The Concrete Search Criteria

The first thing we want to do is to have this information right in front of us that we’re going to base our search on, so the only thing that we are basing our search on are budget, admissions, and field of study.

Slide 1: On Your Mark

Lesson 2: The Concrete Search Criteria

All right, so we're going to get into the database very, very soon. 

Slide 2: Defining Our Criteria

But the first thing we want to do is to have this information right in front of us that we're going to base our search on. So this week, the only thing that we are basing our search on are budget, admissions, and field of study. 

Slide 3: What is your overall tuition budget?

So budget, you might think that, okay, you know, why do we need to talk more about this? My budget is whatever. But we need to know what that number means. So if we say we have a $10,000 a year budget, it's often because we have an overall budget of $40,000, and most schools in the US take at least four years. However, your budget for a three year program, which many, many of the programs are in Europe, would be higher, like over $13,000 a year. So right now, we want to figure out your total budget for tuition only. Not room and board, we're going to get into that later. 

Slide 4: 

Convert overall tuition budget to annual tuition budget for 3 year program and 4 year program.

So divide your number by three and four to come up with your max tuition for each of those. 

Slide 5: Tuition Budget of $40,000

$13,333 for 3 year programs

$10,000 for 4 year programs

For example, if my budget, my overall tuition budget is $40,000, then like I said, it would be just over $13,000 for a three year program, and $10,000 for a four year program. Now, if you only know your budget number with room and board included, then once you get to these numbers, to the three year program number and the four year program number, subtract $12,000 for now. Now that would leave me very little tuition money because this budget I did with $40,000 was based just on tuition. So hopefully, your budget’s a little higher than that for tuition and housing. 

Slide 6: Tuition Budget of $40,000

$13,333 for 3 year programs

$13,333 = 11,844 euros

$10,000 for 4 year programs

$10,000 = 8,913 euros

So now we need to convert that to euros. So I know that I have US$13,333 to spend each year for tuition, if I'm looking at three year programs, and US$10,000 per year for four year programs. So I'm just going to use a currency calculator online and come up with what it is in euros, because that's going to be what we use for the database search. So hang on to these numbers, we're going to use it in just a few. 

Slide 7: Admissions

  • Sweden – can’t apply until you have graduated
  • Germany – IB or 2 years of college credit or Associate’s Degree
  • AP scores, IB, or 1 year of college credit
  • Research universities in the Netherlands (not universities of applied sciences) – usually 4 scores of 3+
  • Italy – 3 scores of 3+
  • Norway – 3 scores of 3+
  • Denmark – 3 scores of 3+
  • Ireland – SAT/ACT requirement

Score required varies by school and program

But first, let's talk about admissions. This is another one of those cut and dry things because, you know, like we talked about a little bit before, it's not subjective. You know, they're not worried about your extracurriculars and the volunteer work you did, and all of that. What they're concerned about is whether you have the qualities and the requirements that they have decided that's needed to succeed in the program academically. And if you don't, they're just not even going to consider you. 

The other thing, if it is a more subjective measure, they're going to be looking at a motivation letter. Don't worry about that now. Let's just talk about the cut and dry one, so you know where you can and where you can't apply. So in Sweden, the problem is you can't apply as a high school senior. You have to have your actual diploma before you can even apply. And their admission deadline is in January, which makes it pretty much impossible if you're in high school now. 

Germany is another one of those that if you're in high school, iunless you're an IB student, it's going to be almost impossible. They just recently changed it to American students needing either two years of college credit, or an associate's degree. So kind of unless you have an IB diploma, or you've already graduated, you can kind of rule out Sweden and Germany for now. 

Then we have schools that require American students to have either an IB, one year of college credit, or a certain number of AP scores. So that's Italy, that's Norway, that's Denmark. And then, it's only the research universities in the Netherlands. So if you don't have the AP scores, don't rule out the Netherlands. It would only be the research universities in the Netherlands that you can apply to. So if you know you won't have the APs — this is pretty easy. In the database, you're just going to click the box that says no APs, and you won't be shown those that have that requirement. 

I'll tell you though, unless you have the AP scores in hand now, then we want to make sure that there are some safety schools, if you will, on your list. Some of those that don't have the AP requirement, just in case, you know, if you have the stomach flu on the AP test day and don't do as well as you wanted to, or you know, you have a breakup that week, and that affects your scores. You just never know what can affect those scores. So if you have kind of a guaranteed yes in your pocket that you'd be happy with, it's going to relieve a lot of stress. So I don't suggest doing a search based on AP scores, yes because you don't want to confine yourself to just those either. If you have the AP scores, great, but just search them all. You don't need to click no or yes for APs. 

And then you have your fields of study, which we talked about last week. So what you want to do going into the next video — it's in the action steps. You want to have the specific areas of study that you've identified, as well as the general areas of study that are connected to those specific areas. 

So fill out the sheets in the action steps. It'll only take a few minutes. And we're going to jump into the database next.