International Student Help!

Hello, Im an international student considering applying to the US but I am a little bit confused. Can somebody give me wise advice?

International Student
GPA 3.8/4
Class Rank 2/200

Won a national mathematics olymapid (golden medal)
And was qualified to international level but that was cancelled due to Covid 19

I have great essays, and major concentrated ecs.

I did not have the chance to take the ACT or SAT due to test center closures

Do you think that I can apply somewhere in the US with 5,000$ EFC and get a financial aid.
If so, where do you think and what college should I consider as an ED choice? Thank you!!! :slight_smile:

What country? That also matters. Your basic resume looks fine but places for internationals at financially generous schools is usually very limited. ED is not a good idea unless you know you can afford the college - again funding for internationals is almost always limited except at the most competitive schools so no one can say you will get enough. Moreover, most ED applications are due in about a week and if you have not even decided where to apply yet it will be challenging to pull together a competitive application in that time. Probably better for you to take more time to think about it properly and apply RD.

I had already chosen Carleton College or Bucknell University.
But the idea that I am applying as a test optional is a bit confusing for me. I prepared enough for the SAT but I did not have the chance even to take it.

I was preparing for applying from 2 years ago so I have a good background.

Are you an International applicant with US citizenship? EFC is a FASFA term and you would not be eligible for Federal aid as an International non-US resident applicant.

I would assume that you are just stating that your college budget is $5000/year?

You are asking almost for a full ride which there are a few colleges and scholarships that would be able to offer that amount, even for US applicants.

Have you visited an Education USA office near you which could help you determine where students of your caliber have been successful in getting good financial aid for US colleges?


No I am international student with Egyptian Nationality. By mentioning EducationUSA, I am a member at The Competitive College Club at EducationUSA Egypt.

Egypt is probably a slight tip - I don’t think it’s one of the over-represented international countries. That said…

Carleton seems to emphasize its limited financial aid to internationals, as well as the fact that they only admit “a few exceptionally qualified” students during ED. It doesn’t seem to me from their page that there is much benefit in applying as an international to ED unless you are clearly among the top of the pile internationally - they say most internationals are deferred and most international funding awarded during RD

As for Bucknell, wow, I did not realize it was so expensive, at a shade under $80k a year. They also say scholarships for internationals are “limited and competitive”.

From the above and taking into account both are need aware for internationals in admissions, It seems really uncertain to me that you will have any comfort in getting enough financial aid from either of them. You can always try of course - but be realistic that the combination of factors makes them reaches. It’s unfortunate that many top students from developing countries simply don’t get the funding they need to attend college in the US, even if they have grades/scores that will give them admission to a number of schools.

The advisors at your EducationUSA office are going to be much more helpful than any of us can be. They know exactly where students like you have been accepted in recent years and whether or not those students received the kind of financial aid that they needed.