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Do I have a chance for the National College Match?

shkodra14shkodra14 Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
edited July 17 in Questbridge Programs
White (Albanian, have dual citizenship).
First-generation immigrant, also first to go to a US college in my family
I speak Albanian, English, and Spanish (less fluent but still)

ACT - 34 single sitting
SAT II - 730 Biology
UW GPA - 3.85
W GPA - 4.54

APs: Biology (5), NSL (5), Spanish Language (4), English Language (4), World History (4),

Senior year schedule:
BC Calc, APES, AP Psych, AP Spanish Lit, AP English Lit, AP Physics 1, Foundations of Tech

- JV Volleyball sophomore year
- Varsity Outdoor track sophomore year
- Varsity Cross Country junior year
(not continuing sports for the rest of high school)

Other Extracurriculars:
- Hospital Volunteer - 100+ hours
- Teacher's Assistant at the American School of Kosova (I've spent this entire summer in Albania doing this)
- National Spanish Honors Society
- National English Honors Society
- National Science Honors Society
- Key Club, Unicef Club, Red Cross Club, Foreign Affairs Club, Peer Club (tutoring), Life Sciences Club, Environmental Club (there are others I'm a member of but they're not very active)
- Won Honorable Mention at Johns Hopkins Art Contest

I've worked really hard on my essays (they're all about the struggles of my immigrant family as well as my pride for my heritage) but my main concern is that I'm too high income. My family earns around 90K for a family of 5. I wrote this in the additional info section:

"My father lost his job during my freshman year of high-school after being told that his salary could be used to pay the salaries for two much younger employees. At 50 years old, no one wanted to hire him. He sent thousands of applications, finding no success. We struggled a lot as a family during this time period. My parents spoke of possibly losing the house. I suddenly became much more aware of money. I stopped going out with friends or buying new clothes, urging my siblings to do the same. Tension in the house grew very high as my parents became increasingly worried. The stress started being transferred to other aspects of life. Arguments grew more and more heated, and there were a couple months when my father lived alone in the basement because the violence he began to treat his kids with pushed my mom to try kicking him out of the house. Talks of divorce began. I had to comfort my emotionally-traumatized siblings and myself through the whole period. Our family was widely torn apart. My father was jobless for an entire year before finding a job as a paralegal. After a couple months, he was notified that he should quit because his manager was planning on firing him. Once again, he lost his job and several months of unemployment followed. However, my father has mostly repaired his relationship with the rest of the family. He has found a low-paying job as a language instructor and also teaches a course at a community college. My mother has been pushed to find a secondary, full-time summer job in order to compensate for my father's significantly-lower salary. In this manner, my family has managed to keep its head above the water, but the sense of financial urgency still exists."

I don't know what the income limit would be for a family of 5 if the income limit for a family of 4 is 65K. If you divide 65K by 4 and multiply that by 5 you get 81K, but I don't think that's exactly how the math would work to figure out the 5-family income limit.

I was really excited about applying and am almost finished with my application, but then I started reading the stats of finalists and ALL of them are extremely low income. Kinda bummed...

Replies to: Do I have a chance for the National College Match?

  • JasmineArmaniJasmineArmani Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    edited July 17
    Wow you're almost finished? So you got your teacher recommendations before school ended? Honestly I was going to apply to questbridge but then I realized that any College I apply to will probably see that I need a significant amount of financial need, so applying to questbridge is kind of a waste but then again they offer 100% financial need and when you apply to those elite universities that are need based, you still need to pay the EFC. Sorry that this doesn't answer your question but I'll say apply anyway because you never know :)
  • shkodra14shkodra14 Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    @JasmineArmani Actually the recommendations and the tax form info (as I've been overseas for the past 2 months and don't have access to them atm) are the last two parts I need. I've emailed my teachers and counselors and they're working on my recommendations early.
  • JasmineArmaniJasmineArmani Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    @shkodra14 That's really smart. What things did you email to them? Sorry for asking you but my school has like two guidance counselors for all the students in my class('18), and they are really no help so you kinda have to figure everything out yourself.
  • shkodra14shkodra14 Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member

    I mean, at the end of junior year we had to fill out a really long essay questionnaire (asking about our lives and aspirations) and write a resume for our counselors to have when writing our recommendations. They're expected to write our recommendations so I didn't have to really tell him anything, I just sent him an email saying I'd need my recommendation early by September 27th.

    As for my teachers, I sent them emails kindly asking for recommendations (I asked one in person during the school year so I didn't have to email her) and then I sent the questionnaire/resume to them as well.
  • momcincomomcinco Registered User Posts: 988 Member
    You have a very compelling story, OP. Your stats (test scores and grades) are fantastic. Your description of what your family went through (and is still going through) shows you as a mature young person. I was especially interested in the role you took / are taking because life isn't only about what happens TO you...but what you choose to DO with it.

    There is a lot to figure out about Match, and you may already know that only a small percentage of students get matched anyway. But there is a chance (and as a student from an immigrant family you may have a better chance than many other kids). Besides that, there is a QB advantage because the application really lets you explain yourself ina way that the Common App does not.

    This said, QB should not be your only strategy! Maybe you would consider women's colleges? These give you better chances at admissions, and a great education in a supportive environment, Or maybe you could test the waters at some varying levels of selective schools by applying to some fly-ins? Ask if you are unsure what these are. Maybe you could do more research and more discernment and decide on a short list, and get going on some early action applications? Early decision is discouragaed for students who need lots of financial aid but every case is different....

    Get used to running net price calculators!

    I urge you to keep posting, and to allow more input on this website.
  • shkodra14shkodra14 Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member

    Thanks so much for the feedback. The rest of my QB essays explain what I had to do in the situation I was in, so I have that covered. I'm just worried QB won't view me as a needy applicant, which is why I added that "Additional Info" section.

    I have a list of 15 schools that I am applying to (yes, women's colleges included) and most of them are not QB partners. I am applying EA wherever I can. I am already working on supplemental essays for those schools too.The issue is that the NPCs for most schools calculate my tuition at around 18K, which is still too much. The idea of a free college education is just too attractive. :p

    Anyways, thanks for the help!
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