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Advice for an African Student with a low GPA and a high SAT

HabeshaGuyHabeshaGuy Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
edited January 2014 in International Students
I am from Ethiopia and our curriculum is extremely hard,we have no choice over what courses to take and we are given 13 subjects.Because of this my GPA is very low ~ 3.1 but my SAT scores are OK 2200+ and am taking the subject tests on December. I plan on applying to top universities. Do I have a chance of getting accepted to universities like MIT or will my low GPA screw me over?
Post edited by HabeshaGuy on

Replies to: Advice for an African Student with a low GPA and a high SAT

  • SmartBeastSmartBeast Registered User Posts: 136 Junior Member
    Can you give a complete sketch of what you've got?
  • highland_poppyhighland_poppy Registered User Posts: 497 Member
    As SmartBeast said.

    Plus if you could give us the official name of the Ethiopian final examinations e.g. A-levels in the UK, IB, French Bacc etc that would help greatly, too. What 13 subjects do you have to do? Do you have individual grades for each?
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 29,101 Senior Member
    Maybe not MIT, but definitely some of these:

    and possibly some of these:

    And if you go have a chat with the people here: https://www.educationusa.info/AddisAbaba
    chances are, they can tell you where people with your grades and exam scores have been admitted in recent years.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 40,640 Senior Member
    I assume you've been translating numerically - what admission committees look for is what the number's value is. What number represents Top 10% in the country? What number do top 25% reach, top 10%, top 1% in your school? etc.
    So you may not have a 3.1 GPA.
  • HabeshaGuyHabeshaGuy Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    Hey Guys,Yeah MIT is just a reach for me,because there was this guy I knew who got a 2240 last year and got into Stanford.He told me US universities are very generous for people living in sub-Saharan Africa.But he had a high GPA and lot of extracurricular so I don't know..My SAT Breakdown is 800,740,690,9(CR,MATH,WRITING,ESSAY)
    I got a 4.0 (straight A's) on my 10th National Exam(Matriculation/Ministry of Education)(99th percentile I think). (Math,Amharic,English,Physics,Chemistry,Geography,History,Civics,Biology) and was on the 99.3 rd percentile on my 8th grade national exam. Country wide,Id say my GPA is very high. But its definitely low for my school,as there are some guys with a 4.0 GPA. Should I send my National Exam results,most US universities are very specific about what they want to be sent.
  • HabeshaGuyHabeshaGuy Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    Also,I was told that Internationals are not eligible for Automatic scholarships.Is this true?
  • SmartBeastSmartBeast Registered User Posts: 136 Junior Member
    @habesha guy,you have a pretty gud SAT score,but your touch on your GPA is quite obscure.Well..I would say you should of course send your national scores as everytin is important..apply to your dream school(s) you wish and wait to see if they are the right schools for you or not ...remember NO ONE outside the adcom can give you accurate description for a chance of admissions...but a 1500 in SAT would definitely not get one into stanford..dont forget to write a good essay.Goodluck!:)
  • HabeshaGuyHabeshaGuy Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    What universities come at the top of your mind when you see my stats?I have three days to choose two more colleges and I don't know which to choose.
  • eduard97eduard97 Registered User Posts: 116 Junior Member
    If you are looking for schools that give lots of financial aid for internationals apply to Amherst College (me and another friend got almost full rides there), and the typical Ivys that are need blind. Also, University of Richmond and St Marys University offer full rides for people with your same stats or even below, so you should apply to those as well.
  • HabeshaGuyHabeshaGuy Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    Should I try Caltech..My friends say I should...But I think Its a waste,as Ill never get in
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 40,640 Senior Member
    Stop translating your GPA. Just provide the numbers with what percentage get to that score nationally and whether admission to your school is selective (vs. all kids who started 1st grade with you are at that school with you).*
    If you're really a top student in your country, you should try CalTech, keeping expectations low.
    * I am not talking about moving away, I mean everyone is promoted with their friends every year vs. students who don't seem to have the "right" profile attend other schools.
  • galileoforbesgalileoforbes Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    HabeshaGuy which subject tests are you taking in December?

    With regards to your whole package(SAT, GPA..etc) you should highlight the things that make you stand out from every other person who makes the choice of doing the SAT there. Most people who'll take the SAT down there are performing phenomenally and that's why they aspire and think outside the box and seek Education abroad. Just give it everything you got. And not getting into MiT or Stanford does not dictate you won't get in later...you can graduate from say 1 university that'll offer you a full scholarship, then if your grades are consistent, you can seek further studies from the Ivies or wherever..

    Goodluck, Jah bless.

    I'll be taking my Math1 and Lit this Dec, then Physics and Bio Jan, then SAT in March. Godspeed!!!
  • HabeshaGuyHabeshaGuy Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    @galelioforbes Thanks and where do you recommend I apply to so I get a chance at a full-ride I am taking math II and physics tommorow..good luck
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 40,640 Senior Member
    If your GPA is 3.5 (and with 2200 it should be) apply to UAlabama's college of engineering for the automatic scholarship, then, apply to the competitive scholarships.

    Try CalTech, you never know, but look for other science schools. Grinnell is good and is generous with international students.
  • HabeshaGuyHabeshaGuy Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    @MYOS1635 are internationals eligible for automatic scholarships at UAlabama?
This discussion has been closed.