost the same as the first year of the university - which is why AP results are often counted as educational credits (credits) in the first year. Today, the most top-ranked universities in the US almost always require an AP certificate and taking exams at this level - this proves the high degree of the student's readiness for university education. But be careful: not all schools teach this program, and the list of subjects available for study may differ significantly. Choose a strong school with a good rating and reputation, do not forget to participate in social and volunteer programs, have time to do creativity and sports - all this will set you apart from other entrants as a promising student, to create an attractive image before the admission committee.
Alternative path IB
There is another way to the best American universities - IB International Baccalaureate program. The duration of this international course is 2 years, and its depth and intensity make it possible to qualitatively prepare for entering the best world universities.
According to the latest data, this program is taught in more than 4,000 schools around the world. Students who successfully completed the course receive a valuable and prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma: this is a diploma of full secondary education of an international standard that is recognized in all countries. But, alas, not all universities: for example, in the USA this diploma is accepted in 1971 institutions out of 4,500 (less than half). Therefore, if you decide to choose the IB program, carefully check to see if this diploma is accepted by the institution you are looking for.
Entering TOP American high schools
This option is not as reliable and likely as mentioned above, but the possibility exists. To enter immediately after graduating from high school, you will need to pass the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) exams or the American ACT (American College Testing) test. This is a mandatory rule for all foreign students who have decided to pursue higher education in the United States. You will also need to prove a high level of English proficiency (usually a TOEFL with scores of 95-100 on the iBT scale). Nevertheless, even the successful passage of all these tests does not give any guarantees of admission, because universities continue to give preference to graduates of secondary schools in the United States.
Speaking about the most prestigious, ranking universities, we must not forget that all their entrants without exception have excellent academic performance and excellent command of the English language, so it will not surprise the admissions committee. You need to show your strongest motivation, desire and necessity to study in this institution. Feel free to demonstrate the results of your social activity (participation in volunteer and charitable programs), social life, success in sports and creativity, participation in international projects and competitions, personal dignity and advantages. Show that you are worthy of studying in the best universities in the USA!