Chances for an international student, please :)

Hey! Please read till the end
I am an international student applying ED to Bucknell this fall and I am scared that my stats will not be enough.
I am a gap year student. I took the gap year because we don’t have biomedical engineering schools in my country, I got 2 scholarships in 2 prestigious universities in my country but I refused them because I want biomedical engineering. My counselor mentioned it in the recommendation letter and told me that this will be a positive point in my application.

Stats: GPA 4 unweighted (Very tough curriculum; took all science classes and did well on them
ACT: 27 but 99th percentile in science and math (My counselor also explained why my score is not very good) It is the only negative thing in my application

Rank 1/100
published a research paper
worked on a lot of researches in a local university in my city
worked on 5 engineering projects
did very well on science fairs (ISEF) and physics olympiad and have a lot of national awards
blogger (a science blog)
very impressive ECs and RLs
very creative essays
work experience (paid work) to get the cost of the ACT exam

I am not Asian. I know someone who got with a 28 ACT and has a weaker application than mine

I need a HUGE amount of financial aid.

Should I apply? or I am just dreaming and I am not gonna make it?

also I have 100 on TOEFL

I don’t chance but recognize that:

  1. In the common data set (google “Bucknell common data set”) Bucknell says standardized tests are “very important” in the admissions process. Your scores are below the 25th percentile.
  2. Admission for all internationals needing significant aid is very tough.
  3. It is fine to give it a try.

Personally I would have grabbed one of the scholarships to a “prestigious university” in your home country even if it wasn’t for the exact specialty you want to pursue.

@happy1 should I look for a lower university? I am considering Trinity College
Should I take the risk and apply to Buckell? Or it is better to apply for Trinity? Btw, I applied for Trinity last year and I got waitlisted in the regular, so applying with a better application ED can be a good boost for my application. Also, they are very very generous compared to Bucknell. what should I do? As I said above, I know 2 people from my country got into Bucknell with only 28 ACT

I wish you luck but you have to decide these things for yourself.

Stick with Bucknell ED but realize that the two people who got in with a 28 may have had a greater budget than yours - for internationals, it’s also a matter of how much financial aid they need, because the college may not have enough money.
What else is on your list?

@MYOS1634 both of them got there with roughly full financial aid. They pay very little amount (2k to 5k $) and I sure from that
I have Trinity College. I applied last year there and I got waitlisted. I guess my chances are good there If I apply again ED with a better application.

I am thinking of Bucknell and Trinity but don’t know which one to put on ED1. They both are elite places and I guess that they have a great reputation in the US, but Bucknell is stronger in engineering and science. This is why I am so confused and don’t know what to do. Bucknell is stronger in STEM but harder to get in. Trinity is good but not as good as Bucknell while it is much easier to get in and very generous college


Bucknell is a better bet.
Many internationals whom Trinity admits even though they need a lot of aid are athletes.
You weren’t wait listed because your academics were lacking (you’d have been denied), but because you needed too much financial aid.
At most US universities that are need aware/meet need for internationals, the WL for international students is what the admit/deny letter is for American citizens.
BTW, others may contradict me, but Amherst is better for the sciences (especially CS) than Bucknell. Bucknell DOES have Engineering which Amherst doesn’t have.

You are true. I was applying in the regular admission pool. So it was very competitive. They surely admitted students with lower needs. But applying this year ED with a better application can be boost my chances.
I am not considering Amherst since it is very competitive and I think my chances are 0 there since it is one of the hardest colleges to get in.
Should I go with Trinity or Bucknell in ED1?
Chances at Trinity with ED2 are high, but with ED1 are MUCH HIGHER, HIGHER since ED1 is not very competitive
I am a played 3 sports btw so I think being athlete is not the determining factor

I want biomedical engineering which both Trinity and Bucknell have
But the problem is the certificate of trinty has only ABET accredeition in general engineering and students can decide to go general or take a concentration in computer/mechanical/electrical/biomedical but the certificate is in general and the concentration is written
Bucknell, however, has ABET accredeition in each department there and is a bit stronger in engineering
I want to continue for a master degree after graduation and I don’t know which one of them to choose, and I don’t know which one of them is better for the job market
I want to be immersed in a STEM environment

Bucknell is a better choice.
If you’re a three sport athlete did you contact the coaches to see if they’d support your application?(if not, being a non recruited athlete changes nothing).
If you’re recruited for a sport+ED1+ your excellent stats Bucknell becomes much much more likely.

@MYOS1634 I didn’t contact any of the coaches before. How can I find them? What to tell them? If I didn’t consider athletics during my application, Should I still with Bucknell? @MYOS1634

Go to the college’s website. Look for the heading ‘arhletixs’ or ‘campus life’. Click on each sport (men’s sports). Find the contacts for the assistant coach. Email, including your sat score, class rank, position you play, all athletic honors and competitions won with your team. Finish by saying Bucknell is your first choice and you’d like to know whether the coach may have a need for an athlete such as you for his team. (+: Thank you. Sincerely, signature.)

@MYOS1634 I have emailed Trinity’s team captain but received no answer yet. I will be waiting but I am still confused and don’t know which one to choose for ED1. The harder but more elite (Bucknell)or the easier but the less elite(Trinity)
Trinity is great and has its reputation but Bucknell is stronger in STEM. Bucknell is a risk and I don’t know whether to take it or not. Your advice?


Why did you email the team captain!!! Why in the world did you do that when it was spelled out above the ASSISTANT COACH!!!
Anyway… Email the assistant coach at BOTH COLLEGES in ALL sports you’re competitive in using the exact format above.

sorry I meant the assistant coach. They just mean the same thing in my language. @MYOS1634

Ok. Team captain = a student. Assistant coach = professional in charge of the team.

I would contact the head coaches. Always. If you want to also contact assistants, that’s ok, just know that in some college sports assistant coaches aren’t decision makers or even paid.