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How will admissions officers consider my application as a homeless student?

wayasian28wayasian28 10 replies1 threads New Member
edited January 15 in College Admissions
I am a high school senior in California and for the past three months I have been homeless. I am rather nervous of how admissions officers will view my previous semester as I was given three C's in my classes - all AP. I am dealing with homelessness as I cope with a brain injury I suffered from a car crash that has seriously impaired my ability to perform well in school. I have a 4.15 GPA and a 1240 SAT. I applied to UCLA, UCI, and Berkeley as well as Columbia and Harvard - I would like to get into Columbia. If are familiar with how admissions officers consider circumstances similar to mine I would appreciate a reply.
edited January 15
22 replies
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Replies to: How will admissions officers consider my application as a homeless student?

  • happymomof1happymomof1 30017 replies181 threads Senior Member
    Does your guidance counselor know that you are homeless? Has that person been helping you with finding the right social services to help you get into a better situation?

    Chances are that the guidance team at your high school has helped other homeless students with their college lists and applications. Meet with your counselor, and get that person's advice.

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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35227 replies399 threads Senior Member
    Columbia will look at the transcript. If you have a 4.15, is that weighted? Because it seems tough to come up with a 4.0+ uw with three C grades. And the SAT is low for a tippy top.

    Columbia can have concerns about your abilty to "perform well" in college. You're trying to combine an accident/residual issues, unstable housing, and a grade problem, trying to find a way to make sense of it. But they will look at the record and can question if you're prepared for their level of work.
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  • wayasian28wayasian28 10 replies1 threads New Member
    edited January 16
    Yes it is weighted, the 3 Cs I got were in AP classes. In regards to my ability, I pulled off a 4.50 both semesters of my Junior year and I have taken around 12 AP classes , not to include honors classes which also get a grade bump. I have passed every single AP test I have taken with '4's; if any of that info gives additional context. I wish I could just send you my common app because my life has been very strange thus far and is difficult to fully explain in a short paragraph haha.
    edited January 16
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  • wayasian28wayasian28 10 replies1 threads New Member
    She had helped me but I haven't really gotten help getting stable housing thus far.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2265 replies8 threads Senior Member
    Did the counselor explain your circumstances in her recommendation? SAT is low, but this also clearly isn’t a famiky that can afford tutors and repeated testing like others. I would think that will be taken into account.

    If you qualify for a full ride, whether need based at a top school or combined merit/need at one a bit further down, that will include housing on campus usually. At least for the school year, that will take away one potentially grade-damaging factor.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 30017 replies181 threads Senior Member
    Not to get too personal here, but do you have parents who are in a position to file the financial aid paperwork with you? If there are any issues along that line, go to the Financial Aid Forum and ask for help there. Look for advice posted by @kelsmom who is a college financial aid officer.
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  • wayasian28wayasian28 10 replies1 threads New Member
    edited January 16
    No. I filed as an Independent; I should elaborate. My father was the one to kick me out and my mother lost custody of me years ago when I entered the foster care system. So my parents are out of tre picture completely...
    edited January 16
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  • wayasian28wayasian28 10 replies1 threads New Member
    My counselor has stressed that she elaborated upon my situation thoroughly when I submitted my application.
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  • wayasian28wayasian28 10 replies1 threads New Member
    Haha yes unfortunately there are THOUSANDS of awesome students that have extenuating circumstances — I applied to some safeties local to my area those are just my top choices.
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  • wayasian28wayasian28 10 replies1 threads New Member
    I am hoping to study political science. Thank you for the resources you provided I will review them.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35227 replies399 threads Senior Member
    I don't believe City Year guarantees housing. The stipend is small and how kids might split rent depends on what's available and the dynamics of the kids working together.

    Also make sure you're checking the colleges' definitions of homelessness.
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  • wayasian28wayasian28 10 replies1 threads New Member
    Yeah I sleep in Denny's, there is no way I wouldn't be considered homeless.
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  • scertuikscertuik 18 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I think your backstory might actually help you. They're looking for unique perspectives and you no doubt have one
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9890 replies538 threads Senior Member
    I’m so sorry to hear of your troubles. While your story is compelling, I am concerned that these very rigorous colleges you want to attend are going to wonder if you can handle the workload and stresses that come with college. Yet, private universities will probably provide you with better financial aid.

    The other issue is that you are a senior, and it’s late now to apply to many other great schools that will give you the financial aid you need. BUT, if you google Prep Scholar late application deadlines, they publish a list of some excellent colleges that have deadlines in Feb, March and beyond.

    Some you can consider:
    Berea, as mentioned.
    Dickinson in Carlisle, PA. Wonderful school, and I think they’d be interested in you.
    Allegheny in PA.
    Muhlenberg, also in PA.

    I strongly encourage you to submit apps to these schools.

    A gap year is probably a good idea, but I don’t know any clever ways of supporting yourself for a whole year before the next cycle.

    If you take a gap year...
    I honestly think you should consider private LACs, some of which can cover 100% of your financial need and might be more inclined to admit you. There are some very prestigious LACs which are test optional and use holistic admissions.

    I think you can consider getting a fee waiver for both the SAT and ACT and try them again. I sense that with more prep, you could get a much better score.

    You can consider Deep Springs. It’s rigorous, but intellectual. Fully funded two year school. You work on a ranch. No cell phones. Tiny, about 30 students I think, but super prestigious. It will open doors for you to more prestigious universities. Again, though, it’s too late for this cycle.

    I’m going to call on @MYOS1634 . Do you have suggestions for this student?
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  • wayasian28wayasian28 10 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you for taking the time to respond, I appreciate your feedback. I should have clarified I applied to 20 something schools those were just my top ones. Is it possible for me to take the SAT again? I thought the deadline was December..
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  • wayasian28wayasian28 10 replies1 threads New Member
    This is something I have been told, my essay is the only redeeming aspect of my application.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9890 replies538 threads Senior Member
    I don’t think at this point any colleges are going to accept a new SAT score. You can ask them, but if their deadline has passed, I think you’re out of luck.
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  • wayasian28wayasian28 10 replies1 threads New Member
    Yeah I didn’t really want to study for that
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