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Eleventh Grade Grades?

conflagrationsconflagrations 13 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
Hi I'm a high school student in Australia and only recently realised that I wanted to come to the US for undergrad. In my state only your year 12 grades matter for university admission (in the high school leaving exam), so I haven't been putting as much effort as I could have for year 11, and I've mainly concentrated on learning ahead and doing year 12 stuff as that's what is actually relevant to university admissions here... That being said, my grades are not bad at all (top 10% of my cohort), just not the absolute best they could be.

I want to attend a top 20 college, and I'm really worried now. How many years of reports would I have to submit? From year 10 onwards? I originally thought only midyear and final reports of Year 12 would need to be submitted.
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Replies to: Eleventh Grade Grades?

  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 1953 replies26 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 16
    You would have to submit grades 9-12 in most cases, either final or semester, depending on how your school reports. Check the admissions web page of each college that interests you, because there will also be test scores and other requirements.

    Run the net price calculator for each college to see if they are affordable.

    Understand your chances at a top 20 are slim as an international student. Have backup colleges.
    edited July 16
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33105 replies358 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Competition from Australia will be fierce at top 20 colleges. Make sure you understand what each looks for, beyond stats.
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  • conflagrationsconflagrations 13 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @lookingforward How do I find out what each college looks for beyond stats? I couldn't really find any information on Undergraduate Admissions pages. Also, are you saying that I'm competing with other Australians, and people from my school applying to the same colleges, as well?
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38489 replies6733 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    How do I find out what each college looks for beyond stats?
    Here is an example from Harvard:
    https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/apply/what-we-look
    Also, are you saying that I'm competing with other Australians, and people from my school applying to the same colleges, as well?
    At most US colleges, international applicants are in a separate bucket. So you would be competing against applicants from your school (if any others are applying), other applicants form the same state/territory, all applicants from Australia, and all international applicants.

    Keeping Harvard as an example, there are currently 33 undergrads from Australia, so roughly 8 per class.
    http://www.hio.harvard.edu/statistics

    Additionally, some colleges, like Harvard, actively recruit athletes from abroad. Rowing is especially well-represented by Australians. So backing out those numbers, they're probably only accepting 4-5 Australian applicants per year.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9017 replies489 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yes, that’s what @lookingforward is saying. And you are competing with stellar students from all over the world and the US, who have four years of great high school records, amazing ECs and tippy top test scores. A student with perfect everything hasn’t got a great chance of getting in. To start way below that level makes the odds even slimmer for you.

    You need to look at college websites and guides to know what those colleges want. Read their mission statements. Read their Wikipedia pages, get to know who they admit, who their profs are, what classes they offer. Look at each college’s common data sets, section C7, which tells you what they prioritize in order of importance.

    Frankly, you are going to have to do a LOT of work at this point to have any chance whatsoever, and I’m not sure you understand what that involves. First, the majority of American colleges want all four years of grades, SAT/ACT test scores, rigorous classes, and, oh yes, a bucket of money. What do your parents say about your plan? Do they have nearly $300,000 US to spend on an American education?

    If you are serious about your plan, you need to look far beyond top 20. A lot of great colleges and unis would love a motivated Australian student.
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  • conflagrationsconflagrations 13 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    My grades at school are very good (I'm on a full academic scholarship for $30k AUD/year for 6 years), and I have a good shot of graduating first in class next year. I am slightly lacking in ECs (especially leadership positions) because I quit a lot of stuff at the end of year 10. I am EXTREMELY self-motivated and disciplined, however, and have an insane work ethic.
    I am not going to limit myself to only the best colleges ofc, I will be applying broadly. But looking at acceptance rates for some colleges I have in mind, it doesn't sound as "insanely impossible" as it is being made out to be. For example, NYU has an acceptance rate of 28%, Northwestern 27%, Michigan 27%, from this it sounds like I have a good chance of getting into these if I put in the work (which I'm more than willing to do). Especially ECs. Obviously these acceptance rates would be different for international applicants, but I think they would give a good indication?
    In terms of fees, I was under the impression that financial aid and scholarships could help a lot (not sure though). After talking to a student who graduated from my school last year, who is in Harvard Class of 2023, it seemed like money was not as big of an issue as I originally thought, and he told me financial aid was definitely an option (probably a bit skewed since not all schools are full-need like Harvard). That being said, money is definitely an issue that I need to take into account.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38489 replies6733 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited July 18
    "For example, NYU has an acceptance rate of 28%, Northwestern 27%, Michigan 27%, from this it sounds like I have a good chance of getting into these if I put in the work (which I'm more than willing to do)."
    "money is definitely an issue that I need to take into account."

