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Applying to USA from India as an American Citizen

iamdaoneiamdaone Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
edited March 21 in India
Hey everyone,
I don't really know if this is the right forum for me since i'm an American citizen and technically not an international student but here I go.
So basically I moved from the California to India after completing the 10th grade due to personal issues in my household. This huge shift was a great change in my life and has changed it completely. My parents enrolled me in a popular State board school for nerds who study for IIT and NEET at tuitions, and I myself attend one. I live alongside my mother and brother while my father lives alone in California (due to his job). However after staying here for a while, I believe that the right choice for me would be to apply for colleges in the USA. I have a couple of questions to ask and I'll also be giving my statistics. I'm tensed about one factor, and that is the 11th marks. Directly shifting from California to India and getting familiar with state board testing has been a challenge for me and my marks have come out satisfactory which I believe can set me back from getting admission. I don't know how they'll be judging me but I'll give my statistics and my percentage average.

10th: 3.66 Unweighted GPA, 3.83 Weighted (2 B's) 91 percent average when converted, One AP with score of 3 (AP World History)
11th: 85 percent average (estimated since I got 85 percent in midterms) I don't know if it's converted to GPA or something but online percentile conversions label it as a 4.0, but I'm not all that sure about that.
12: Haven't begun yet

SAT: 1480(1 attempt) Essay score: 6/6/7 SAT Math 2: 780 TOEFL: 111 ( Planning on taking SAT 2 Physics)

Extracurriculars: Basketball team captain, 2nd and 3rd place at multiple tournaments, 100+ hours of volunteering and library work, Math Club member, Speech and Debate Team member, Programming Club member, played piano for 6 years while competing in multiple tournaments, proficient at Python

Colleges I will be applying to ( I'm split between two majors, those being Economics ( because I want to do an MBA in the future) and Computer Science):
UC Davis (for Economics), UC Santa Cruz (Computer Science), UC Santa Barbara(Computer Science),
UC San Diego ( Computer Science), UIUC (Economics)
UC Irvine (Computer Science), SJSU (Software Engineering) Purdue University(undecided between Economics and Computer Science), UCLA ( I know I wont get in but whatever (Economics)), Northwestern University(Here too) Economics).

If you guys can give me any advice or information on how I'll be judged, my chances, it'd be really appreciated. It's really stressful for me and I sometimes I just feel like I'm behind and that I have no shot at anything. Thanks. (UC Davis,UC Santa Barbara and Purdue are my main target schools so info on them would be great.)

Replies to: Applying to USA from India as an American Citizen

  • Kassie73Kassie73 Registered User Posts: 103 Junior Member
    Your stats seem fairly strong but based on what I have been seeing, the fields you are interested in have become extremely competitive. Most cumulative GPAs of accepted students to upper tier UCs and even SJSU are above 4. Another things is you don't have many APs. I suggest you also add some safety and match schools to your application list such as Chico State, SFSU, UC Merced, UC Riverside etc just in case. If finances allow, you could also add some easier private schools to get into. If you are very keen on a higher profile college then someone I know from INdia decided to go to community college and then transfer with the needed grades. Look at the acceptance threads to your colleges of interests to see what GPA/SAT scores got people admitted. Hope that helps.
  • iamdaoneiamdaone Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
    Actually, My school in India didn't have any AP's and neither do most of the schools here in India. however the courses provided were very similar in terms of difficulty and I'm sure that international counselors at these colleges are aware of that. As for GPA, it's mostly a percentile system here and not GPA and even if so I don't know what my grades are equivalent to in terms of GPA. It's just completely different over here in India which makes it so hard to judge.
  • xraymancsxraymancs Forum Champion Graduate School Posts: 4,680 Forum Champion
    Universities are able to assess the percentile grades as well as the letter grades. As for where to apply, given that your father resides in California, your in state options are the UCs and the CSUs and those will be more affordable than the out of state public universities you have listed. The private universities you list have quite high tuition and may not offer great financial aid so if financial considerations are important, you need to make sure you apply to the right mix of schools. Lots of universities have well regarded CS programs where you can get a good job after graduation. You might look into some of the less prominent AITU (http://theaitu.org) schools as they give good financial aid and they are generally highly regarded for STEM majors. The community college route in California is also a good option as they all have tracks that feed into UCs and CSUs.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 41,505 Senior Member
    Is there a reason you can't attend school in CA for 12th grade? Are you sure that, living abroad, you still qualify for instate status at UCs and CSUs?
  • boudersbouders Registered User Posts: 2,572 Senior Member
    I would strongly suggest that you move to California for 12th grade. Applying from India, even as a US citizen, will be a detriment to your application. D16 applied as a US citizen from Canada. Her school (of course) did not provide the college counseling that is normal for US students. Application fees were doubled because our mailing address was outside the US. Teachers and guidance counselors weren't familiar at all with the Common App and either forgot to or couldn't figure out how to upload recommendations and transcripts. Many things slipped through the cracks. D16's US results were very disappointing.
  • iamdaoneiamdaone Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
    Unfortunately, I do not qualify for instate tuition which is a huge upset for me. I thought I'd be applicable but my dad just spoke with a counselor and she said that US Citizens living outside of california must pay the out of state fees which are way too high in my opinion, 65k for a UC isn't a good choice. That's why I'm looking into universities such as San Jose State, as well as Purdue and UIUC. My parents can pay the tuition at Purdue as well as San Jose State, however it seems that I'll have to take the UC's off my list. :(
  • iamdaoneiamdaone Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
    @xraymancs As you said, I want to keep a mix of colleges. Financial Aid isn't too big of a criteria, but for schools like the UC's it becomes a problem. My family can pay the fees for Purdue and San Jose State quite feasibly, and many people apply to Purdue from India as well. Which universities in the AITU would you recommend me to apply to?
  • xraymancsxraymancs Forum Champion Graduate School Posts: 4,680 Forum Champion
    Well, some of the less prominent ones such as my own institution, Illinois Institute of Technology, offer very good merit aid for students. It will give you some other options and all these schools are very good for STEM majors.
  • sciencenerdsciencenerd Registered User Posts: 1,766 Senior Member
    Just to add to the discussion would you want to apply for community college in CA and then apply for one of the UCs?

