Can someone help me choose reach/target/safety schools?

I really appreciate your help! My circumstances are kinda peculiar so I am really worried about the application process.

I am a Korean female student and am willing to major in math in US college.
I dropped out of high school in 11th grade for a plausible personal reason, which is too long and personal to tell you (I’m sorry) but I am gonna write about it in Common App Essay.
Before I dropped out, I went to a private, competitive Foreign Language High School and was top of my class.

My grades before I dropped out was all A and one B. (I don’t know how GPA works in US so I cant tell you the number)
After I dropped out, I took a Korean GED and got all As including a few 100s. (I know this is not a competitive test method when applying to US colleges)

Standardized Tests:
I am taking the SAT in September and October and my practice test scores now are about 1500.
I will be taking SAT subject test Math2 and French in December.

There weren’t any AP classes in my Korean school. I just took some advanced English classes and calculus, statistics, etc.

-Head of Sports in Student Council
-President of Statistics Club-made a website
-Captain of a sports team
-Volunteer: translating Korean traditional books for underprivileged students around the world (for 6 years)
-President of Advanced Math Club
-Worked for TOEFL academy
-President of English Literature Club
(There’s more but these are the main ones)

If my essays are good, which schools are my reach/target/safety?

How many years has it been since you dropped out?

Will you be applying for financial aid at US colleges? What can/will your family pay for college each year?

I will not apply for financial aid since my family will pay for my college. It has been a year and a half since I dropped out

Being worried about facts you can’t change won’t help you. You work with the cards you have. You need a realistic list of schools based on what will be on your application.

Just to confirm, you are not a US citizen?

Understand that the common app personal statement isn’t for explaining why you dropped out of high school. You can use the additional information section for that. Frankly, it’s best coming from a guidance counselor. Your essay is about giving an admissions officer a reason to say yes to having you on campus. Before deciding to tell them about your reason for dropping out of school, ask yourself if that reason will make them want you on campus.

How are you financing your US college education? Are you hoping for financial aid or scholarships?

You haven’t given us any idea of the types of colleges you are interested in. Desired location? Small, medium, large? Vibe? Big sports scene? Greek Life or not? Lots of activities on campus? Very intellectual? Big party scene? Are you ok with being outside a city, or do you need to be in an urban location? Will you need extra support when you arrive on campus, such as a good counseling service? Is it important to have easy access to hospitals or medical professionals?

You can major in math at thousands of colleges. We need more info about the type of college you see yourself succeeding at.

No, I am not a US citizen.
Also, I am not going to apply for financial aid. My family will be paying for the tuition.
I prefer colleges that are not in cities-California or NY-and I am hoping to live in the dorm. Also, the size of the campus or whether it has many parties doesn’t really matter for me. Since I am a foreigner (especially Asian female), in order to get good job option later on, I wish to enroll to the best ranking college that I can go to with my stats.

Consider colleges included in a Princeton Review sampling, “Great Schools for Mathematics Majors” (available in the print edition). A school like Reed would be willing to consider your application holistically, but you will note other colleges of potential interest as well.

If you want big schools, I would look at the schools in the Big Ten athletic conference. There are a lot of great math programs and the schools will range in selectively. Most will also have good name recognition internationally.

If you are interested in Ohio the Ohio public universities have transferable credit courses and transferring between them is relatively easy. Miami University (OH) has a lovely campus and great support for international students. The undergraduate teaching quality of its faculty is well respected. You could choose another Ohio regional university as your safety, target Miami and/or Ohio State (a big ten).

Case Western is a private university in Cleveland, Ohio that would probably be a reach. They do offer some merit aid to international students.

Note that California and New York State offer top-level colleges located in suburban or rural areas (e.g., Harvey Mudd, Pomona, Hamilton et al).

I could not tell from your post whether you prefer California or New York, or if you want to avoid California and New York.

I think that your somewhat unusual history makes it difficult to predict what would be a safety or a match.

Also, there are a huge number of universities in the US (and also in Canada) that have very strong math programs. It is hard to know where to start to suggest schools.

The fact that you know some French made me think of McGill. It is however right in the middle of a city (although a nice city with a low crime rate). You do not need any French at all to study at McGill, but knowing some will make your time there more interesting. Among reaches, MIT and Harvard are also right in the middle of a city. Stanford and Harvey Mudd and Princeton (three very different schools) are not in the middle of big cities.

If your goal is to find a permanent job outside of Korea, then you should be looking at universities in Canada. Canada has much friendlier policies than the US does about job permission for students while they are studying and after they finish their education. In the past, so did Australia, so check that out as well. And do remember, when you go for your visa interview, do not give any indication that you would like to remain in the US for one second longer than permitted with your student visa. If the interviewer thinks that you have immigration intent, you will not get a student visa for the US.

Have you discussed your situation with the counselors at the closest EducationUSA advising center? There are several in Korea: The counselors will be able to tell you where students with the Korean GED have been admitted recently. The counselors at your old high school may have some ideas for you as well.

Because you did not finish high school the normal way, your options are not easy to predict. It is possible that everywhere would be a reach for you. However, there are plenty of decent math programs at public universities that would be happy to enroll you because you are a full-pay student. If you continue to do well in your studies, you can consider transferring later to a place that has a stronger math program.

Yes, you’ve helped teach the TOEFL, but be prepared to take that exam yourself. Some places might require a TOEFL score.