    In which case, be aware that NYU is not known to be generous with aid to [b]anybody[/b]. UMich, like most (but not all) public universities, has very limited aid for international students.

    "it seemed like money was not as big of an issue as I originally thought, and he told me financial aid was definitely an option (probably a bit skewed since not all schools are full-need like Harvard)"

    It's probably a [b]lot[/b] skewed as the schools that meet feel need are amongst the most competitive for all applicants.
    edited July 18
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6647 replies42 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    You can't look at the overall acceptance rates of colleges in the US either. State schools, like Michigan accept more instate applicants so the acceptance rate for OOS and international students is much lower. Also, different majors are more competitive than others at some schools. Engineering, CS, business majors can be way more competitive than overall acceptance rates show. Lastly, many schools in the US limit the number of international students so you should take the listed acceptance rate and expect it to be half that for international students.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 1782 replies6 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    For example, NYU has an acceptance rate of 28%, Northwestern 27%, Michigan 27%, from this it sounds like I have a good chance of getting into these if I put in the work
    Your numbers are out of date. NYU was 16% for the class of 2023, and Northwestern is at 8.9% (did you get it confused with Northeastern maybe?). While the decline in Michigan’s rate is maybe less marked, to 23.5% (I can only find numbers for last year, it may have dropped further this year), remember it is a public college and gives preference to instate applicants. That means that not only is the admit rate lower for out of state (including internationals), but that pool needs significantly better stats than average.

    Also, to remain realistic, your dropping ECs after 10th grade *will* hurt your chances at top US colleges. It is an important aspect for every college that describes its admissions as “holistic”, which is most of probably the top 100. It may be less important the further down the rankings scale you go/the higher your grades are compared to average intake at a particular college. It is going to matter a lot at almost all of the top 30 (I think maybe not the UCs?) Colleges at that level take work ethic for granted; they want more.

    Very few schools are need blind and give full need to internationals - I think there are 6 of them, a few ivies, MIT and (I believe) Amherst. And - what they think your full need is may not be what you think it is.

    By all means apply to the schools you have in mind, but be realistic about it. It’s a whole different admissions ballgame to the rest of the english speaking world, where grades are the most important factor and sometimes the only important factor. Have a safety, both admissions wise and money wise. Please don’t be like another Australian who posted here recently, who got rejected from all his/her US apps, and hadn’t bothered to write the state exam in Australia so couldn’t even get into his/her local Australian uni.

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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33105 replies358 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Respectfully, the CDS does not rank factors in order of importance. Some factors play more than others (eg, obviously, you have to have the academic punch.) But for US holistic T20 colleges, every single bit matters and any one piece that's off can knock you out of contention. Sad, but true.

    And if you're savvy, you can find what they value and look for in what they say- and show- in their web pages. Not just the sort of link ski gave, but the sorts of students they tout, the kinds of programs they describe or announce in media releases. Since a big thing tippy tops look for is evidence of your thinking (as shown in choices, understanding of the college's goals, how you fit, what you present, what you've been engaged with, over time, and more,) you cannot just lean back and hope your grades are enough. Dropping ECs isn't good, unless they're replaced with greater challenges, some better impact.

    And, it's not even just about Australia and the competing applicants from there. The whole UK offers strong candidates and these schools can seek balance, among all those countries. Your own bes shot is to become as informed as you can, so you know what the best presentation is, for your own app and supplement.
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  • conflagrationsconflagrations 13 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hi,

    So what colleges do you recommend that I apply to? I want to apply to as many as possible to maximise my chances. I should mention that I want to do premed (yes I am fully aware of how difficult admittance into US allopathic schools as an international is and I've done lots of research. I want to practice medicine in the US and I figured that this pathway would be preferable to the FMG route for *competitive specialties*).

    Here's a preliminary list that I've sort of thrown together (in order). I've based it mainly upon QS 2020 overall and medicine rankings, so it's not very good. Which of these would the best and worst in terms of friendliness for internationals, premed "program", cost, location, etc? For example I've heard that UCs are pretty much out of the question due to lack of financial aid.

    Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale, Hopkins, Princeton, Pennsylvania, Columbia, Chicago, Cornell, UCB, UCLA, Duke, Michigan, Caltech, Northwestern, NYU, UCSD, University of Washington, Brown, Washington University in St. Louis, Boston, Pittsburgh, Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Emory, Tufts, University of Southern California, Case Western Reserve University.

