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Where should I apply?

JigjagJigjag 8 replies2 threads New Member
Indian male. Need full ride

or atleast full tution + BIG loan (would you recommend taking such a loan?)

Family income: 15000 USD (will I even get a student visa?)

1530 SAT 1 (800 Math)
800 *3 SAT 2 (Math2, Phy, Chem)
95-97% expected Class 12
70% Class 11
96 % Class 10

Major: Science/ Engineering. Or with a minor or dual degree in Psychology or Econ or international relations.

Very good essay (not a sob story) and LoR.

I'll consider any school which wants to increase its avg SAT score and lets me ride :P. Its just they should be worth leaving India for ie better than Indian schools.

Which schools in the US should I be looking at?


ECs :

1. Worked in executive and leadership team of an International voluntary org as ambassador to India and workshops officer for 2 years.
2. Tutor Afghani, Bangladeshi and Ghanaian students for SAT for the last 3 months.
3. Two time All India top 1 0 rank in TOSC (hosted by IIT Kanpur)

Many national level quizzing awards (both science and gk). Hosted first and only free Model UN in India at my school. Founding secretary of MUN club and president of Quizzing club. Youngest ever member of school's student council. DIY projects: telescope and milikan oil drop experiment.
Many other intra-city quizzing, debating and Model UN awards.
14 replies
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Replies to: Where should I apply?

  • JigjagJigjag 8 replies2 threads New Member
    I've read the pinned thread but the list is very long and I've spent a lot of time researching already without getting any 'match' .

    I realize a domestic 'match' is an international 'reach' and I'm very realistic about my chances.

    For anyone interested:
    Class 11 was bad as I had no plan to study outside India and colleges im India need only class 12 scores. So I spent all time studying math and science and doing my ECs without caring for school.

    I took l SAT 1 only coz I got a 90% waiver and wanted to compete with my richer friends who can afford US. Took l SAT 2 coz I was forced to people got to know SAT 1 score. And decided to apply coz common app gave 20 free applications. But now I'm genuinely interested.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9237 replies347 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    I wouldn't borrow a lot of money to attend college in the US. Even if you get a full tuition grant you'd still need ~$50k or more for room and board, travel, plus other expenses. What kind of job can you get in India that would make paying off that type of loan a possibility?

    To study in the US you'll need to show you have at least one year's expenses covered. I think that means you need a full ride. Only a handful of schools in the US are need blind (they don't consider financial need in admission decisions) AND meet need, but their acceptance rates are low. You can search threads on CC to find the names. Go ahead and apply, but have some financial safeties lined up at home.
    edited December 2019
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  • JigjagJigjag 8 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you for replying.
    I know of MIT, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Amherst and they are far reach. I have read the pinned thread on colleges giving aid to internationals but I can't zero in on what colleges would be 'match' for me and don't know which colleges I should realistically aim at. Can you help there?
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  • JigjagJigjag 8 replies2 threads New Member
    Also, does study visa allow work while studying? If yes how much can I expect to make?
    Apart of US, where else cam I apply? I've been unable to find any school in UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand which can meet my need. And yes I do have backup in India.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9237 replies347 threads Senior Member
    If you need a full ride you have to apply to the colleges that offer it. I think the 5 US colleges you listed are the only need blind US colleges that also meet need. I don't know any schools outside the US. Unfortunately, I don't think there are any matches for students who need a full ride. Everything is a reach.

    International students can work a limited number of hours in the US. At our college it's limited to 10 hours/week, so they earn less than $3k/year. You wouldn't be able to earn enough to cover college costs. And you'd have to show you have a full year's costs before you get a VISA, so being able to work when you get here won't help you much.

    It's great you have options in India. Make sure to apply there too.
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  • JigjagJigjag 8 replies2 threads New Member
    Are there any colleges which are need aware but still meet need?
    Or colleges don't meet full need but are still generous to reduce CoA? I do have some savings.
    I've heard some LACs offer aid too. Which are they and how competitive are they? Asking coz I have 14 free applications.
    If these questions have already been answered please give the link.
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  • JigjagJigjag 8 replies2 threads New Member
    I have personal savings ($12k) + me or my parents can loan some $20-30k (you think that's realistic?) + my parents have savings in property ($50k) which they're open to selling (but I don't want them to as it's their only saving).
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  • JigjagJigjag 8 replies2 threads New Member
    Sure. Thanks for putting some sense in me. Ok last thing.
    Is there any college other than those 5 which I should apply to?
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2688 replies58 threads Senior Member
    The last I heard, Grinnell, Carleton, and Bates had good scholarships for international students. The thing is, a college's finances - and their priorities - can vary from year to year. So you can keep asking the question, but it is not a straight or easy answer. Start with a previous year's list and check web pages to see what is being offered for this year's applicants.

