Afghan Student Chances For US Colleges Admission


I’m a 12th grade student from Afghanistan and I wanted to know what are my chances for being admitted to US universities that offer full financial aid to international students(including the IVY league schools based on this information:

9-12th grade percentage:90% I know it’s not very competitive but each year’s percentage was higher than previous year

Little to no ECs: Mainly because of security issues here in Afghanistan and it’s limited to financially rich population. I’ve talked to Harvard and they said that they understand the issue but haven’t talked to other colleges yet.

Attended a school in which English was the primary teaching language for science and math subjects, other subjects were taught in native language.(btw does this waive me from TOEFL test)

plan to take the SAT I in December and SAT II math 2 and Biology EM in November

I know that colleges take other things into account when they are accepting or rejecting a student but the reasons I ask this is because:

Almost all colleges I’ve seen say that they want a diverse number of students and the statistics for international students I’ve seen for most colleges have (0-1) Afghan students, never seen a 2 and saw 3 only once. So does this help me have a better chance?

Afghan students have a very hard time trying attend school and continuing their education because of security issue(2 bomb attacks happened not very far away from my school in the time) so don’t colleges try to help such students who are trying to pursue higher level of education? I know this might sound funny and maybe an excuse but I’m asking this because another student from my school who’s attending a US college(don’t know which one) told me about this that colleges realize the situation of Afghan students and they’ll try to admit them.

You probably know that there is fewer than 15% international students at Ivy-caliber schools. So that should give you some idea – it’s very, very difficult to get in.

Not knowing your SATs or how you compare in terms of grades, it’s impossible to tell you what your “chances” are. They’re not good for anyone who isn’t the son or daughter of an important/rich person. I would guess being Afghan probably gives you a bit of an edge, but will it be enough to pick you over the thousands of other international students trying to get into those same schools?

Apply and see. If you’re serious about study in America, apply to other schools besides the Ivies. To increase our odds, also include schools in the American south and central states where fewer international students apply.

But no one here can give you any kind of assurance that you have a good or even decent chance.

I am pretty sure that you will need TOEFL or an equivalent test.

You will need very strong SAT or ACT results, and also will need to be very close to the one strongest student from your country to apply to a top school. With both then you might have a chance but it would be a bit of a long shot.

Contact the EducationUSA affiliate in Afghanistan for advice on the application process. The counselors there are likely to have the most accurate information for students like you. If you cannot visit the office in person, you can reach them by email or by telephone:

Wishing you all the best!

I’m not aiming for all Ivy schools just the 5 that are need blind for international students cause I need full financial support and I’m not just applying to them I have 7 more colleges on my list an it’s still increasing.

Yes I know that not knowing my SAT score makes it hard to evaluate my chances but what really concerns me are my GPA and ECs, what do you think considering the info I’ve given about my GPA and ECs in my post?

I’ve calculated my percentage in american GPA and it’s 3.6 unweighted and 4.5 weighted, as I said I know it’s not very competitive but each year’s GPA is considerably higher than previous year so it’s a rising graph

For ECs please read my post

Are you sure I’ll need TOEFL test even though I studied in a school that teaches math and science subjects in english for 5 years?

I guess that would be helpful, thanks

Each place sets its own policy about English proficiency exams. You need to check each college/university website carefully, and then contact the international admissions office if you still don’t understand their policy. Most places that do require an exam will accept both TOEFL and IELTS. If you have been in a British-style high school, you might do better on IELTS.

Regarding your GPA: I think that it is very hard to compare these between different education systems in different countries. As such, I think that you need to compare your GPA with other students in Afghanistan, and as I said above you need to be very close to the top if you want to get into US universities that meet full need.

Regarding TOEFL: I am guessing based on two things. One is what I have heard on CC. The other is my experience coming from an English language high school in a location where the dominant language was French. Even though my high school was 100% English (with the exception of the classes which were intended to teach other languages), and even with decent scores on English literature and English composition and English SAT tests, I still needed to demonstrate my ability in English in order to attend university in the US. This turned out to be quite easy to do of course, and I expect it will be quite easy for you as well but I am pretty sure it will need to be done.

American schools understand that not everyone has access to ECs, especially in developing countries. Yours will be judged in comparison to other applicants from your country/part of the world. Your grades as well. So if you would be considered among the top students in Afghanistan, your application would merit serious consideration.

As to TOEFL, it totally depends on each school.

Being from Afghanistan will intrigue them. After that, your chances depend on your own app. No ECs at all? Not even helping the poor, tutoring others, some role in your religious group or through them? Or in school?

Top schools will need to see rigor, what grades in which classes, etc.

On top of that, top applicants from neighboring countries can get the edge. Some of this geo diversity for intls is by region, not by country.

Well…then let me ask, I have an international math competition certificate and two english competition certificate, yes I have helped some people with english and each year my family has given money for charity when school has asked for it. I know the competitions count as ECs but what about the last ones?

Well, I don’t think I can say that I have an excellent GPA compared to other students here but it is still considered a high GPA, but that’s because my school(probably the 2nd best school in Afghanistan) is more advanced than other schools in here and getting a high GPA is way harder in here. I mean they admitted 100/7000(I obtained the 40th position) students when they took the admission exams. My GPA was way higher when I was in another schools but did drop a little when I came here, so do colleges take that into consideration?

@Arif3251 I would just have a teacher or councilor explain that your school is the top in your country in a letter of recommendation.

Helping people with English counts. Money donated by parents wouldn’t. Volunteering at the school, say a clean up day counts if you did it often enough. Your GPA will be judged against your school, not the whole country. Where do you think you rank in your school now? Are other top students trying to attend college in the U.S?

By the way, your English seems pretty good based on your posts.

@Sportsman88 – actually international students are often judged in context of how they stand compared to their entire country, or even part of the world. So for example, someone from the Czech Republic may very well be competing for financial aid against not just other Czechs, but those from Slovenia and Poland as well. It all depends on who else is applying that year.

OP may be a bit more unique in being from Afghanistan, but he/she also will definitely be competing against other Afghans, if not applicants from the entire region.

What I meant was GPA. OP still needs to be in the top 1-2 of applicants from Afghanistan to a university but if OP is at an accelerated school in Kabul, ADCOMs surely see the difference in GPA of a top school and a less competitive school from a pure numerical perspective on GPA. SAT is one way to show excellence in comparison to students from easier high schools.

Well…about that! I don’t think I’ll be competing against many Afghan students(3 or 4 max). When I went to EducationUSA and asked info about SAT they told me other than me only 4 or 5 students have come to asking about SAT, who knows if they even want to take the exam this year and most people don’t know about applying to USA colleges either and even though I don’t have a high OP in school I don’t think it’d matter cause as far as I know no one’s applying to US colleges from my school this year

Hello. I’m also studying in Afghanistan. Did you apply to US and if you did how did it go?

@Sezanur ni nakadim imsaal meknum