how do I do it?

<p>Hi, I have a question about how to approach schools. My son has a medium SAT, just the national average, and we need lots of financial aid. He won't be able to get in to need blind schools. </p>

<p>Can I contact some schools right away and ask them to see if because of his other STATS he might be a good candidate for acceptance and aid?</p>

<p>Should it be done by phone or in writing? I am sure he would nail an interview. Should we visit campuses directly?</p>

<p>Thanks</p>

<p>I don't think that you should get involved to the point of callling /writitng stating what a great student your son is. Instead maybe you whould widen your need as there are many schools that he can get into and investigate those schools.</p>

<p>If the SAT'sccores are your biggest worry, then you should look at <a href="http://www.fairtest.org%5B/url%5D"&gt;www.fairtest.org&lt;/a> for the list of SAT optional school . I don't know what his GPA ?EC's look like but if they are stellar, he could get in to some great schools</p>

<p>Bowdoin is now sat optional, need blind for first year students and states that they are commited to meeting demonstrated need. there are also 2 rounds of ED with ED2 on Jan 1 same as RD deadline.</p>

<p>Other sources for schools are Loren Pope's Colleges that change lives and Beyond the Ivy League.</p>

<p>All the best</p>

<p>Thanks. You really think that phone calls are not called for?</p>

<p>I didn't mean I was going to brag about him (not too much to brag about) but just that I need to understand how they view special circumstances (read further).</p>

<p>He is thinking of Rider U (NJ), Robert Stockton (NJ), and few reaches like Clark or Franklin Marshall.</p>

<p>We live out of the country and although he is an American citizen he has never gone to school in English so we were told he would be examined in a different pool than other applicants.</p>

<p>I somehow need to verify if this is true and don't know how to do it!! Otherwise, he will just go to school in the country we live in.
Thanks</p>

<p>Has your son taken the ACT? If not, please have him try it. It's a very different kind of test, and he may score signifcantly higher on it than he did on the SAT. And most colleges will take either one.</p>

<p>I agree that the ACT would be an excellent choice - if he does really well in classwork, he would likely score higher than on the SAT.</p>

<p>"Nailing the interview" won't really help because the interview counts less than anything else. </p>

<p>You mention his other stats - can you tell us what they are? If they are truly spectacular Bowdoin could be a possibility, but otherwise no - it is one of the top ten LACs in the US, and one of the most selective schools in the country.</p>

<p>nobody special - we had a unique situation which we needed to know how they would view and had great success emailing admissions questions at the address shown on the website. I believe you will find as we did that he is a domestic student for financial aid purposes but in the international pool for competitive admissions. (I think he may have to take the TOEFL exam if his school's language wasn't English for some colleges, others just if English isn't the family's first language.) What they won't want to talk about are his chances with the scores and grades he has because they want him to apply before they evaluate, so you have to check the school's average test scores and GPAs for that information and take your chances. Tou might want to check out the "expatriot games" thread (and the thread it started from on the old forum) Good luck.</p>

<p>You can ask how an American student who has gone to school abroad will be treated in the admission and financial aid pool, and you will be given a general answer. I strongly suspect, however, that nobody will be willing to even say whether a specific applicant is a likely candidate for admission let alone for aid. You may be given some pablum about everyone having a chance, which you should not rely on to make decisions.
If your son has not attended American schools, his SAT will be considered somewhat differently. His SAT verbal may be acceptable even though lower than the norm for American applicants, but his SAT Math should be in line or higher than the norm. A combined SAT that is only at the national average is cause for concern. How are his grades? What kind of courses has he taken?</p>

<p>I don't understand why average SATs for a person who has never had an opportunity to go to school in English should be cause for concern. It seems amazing to me!
He obtained similar scores to kids who have gone to school in English their whole lives? How is this not good?
RE: math seems related to English to me. if you don't know what the word "integer" is how can you get a good math score? ALso they teach math differently...
He is of course planning to retake and to study...</p>

<p>Either I am clueless or his case is too unusual for other people to understand. In any case , your feedback is valuable information. Keep it coming!! Thank you.</p>

<p>Thanks, but this is exactly my question. I was told he would not be in the pool for international admissions because he didn't go to a private bilingual or international school, which 80 per cent of international applicants come from. Many also come from English speaking countries.</p>

<p>I think I must contact the offices directly.
Thanks for the info... I REALLY Appreciate the feedback. Anything more would be welcome.</p>

