Hi i am an indian student who will be applying next year to Cornell ED for under grad, at thr college of engineering for a CS major
What are my chnaces?/How can i improve them?

SAT first attempt: 1310
SAT second attempt: 1430
class 10: 85.8%
class 11: 58.4%
class 12 expected: 92%


  1. Shanghai International Youth Science and Technology Expo held at Shanghai ; 70+
    teams from over 36 countries; fully sponsored by Chinese Government.
    Positions held:
    • First position for “Showcase of students’ scientific creation work”
    • Second position for “On spot bridge creation design using styrofoam
  1. Self-designed mobile application selected for IBM Sustainable Development Goals Hackathon (1M1B); among top 15 teams in India; awarded best app design and idea.: Project MediCab- a mobile application aimed at providing access of medicines to the rural population.
  2. Central Board of Secondary Education Science seminar; first position; theme: “A better India through Technology”
  3. Founder of Project R12: A youth project aimed at providing the 12 basic rights of a child to every child in India; also interned at CRY India’s biggest child rights association.

• First position Digex 2019, photography competition (interschool)
• First position Dynamix 2019, presentation on various computer viruses (interschool)
• Third position Snapshot 2019, photography competition
• First position at online parliamentary debate competition “Behes 2020”
• Part of three large theatrical productions directed by Stephen Marazzi :
a) Macbeth: dancer [2018]
b) Tughlaq: side cast [2019]
c) The Jungle Book: main cast (Baloo) [2019]
• Model UNs, achievements:

  8. Vice chairperson TAFS MUN 2019
  9. Vice Chairperson GDGWS MUN 2019
  10. Chairperson Athenian MUN 2020 (ONLINE)
  11. Chairperson GRC MUN 2020 (ONLINE)
  12. Vice chairperson NFC MUN 2020 (ONLINE)

• President of the school photography club for the session 2019-2020
• Founder/ President of school newspaper “Tag Tribune”
• Founder of Project R12: Ensuring the 12 basic rights of every child in India
• Vice president of Interact club for the session 2018-2019

Guessing you didn’t like the answers you got last week on your other thread…

  • Cornell is need-aware for international students (that is, your need for financial aid will be considered in the decision as to whether or not to offer you a place).
  • You will be competing with ambitious students from all over the world for one of ~300 (out of ~2200) international places. As you consider the other likely applicants from your school / town / region / country, do you think you are likely to stand out?
  • Your SAT puts you at the 25% mark for accepted students (ie, ~75% of admitted students have higher scores). Of course the SAT isn't everything, but it is an indicator.

If your goal is to only go to the US for college if you can get into a famous name, and you have other options (at home or in other countries) that you are happy with- by all means go for it.

If your goal is to go to the US no matter what, then (as @auntbea said in your other post), then imo you are better off looking for colleges where you will be enough of a star that they will gift you some/most/all of your college education (typically ones in the mid-west or south that you have not heard of).

Your SAT score needs to be 1500+ to be competitive for Cornell. They are test optional this cycle and I would not submit the score if you are below the 50th percentile.

And why CS in the college of engineering vs College of Arts and Sciences? IMO, your resume reads more of a match for CS in CAS than CoE with your MUN, dance, and photography activities.

True but my subjects in highschool were stem oriented (phy,chem and mathematics)

Financial aid isn’t my primary concern. Also, the very reason why i am submitting the SAT score is because i have low grades in 11th standard thus the sat will probably make up for it.
Also do let me know what more i could do in these 2 months to increase my chances of getting in through ED :slight_smile:

A high SAT score ( which you don’t have yet)does not make up for low grades at a college that is this competitive. Grades are what schools look at first.

Certainly apply but IMO you should spend your time crafting a college list with match and safety schools.

I am applying to all of these:
U Mass Amherst
University of Michigan
University of Wisconsin Madison
Georgia Tech
Purdue University
New York University
Penn State
University of California Berkely
University of Texas at Austin
University of Georgia
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
University of California San Diego
University of Washington

Also, why do you think i would be a better fit for cas than coe? I was aiming for coe due to the subjects that i had in hs (math,phy,chem)

All US students take math, physics, and chem in High School. That doesn’t make someone more of a fit for COE vs CAL. I highly suggest you do more research into the differences between COE and CAS at Cornell. Applicants applying ED need to be able to well articulate why they are a good fit for the college in which they are applying. Look at the 4 year plans of study. Read the mission and vision statement of each college. Look at what they are wanting from their applicants in terms of preparation. Cornell’s website has a ton of information and clues as to how to craft your application.

You have a list of primarily reach schools for CS/engineering. U Michigan, GT, UIUC, Austin, Washington, Purdue, and Berkley would be high reaches for an international student with your stats for your intended major. State schools in the US give preference to students who live in those states and the acceptance rates are much lower for OOS applicants, and 1/2 of that for international students. UT Austin for example is mandated to take 90% of their students from the state of TX. That leaves precious few slots for everyone else and is uber competitive. You also need to look at the CS acceptance rates vs the overall acceptance rate at most of these schools since most admit by college/major. For example, Purdue’s overall acceptance rate the year my D applied was something around 55%. For CS it was in the 20s. (Engineering her year was 37%).

There is no meaningful financial aid- need based or merit based- for an international student at any o the UCs- you will be full pay at $65K+/year.

Ime, it is binary: you are applying for financial aid or you are not. if you are not full pay, you need financial aid. For public (state) schools that means giving you aid ahead of some of their own local applicants- whose parents pay taxes to subsidize the university. So, you are most likely to get it from places where you would be enough of a star that they want to allocate some of their resources to you instead of the in-state student. I think admissions to CS at any of those schools will be tough for you (based on your stats & status) even without needing financial aid.

Also, the only private school on your list, I have seen NYU give soft rejections by accepting a student but not giving enough/any financial aid to make it possible (& btw you have to choose between CAS & CE there also).

what are some unis you would suggest for me, acc to my profile

What umass? isn’t it match for me?

UMass CS has a 25% acceptance rate (and again, as a public university, probably takes more applicants from in state):

IMO, schools like RPI and RIT may be more matches, especially if you are a full pay applicant.

If you do need aid, safeties will be in your home country.

I am primarily looking at big schools with a good startup culture/ community and not small colleges like rpi or rit

UMass explicitly gives no aid to international students. COA is ~$50K/pa.

In one of your other threads you say “ I would be applying for merit scholarship and aid as well”.

That 11th year grade is going to hurt, no getting around that, and your SAT is decent but for these schools, no standout. Almost all those schools are reaches in general, for internationals, aid-wise, or all of the above, and to be perfectly blunt I think you will almost certainly be disappointed at all of them. If you want a big school that is more forgiving of a noticeable dip in grades and maybe will even give you some funding, I have seen some positive posts (by Indian students) of admission to Ohio State with funding (for top students, even generous funding). Some other “lesser known” publics than the flagships on your list might do the same.

You may also want to consider either doing undergrad in India and applying to the US for grad school, or considering universities in the UK where you will have a pretty good idea going in (the debacle of this year notwithstanding) whether your grades will gain you admittance to a particular uni or not.