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Which country would I be considered to be from?

JostVanDykeJostVanDyke Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
edited June 2012 in International Students
Even though they tell us 'all applicants are considered in the same pool', I know for a fact that admission offices split off international applications by nation.

But the question is, do they consider you by nationality, or country of residence?

For example, if I am Canada, and studying in Switzerland, would they consider me an international applicants from Canada, or Switzerland?
Post edited by JostVanDyke on
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Replies to: Which country would I be considered to be from?

  • Ana1Ana1 Registered User Posts: 420 Member
    It depends on the school. Some consider students by country of citizenship, others by HS attending. Everything is relevant also how long you lived in the other country, did you go there just for HS, do your parents job made you move from country to country, etc.
  • b@r!um[email protected]!um Registered User Posts: 10,363 Senior Member
    As far as I understand, the first-level differentiation is usually made by the country in which you are attending high school: that's because not every admissions officer is trained to interpret grades and letters of recommendation from every country.

    Beyond that, policies probably vary by school.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,268 Senior Member
    I don't understand Ana1's post.

    Your application is read in context of where you went to high school. You are compared to students from your HS, region, state, country. Your nationality is not really that important except when it comes to FA. Most US colleges do not offer FA to non US citizens or permanent residents.
  • JostVanDykeJostVanDyke Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Although my school is in Switzerland, we still use a Canadian curriculum. Most students at my school are Canadians, too.

    In this case, would I be compared with Swiss locals, or rather Canadians applying from Canada?
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,268 Senior Member
    You would be compared with Swiss from your school. My kid went to an American international school outside of US. She was not compared with Americans, she was compared with locals, but more importantly with students from her international school.
  • Ana1Ana1 Registered User Posts: 420 Member
    @oldfort, it depends on how each college differentiates internationals and US nationals living overseas. Some colleges do not care where you went to HS and compare you with country of citizenship. If you are a Chinese for example going to a HS in NY, you are not compared with your NY HS classmates but with your countrymates. These schools have a separate pool that they compare US expats among themselves and not with classmates. For example MIT and Stanford have a completely different process on how they compare them. Stanford goes by HS, MIT does not. I just had my niece go through the process and she had a different regional coordinator than all her foreign citizenship classmates.

    MIT:
    "MIT considers any student who does not hold US citizenship or permanent residency to be an international applicant, regardless of where you live or attend school...If you are an American citizen or permanent resident, then you are considered a domestic applicant"

    Stanford:
    "If you are a U.S. citizen or a U.S. permanent resident living and attending school abroad, then you will be considered an American expatriate in our admission process. This means that, while you will be considered a domestic applicant for financial aid purposes, your application will be read in the context of your high school abroad and you may need to submit the International Supplement to the Secondary School Report. If you are an international citizen attending school in the U.S., we will read your application within the context of your high school. "

    Bryn Mawr that also does that: "We recognize that U.S. citizens who live abroad may reference this information as it applies to their academic experience." and Lehigh: "Applications from U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens living abroad are reviewed by an experienced senior member of the admissions staff who has worked in international admissions for many years."
  • b@r!um[email protected]!um Registered User Posts: 10,363 Senior Member
    Ana1, I am still not sure what point you are trying to make. How do you think the admission process is different for an American citizen vs a foreign citizen with the same academic background? (Financial aid aside, obviously.)

    Every single college I have seen had the same formal requirements for American students abroad as for international students. That's even true at MIT. (Trivially, since MIT does not require TOEFL scores or an international supplement from anyone.) I also cannot imagine that any college would try to evaluate an application from a foreign school in an American context: there is just no way to do it. What exactly does a 1.5 GPA from a Bavarian high school mean? The only way to tell is to compare that to the performance of other Bavarian students.

    That being said, I am sure that admissions offices are organized differently internally: one admissions office might have a separate officer for all American citizens applying from overseas, while at another college one person might read all applications from Germany, regardless of citizenship. It is not clear to me though if this affects applicants in any way. Do you have any evidence or evidence to the contrary?
  • Ana1Ana1 Registered User Posts: 420 Member
    @[email protected]!um
    "That being said, I am sure that admissions offices are organized differently internally: one admissions office might have a separate officer for all American citizens applying from overseas, while at another college one person might read all applications from Germany, regardless of citizenship. It is not clear to me though if this affects applicants in any way."

    That's exactly the point that I am trying to make. Each college has different internal processes on how they evaluate and compare students. It is not a uniform process where every college just compares the US expat with his high school classmates from the country where the HS is located. Colleges do have country targets (quotas, call them as you want they are the same thing), similarly to the state targets for US domestic applicants.

    Colleges that pool US expats separately have an experienced international admissions officer who deals with these applications, not the regional coordinator for the region/country the foreign HS is located. The internationals school is just considered as an academic experience, just like attending a special summer school program, that adds a unique experience to the candidate.
  • b@r!um[email protected]!um Registered User Posts: 10,363 Senior Member
    But does that have any concrete implications for college applicants? You seem pretty adamant on a point that no one here has contested. Applications might be read by different people, so what?
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,268 Senior Member
    Ana1 - again, I have no idea what you are talking about. EVERY college assigns someone who is familiar with a particular high school, state, country, region to do the first read, so that person would be familiar with students from that particular area. Students are compared with each other in that area.

