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Looking for colleges&full need-based fin aid to apply to


Replies to: Looking for colleges&full need-based fin aid to apply to

  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 11,364 Senior Member
    "to the best of my layman knowledge, there isn't any "safety" that also meet full need for internationals" -- You're right, there aren't any. If you don't have money, there IS NO SUCH A THING AS A SAFETY. There will be a lot of competition for financial aid money AT EVERY SCHOOL YOU APPLY TO. That's simply the reality.

    But on this thread alone there are plenty of suggestions of how to increase your odds, and of schools that have in the past been relatively generous to international students.

    The rest is up to you (the international student.) You will have to research schools, write to them, apply, and hope.

    "it's difficult to look at GPA in the secondary schools of another country and conclude anything" -- it's not terribly difficult for colleges to do that. All schools have admissions staff familiar with education in different countries, but especially at the more selective schools that get plenty of applications from overseas.
  • drexterdrexter Registered User Posts: 736 Member
    I can't say i am absolutely correct. But to be honest, you will need a higher SAT score in order to get into most of your schools. These colleges are need aware in your list (some of these will not take W score in count)

    -University of Chicago
    -University of Pennsylvania

    that means they will take the need into consideration. usually the acceptance rate of these schools are <5% for internationals who need substantial financial need in four years to attend college compared to ~11-18% for those internationals who don't need aid.

    Another thing your GPA is relatively low for these schools. i am not sure but most people I know who have got into these places with 100% of their need met were those who had,

    perfect or nearly perfect grades (close to 4.0)
    Relatively higher (and balanced) SAT score in 3 sections (2150+)
    Great extracurricular activities(driven).

    another thing, you are not allowed to temper with any of the forms of school officials. (course descriptions should be submitted by the school officials)
  • moneypmoneyp Registered User Posts: 749 Member
    if i am not mistaken, applying to bates and colgate is free if you are international.
  • karolinkarolin Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    Thank you so much for all the suggestions and thank you, @MYOS1634, for listing the colleges I can take a look at! Thank you for being so helpful!

    About GPA - education system in my country is different than in the US. We have to take compulsory courses since we enter school at the age of 7 till we end school at the age of 19. In Grade 10 I had 15 courses (c.40hrs/week) and 12 courses in Grades 11&12. So it's almost impossible (especially in better high schools) to have perfect GPA. I'll have my education system explained in school profile so I hope admission officers will understand my situation and my quite low GPA for US standards won't play such a large role in my admission process.

    As @MYOS1634 said - I thought that applying to many colleges is my only chance to get anywhere. I hoped that by applying to a lot of top colleges I can slightly increase my odds to get into one of them. I know my stats are not enough for these colleges but I often read that a part of admission process depends on luck ;) Then I also wanted to put less selective colleges on my list but obviously there are some problems connected with it, such as: *there are only 20 colleges I can add to my Common App *I have to pay application fees *I'll have to spend hours writing supplemental essays etc. Of course I'm willing to do it but I have a lot of school work to do every week.

    So I think I'll need to replace some top colleges with the one that you suggest to increase my chances. I just need to make sure which are the best concerning financial aid for internationals and offer the most interesting programs.

    In reply to @moneyp post - these are the colleges from my preliminary list with no application fee for internationals:
    Bates, Bryn Mawr, Colgate, Gettysburg, Smith, Wellesley

    At first I thought about taking SAT I again in November but then I abandoned this idea when my final year of high school started. But now I'm wondering that maybe I could try taking it once again. Though I don't really know how much I could improve.
  • fadaeefadaee Registered User Posts: 166 Junior Member
    Almost all of the colleges that meet full need for int. students are reaches! Not only for you, for everyone... You have a fine stats though, I hope you get into one of them...

    Here is the full list: (I think the admission rates are from 2012)

    [*Note: There maybe more colleges in this list so please don't rely on it.]

