Pls Chance an Israeli Immigrant

I think you need safeties you would be happy to attend. Have you been accepted anywhere so far? I know it’s still early.

You should talk to your school advisor and see what the history is with the school and the college. Do they normally sent 20 kids to Cornell or 1? What were their stats when accepted? That would be a better approach.

BTW - I met my wife at a bbyo dance when I was 18. Been married for 33 years… :bride_with_veil:

Not yet, but since Pitt and Temple are rolling admissions I expect to hear from them any day now since I submitted my application on December 1. I never thought about asking my school advisor. I will do that. Thank you. Also, that is awesome. I love BBYO but we have to do virtual programming now and it is not fun. Thank you so much!

Yeah, I believe you are correct. Thank you so much.

First of all, how was your English when you arrived? Even if you were the child of Anglos, unless you did a lot of reading and writing in English at home with a tutor or with a parent’s guidance, your English would normally have been weak upon arrival from Israel before high school. So I think that you could somehow convey this in your application - it would explain your not having gone straight into the highest honors courses. Second - where are your safeties? You should be applying to Penn State main campus, maybe a branch too in case you need to do two years at a branch. Penn State has good engineering, although I don’t know about bioengineering. I don’t know if RPI got back to you yet, but I think you have a chance. BTW, RPI will negotiate financial aid. I think you’ll get into Temple, U Pitt, maybe SUNY Binghamton, . I don’t think that you have a chance at all the highly competitive schools you’ve applied for. Your extracurriculars don’t help (although I think they were probably a very good thing for you, because they helped with adjustment to the US). The two activities that made me want to hear more, were the math tutoring for Keystones, and the app project.

Are your parents ready and able to pay over 70K/yr for school? If you would qualify for fin aid if you had a green card, might it not make sense to somehow do a gap year, so that you’d qualify for aid, since you expect that you’ll have the green card in time for that?

Not only that, but having a green card in hand would mean OP is treated as a domestic rather than international applicant which also significantly increases chances of acceptance at most schools. Of course leaving the applications as is and taking a gap year only if the outcome is disappointing is also an option.

This may be worth a read; I think it was one of the most captivating posts of the past 2 admission cycles. It was a roller coaster ride through his green card
and admissions process, with a happy ending. Slightly different as he was hunting merit as a pre-med, but there was some good advice throughout the 2 years.

@SJ2727 @ucbalumnus
I have been considering taking a gap year. I think I am going to see where I get in this year and decide if I want to reapply next year. If I am happy with where I get in I may or may not defer my acceptance depending on how much I have to pay. If I defer my acceptance and then I have a green card before I start attending, I will reapply for aid and hopefully get a much better aid package then I will initially.

On the other hand, if I do not get in where I would be happy. I will probably take a gap year and reapply the next year. If this is what ends up happening (which is probably what is going to happen if I’m being realistic) do you think that I will be a competitive applicant to these top schools as a domestic applicant? This is assuming I have the same application, even though I will probably have gotten a job, internship, research, work on my business ideas more thoroughly (making my application stronger).

@parentologist @Knowsstuff


Good luck! Let us know how you make out

So …here’s the thing, yes you are competitive (especially would be as a domestic applicant), but so are many people who apply to these colleges with limited space. You just have to browse the last week or two on these forums to see many very qualified and competitive applicants who still got rejected or deferred. I think your list is reach heavy, but if you get an admit that is affordable and you are happy to attend (would Pitt or Temple be one?) then being reach heavy is ok. If you are disappointed and take a gap year then bear in mind (1) spend it doing something to strengthen your application- you seem to be planning this already. I am not sure what visa you are on, but be careful that until you get a green card you may not be able to work at the type of jobs/internships you potentially have in mind - some dependent visas allow work but most don’t (2) you cannot (usually) defer a safety and intend to apply elsewhere so if you take a gap year then it has to be knowing that (3) applying to these highly competitive schools might mean you still have a disappointing outcome in a year’s time, so please give very careful consideration to match and safety schools on the next list too. Generally a strong applicant will get into one or two reaches out of a list like that, but it also sometimes happen that they don’t.

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Thank you so much!! I am aware that people that are more qualified than I am still get rejected and that it is part of the college game. You gave some awesome advice that I will definitely consider!

The best thing you can do for yourself is apply with your green card: as a permanent resident, you’ll be in the domestic pool and yes you’ll be competitive for all of these universities. (Doesn’t mean shoo-in :wink: but you’d have a decent shot).

Without it… your odds are very low because some are need aware and may not admit you if your parents can’t pay a certain amount, and some are need blind/don’t meet need, meaning they’ll be unaffordable without access to FA.
You won’t qualify for financial aid at RPI so even if they admit you, you won’t be able to attend.
(The best you can get is the “Medal”, if your HS designated you as their candidate for 2020.)

A university where you would be considered a domestic applicant despite not having your green card yet is Pomona College. However not only is it highly selective, but it doesn’t offer Engineering (which is offered at HarveyMudd, the Engineering College of the Claremonts).

Check (today for reply before Break) with each PA public university’s admissions office, explaining that you’ll graduate from Z or X high school in PA, your family has lived in PA for … years, but you are not a US citizen; will you be considered a PA resident if you graduate from a PA HS or an international?
At a minimum that would include asking Pitt, Temple, PSU, and West Chester. My guess is that if only WCU were affordable you’d rather take a gap year.
(It’s really too bad you didn’t apply to Schreyer at Penn State but I suppose there’s nothing you can do about it now, keep it in mind next year.)
Apparently you’d be considered a PA resident for tuition purpose at Pitt, which is good:

You can only borrow 5.5K for freshman year. Therefore, costs are a very important matter. Talk with your parents. My guess is that they haven’t been able to save since it’s not a common endeavor in Israel and they may not have had the means.

MYO, so kindly said. Israelis in general tend not to save, tend to spend everything they earn, and much, much more. Heavy credit card debt is very common, probably because when you live in a country surrounded by enemies, with the constant threat that entails, you tend to live more for today than to plan for the future. Plus college in Israel is very inexpensive, and since most people do army service or national service, I believe that it’s essentially covered as an after-service benefit. I just don’t see how ANY middle class family can plan to pay 75K/yr for college.

Chanceme, are you SURE you will have a green card before the next round of applications? If so, and if you can think of something that you could do for a gap year that would greatly enhance your applications, like getting a job in bioengineering, or working in bioengineering research, then I think it would be a very good idea to do so, and apply for next year with that green card.

Again, assuming this is in the US, it very much depends on OP’s visa type; it is more likely than not that s/he will not be allowed to work on the current dependent visa. (Assuming Israel isn’t an option for this without first doing National Service? I am not fully aware of what the obligations for Israelis living abroad are)

The instant he/she sets foot in Israel, he/she will be drafted, until they get past a certain age. Many Israeli teens who are brought here for school go back to serve. They want to. They view it as their inherited responsibility towards their and their parents’ country. But the issue is that leaving the US now would most definitely mess up their immigration status here. So it’s a no go, be it to serve or to go to college there. Meanwhile, if they cannot legally work, they can volunteer to do biomed research. It would be a very good idea to do something that would improve their application during their gap year.

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Going back before they are due to get their green card would not be a problem immigration-wise (it won’t affect derivative status on whatever parent’s petition is in progress), and if they have a green card then working here is not a problem. So the problem is conscription. (I wasn’t suggesting going to college there, I was wondering if getting a relevant job was a possibility.)

They’re about to get green cards. Everyone I’ve known who has been notified that they are soon to be called for interview for green cards has been advised NOT to leave the country until they have the green card in hand.

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The green card clearly is not that imminent if OP is talking about a gap year. And whether or not they can leave entirely depends on the type of visa they are on now. If they have existing H or L visas or already have advance parole on another type of adjustment application it is not a problem to leave. Anyway it’s a moot point if going back to Israel means OP has to join the army, that’s what makes it a non-starter. But by the same token being the derivative of most of those visas means OP is not going to be able work in the US on a gap year. So a plan B for taking a gap year means finding another way to strengthen the application.

I’m sure he knows that he can go back, do the army, and probably serve in some capacity that would highly strengthen his US applications. There is tremendous opportunity for young people to do high-level work in the Israeli army, get fantastic training, quickly become officers. Israel also has several excellent institutions for what he wants to study. But he doesn’t want to do the army, and once he’s 18, if he goes back, they’ll grab him for the military, and it won’t be for doing anything high-level. You are right that he cannot work legally here until he gets his green card - but doing a voluntary research-internship is a time-honored tradition to establish credentials for college applications! If his green card comes through before next December, which it sounds as if it surely will, he can apply RD as a US resident, as opposed to as an international student, and qualify for financial aid, and for acceptance as a US resident. So in my mind, doing a gap year to do an unpaid research internship, which might be able to be converted to a paid job as soon as the green card comes through, and apply next year with an application strengthened by both the research internship and his new status as a US resident, seems to make the most sense.