American Citizen but high school in India

May I please know how my application would be reviewed by those at colleges because I am an American Citizen with OCI in india. I am very scared of indian to gpa converters as my score which is above average in India will be barely passable in the US?
I am so freaking scared. My entire process has been in a standstill due to covid 19 and Im afraid that I have zero chances of getting into any college.

Admissions officers are responsible for defined regions. Your admissions representative knows everything about HS in India. You can also find out who your admissions representative is for each of the colleges you apply to and reach out to them with specific questions.

As above, AOs will understand that the grading system is different. As a US citizen you will have an admissions advantage over other Indian graduates because you will classed as domestic, even with an international high school qualification.

@brantly Thank you! I am so worried about this as evry HS in India is totally different. There are schools which follow CBSE, ICSE, State board. IB, IGCSE… I think you get the idea. And the eleventh grade exams are made especially hard. So if one person got 95+(person soooo smart you just cant compare them to anyone else) and everone elso got in 70-85 range marks, Its usually the exam which is very hard not that the students did not study.

SO @SJ2727 Will they consider that even though I am an American I am very much from india? Do you know of any other OCI’s journey into college as my college applications in both India and the US is going to be very complicated/

Your academics will be assessed in the context of your high school/ country of HS graduation.
Your “pool” for admissions, funding etc will be in the context of domestic applicants.

The one issue that you will have compared to other US applications is that you likely do not have instate options. Affordability may be a heavy driver in your search.

@Eeyore123 YEs that will be a disadvantage. but I have learnt from my uncle in the US that I would be able to declare permanent residency in the state I study in as currently there is no state I belong to and I wont get in-state tuition in any state.

You can become a resident of the state where your college is located, but who qualifies for “in-state” tuition and when will vary from state to state. Usually, you can’t just move somewhere for school and obtain the benefits immediately. My son is not from India but was educated in another Asian country. He is also a US citizen. His situation may be a littler simpler than yours as his high school provided the IB Diploma program, which is well-known in the US, but as someone above pointed out, the admissions counselors at US colleges are usually assigned responsibility for particular regions. We looked at the school websites to identify who in Admissions was responsible for Asian international students and then reached out to those individuals with questions. In your case, you can explain what grading/testing system your school uses and ask if there is any information you can provide that would be helpful to the school. Even if they don’t know the particular system well, there should be a way to communicate how rigorous your program is, what you rank is among your fellow students, etc. I’m not sure about larger universities, as my son applied mostly to smaller private schools, but the admissions officers he dealt with were all very helpful and willing to engage with him.

But that will not necessarily give you instate tuition. In most states it is difficult to get instate once you start school. Every state is a little different.

Utah seems to be one of the less difficult states to get in-state residency for tuition purposes after attending as an out-of-state undergraduate student for a year.

@booklover1309, As others have noted, admissions committees at US colleges and universities have a lot of experience evaluating foreign high school transcripts, whether from American citizens living abroad or from foreign nationals… As long as your high school can present clear and complete information in English, evaluating it won’t be a problem. You might talk to graduates from your high school that have been accepted to US colleges to better understand how they presented their academic information.

Bear in mind that in US admissions essays, recommendations, interests and extracurriculars as well as general life experience are all important.

Generally, US colleges like US expats – they bring a global perspective and diverse cultural background, without the difficulty of student visas and English second language.

Financial aid is a separate issue. As an American citizen you will be eligible for need-based aid at many, many institutions. Merit aid may also be available, though it’s more difficult to predict than need-based aid.

In state tuition rates usually depend on residency qualification, which, as noted, varies widely from state to state. Depending on your family’s financial situation you might be better off applying for need-based aid at private school. I suggest that you target a few schools and run your family’s financials through the on-line net price calculators to get an idea of what to expect.

Thank you all!!!

@booklover1309 Even though you don’t currently have a residence in the US for in-state tuition and fees, you likely do have a state of residence for voting purposes. If you will be 18 before the national election in November, you can vote absentee in the state of your most recent residence. If you were born abroad, you most likely can vote in the state of your citizen parent’s most recent residence. Details here: