Indian Student aiming for Econ/Business


  • Gender: Male
  • Race/Ethnicity: Indian
  • Residence: India
  • Income Bracket: Upper Class
  • Type of School: Top 5 private school
  • Hooks: Full Pay International

Intended Major(s): Business/Econ

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.85/4.0 (Perfect Grades from 10-12th)
  • Class Rank: School does not rank
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1540 (800R | 740M)

Coursework IGCSE (9-10) IBDP Curriculum (11-12)
IGCSE: 6A*, 2A:
Math Extended, Economics, Business Management, English LitLang, Hindi, Physics.

IBDP Y1: 41/42

  • HLs: Economics, Business Management, Computer Science, Hindi

  • SLs: Math AA, English


  1. Conrad Semifinalist
  2. KWHS Regional Finalist
  3. International Education Certificate (Distinction) on Transcript
  4. Fellow at University


  1. Founded a Social Service targeting financial literacy in a niche sector with high impact and success. The service is funded by my stock market investments.
  2. Part of the biggest publication collaboration between the top 3 India Schools. Role: Senior Editor
  3. Internship at an International Mutual Fund. Researched and data crunched to provide analysis on a specific investment type. Research was vetted and proved as accurate and correct.
  4. Boy in Charge for the school investment club. Taught over 100+ students investment analysis and personal finance. Held multiple seminars.
  5. Worked on applications of nudge theory and economic biases on choice architecture and how real life applications can be utilized.
  6. Hosted a successful podcast on financial events and economic concepts. Received over 10,000 listens and was mildly successful.
  7. Attended the Wharton LBW Program
  8. TEDx talk on same topic as my social service.
  9. Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of School Finance Magazine.
  10. Second Internship at another smaller mutual fund company.
  11. Managed personal portfolio of Rs. 4,00,000. I started with 25,000 and grew it with internship stipend, dividend stocks and other ventures to a overall corpus of Rs. 4,00,000.


Essays: 9/10 Well written, and reviewed by a professional service
Recommendations: 10/10 Teachers knew exactly what to talk about

Cost Constraints / Budget

I am able to afford any school


  • Safety
    Not looking for any as I’m international, and would rather study locally if I get placed badly.

  • Match
    NYU Stern
    Berkeley Haas (Now 4 year)

  • Reach
    CMU Tepper
    Cornell Dyson
    UPenn Wharton

Please suggest a few more, I still have a year to go for admissions, so I am open to advice and help on changes I can make for my profile. Thanks for reading.

One suggestion would be to refine the match. Right now there is not much difference between match and reach in your list. Berkeley is not a direct admit to Haas.

Maybe consider villanova or boston and if interested they can be a more reasonable match.

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Isn’t Berkley’s Prog direct 4 year admit after the $30M donation? I’ll definitely look at Villanova and Boston though, thanks!

Are you taking a gap year? If yes, how are you spending your time?

I will be taking a gap year, working on my NPO, and mostly doing a job for some experience before college. I have some free time, so I was wondering what I could do to better my app otherwise…

As an international from a very well represented country IMO you should consider NYU - Stern and Berkeley - Haas (you need to apply to Haas after freshman year at UCB) as reach schools. IU - Kelley, WashU - Olin, USC - Marshall, UMichigan - Ross, Notre Dame - Mendoza are a few other top schools.

There are other fine colleges that you can consider. I’m not a big rankings person but you can go through this list and research other options as well.

If you would be equally happy studying economics (which is a very different course of study as compared to attending an undergraduate b-school) you can look into some of the excellent LACs as well.

Agree that you can apply to those US colleges you would love to attend knowing that you have good options in your home country.

FWIW being a full pay international from a well represented country is not a hook (although it is helpful that you won’t need aid).


Okay will do, I’ll research those schools and consider them for my list, thanks!

I would throw Kenan Flagler and Darden to the mix. Both great business schools. COA will be less than some privates.

Business and Economics are different degrees. Typically the Economics program is not part of the business school.

What area of business do you want to study? Finance? Marketing? Accounting?

What are your career interests? Investment Banking?

Do you want a small or large school? Warm or cold weather?

According to several news releases:

UC Berkeley will begin enrolling for its first four-year undergraduate business program starting 2024, the university announced Tuesday.

So starting with the Fall 2024, Freshman can apply directly to the Haas Business program.

UCB however will be a Reach regardless if you apply for Fall 2023 or Fall 2024.


Likewise, Stern has an admit rate of 7%. It’s not a match for anyone, even if your SAT scores are in the same range as those who are admitted. I think all the schools listed in the first post are reaches.

OP, can you be more specific about what you consider a “bad placement”?

1 Like

Thanks @Gumbymom

I think that is the $30M the OP is referring to.

Here is an article about the gift and expansion of Haas into 4-year undergraduate program.

Boston College (Carroll) or Boston University (Questrom)?

I’d say either /both are worth looking into.
Fordham’s Gabelli is probably worth a look too. OP should have a decent chance of admission there imo.

1 Like

Yes, that’s a good suggestion.

Perfect marks from 10th to 12th standard is a big accomplishment, so you should be proud. That will certainly be noticed.

Why not UChicago? One of the tops for Economics. Also MIT.

Have you thought about applying binding early decision or early action anywhere? That will help you the most. Especially being full pay.

UCB currently has direct admit business for some small special programs (MET and GMP). But most business majors are currently through competitive secondary admission.

The OP was referring to the new 4-year undergraduate program starting in August 2024. Not sure if they are expanding existing programs like GMP/MET/BSBA or creating a new one.

A non-paywall announcement is at Largest gift in Berkeley Haas history will transform undergraduate business program from two to four years | Haas News | Berkeley Haas

However, this direct frosh admission for general business majors (i.e. not the existing small special programs) begins for fall 2024 frosh, so this year’s applicants for fall 2023 will still be looking at the old method.