Studying in the US: "It's a carpe diem moment"

US universities are embracing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to attract British students

Studying in the US is becoming more popular with British students as the steep rise in tuition fees at UK universities continues to encourage them to consider all their options. According to the UK-US Fulbright Commission, an agency of the US embassy that helps British students find higher education courses in the US, a record 9,186 students from the UK studied at a US higher education institution in 2011-12. That's a 2.7 per cent increase on the 8,947 students of 2010-11.

US higher education has traditionally been much more business-driven than the UK, making it a far more expensive prospect for a British student to study an undergraduate course in the US rather than at home. That was until the tuition fees went up to a maximum of £9,000 a year. Undergraduate degrees in the US usually take four years. In 2011-12, the average annual tuition fees were $20,770 (£13,100) for foreigners at public institutions and $28,500 (£18,000) a year for private.

"We've seen a big increase in the number of US universities interested in attracting UK students," says Lauren Welch, marketing director at the Fulbright Commission. "They are aware of the changing higher education market in the UK and they see it as a good opportunity to attract more British students, and they like to have a good international cross-section of students at their institutions, as it has cultural and social benefits."

There are some generous scholarships on offer. A survey by EducationUSA found that more than 900 US universities offer international students scholarships of over $10,000 (£6,600) a year. Of these, 195 offered up to $30,000 per year, 80 up to $40,000, 105 offered more than $40,000 and 183 offered a full ride. "Undergraduate scholarships are often offered to students based on academic merit and extracurricular achievement, athletic ability and personal characteristics, such as country of origin, field of study, gender or ethnicity," says Welch.

According to the survey, most British students are undergraduates (47 per cent), followed by postgraduates (26.2 per cent), with the rest following non-degree programmes, including short-term and visiting student schemes (18 per cent) and optional practical training or post-study work (9 per cent). The top five destinations for UK undergraduates are Harvard University in Boston, the University of Southern California, New York University, University of Pennsylvania and Boston University.

"We've seen our US College Day university fair double in size in recent years to 4,000 attendees in September 2012, with twice as many US universities sending representatives over here. Our website traffic is up over 30 per cent, which shows the growing level of interest," says Welch.

There are around 4,000 universities in the US. Students can take a "common application", which is an entrance test accepted by around 500 of them and costs around £60. There was a 12 per cent increase in the number of test-takers in 2011-2012 compared to the previous year.

Harvard reported a 45 per cent increase in applications from 2009-10 to 2011-12, and Yale University, in Connecticut, reports a doubling of applications over the past six years.

Around 90 per cent of UK applications come from students at independent schools, whereas only around 35 per cent of their domestic intake are from the independent sector.

In a survey of prospective students in 2011, the top reasons given for wanting to study in the US were: the opportunity to experience American campus life (90 per cent) and learn about a new culture (79 per cent), the quality of US universities (70 per cent) and flexibility of US degrees and the liberal arts curriculum (44 per cent).

Students can take a broad range of subjects in the first two years before specialising in the last two years. Robert Spatig, assistant vice-president for admissions at the University of South Florida, Tampa says: "US universities are paying attention to the changes taking place higher education in the UK.

We realise that it is a carpe diem moment for recruitment of UK students and that the floodgates are going to open once British students learn that tuition at many top research universities in the US may now be less than at a comparable Russell Group university in the UK, so this is a once in a generation opportunity to attract prospective British applicants across the Atlantic."

The next College Day for students interested in studying in the US is on 28-29 September. Visit fulbright.org.uk to find out more about it.

Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
Sport
Sergio Romero saves Wesley Sneijder's penalty
world cup 2014But after defeating the Dutch, Lionel Messi and Argentina will walk out at the Maracana on Sunday as underdogs against Germany
Sport
Scoreboard at the end of the semi-final World Cup match between Brazil and Germany at The Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte
Sport
'Saddest man in Brazil' takes defeat with good grace, handing replica trophy to German fans
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleThe Game of Thrones author said speculation about his health and death was 'offensive'
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips
video
Arts and Entertainment
In his own words: Oscar Wilde in 1882
theatreNew play by the Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials - and what they reveal about the man
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m
filmWith US films earning record-breaking amounts at the Chinese box office, Hollywood is more than happy to take its lead from its new-found Asian audience
News
The garage was up for sale in Canning Place Mews for £500,000
newsGarage for sale for £500,000
Life and Style
tech
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Web Applications Developer - Surrey - £20K - £40K

£20000 - £40000 per annum + 37.5 hour week, 25 days holiday: Deerfoot IT Resou...

Graduate Java / C++ Developer

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Graduate Java / C++ ...

ICT Teacher

£110 - £120 per day + TBA: Randstad Education Reading: ICT Teacher needed for ...

Early Years Teacher - temp to perm

£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Nursery teaching job avail...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil