Possibly Uncommon Situation -- International Admissions

<p>Hope this is the right section to post.</p>

<p>I'd like to consider my situation a bit uncommon, and was hoping for some possible insignt.</p>

<p>*I took the GED exam to receive my equiv. diploma (lacked a year of English to graduate)
*I am an international student
*And I'm currently 23 (senior year / GED exam was in 2008)
*GPA 3.0
*ACT around 30-32 (took the exam last week, practice scores were giving me 32)
*TOEFL iBT 115</p>

<p>After my senior year, I had to return back to my home country (South Korea) due to my military service. Finished in April of this year, and hoping to get some education back in my life.</p>

<p>Unfortunately, about 95% of Korean schools do not recognize the GED. Which is why I'm now looking at possibly going back to the States for my education.</p>

<p>I'm aware that I can attend most community colleges, but it is difficult to justify the tuition to my parents. So I'm currently looking at four-year universitites.</p>

<p>Most requirements I'm not worried about. I got both my diploma and my ACT scores. What bothers me is this:
"•Completed coursework equivalent to a U. S. high school
Subject requirements: Mathematics: 3 years required, 4 years recommended: algebra, geometry and intermediate algebra; Laboratory Science: 2 years required, 3 years recommended (1 biological, 1 physical): biology, chemistry or physics" (Cal State requirements)</p>

<p>And what bothers me is that I attended a US high school. The above requirement is a list of courses that should've been taken at a foreign high school to be considered equivalent to a US highschool's coursework. But I only have 3 years of English, and I have no idea where I stand. (rest of the classes I took)</p>

<p>So I pose two questions:
1) Anyone know how this would be considered in the eyes of the admissions department?
2) This is not fact based, and just my assumption, but I'm thinking most students who took the GED did not complete all four years of high school. In that case wouldn't it be pretty difficult to complete the high school coursework requirement (for instance, the UC A-G)? Are these students unable to apply for admissions, or is there some sort of exception for GED holders?</p>

<p>Sidenote: I've contacted quite a few admissions offices (e-mail), and all their answers were shockingly unhelpful. A few 'responded' to my e-mail by linking me a school brochure. Calling is difficult due to timezone differences... (not saying I haven't tried, but once again, unhelpful).</p>

<p>Thank you for taking your time to read my post. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.</p>

<p>Some places make it very hard for applicants with a GED, so if you are getting unhelpful responses, scratch those institutions off your list. Check out the websites of the public community colleges and universities in the state where you studied while living in the US, and read carefully through the information at those websites on admissions with a GED. They are probably your best bets. If you can’t find what you are looking for, send an email to admissions. Make it clear that you did study in the US for X years, and that you completed a GED because you would not be able to graduate from high school before your family had to return to Korea. Once you have some replies, stay up late (or get up early) and make a few phone calls to the people who have given you the most useful responses.</p>

<p>When you do get ready to apply, remember that some places will want copies of your US high school records up to the point when you dropped out to complete the GED, so send an email to your old high school guidance office and ask about arranging to have transcripts sent.</p>

<p>Your situation is uncommon, but not unique. You are facing all of the challenges that a US citizen or permanent resident with a GED would have, plus the challenges of a student who graduated from a US high school while still in non-immigrant status. Basically, you will be evaluated academically with the GED holders, but financially with the non-immigrant internationals. This means that your chances of getting financial aid are very nearly zero. Make sure that you and your family can come to agreement on how much to pay for your education. A community college (some have on-campus housing available) followed by an inexpensive state U may be all that is affordable.</p>