Can u plz help me make my SAFTIES/MATCHES/REACHES list???

<p>this is a cross post from my chances....but i wanted the parents' opinions as well!</p>

<p>Well, even though I'm still just a junior, I'm meant to be making "my list" of possible colleges that I want to apply to next year. My counselor keeps pressuring me to think about where I want to apply…. my matches, safeties, and reaches.. but I honestly have no clue about where I would like to go or about the realistic choices for me.. all I know is that I want to study in either the US , England or Canada.. if you can tell me what I should start considering I would be most thankful!</p>

<p>Nationality: Egyptian ( but iv lived in about 5 diff. countries as my dad is a diplomat- id be applying from Kazakhstan)</p>

<p>GPA: My school doesn’t have one but freshman and soph. years I got straight A's and some A+'s this year (so far) I got all 6's…(I'm doing the IB diploma program and teachers grade us using the IB scale of 1-7 and they write like huge paragraphs about how we are doing ect&#8230</p>

<p>Rank: top of my class…but only like 7 other ppl in my class</p>

<p>Private school</p>

<p>SAT: weak point… I got 660v 640m this jan. but im obviously going to study for it and retake the new sat… hopefully a 1400 equivalent, sat 2s I don’t know yet but I got an 800 2 times on the practice Spanish sat 2s and for bio in the 700 area</p>

<p>Courses: honors in soph. year/ all IB in my junior and senior year ( four Higher levels)</p>

<p>ECs: I think this is my strongest point…
-Jv and Varsity basketball and soccer teams; traveling team, school team, and for a short while basketball club team (in schools I went to I was co captain for one year, captain for two years) traveled all over and won few awards eg. MVP, MIP, Athlete of the year…I doubt im good enough to play on college teams though, yet I don’t know what American college teams are like and what it takes to get on them…
-Ballet for ten years: I choreographed dances for little kids in the ballet academies I went to, helped teach/organize people and such at the Cairo opera house, and danced in the opera house for 2 years, also participated in many productions
-MUN: founded it at my new school in Kz, various conferences ( THIMUN next year)
-Amnesty International
-Drama club
-Student council rep. grades 9 and 10, vice president grade 11 ill run for prez. next year if I get the guts; writing the schools first constitution this year
-lots of community service
-no work experience, iv never lived in a place where people my age have jobs…:s
-school newspaper
-poetry writing, some poetry awards and I was published in's book…. I don’t know if it’s a scam though
-research paper of diplomatic ties between Egypt and Israel-I interviewed a whole lot of people and tried to project the two sides which I don’t believe has ever really been attempted before as all information I came across was really biased ( im thinking I can "crop" it a little and send it as supp. material cuz 1) im really proud of it 2) shows alot about my true passion and identity.... is that a bad idea?)
-attempting to finish a book I started and MAYBE – if I ever get to REALLY finishing it- get it published, but I think it may not ever happen while im alive
-out of school religion classes (Muslim)
- I speak English, French, Spanish, and Arabic.. I thought that was a possible hook maybe..
-teach Spanish to some girls in school
-academic bowl
will have really good and personal teacher recs, director of school also, as the school is very small so they know me rather well
I think my essays will be good im thinking of writing really personal ones about country hoping , political passion and how the system in my country makes me mad and evokes me to do anything in order to change it which is why i want to study gov in colleges, why I like ballet so much, or some other personal stuff…. any suggestions? </p>

<p>so what do you think is realistic for me? I mean im not like the people on cc who win olimpiads and are good at math and scienceSo... What are my possible matches, reaches, and safeties? O ya.. ill also be applying to fin aid or merit based scholarships of some kind…do u guys have any suggestions??
O ya.. im thinking of majoring in poli sci/international relations/film studies or mass media… maybe a double major or a major and minor but I'm not sure yet and I don’t even get the system of how it works :S</p>

<p>Thnx in advance!!</p>

<p>BUMP..i know its long but pllzzz</p>

<p>What are the top 10-12 things you really want in a school? Size, location, "feel" etc?</p>

<p>You didn't say anything about cost. Some schools have (a very few) full-ride scholarships for international students; most have none. Some schools cost a lot and many are much cheaper. Your list should take into account your family's ability to pay.</p>

<p>Your background should certainly grab the attention of adcoms, as does your range of languages and your ECs. But other posters are right. What kind of schools would you like to attend: size, geographical location, urban/rural, type (LAC, private research university, state university)? Do you want a school that has a strong core curriculum or one that has none or something in between? Would like a school with a strong sports culture, fraternities/sororities or not?
These are some of the questions you should be asking. One you have given parents a better sense of what your general criteria are, they will be better able to advise you.</p>