    An American going to school in Japan is not going to be compared with a student from Madison, WI. He/she is going to read in context with students from Japan. It wouldn't matter if that student is a local, expat, or a local with American citizenship. An adcom who is familiar with students from Japan is going to know what 6.5/7.0 means, and if 2050 for SAT is high or low for students from Japan.

    Every school has their own "quota," but at the end of day they want to select most qualified students, and the only way to do that is by comparing students in their own environment.
    The internationals school is just considered as an academic experience, just like attending a special summer school program, that adds a unique experience to the candidate.
    This is just bull. Yeah, 12 years of special summer school program.

    Ana1 - I really don't know what is your source of information. I am responding because I do not want students to get wrong information on CC.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,268 Senior Member
    If you are a Chinese for example going to a HS in NY, you are not compared with your NY HS classmates but with your countrymates.
    What are you smoking? You tell that to all the Stuyvesant Chinese students.
  • JostVanDykeJostVanDyke Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    LOL Thanks for your answers guys. But seriously, no need for conflict. :)

    I have a very special case.

    My school only has around 90 students. All of us are one-year senior year students or gap-year students(I have yet to start my year there). Because gap-year students are already committed to a university, and the majority of the rest will only apply to Canadian schools, it only leaves around 10 people who will actually apply to schools outside of Canada.

    Please note that within these 10 people, some are aiming for other countries(UK, Switzerland, France..), and the US colleges that they are applying to probably won't be on my list.

    In this case, would they still consider me within my school, or otherwise?
  • Ana1Ana1 Registered User Posts: 420 Member
    @oldfort

    "Stuyvesant Chinese students" ? I am talking about Chinese citizens, not American-Chinese.

    You are very wrong that "An American going to school in Japan is not going to be compared with a student from Madison, WI. He/she is going to read in context with students from Japan. It wouldn't matter if that student is a local, expat, or a local with American citizenship. "

    As I posted earlier and also quoted directly from colleges websites, US expats are evaluated differently based on the college they are applying. Thus, a US citizen who goes to school in Japan will not always be judged with the other Japanese citizens applying for admission. The US citizen will also not be judged with a student from Madison, WI. The US expat will be judged with all other US expats in their own pool. How the students are evaluated depends on how each college assigns them internally. So for example Stanford evaluates students based on the HS they attend, regardless of citizenship. Other colleges evaluate them as domestic applicants but a separate pool. In these colleges, the ad com who evaluates their applications is not the one assigned for a specific international region, but a senior officer who has dealt with many international regions and evaluates the whole expat pool among themselves. Due to the hollistic approach, they treat the living abroad experience just as a unique characteristic of that individual US student, not as a foreign student who was born and raised in a different culture.
    The posts from Lehigh and BrynMawr really put it very clearly:

    Bryn Mawr: "We recognize that U.S. citizens who live abroad may reference this information as it applies to their academic experience."

    Lehigh: "Applications from U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens living abroad are reviewed by an experienced senior member of the admissions staff who has worked in international admissions for many years."


    @[email protected]!um
    "But does that have any concrete implications for college applicants? You seem pretty adamant on a point that no one here has contested. Applications might be read by different people, so what?" It is not who reads the applications but the quota for the region/country. If a school accepts only 1 non-caucasian student from Kenya for example. If you suddenly have 2 ex-pats students applying, then their chances will be significantly reduced if they had been evaluated with all other classmates from Kenya.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,268 Senior Member
    Ana1 - I read all the website you quoted, they are all consistent. For FA purpose, if you are not an American citizen or permanent resident, then you are considered as international, and there is limited amount of money alloted for internationals. But when it comes to admission (qualification), applicants are all read relative to where they went to school. Expats at HKG International school are not going to be put in a different pool than local students at the same school. The reason? Adcoms need to be able to compare apple with apple. I would like you to show me from any website which says American expas are put in a different pool. As far as MIT is concerned, aside from FA, MIT only admits X number of internationals, whether you went to school in the US or abroad.

    Everything you are posting here is your own conjecture of what is going on with no basis of real facts. Just for what is worth, my kids went to a top prep school when we lived in the US. They had very good GCs. When we moved overseas, we hired a very good private counselor in the US to help our younger daughter. We spoke extensively on how D2 would be viewed by US schools. The private counselor specialized on internationals and expats. Hence, I do not understand what you are talking about.

    OP - your school is unique. You need to look at your school's track record. I am going to guess that your previous school is going to have a big impact on your chance of getting into any school. I don't see how your current school should have that big of an impact on your college application.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,268 Senior Member
    "Stuyvesant Chinese students" ? I am talking about Chinese citizens, not American-Chinese.
    A Chinese citizen student in the US, whether he/she is is legal resident or not, after going to school in the US for 2-10+ years, he/she would be compared to his/her countrymen. Why? What would that student have in common with students in Shanghai or some remote countryside in China?
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