<p>thanks for the expatriot thread... I will try it. but again my experience has shown that most expats are able to afford private bilingual schools. Thanks</p>

<p>Hi, just wondering about your experience. Are you in the UK? Then English is his only language? Can you tell me more?</p>

<p>Many thanks</p>

<p>Dear Special ('Nobody Special' is not in keeping with CC traditions!!);</p>

<p>Is your son a junior or senior? If he is a junior, you must order a copy of the 10 Real SATs and have your S practice the tests unitl he raises his score.</p>

<p>Hint: Don't assume the test scores are a means of keeping average students out of good schools. Look at them as a means of grouping students with similar abilities. there are heaps of good schools where the students have 'average' SAT scores. Many of them welcome international students.</p>

<p>Also, you are wrong to assume that the students who post on the international board are wealthy. Many of them do not go to bilingual schools and are not at all wealthy. There are a number of threads listing schools that are generous with aid.</p>

<p>Stay positive!</p>

<p>The easiest and best way would be for your son (not you, though of course you're very interested) to contact the schools' admission and financial aid offices by e-mail. He should describe his background and his financial need.</p>

<p>His best chances of excellent need-based and/or merit aid will be from generous schools where his stats put him in the top 1/4 of applicants. Since your son's SATs are around 1050, I suggest that he consider schools ranked in the 3rd tier of ratings such as those by US News and other sources.</p>

<p>Nobody special - yes, we are in the UK and English is our only language. I can't remember which of the multitude of application forms that I have looked at recently said the TOEFL was required, but I know at least one of them asked if school was taught in English. I would email questions directly to admissions at each school you are looking at unless you can visit, which might be even better. Make it VERY clear that your S is a US citizen, has attended a STATE school which teaches in whatever language, and you need financial aid. They will not give you an answer for financial aid or admissions directly, but they will either encourage or discourage in our experience. They would probably tell you how his app will be considered,for example in what pool. Many apps seem to have a space for "is there anything else you would like us to know" which gives you a chance to explain the special circumstances and sometimes you can establish contact with the person who will deal with the app right through the admission process. The trick seems to be finding the school that happens to want the diversity your S would bring to their campus. Like you, I do not understand why internationals are held to a higher standard on SAT math when it is taught so differently, except that as you say, many expat kids go to private American or international schools abroad which more closely mimic the American way of teaching. You are not alone, however. Read the 2 posts above carefully because these posters are knowledgeable about the US system. I'm still learning. I'm afraid I don't know any of the schools you mentioned; I'm from the west coast. My experience is that the whole process is made much more difficult by living out of the country for a myriad of reasons, but I agree: don't give up!</p>

<p>I think it's very important to be realistic about schools for your son. His having an average SAT scores and not that good English skills indicate that he would not be able to handle the extensive reading and writing that the very top colleges require. This includes places like Bowdoin, which, though SAT optional, still is very rigorous.</p>

<p>It's important to realize that internationals who go to top US colleges have very high SAT scores. I am an alumni interviewer for an Ivy, and have immigrant students who came to the US when they were in middle school, barely speaking English, who got SAT verbal scores of 700 and above. Their math scores were even higher. Despite such scores, however, even such foreignstudents are not guaranteed admission to top US universities.</p>

<p>As you are considering your son's college choices, also take into account transportation issues. He will have a long distance to come home for holidays, etc. If he is in the middle of nowhere, it also may take him 2 days to make the journey home and that might included overnighting in a hotel. Of course, the fare also will be high.</p>

<p>Weather factors also should be taken into account. A snowstorm that causes a simple delay of flight for a student who is going just a short distance could cause major disruption, including having to buy a new plane ticket, for a student who missed a connecting flight abroad.</p>

<p>For that reason, you might want to look at colleges that are in or near major East Coast cities.</p>

<p>Thanks. Yes, he is interested in Rider U, Clark U, Richard Stockton, Franklin and Marshall. Easy to get to from New York.</p>

<p>Thanks for clueing me in to how competitive it is. I went to Oberlin and then U of Chicago for grad school and don't remember it all being so hard! cheers.</p>

<p>The below info is from 2003 "US News America's Best Colleges"</p>

<p>Franklin & Marshall: 25%-75th percentile SAT: 1170-1370. SAT scores seem out of your son's league. It has over the past few years become far more competitive than it was when we were young. Is it really easy to get to from NY if there's a snow storm? </p>

