Please clarify my confusion

Hello, I am an international Student from Africa applying to the US this year. I have 1340 SATs with a 4.0 GPA and several honors and distinctions.

My primary interest in engineering and my second interest is medicine.

In schools with engineering, I will apply for the engineering programs but with liberal art colleges, with financial aid, there is no engineering. So in those schools, I was considering being a pre-med student. and after I finish my pre-med. and I take Astrophysics for a pre-med major and by the time I finish college if I lost my interest to become a doctor will the degree I earned make me eligible to be a formal Astro-physicist? is there a chance for full aid to be a doctor in the USA as in undergraduate? I am just stressed if there will be a narrow chance for international students to get aid to become a doctor. I hope you answer the questions. Thanks :slight_smile:

You really need to research each college you are interested in specifically as to their financial aid policy. There are 2 components:

  1. Is the school need blind or need aware for international students? There are very few schools that are need blind for internationals. Need blind means they will consider your application without regard to your ability to pay. Need aware means that it could be a factor.
  2. Does the school meet full need for admitted internationals? This means if you are accepted, the school will meet 100% of need as they calculate. There are very very few schools that are both need blind and 100% need met for internationals.

If you graduate with an Astrophysics major, it just means you have either a BA or a BS. There is no special certification/license. People pursuing a career in Astrophysics most likely go on to complete a PhD.

The cost for an MD in the US is as much if not greater than for an undergrad degree.

Finally, I would add that if you are set on US schools, you might want to include some less selective schools than those on your list. For the least competitive school on your list, Colgate, a 1340 puts you at the 25th percentile. Competition at selective schools is even greater for internationals than US students.

Adding to the above, the chances of international admissions to a US med school are between slim and none. The few internationals accepted are mostly Canadian

And there. Is no such thing as full aid for anybody to med school. If you don’t have the cash on hand, it is funded almost entirely by loans.

@WayOutWestMom can help with the medical school questions. My understanding is that all medical schools combined admit only about 25 international students each year.

Your plan is extremely ambitious, and full of what are very, very far-fetched long shots. For one thing, your odds of even getting accepted as an international student at the universities you tagged are about 1%. Your odds of getting a full scholarship are less than that. Harvard is need blind and meets full need, but it is about as competitive as it gets in terms of college admissions. Emory is need blind, but won’t meet full need for international students. A 1340 is extremely low for many engineering programs, although you can apply test optional this year.

There is no such thing as a “pre-med major”. Biology is common, but not necessary. You must take (and do excellent in) the undergrad classes that medical schools require and then you take the MCAT exam. You can major in anything while doing so. However, given that engineering has a fairly long list of requirements, doesn’t overlap all that much with the med requirements, and doesn’t leave room for many electives, it is not realistic to major in engineering AND fit in your med school requirements in four years. It can be done with additional semesters of undergrad, but your scholarship certainly won’t pay for that, nor, if you plan on med school, would you want to spend more years in undergrad than you have to. Also, a 3.0 is a good grade for engineering classes, but terrible if one plans to apply to medical school.

I don’t know of many jobs for astrophysicists that don’t require citizenship and a security clearance, but you might be able to find something in your own country (teaching, working for private company, etc.).

@Groundwork2022 I woul apply with no SAT but that would make the situation almost impossible since the admission counselors won’t value my GPA. In our country, we are though AP class contents but are not officially termed as AP. So won’t applying without SAT be bad if not worse?

Very true that there is VERY limited to no-aid-at-all, for international students to become physicians. The money would have to come from somewhere and with Corona virus, the schools have lost a lot of money.
Yes, the US university systems can be confusing.

As an undergraduate student, you would be taking courses for a bachelor’s degree and you might be able to get into a university that would fund you. The Liberal Arts colleges wont have the sciences that you need for astrophysics, so you would have to transfer to another university. International transfer students get very little financial aid.

You cannot become a doctor with just an undergraduate degree. Most students take a year off to complete their community experiences and to study more for the MCATs.

Once a student is done with his/her undergraduate degree, they are expected to return to their home country because there would not be a good chance of getting into medical school and paying $300K for the program.

If you are an international student, your chances of getting full aid, anywhere, are extremely limited.

If a student gets accepted into medical school, the parents pay the fees and costs. There are no “grants” for medical school. Most students attempt to get loans. Since you are not a citizen, you wouldn’t qualify for loans from the US government.

Your best chances for your goals would be at the schools in your country.

The situation is already “almost impossible”. The schools where a 1340 is the 50th percentile, where your chances of getting accepted are higher, are not in a position to offer more than a token amount of financial aid, much less a full scholarship. That’s the dilemma that all international students face.

If your teachers and guidance counselor will write in their letters of recommendation that you took the highest level classes your high school offers, then the colleges will not penalize you for not having AP classes.

And I believe you’re thinking of this in the wrong way. Those colleges will expect some familiarity with engineeering, to be a competitive applicant. Because of the high level of class peers at those colleges, the work might be crushing. Those scores don’t match other applicants.

You do not need the crazy competitive world of those colleges, to get to a med school program, somewhere. At those, they tend to “weed out” all but a much smaller number of students they will recommend for med school.

You’d be better off at a smaller college where they offer the support and encouragement- one of those that does offer financial aid.

As for astrophysics- it sounds alluring. The reality is, again, you need the right background. Pick a college where you can thrive in their real environment (not just their reputation or ranking.) You can always take side courses at a local U or get started via some of the online (often free) courses, then build at the right pace.

You need more than ideas or hopes. You need a reasonable, feasible path to get there.