Any Suggestions for LACs and Unis I could get into?

Demographics

  • International student
  • Public high school
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity (optional): Male, Black (West African)
  • Other special factors: First generation, Took gap year

Intended Major(s)
Computer Science and Economics (very certain).

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.59
  • Weighted HS GPA : N/A
  • College GPA : N/A
  • Class Rank: N/A out of 967
  • ACT/SAT Scores
    SAT - 1590
    ACT - 33

Coursework
WAEC National Exam with 3 Cs

Awards
Overall winner in international high school hackathon.
2nd runner up in national hackathon.

Extracurriculars
During high school:

  • On-campus job
  • remote web development internship
  • volunteer at school library
  • debate club(member)
  • robotics club(member)
  • religious organization(with leadership position)
  • volunteered to advocate child literacy in final year.
  • Family responsibilities.

Post high school:

  • 3-month Internship at start-up.
  • Weather-monitoring project since high school graduation.
  • A plethora of online courses.

Essays/LORs/Other
Essays and counselor LOR include explanation for low GPA.
(Not a very exceptional explanation. Things were somewhat within my control. I just got distracted doing what I felt was the morally right thing for me to do).
Essay also explains my long-term motivations well.

Cost Constraints / Budget

  • Low-income home
  • Virtually no ability to pay

Schools

  • Safety *(certain admission and affordability): None
  • Likely (would be possible, but very unlikely or surprising, for it not to admit or be affordable): None
  • Match: None
  • Reach: Harvard, Yale, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Trinity College, Centre College, Denison, UW-Madison, Franklin & Marshall, St Olaf.

Look into Grinnell.

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As far as I know, five colleges are need-blind admissions and need-blind for full aid in the US. Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton, and Amherst. They are also five of the most difficult colleges to get into.

As a suggestion, you may want to research HBCU, historically black colleges, and universities. Look in the https://commonblackcollegeapp.com/ this would allow you to do one application for 60 of the colleges. The schools range in selectivity, size, and location. Here is a link to rankings for them https://premium.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/hbcu.There would be reaches, matches, and safeties for you from this group. I hope you find this information helpful and good luck.

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OP: I think that the responses in this thread are excellent with respect to your question.

I would like to suggest a minor edit of your profile:

Instead of writing: “A plethora of online courses.” Consider: “Completed several online courses.” Or: "Completed several online courses [and then list the courses].

The reason for changing “a plethora of online courses” is that this makes the courses appear to be an insignificant after-thought when your goal should be to present these courses as an accomplishment.

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Thank you very much.

Thanks a lot.
I am unable to edit the original post, but I’ll keep this advice in mind when submitting my college applications.

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Thanks a lot.
Could you elaborate on why they would be a match for me?

Grinnell offers an excellent computer science department, is exceptionally well-funded with respect to financial aid, and enrolls a lot of international students. For the study of economics, Grinnell would be fair.

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Sure. They’re on my list now.
Thanks a lot.

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Dickinson College is a likely school for you to consider. Computer science and huge emphasis on international students and creating a global community. Your stats should earn you scholarship money or decent financial aid.