<p>Elodie, you have a wonderful and unique background that would be greatly desirable to many US colleges. Since there are some 4000 choices out there you do need to do some initial work on focusing in on your wishlist. You can’t expect parents to just throw out college names like feeding popcorn to pigeons.</p>

<p>We live overseas and many of my son’s classmates attend colleges all over the world; however, since my own experience is mainly American, that’s the area I will address.</p>

<li><p>As Digmedia notes, what’s your family’s situation regarding financing? Four years at a US college can cost in the range of $160,000 plus, not including airfare from your home. A few colleges offer financial aid or merit aid to international students. If you need aid, you should start your search by determining which schools may offer it.</p></li>
<li><p>Have you visited the US? Do you have any idea which part of the country you might like? There are great colleges allover the US, but it sometimes helps to narrow your search to a specific geographic area just to help focus.</p></li>
<li><p>Do you have any preference between large and small? There are excellent colleges in America with tens of thousands of students and with less than 2000. At this point it’s okay to consider both large universities and small liberal arts colleges, but you should educate yourself on the differences between the two.</p></li>
<li><p>Will you be able to visit before you apply or will you have to make your decisions based on what information you can accumulate from afar? How about your counselor and classmates? Where do they recommend? Where have kids from your school gone?</p></li>

<p>Thanks a lot for all of your replies. I will be needing fin. aid for all four college years...maybe not a full ride but my parents can contribute around 15k (preferably less) a year...I would really like to go to school somewhere in New York.. if not the east coast would be good. I have never really been to the us, but i prefer big busy cities to smaller and quieter places. Maybe somewhere like Chicago or Detroit or dc, i have nothing against anywhere else in the us but that's just my preference.. meaning if i got into Berkley or something id be there! but id really love it if i could live in the New York or Boston area ,as iv heard wonderful things about those places and all my mates who went/go to college their really enjoy/ed it.
As for the type of school... I guess I really haven't thought about those things you asked, but id like to attend a selective school, where most of the people are intellectual and smart and no one is a slacker (even though iv taken hard classes , to many of them have included girls painting their nails and guys asking what the capital of Germany is). I don't know how hard it is or what it takes to play on a college athletics team, but id really like to be part of the basket ball team...LAC would be good...what's a core curriculum? Well I think i would like to go somewhere known for good poli sci/international relations majors.. and maybe a minor in film studies or mass media or mass comm. I don't mind the size…anyways, Id like to find out about what are some realistic choices for someone like me, and I guess I need some ie. Matches, reaches, and safeties thnx!</p>

<p>elodie, I wouldn't want to sound discouraging because I really do think MANY top US colleges would be interested in what you have to offer; however, need based financial aid and merit aid for international students is hard to come by. There are a few schools that are needblind for internationals. Williams is one that I'm familar with, but I'm sure there are others. (I believe Yale is but you'd need to confirm.) Needblind means if they accept you, they will make sure you get the money to attend. Merit aid means that they give you money to attend because they want you. It doesn't necessarily connect to the amount that you can afford to spend. Both are rare for international students, so you need to do some research.</p>

<p>Your scores are a little low for Williams, but I think your other attributes would compensate. Williams would fulfill all of your requirements EXCEPT that it's definitely a "smaller and quieter place." (It's in a mountain village.)</p>

<p>Again, I think you have a LOT to offer but you should start by resolving the financial challenge.</p>

<p>Because of the financial issue be open to anywhere and you will find a great place! Look to the MidWest. One of our students got a great scholarship at Illinois Wesleyan. He was like straight 7s in IB and his SAT was not that high. He is happy there. Write to the schools in the spring. Tell them about yourself. See who bites. And don't forget Lawrence University in WI.</p>

<p>well my sat isn't final yet, this was the first time i took it, and i think i can bring it up if i try hard enough...also i haven't taken my IB exams yet, ill be doing that next year ,but im a bit worried about my grades this sem. they were all six's yet the written teacher comments- which are more important then the actual grades in our school- all said really great things, should i worry about the fact that i haven't got a single 7 yet ( i have the highest grades of my class regardless of that)? i suppose the fin aid is a liability but after doing some research i found that
- U of Chicago gives out 30 full rides to intels and us citizens a year, would i qualify for that?
-Yale is need blind ( it would be a high reach for me right?)
also ill look up Williams and Wesleyan... i don't mind the Location THAT much and i guess my main priority would be the whole money issue

<p>I believe most of the schools offering significant merit aid and aid to internationals do so because they are compensating for less exciting locations (Lawrence, Grinnell, Purdue, etc.) These schools would not have to be nearly so generous if located in New England or New York.</p>

<p>Elodie, if the aid is a big consideration I suggest you open your geographical boundaries up a bit and consider places "in the middle of nowhere." These schools will be a little more liberal re: SAT scores and more likely to offer you good aid.</p>

<p>Thinking: Dickinson, Allegheny, Lawrence, Beloit, Grinnell, Kenyon, Denison... </p>

<p>LACs In/Near Cities: Macalester, St Joseph's, Rhodes, Loyola, Santa Clara, Drew...</p>

<p>Why don't you start with the list of good fin/merit aid schools and narrow from there?</p>

<p>Macalester might be a good bet - it's in Minneapolis-St. Paul, a very nice and interesting city in the mid-west. They do have financial aid for internationals. </p>

<p>SBMom gave you a nice starting list but Dickinson, Denison, Rhodes, Loyola Marymount and Drew DO NOT offer need-based financial aid for internationals. At some of these schools, however, you may be offered a merit scholarship.</p>

<p>Competition for U of Chicago itnernational student merit scholarships and financial aid is VERY intense. This year, they only offered those awards to 16 out of 260 plus accepted international students. I don't want to discourage you, but they are very clear that they only offer those awards to students in the top of their applicant pool. </p>

<p>It's not near a big city, but the College of Wooster is a school that offers financial aid to internationals. Also, check out Occidental in Calif.</p>

<p>I agree with Caroly, that Occidental fits your desired subject interests. Campus is pretty and lots going on. Food was terrific.</p>

<p>One other suggestion would be Furman University in Greenville, SC. They are actively recruiting international students and I believe that they allow internationals to receive merit scholarships. They are also a Division I Athletics school with a basketball team so perhaps you could get money that way. I'd suggest writing to their international students advisor and asking about whether they have need-based aid for internationals available.</p>

<p>thanks a lot to everyone!! anyways ill take in mind all of these places but i was really hopeing for something competitiver as iv always worked hard to get into an ivy league or something top tier
thanx anyways</p>

<p>elodie, Yale and Williams are as top tier as they get. One's an ivy and one's an LAC, but both are very, very selective. It's difficult for anyone to get into Williams and even more difficult to get into Yale. Put on top of that international status and then on top of that needing $25,000 per year in aid, then you've got a very chance. Not impossible but very difficult. This isn't to say that you shouldn't try; however those two could be your reaches. You may be able to add one or two other selectives that offer aid or merit to internationals. Don't go overboard on reaches. Two or three are enough.</p>

<p>After that, if you really want to study in the US, you need to take a positive and realistic approach to your matches and safeties. The parents on this board have done an enormous amount research on value for money. If they've given you a recommendation, then it's most likely a place where you're going to get an excellent education. If these names don't fulfill your need for prestige, then no one can help you. If you want a "big name" school then you've got to face the fact that competition both for admission and for funding is EXTREME. If you want financial aid, then you may have to accept a lesser known -- but still excellent -- college. Macalester and Furman certainly fall into this category.</p>

<p>Thanks a lot on all of your posts. I did not mean that I want a prestigious name or anything, and i don’t mind any of the schools which you all named. I realize how hard it is, and i also realize that i have to be realistic, thus the whole point of reaches matches and safeties. I understand that yale and Chicago and such will be extreme reaches and Maybe even because of me being intel and needing aid at the same time then i wont have that many safety schools... well thanks a lot all of your advice has really helped a great deal and it gives me a good starting point from which i could start looking at all my options. again thanks for you time and contributions.</p>

<p>"I was published in's book…. I don’t know if it’s a scam though"</p>

<p>It is...don't do it again.</p>

<p>elodie, and I didn't mean to be discouraging. I think that if you didn't need financial aid you'd get into any LAC in the US and most universities. Diversity is big right now and a Muslim student with your excellent qualifications and international background would be a big draw. You seem very articulate and should be successful contacting college admissions officers directly for more information. Do some research and come back with specific questions.</p>


<p>I second the recommendations of Occidental and Macalaster--they are both near/in interesting cities and offer decent aid for international students.</p>

<p>I would also recommend taking a look at the following:</p>

<p>Colgate (very isolated but excellent school with nice international aid)
Cornell (also isolated, but Ithaca is a great college town)
Lafayette (LAC, not too far from Philly and New York and good international aid)
Haverford (same as above)
Lake Forest (near Chicago, not as competitive as the others, but excellent aid)
University of Chicago
Tufts (great school, great location, great aid)</p>

<p>Obviously, for some of these schools, you would have to raise your SAT scores into the 1400s (or the 2200s I guess at this point).</p>

<p>Also, if you're a female, there are some excellent possibilities among the all-female schools, specifically Mount Holyoke (excellent aid and part of a 5 school consortium in Mass), Wellesley (near Boston) and Bryn Mawr (the "sister" school of Haverford).</p>