Australian international lacking ECs and some other questions

<p>Hey guys, I'm posting here to get some opinions on how much a lack of extra-curriculars would affect my chances at some of the 2nd tier universities (maybe some top tiers) and LACs. I'll try and list some of my ECs, but I haven't really kept track because frankly, it doesn't matter very much for university admissions here (though I've heard that the system might gradually be leaning towards the US idea of getting students with community involvement).
Soo, some I can think of, I'm not sure which are relevant:
-Optiminds competition twice in a row (first year got to States and won honours, 2nd year didn't make it to states, that was 8th and 9th grade, keep in mind in Australia 8th grade is high school, however I'm not sure it would count, especially considering we are generally 12/13 in year 8).
-Drama lessons and exams, grade 7, 8 and 9 (I might have my years mixed up, anyway, they were Trinity College Exams and I think I got up to 6th grade in them).
-School choir (years 8 and 9)
(Also I'm just listing ones that I did up to high school at least, and at least for a year in high school)</p>

<p>In 10th grade I moved cities and schools, I now do the IB diploma at a school that just has the IB (I think they make some exceptions, but it's an IB school pretty much). It's a selective school for people interested in arts. I would like to study film at university, at the moment, but that may change. So, I think some work I produce at this school may help me with that.</p>

<p>I have another thing to ask about- I know for US students colleges ask for transcripts for grades 9-12, however, in Australia, 8th grade is high school so I'm wondering if anyone knows if they want the transcripts from that as well?
My transcripts have probably fluctuated a little over the years haha I think in 8th grade it was pretty much all As, 9th grade I think I got a C (or two idek it was ages ago) and some Bs.
Right now I'm in 11th grade, my transcript for last year increased gradually, but the workload shock of starting the Pre-IB was a lot to handle, as well as moving schools. By the end of the year I had 5 7s (As) and one 4 (C). I have received a term (half-semester) report for this year, and I got the same as last year, but I think they just carried the grades over. Anyway, this semester I anticipate the 4 to become a 7 (I had one of my two assessments for the term already and scored 27/30, which is a 7, and I should do fine in the second assessment). As for the other subjects, I expect that one will drop to 7, there is another one I'm a little worried about but we will see! Hopefully I can pull it up to 6s and 7s. </p>

<p>If you aren't familiar with the IB diploma, it's a requirement to complete 150 hours of CAS (creativity, action, service) which involves a lot of volunteering and other pursuits. Another requirement of it is to complete a "leadership project", for my leadership project I am planning on launching a club that allows students around the school to tutor other students, probably mainly in lower grades. I have started organising this and hope to get it up and running by the end of next term (halfway through semester 2 of junior year). I was wondering if the stuff I do for CAS would be taken into consideration or not since it's compulsory? Also, would it help at all since it'll all be in my last two years of school?</p>

<p>-AustralianJunior</p>

<p>Also, my IB subjects are:
HL English
HL Theatre
HL Film
French Ab Initio
ESS standard level anticipated
Math studies</p>

<p>Sorry I meant I expect one of my other subjects may drop from a 7 this semester!</p>

<p>A lot of the information you need will be here: <a href=“https://www.educationusa.info/”>https://www.educationusa.info/</a></p>

<p>After you read that, make an appointment with one of the counselors at the advising center closest to where you live. There are several in Australia. If you can’t visit in person, find out what help they can give you by phone or email: <a href=“https://www.educationusa.info/Australia”>https://www.educationusa.info/Australia</a> </p>

<p>The simple truth is that most colleges and universities in the US don’t care about ECs. Those that do care, recognize that international students don’t have the sorts of ECs that US students do because schools are different in other countries. You will be fine with the ECs that you have.</p>

<p>What you do need to worry about though is how you will pay for your education here, so have a nice long chat with your parents and find out how much they are willing to pay and under what conditions.</p>

<p>Wishing you all the best!</p>

<p>I might talk to them about that, but I think I should wait a bit more, if I decide to try and go the US I will probably apply for Australian universities near the end of year 12 (what we generally do here) and if I get accepted (quite likely) I will try and defer my course for a year and then apply for US colleges in my gap year, which would give me some time to work on applications, sit standardised tests etc.
In terms of cost, if I were to bring my grades way up to like mostly 7s and some 6s, and got an IB 40ish (not sure if you’re familiar with the system) do you think there’d be colleges that’d offer a substantial scholarship, by substantial I mean about 50%+ of tuition? I imagine to do this I’d have to settle for some lower tier colleges, but if they’re too low tier I don’t think I will go, considering I don’t want to sacrifice too much of my education qualify for an overseas experience. My family is quite high income, but we have a fair bit of debt and stuff so I don’t want to put my parents through a lot of cost, however I don’t think we’d qualify for much aid.</p>

<p>Most colleges/unis here do not offer scholarships based solely on IB scores (trust me, I’ve looked).</p>

<p>Academic scholarships seem to rely more heavily on SAT or ACT scores than they do on grades; that’s good news if you are a good test taker. In the financial aid forum, you’ll find plenty of universities that grant at least half-tuition scholarships.</p>

<p>That being said, I am curious why you would rather attend a 2nd tier university in the US than a 1st tier university in Australia?</p>

<p>US universities won’t want more than 4 years of high school grades and many universities say that they don’t even really pay attention to grades from 9th grade. Of course you can submit grades from years 8-12 if that’s more convenient for you, but it seems extremly unlikely that your 8th grade performance would have any effect on your admission decision.</p>

<p>Yeah I consider myself a little better than alright at test taking, but I’m not sure how I’d go on the SAT. I’ve had a look at some of the practice questions and they were all fairly easy, but I suppose it depends on if you get questions you know. If I were to get around 1450-1500ish or maybe higher for critical reading and math, how do you think my chances would be for a scholarship or even admission?</p>

<p>It’s mainly to do with culture, in Australia most of our students don’t live on campus, since most of our universities are in major cities, along with most of our population. So, it’s more culture to stay with parents or if moving to the city from more rural areas live in a sharehouse or apartment. Some people move out on their own or with friends, which I’d like to do, but I think generally they stay at home. I’m really interested in living on campus, esp. if most of the university population lives on campus, I think it’d have more of a sense of community and just that whole college sense, something we seem to be lacking in Australia</p>

<p>You should look into Honors colleges at big public universities along with LACs, especially in the Midwest and South. Coming from Australia, the weather is likely to be a shock (if you want dry/hot, look into CSUs and ASU Barrett).</p>