    "Name /Admission rate (%) /Notes"
    Columbia University 7.4
    Brown University 9.6
    University of Pennsylvania 12.3 (need-blind in Mexico and Canada, need-aware elsewhere)
    Berea College 12.5
    California Institute of Technology 12.8
    Pomona College 14
    Swarthmore College 14.1
    Middlebury College 16
    Bowdoin College 16.1
    University of Chicago 16.3
    Williams College 16.7
    Barnard College 21
    Vassar College 22.5
    Wellesley College 24.2 (Women's colleges)
    Haverford College 25.1
    Bates College 27
    Hamilton College 27.4
    Colgate University 29.4
    Oberlin College 29.6
    University of Richmond 32.7
    Occidental College 38
    Smith College 45.5 (Women's colleges)


    "Name/Admission Rate (%)/Size of the class/% Int.s/Int. students admission rate (%)"
    Amherst College /13 /463 /10 /7
    Dartmouth College /10 /1098 /10 /-
    Harvard University /6 /1,665 /11.1 /-
    MIT /9 /1,620 /10 /3.2
    Princeton University /8 /2,300 /11 /5.4
    Yale University /7 /1,356 /- /-
  • karolinkarolin Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    Thank you, @fadaee!

    Thanks to your and MYOS1634 posts I have now added a couple colleges to my preliminary college lists. These are Bowdoin, Washington and Lee, University of Richmond, Bucknell, Lafayette, Berea and Pomona. They offer need-based financial aid for internationals and most of them have average SAT score lower than mine according to FindTheBest (thank you for the link, @ivyparent43!).
    I now need to look at what they offer etc. I know I should probably take a look at their degrees etc. first and then fin aid - not the other way round but sadly I can't.

    If anyone could tell me something about the colleges I listed above and can estimate my chances to get into any any of them, I'd be more than grateful :)
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 32,464 Senior Member
    You don't need to take the SAT again. For an international, you're fine. Your first term results will matter more, and there are only so many hours in the day. Don't cut on sleep for the SAT.
    However, you can take 3 tests on the same date, so why don't you pick another SAT Subject for the day you take Biology and Chem? Math2 is an easy choice, as is a foreign language (NOT your native language).
    Pay close attention to your essays, especially the supplements'. Pay attention to "fit". Dartmouth and Colgate are very different from Oberlin and Vassar, for example. Brown and Penn are opposites. Figure out what you want: preprofessional (learning things that'll be useful to get a job) or learning for learning's sake (you just enjoy learning stuff even if you'll never use it professionally)? Students who have many causes they're passionate about and are willing to protest for - and what about : a campus where students routinely rpotest abortion clinics does NOT have the same vibe as a campus where students protest against sweatshops, for example -, or students who don't really care about politics - and how much, ie. how vocal and radical would you feel comfortable with? How important to you is it that there are drugs -or not- on campus, "drinking" (which in the US means "getting very drunk on cheap beer") -or not-, that there's a substance-free dorm, a quiet dorm? Are you okay with co-ed dorms, and coed in what way: by room, with single-sex or coed bathrooms, coed by floor?
    You may want to invest in a book such as "Princeton's 378 best colleges" or "Fiske Guide" to look at what the schools stand for.
    On this forum, look under the colleges' names for their specificities.
    Use the system I gave you yesterday to select 10 schools, then add 10 schools from your original list, focusing on "fit".
    You're right, luck plays a part in it, but for it to "work" you need to demonstrate "fit", ie., create a reaction like "you're exactly the kind of personality we want on this campus". If you're staunchly anti-frats and anti-drinking, Darmouth admission officers will wonder why you're applying for example. If you're prolife and Teaparty conservative, Oberlin may not be the best fit, and if you're very interested in boycotting anything Israeli Brandeis may not be the best place for you to apply. (Those are broad examples.)
    Finally, look up (CommonApp website) which schools are "commonapp exclusive": it means all others allow you to apply directly from their website and it doesn't count as part of the 20 allowed on the CommonApp. Of course you have to go through the extra effort of completing the application on their website, but the questions are basically the same so it's not a LOT of work.
    Note: you can only apply to Berea if your family makes about $4,000/month or less.
  • AWMHYAAWMHYA Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    EC stuff is definitely very important, but for international students, getting a fantastic SAT score is very very important! 2000+ in china can only send you to schools like top20-30 no matter how excellent your EC are. Because in many areas similar EC are everywhere. Improve SAT first.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 32,464 Senior Member
    AWMHYA, the situation is different for European and Chinese students. China places a high emphasis on standardized testing (Europeans don't even have ONE standardized test in their education, it's all essay-based) therefore Chinese applicants tend to compete for SAT scores, memorizing, prepping, and taking the test multiple times. In addition, there are lots of Chinese applicants, so between two Chinese applicants SAT scores will obviously come into play.
    European applicants have a lot of trouble handling standardized testing since the first time they come accross one is when they apply to the US and they have to learn how it works (it's very different from taking a one-question essay test!)
    Ultimately, for top schools, once you've reached 2000-2100, what matters is ECs, essays, being "extraordinary" in some way, and most especially "fit", not to mention how much your family can pay.
    Additionally, Top 20-30 (out of 3,700 schools) is HIGHLY selective and prestigious. Saying "can -only- send you to top 20-30" is a little misguided. :)
  • karolinkarolin Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    Thank you!
    It's a relief that you think my score is fine :)
    Thank you for the information about the colleges! It's really helpful since I don't really have the sense what certain colleges are like as I don't live in the US and I'm not surrounded by people talking about them etc.:)