    Also, what about one of the Cal States?
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 41,505 Senior Member
    edited April 11
    ^he can't, it'd be 2-3 years at 30K followed by two years at 65K.
    Look into universities fewer Indian applicants apply to, such as Colgate (excellent for economics).
    Is there no way you can return to CA, live with your dad, and graduate from a CA HS? (That'd qualify you for UCs instate). However, your moving for 11th means you won't have many courses to augment your UCGPA, and the fact courses are AP level doesn't matter unless you actually take AP tests that prove it.
  • momprof9904momprof9904 Registered User Posts: 329 Member
    Adding to what @xraymancs says: NJIT would also be good to investigate. There are many students there from India and you may get a decent scholarship and may be even eligible for the honors college. Also look at Kansas State University or University of Kansas. CS is an impacted major at many universities, and after you take out the UC's on your original list, there's not much left except for reaches.

    What about CSU's in the area where your father lives? I also strongly suggest finishing 12th grade in the US if at all possible, if you will be able to live with your dad. It may give you more options than applying directly from India.
  • iamdaoneiamdaone Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
    @MYOS1634 This is late, but I'm pretty sure we can't move back now, and even if I did it would have a significant impact on my application, and like you said, I might not obtain the AP courses that I desire or are required for the UC's, My family can pay the fees, but it's just a bit excessive, especially for a UC.
    @momprof9904 I'm mostly looking into universities in California, such as San Jose State, Cal Poly, USC (other than the UC's.). However, I do intend to apply to some liberal arts colleges near the East Coast such as Colby College and Colgate, etc. What are your thoughts on that? I still do intend to keep the UC's on my list and as my main priority.
  • Twoin18Twoin18 Registered User Posts: 1,377 Senior Member
    Look at the University of Utah. As a citizen you can move there and qualify for in-state tuition after a year, regardless of where your parents live. Also you could consider taking a year off after high school and moving to CA to live with your dad before you apply to the UCs. That should meet the residency requirement.
  • momprof9904momprof9904 Registered User Posts: 329 Member
    @iamdaone You can apply anywhere you want. Why Colby or Colgate? These are small, selective LAC's , about as different as you can get from the UC's you listed. I know many students of Indian origin who do not find those colleges to be a good fit socially (including my own kids). If you're thinking you're just going to throw in an application to those types of schools without much thought, save your money. They are holistic in their admissions and will want to know what you expect to get out a liberal arts education and how you can contribute to their college community.
  • inthegardeninthegarden Registered User Posts: 967 Member
    Case Western? I think they give pretty good aid but not sure what stats are required for that...someone who knows care to comment?
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