Chance me. BU, Tufts, WashU, UChicago, Harvard, UofMiami, Vanderbilt, UofRochester, Fordham, Northwestern

please let me know if I have any chance of getting into any of the colleges listed above.
I’m an international student studying the A-Level curriculum.
→ I have a 4.0/4.0 UW GPA
→ I come #35 out of 950 students at my high school
→ Have taken the SAT twice got a 1220 then a 1360. Both scores are terrible. The second score was heavily impacted due to Covid. Please let me know If I should submit these or not. (only submitted to UofMiami and Fordham)
→ Predicted 3A* at A-Level (Mathematics, Econ, Business)
→ Wasn’t allowed to partake in extracurriculars due to some reasons but tries my best to pursue those things which I’m interested in. I know they are extremely unorthodox and probably have no weightage in the eyes of the admissions officers.

  1. Started my own Charity (Unofficial- Doesn’t have a name and isn’t registered yet)
  2. Became a self-taught forex and stocks trader and also teach trading- to help my father financially and to pay for the charity.
  3. took care of my grandparents on a regular basis.
  4. tutored my younger cousin
  5. was the captain of 3 business competitions
  6. Am an unofficial fitness trainer and nutritionist
  7. Am a micro Instagram influencer- make my own content/earn some money too.
  8. Miscellaneous activities/hobbies- participated in a couple of badminton tournaments at my club, frequently paint/draw, etc
    → I also faced certain extenuating circumstances because of which I got mediocre O-Level results and because of which I was also not allowed to participate in ECAs.
    → Will require financial aid


You have a shot at fordham, Umiama and mabye one or two more, a lot of the t20’s are gonna be tough I think but what do I know

I’ve heard most of the admissions are random in most top US unis. Is this true? I really appreciate your reply.

Fordham. Perhaps Rochester or Miami. Perhaps. Not likely

Your need for financial aid may impact your chances more than anything else. You should research how the schools you’re interested in handle financial aid for international applicants.

As far as “random” admissions it may appear that way because US schools look at more than just grades, GPA and test scores. Those are generally the first hurdle the applicant must meet and then the rest of the application is considered because US schools build classes composed of individuals that bring various interests, skills and perspectives. It’s not just about the numbers which is how many if not most non-US schools make their admissions decisions.

I actually think you have some great activities, but not sure you portrayed them well enough based upon your comments. Your grades and rank are impressive. If i were applying, I would not have sent your scores, anywhere, because they dampen your profile (relative to your academics) IMO. Maybe Fordham, but I think no.

Given that you sent scores to Miami and Fordham, I think you will go 1 for 2 (likely Fordham). I also think you will go 1 for 2 at BU and Rochester - again, I would not send scores. The rest of your list will likely not happen. What are your European options, if any?

Thank you so much for replying. Not interested in Europe that much. I’ve heard they don’t give scholarships or aid to international students.

I really like UofMiami and on this website, I saw some people with fewer scores than me get in, so I hope I get into sweat_smile: I am close to or above Miami’s average SAT. Hoping for the best!

I wouldn’t have submitted any test scores, but agree that the degree of fin aid will likely be the determining factor at many of these schools. Fordham is most likely admit, but probably won’t come close to meeting your need.

What is your budget? Home country? Do you have an affordable option either in your home country, or elsewhere?

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i do have an option in my home country. The university is called LUMS. They charge $15000 per year too, which i thought is too much considering its a local uni. I believe my parents can contribute around $12-20k per year, and i was planning on earning some money through a job as well.

It’s great to have LUMS as an option. @myos1634 do you have any suggestions?

Yes that’s true, but I don’t look forward to it so much. I’ve lived my whole life abroad and couldn’t ever settle in Pakistan. My number one goal was to move abroad again since I don’t like Pakistan at all. I wanted to go to the US and start my business.

Don’t expect to be able to work other than at a work-study job, because it is illegal to work on a student visa in the US. You would be jeopardizing your student visa status in the US, and risk deportation.

That is not true. International students can and do work while studying in the US. There are restrictions, but many colleges are facile at working thru these issues.

I would really appreciate it if you could explain to me the guidelines international students should follow if they work in the US with a student visa. I read somewhere that 20 hours are allowed, but on another website it said 40 hours are allowed. I’m really confused? also what type of jobs can intl students do? are jobs like being an apple sales employee, working at a restaurant, or any of the related jobs allowed?

I am not an expert in this, but encourage you to read the USCIS link above and the following OPT one, and any USCIS pages that may make sense…when I read thru those, things seem pretty straightforward.

Some companies (don’t know if Apple does) do have OPT approval, but you will have to work with the international office of the school you end up attending to figure things out. I think if you work OPT during school, those hours count against your total allowable OPT time as a graduate. Unless you have a path to citizenship/permanent residency, you can not plan on staying in the US to work after your OPT time is up. There are always exceptions, but those are hard to come by.

Another option is to work for cash as a babysitter or tutor. Technically not allowed, but many international students do that.

Will have a talk with my admissions counselor about this. Thank you so much though. You’re probably the most responsive and kind person I’ve met on CC. Really appreciate the help!

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Thanks for the kind words. I am rooting for you. I understand wanting to leave your home country to study, but if things don’t work out in the US for undergrad, perhaps you can attend grad school in the US. There is definitely a network of Pakistanis in the corporate and start-up worlds in the US, so try to make some connections that way too. Good luck and keep us updated.

Your SAT will hurt you but luckily many schools are test optional. Don’t submit those scores.

ii submitted it to UofMiami and Fordham already. although I’ve seen people with lower SAt scores on this website get into UofMiami with a lower GPA than me as well.