    I would appreciate any advice. Thanks.
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 2812 replies36 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Stay in Australia. If you want to come to the US for a focused graduate degree with a plan, do so after carefully researching your options, not just a random list of highly ranked US colleges you will not be admitted to nor afford.
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  • HippobirdyHippobirdy 279 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 30
    Take a look at Iowa State. Has robust site guiding international applicants. See requirements for Australians.
    https://www.admissions.iastate.edu/intl/pdf/Australia_Requirements.pdf

    Iowa State also offers scholarship for international students.
    https://www.admissions.iastate.edu/intl/merit_scholarships.php
    edited July 30
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  • conflagrationsconflagrations 13 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I don't think you are aware of this situation. It is basically not possible to attend medical school if you have not completed undergraduate coursework in the US. I have carefully researched my options, and like I said this is just a preliminary list. I will be applying as broadly as possible.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38489 replies6733 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited July 30
    For example I've heard that UCs are pretty much out of the question due to lack of financial aid.
    You heard correctly, so cross UCB and UCLA off the list. Also cross off NYU as I said upthread. By Boston, I assume you mean BU, not BC. In which case, cross them off too
    I don't think you are aware of this situation. It is basically not possible to attend medical school if you have not completed undergraduate coursework in the US.
    And while not impossible, it is extremely rare for a non-Canadian international student to be admitted to a US medical school. And that's even before discussing the cost of medical school here.
    edited July 30
    Post edited by skieurope on
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 2812 replies36 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    You want to attend US medical school after undergraduate in the US? First why? Second, you need to be well along in your applications-have test scores, letters of reference, etc ready to submit. Many of the schools on your list have international acceptance rates of 1 or 2 percent, and foreign applicants have been prepping for years for those colleges. Few undergrad colleges offer substantial aid to foreign students and those that do are extremely hard to get into. Med school costs about $90-100k per year in the US and you will need to take out loans for that if you can not pay upfront. I doubt your plan can be accomplished starting now, unless you are among the top 3 students in your country.
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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2306 replies30 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Take out BU and WashU from your list. Neither school is that great for financial aid. NYU is also very stingy and extremely expensive.

    Case Western will give merit aid, although I don’t know that their policy is towards foreign students.

    CalTech is an extreme outlier for someone considering premed. Take that off the list.

    I might recommend looking at LACs.

    OP mentions need for some sort of financial aid, although no mention of current budget. Add in round trip airfare from Sydney/Melbourne to the US and that’s going to be really expensive.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 1782 replies6 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 30
    I want to apply to as many as possible to maximise my chances.
    Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale, Hopkins, Princeton, Pennsylvania, Columbia, Chicago, Cornell, UCB, UCLA, Duke, Michigan, Caltech, Northwestern, NYU, UCSD, University of Washington, Brown, Washington University in St. Louis, Boston, Pittsburgh, Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Emory, Tufts, University of Southern California, Case Western Reserve University.
    Applying to "as many as possible" is not what maximizes your chances, especially when you have a college list that is heavily skewed towards the top 20/30 and you don't have the ECs you need for a holistic application. Applying to match schools is what maximizes your chances. Schools with less than 10% admit rates are commonly regarded as reaches for everyone, and many people would say that applies to schools with less than 20% admit rates too. On your list, the only ones with greater than 20% admit rates afaik are Pitt (I don't know how different instate vs out of state admission is or how generous to OOS they are), CWRU, and UWashington (again, i don't know how hard for OOS to get admitted or what aid is like, but i do know my neighbor's kid with very nearly a 4.0GPA got rejected by UW for premed this year). I'm ignoring the UCs because you need aid and won't get it from them. In other words, what will increase your chances of admission is not just applying to more schools, but applying to more schools with say a 30%- plus admission rate, who tend to be a little less holistic with higher achieving academics. The tricky part will be figuring out which of those are likely to give you enough funding.

    If you want to practice medicine in the US, your best bet is doing what a bunch of people in my home country did when i was at college, and still do. Do a medical degree at home for far cheaper and shorter time, then write the USMLE exams and get a residency in the US.
    edited July 30
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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2306 replies30 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^The University of Queensland has an excellent medical school. It would likely be way cheaper for OP.

    And interestingly enough there are American students there. Son’s high school friend’s brother is working on an MD there.
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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2306 replies30 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 30
    University of Rochester might fit the bill of a good premed school associated with a highly ranked medical school with a fairly reasonable acceptance rate for undergraduates, if OP still is interested in a US university education.

    Although the transportation costs would be expensive and the weather will be nothing like Australia.
    edited July 30
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