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Hello Mrs. Sally Rubenstone, I'm an International Student (Nigerian) and I applied to 20 Schools using the common app. I am somehow feeling nervous after a teacher asked me if Nigerians are ever considered for admission. Also, I want to know what's the probability that my location can get me in?

Lastly, if Freshman matriculate at schools like Yale, do they wear matriculation gowns?
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3184 replies1122 threads CC Admissions Expert
    Most American colleges welcome applicants from around the world, including from Nigeria. However, US colleges are VERY popular in Nigeria, and so the competition for acceptance is very stiff. In my experience working with Nigerian students, I have found that many over-reach." That is, they aim for the MOST competitive universities, such as Yale, which you have mentioned, and they don't fully realize how challenging it will be to get good news.

    While Yale and a tiny handful of "elite" colleges are "need-blind' for international candidates (meaning that admission decisions are not based on a student's ability to pay), the vast majority of US schools are "need-conscious" meaning that, at least to some extent, they DO base admission decisions on the amount of financial aid that the applicant will require. Thus any international student who is seeking financial aid must understand that they should focus most of their applications on colleges where their qualifications (e.g., grades, test scores and other accomplishments) put them at the tip-top of the applicant pool.

    Even if you don't require aid--but especially if you DO--I hope that the 20 schools on your list represent a range of admission "risk" ... including some "Reach" colleges (and Yale is a Reach for EVERYONE) and some that seem safer. (But, for international students who need money, NO college is truly safe.)

    If you worry that your list leans too much toward the Reach colleges, it's not too late to add others. In fact, it's largely the less selective schools that are still accepting applications now.

    As for the Yale "matriculation gowns," that's something I've never heard of. But back when I was your age, Yale hadn't even started admitting women! :(

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