<p>Rider: 25th-75th percentile: 930-1130. 23% of undergraduates have 100% of their need met. 82% of all undergrads applied for aid. Son's scores seem competitive. If they really want him, they might be willing to pay what you need.</p>

<p>Richard Stockton: 25th-75th SAT: 1010-1180. S's SATs might be low for strong consideration for aid. 74% of undergrads apply for aid, on average, those receiving aid get 68% of their need met.</p>

<p>Clark: 25th-75th: 1060-1270. 50% of undergrads applied for financial aid. 45% of undergrads got financial aid. those receiving aid have 84% of need fully met. His SAT scdores are in their bottom 25, so I don't think he'd be seen as a priority for aid unless Clark wants him for the diversity he'd bring.</p>

<p>Since finances are so important, I think that your son should be looking at some more schools where he would be in the top 25% of their applicants.</p>

<p>Dear Northstarmom,</p>

<p>Thank you so much for your complete reply. I have thought carefully about everything you have said and understand your experience with interviews, but somehow still feel that our particular unique situation is still being misunderstood, and I am basing this on what has been told to us by admissions people at Brown and Oberlin (NB not schools he is considering, we just know people there). </p>

<p>First, I think that you might not be familar with the French system. If you can graduate from a French public high school, you automatically have the intellectual level to attend US college as they do college level work in many subjects such as economics and philosphy as Juniors and Seniors. They have been studying 2 foreign languages and physics since 12 years old. Just to compare, I had to go home for a few months to California to take care of my mother who was ill and my son got straight A's in a US school for those 3 months !</p>

<p>I have read from many sources that the French Bac is equal to US high school plus one year of US college.</p>

<p>The only problem is translating this intellectual potential into English if you have never studied in English. Most international applicants have had schooling in English so it doesn't seem fair to put these kids in the same pool. But maybe you're right and the schools don't care where they went to school jsut the scores. We are going to have to find out.</p>

<p>Translating his potential into those standarized tests is the issue for my son, and probably he will simply have to work harder on improving his scores. He is only 16, so has some time. Perhaps he should go to a junior college for one semester and then retake the SAT's when his English is better. But I imagine those classes will not be intellectually challenging to him. </p>

<p>In any case, all your points are well taken. He has read all these comments and I am going to let him take it from here....probably he just has to contact the schools to see if they understand his situation. </p>

<p>May I summarize your main point and please correct me if I am wrong? Scores are the most important factor for schools in terms of getting aid regardless of where a child went to high school and this is where he should put his energy. Thanks again for your time and effort. It has been very very helpful.</p>

<p>If your son got As in a US school for 3 months, language isn't the issue - maybe it is the format of the standardized tests. If your son got those scores having taken the tests blind, with no prep, I would guess he simply needs to gain familiarity with the testing. This is easy enough to do (if he is motivated) by practising via the 10 Real SATs . </p>

<p>I absolutely understand what you are saying about the different level of the French Bac - my daughter has just started the lower sixth in a UK school and some of her studies are more advanced than anything I did in the first two years at at my US ivy college. I do think it is advisable to try and estabalish direct contact with someone in the admissions offices - unlike USmominuk though I haven't had much luck via the email route. _Perhaps your friends in the Brown and Oberlin admissions offices can advise. </p>

<p>Another idea: even if the schools he's interested in don't require the SAT IIs, he should consider taking them - presumably he would get a perfect/near perfect score in the French and physics tests.</p>

<p>nobody special - I think you have the right understanding: unless you can find the rare admissions person who understands the difference in education systems test scores are everything. Our situation is very similar to yours, but D is out of time and will only take SAT IIs, refusing to re-take the SAT I for several good reasons. Like your son, if she loses out on admissions or scholarships because of the test scores, she will have to go to college in the UK. Here she is considered a high flier (doing 5 math and science Alevels and getting As) who should get into Cambridge and in the US her test scores are considered mediocre. We are casting a wide net and hoping we find someone who understands. The luck I had through the email route was with telling us exactly how to explain my D's unusual situation and to whom, and not all of them want to know. Nobody so far has offered to deemphasize test scores, but anyone who is familiar with British A levels will see As at A/S level in a state school and know she's academically very good. In D's experience, the 10 real SATs book helps, but doesn't totally overcome the differences of a non-US education and lack of expensive SAT prep classes, but it's definitely worth a try.</p>