There are 3,000 French people who leave every year to do the accessible baccalaureate right after the baccalaureate. Because there are courses for all profiles. And scholarships can help fund tuition.
Going to study at an American university, ranked among the best in the world, is the dream of many French people. But there are many obstacles. The constitution of the file, the price, but also the plethora of choice among 4,000 establishments can put off many. However, 3,000 French people leave each year to pursue a baccalaureate. Because there are courses for all profiles.
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American universities issue bachelor’s degrees in four years, equivalent to our French degrees. For students who break the barrier of 12 in the general average in high school and who are not afraid of an administrative marathon, this is the best solution. But beware, “you should be doing this by January of the first class,” advises Caroline Bouffard, founder of coaching firm College Coaching. In fact, registration forms, which are very heavy, are required before the month of January towards the end of the year most of the time. In addition to a transcript going back to ninth grade, a test is required – either the SAT or ACT. It is a test written in English that assesses the candidate’s abilities: “You can take it five times a year, and the best grade is maintained”, says Céline Ouziel, head of EducationUSA, a center specializing in higher education in the United States. A letter of recommendation from a professor is also required. Finally, a series of one to six essays in English is requested, on topics defined by each university. Fees are high, from $10,000 per year for public universities to $40,000 for the most expensive private universities. The average is about 20,000, and at this price you have to add 7,000 to 10,000 dollars for housing.
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To lighten the bill, “private universities offer scholarships to foreign students, ranging from a few thousand dollars to the full application fee,” says Caroline Bouffard. These grants are “mainly indexed to academic merit”. It is necessary to request the grants at the same time as the file is sent.
The “community college”, an affordable option
“Less selective, the community college can be indicated for high school students who have a more modest level”, adds Céline Ouziel. These establishments, “which accept 99% of applications”, attract around 20% of the annual quota of French graduates. The course lasts two years and enrollment is made on the website of each institution. It requires a transcript of notes and a TOEFL-type English test “where the requested level – from 45 to 60 out of 120 – is easily attainable in terminale”. Registration runs until June and the price, around 7,000 euros per year for academic registration, is two to five times lower than that of universities. The community college issues an associate degree, the equivalent of a BTS or DUT in France. “These establishments must be seen above all as stepping stones to the university”, specifies Céline Ouziel.
🇧🇷 3 websites to prepare for your studies in the USA
Site to sign up for the SAT test and find out about American courses.
Platform common to all American universities to enroll in a bachelor’s degree.
Website of the French-American commission to advise young French people on studying in the United States.