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Unusual circumstances,do the same rules for EC's apply?

flowuhflowuh Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
Hi,I am an international student.

I am very interested in applying to American universities and I have been researching the application process for some time,I feel quite comfortable with most aspects,but I am unsure about EC's. As they are not quite the same in my country. The amount of school clubs and such that I read about people doing on here,most of which don't even exist in my home country. Musical instrument lessons through school still have to be paid for,I'm not sure if that is the case in the U.S or if most people on here are paritcularly wealthy.

As I have been looking at my credentials,I really feel as though my EC's,or lack there of,let me down. I feel fine on the academic side of things. And so I wondered if I had any way to apply with extenuating circumstances and if you think I am in a position to do so.

I come from an incredibly poor family,I mean poor too. I also never had a stable home life,always moving house being homeless a few times and having to live with relatives or in B&B's abusive father,you get the picture. I missed all of high school and
taught myself the grades 7-11 from books and then went to what I think would be the equivalent of a community college in the U.S to get GCSEs and then a different college for Alevels. My family never had money for clubs and the things I may have been able to do in school I never could because I was homeschooled,sort of. I have a few things that may be considered EC's,I taught myself a language using the library resources and have had a job for a few years to help out with my family. Between that,studying and volunteering in a care home and what I have to do at home to help out I really didn't have time to be in a debate club or something.

Thank you for reading that,I'm sorry if it isn't too clear what I'm asking,I just want to know if you think in my circumstances what I have is enough to get in,bearing in my that with my circumstances I only have a shot at attending top Colleges because of the amount of aid I will need.

I love Chemistry and would be hoping to major in that if it makes any difference.

Replies to: Unusual circumstances,do the same rules for EC's apply?

  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,393 Senior Member
    edited August 2014
    Without knowing your stats (GPA, TOFEL and SAT) and where you from, it is hard to say. But if you want to compete for top need-blind schools, you need to beat all the other outstanding students from your country. Those top schools will accept none to a few students from each country, if you can be the top student (in terms of stats, ec's and LOR) in your country, you might have a shot.

    Lets take Nigeria as example, every student from that country will need extensive "financial aid" and cannot afford a lot of EC's, just like you. So, if you can out shine in every aspect to the students from the same country, you may succeed.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,272 Senior Member
    GCSE + A Level = high school (grades 9-12) in the US (or equivalent) ; some Amerian colleges will admit you basedon GCSE results only but if you need financial aid, 3-4 strong A Level results (AS and predicted) would be necessary. However these A Levels would give you college credits after you're admitted and you'd be able to skip several introductory level classes in the US. :)
    What's your ACT/SAT score? You would likely qualify for automatic scholarships, including at Howard and UAlabama, depending on your stats. Ou'd have to apply in September or October at Howard for the best chances. Automatic scholarships = you don't need EC's at all, all that matters is your test score. :)
    A job you've held for two years or more, and for many hours a week (sufficient to "help out" in your family) would be considered a strong "EC" (equivalent). You'd have to explain your responsibilities and how the money was used for your family's subsistance, as well as the bouts of homelessness (living with relatives, in B&B, etc, also "counts" as homelessness.) Your counselor would have to detail that and if s/he's not aware of your circumstances you'd have to prepare a bullet-point list with the information she might want to include in his/her recommendation.
    If you need a lot of financial aid, you could apply to Berea College. It's very selective (only 5% international students are admitted) but all students who are admitted get a near-full ride: full-tuition, and you work 20hours on campus and in exchange you get free room&board.
  • feyfeyfeyfey Registered User Posts: 24 Junior Member
    "Lets take Nigeria as example, every student from that country will need extensive "financial aid" and cannot afford a lot of EC's, just like you."

    Actually, I would say that most applicants from Nigeria are very close to full pay. It's a very rich country.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,272 Senior Member
    feyfey, are you for real?
    Nigeria is one of the richest countries in Africa, but the fact there are very wealthy people there doesn't mean Nigerians can afford to be full pay, since one year at an American university costs easily ten times what a middle class family would earn in a year.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,393 Senior Member
    If you just replace Nigeria with Central Africa that will do
This discussion has been closed.