    It is unlikely you will be able to borrow money in the US (you need an American co-signor who would agree to be responsible for the loan should you default), so the loan would have to originate in India. Austinmshauri's advice is correct - borrow very conservatively, if you have to borrow at all. It would put you in a terrible situation if you find out in your second or third year that you couldn't afford to finish college, but had already taken loans for your first year or two. Realistically, even if you get a full ride, you will need at least $15,000+ each year for travel, visa fees, for a hotel when the dorms close for the holidays, for bedding and supplies for your dorm room, a laptop, an occasional coffee or meal out with friends, textbooks, cell phone, etc., etc., etc.
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  • Sue22Sue22 6453 replies115 threads Senior Member
    Bates has no application fee for international students and covers full need for international students with grants and work study. There are no loans in the FA package for internationals.
    https://www.bates.edu/admission/apply/international-students/

    According to the Bates website,
    Costs for books, personal expenses and transportation are added to a student’s budget for the purpose of estimating financial need and awarding aid.

    Grinnell covers 100% of need but includes loans in their packages in addition to grants and work study. It's in a rather isolated location but it has a high percentage of international students.

    Skidmore doesn't specify how they structure international FA but they do have high average awards.

    All three would be good options and would be a bit easier to get into than that schools on your current list.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5883 replies1 threads Senior Member
    "I wouldn't borrow a lot of money to attend college in the US. "
    "Don't borrow twice your parents' income to attend college in the US."

    Absolutely. I agree very strongly. You have great universities in India.

    You should only look at universities in the US that meet full need for international students.

    Being need blind is not as important. If a school is need blind then your chances are not as good because you need full financial aid. However, the few schools that are both need blind and meet full need are all insanely competitive for international students. There is no university in the US which you can actually expect to get accepted to and also expect to get a full ride. As such everything here is a reach for you.

    There are only a tiny handful of universities in the US that would be worth taking out any debt at all compared to the top universities in India. Even then you will want to limit the total debt over four years to certainly no more than your parent's annual income. This might or might not be enough to buy airplane tickets back and forth plus various miscellaneous expenses. Don't forget that you will need several hundred dollars to buy winter gear (at least for MIT or Harvard or anything in the north), and you will also need a laptop, books, and other stuff.

    I know quite a few people who did their bachelor's degree in India and masters in the US. This is possible but is still not cheap. There is a big advantage because a master's degree does not take as long (some only take one year). Of course many large US based high tech companies are hiring more engineers in India than in the US right now.

    I also agree with @Groundwork2022 that the worst thing that I have seen is people who run up debt for their first one or two or three years of university, and then do not finish. In at least two cases that I know of the student was academically quite strong, but was simply not able to borrow enough money to finish their degree. You do not want to risk getting stuck in this situation. It is much better to be financially conservative when it comes to taking on debt.
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  • JigjagJigjag 8 replies2 threads New Member
    @Groundwork2022, I thought full ride covered travel as well and what's previous year's list?
    @Sue22 i know i have zero chance at my current list and thanks for listening those schools.
    @DadTwoGirls the only reason I was considering US even when I know my finances is coz education in India is bs. I know I'm being a choosy beggar.

    Anyway if I do get in anywhere, I can arrange that $15k per year by borrowing from some rich relatives, personal savings and a loan equal to my parent's income?

    Also, since I have practically zero chance to go to school in US, would it make more sense if I applied without aid to like 10 schools and save any acceptance letter for my grandkids? So where does a full paying international with similar stats stand a chance at?

    I'm very thankful to everyone who replied and for being kind when it's very easy to be hostile to people who don't know jackshit but want to study in your country.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2688 replies58 threads Senior Member
    A "full ride" is tuition, room, and board. Travel and personal expenses are not covered. Some universities have 5-10% of their students attending from abroad. It would be impossible to cover everyone's travel expenses.

    I have heard of a few, very rare, small travel stipends being offered to exceptional students from very, very poor or war-torn countries (ones who don't often send students to the US). Quite honestly, there are so many students from India studying the US, that you would not add much diversity to campus. Therefore you should include all travel expenses in your own college budget.
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