    Yes, standardized tests are something new for me. One good example is Maths section of the SAT. Even though the material covered by the test is quite easy for my country's standards - we've learned about much more detailed aspects of a quadratic function, combinatorics etc. on compulsory maths courses and they appear on our final exams /And it's not something I am proud of or anything - it's rather useless. We have so many courses that we basically forget 3/4 of the things we've learned :/ / - I had a hard time getting used to the types of questions appearing on the test. These questions are completely different from ones that appear on tests in my school. The section I worked on the hardest was Maths and you can see that my result is rather low and worse than that of two remaining sections anyway.

    Thank you, I'll find out if any of the colleges on my list offer admission on their website :D
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 10,562 Senior Member
    Berea gives full aid to internationals. You have to get in, first, but if you do tuition is free.
  • decilliondecillion Registered User Posts: 586 Member
    Princeton University was the first school in America to admit students based on entirely need-blind financial aid policies, regardless of citizenship, and to offer 100% need-based financial aid, regardless of citizenship. It is currently one of six universities that have this financial program.

    TL;DR we got tons of dolla bills and welcome people from all over the place, regardless of socioeconomic/demographic background.
  • badpunditbadpundit Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    You say several times you're not sure how much you could improve your score on the SAT... Remember that the SAT does NOT test intelligence, it only tests how good you are at beating the test.

    If you have taken it multiple times and really did a lot of practice tests, then maybe don't take it again. But if you only took it once, and did not study for it (or not much) then by all means treat it like an important final exam and give it another shot. My son took it twice -- didn't really study the first time and got a 2000. Second time, within three weeks prior to the test, he read two books and took eight or ten practice tests, and got a 2280. He didn't get any smarter, he just got comfortable from practicing, and tuned in to the rhythm of the test.

    The most important book for him was called Up Your Score (the Underground guide to Beating the SAT), and that book recommended utilizing the book of practice tests that is published by the College Board itself.

    Good luck to you!
  • CalzoneCalzone Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    Also I'm very sorry but your low SAT score does not make you a particularly competitive applicant.
    Wow 2040 is considered to be a low score? I've always assumed that it was an excellent score...
  • mhmmmhmm Registered User Posts: 1,192 Senior Member
    ^^ For Ivys and similar under 2100 score is not competitive. You would need to be a very needed athlete to be admitted to the top colleges on the OP's list with that score and that GPA.
    I hate to say it, but 3.68 is too low, it does not matter whether the grading system is different from the US. There are many many students applying to the same colleges, even from the OPs country with much higher grades and scores. Also, colleges that accept internationals have "readers", people who review your application, based on the country you are from, so they have very good knowledge of the way the grading works.
    I dont know anything about volleyball, but someone mentioned that you are very strong in it -- before i would apply to college, I would send an email to the volleyball coach of that college with your athletic information, as well as your sat score/gpa (which is good for a recruited athlete). See who responds, this may be the way to go. But do it extremely soon, and all at once. Spots for athletes are going very fast.
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