Realistic Chance Me for Fifteen-Year-Old International Student (Indian)

Warning: Long post ahead but here’s a TL/DR:

Nationality: Indian
Area of Residence: India
Location of School: Kansas City
Hooks: Full Pay, Woman in STEM (?)
Intended Major(s): First-Choice- CS or CSE (Depending on the College); Second-Choice- Psychology. Also Chose Astronomy or Entrepreneurship for Colleges with 3 Options.
Standardized Tests: Test-Optional (but I did submit my GRE, TOEFL, Duolingo, and California Achievement Test scores)
GPA: 4.0 UW
Class Rank and Weighted GPA: School doesn’t do that
Weighted Courses: 10 APs, 4 Honors, around 15 DEs (including senior-year schedule)
Highest Level of Courses Taken in Each Subject Area:
Math- AP Calc BC/ AP Stats/ Essentials of Calculus (DE), Foundations of Statistics (DE)
English- AP Eng Lang/ AP Eng Lit/ Foundations of English Composition (DE)
Science- AP Bio, AP EVS, Honors Phy, EVS (DE), Integrated Science (because I didn’t want to take a chemistry-specific course)
Social- AP Psych, AP World History, AP European History, Microecon (DE), Intro to Sociology (DE)
Foreign Language- French 2 (highest level of course offered but I did take 4 years of French in my former Indian HS)
Comp Sci- AP CSP, Intro to IT (DE), MIT’S Intro to Comp Sci and Programming Using Python
Arts/Other- AP Studio Art- Drawing, AP Music Theory, Around 8 more DEs
Essays: CommonApp/Coalition App- 7-8/10; Most Supplements- 9/10
LORs: 1 from AP Calc BC Teacher- 8/10, 1 from Humanities Teacher- 8/10, 1 from Former HS’ Eng Teacher- 9-10/10 (I guess because I haven’t seen it), 1 from Peer (BF but same thing :joy:)- 10/10, CommonApp specific- W.R.A.C. Employer- 8-10/10, Colaition App and MIT App specific- Myelin Foundry’s Founder- 9-10/10
ECs: Pretty Good, I Guess : )

Now for the actual post:
For the last 14 years, I’ve studied in a reputed private high school in India. But after my 9th grade, I decided to drop out because I despised the regimentation of the Indian curriculum and I always felt stifled by it. Everything was based on pure rote learning and we never got to actually learn, you know? So I dropped out in March this year.
Since I was so hell-bent on pursuing my undergraduate studies in the US, the only viable option for me was to enroll in an accredited online American high school. Hence, after a week of rigorous research, I found a good online high school (Excel High School) and I enrolled in it. While I was studying at Excel, I also started taking dual enrollment courses at MIT, BYU, and Sophia Pathways. I also took an Algebra-2 Credit-by-Exam offered by UTHS, which enabled me to take Calculus BC in my third month of high school. In August, I started taking courses at Acellus Academy and was enrolled under a scholarship program.
Since I was enrolled in an online high school, I had flexible timings, and so I could work on weekends and for longer durations as well. In just the last 3 months, I’ve spent 1014 hours studying at Acellus Academy and along with that, several more hours for college courses. The flexible timings combined with the number of high schools/colleges I was enrolled at enabled me to acquire 25 high school credits and 30 college credits in under 5 months. However, in order to graduate, I was told that I needed to be at least 16 years of age and my counselor suggested that I continue taking more courses till August 2021 and that they would then provide me an official high school diploma.
In essence, I would be graduating on 1st August 2021, but I would still be graduating 3 years early.

Test Scores:
GRE score (I took the GRE only because I was very bored during the lockdown and I hadn’t studied prior to taking the exam): VR-151 QR-147 AW-3.5
California Achievement Test score: 325/349 (11th grade) 99th percentile overall
Duolingo English Test: 135
I also hold a diploma in Advance English which was presented to me by StudySection and I was also ranked 1st globally in the test.

ECs:
I founded a company called CollegeBot which helps low-income international students apply to American universities. I also wrote my “expand on one of your extracurricular activities” essay on this. I wrote about how I struggled because I didn’t receive any guidance during this process and how I didn’t want other people to be defined by their circumstances and that they can flourish despite the lack of resources. Over the last 8 months, we have acquired 15,718 clients and our team consists of 15 14-32 year olds from 8 countries.

I’m not sure how much this matters because it’s my dad’s company but a few years ago, my dad gave me an internship opportunity and since then, I’ve been working at his company. I currently hold the position of Senior IT Analyst and it’s the highest position in the IT Dept so I lead a team of 20-30 year old men : ). I didn’t really know whether I should include this in my application because I read somewhere that college didn’t really care about (and even interpreted it negatively) if the student worked in a family member’s company. This is why my first 10-15 applications didn’t include this but then I decided that this was something I spent a lot of time on and I wanted AOs to know that.

I worked as the IT Team Manager at Wright’s Resumes and Connections. I first started out as an IT Assistant but in August, I was promoted to the managerial position.

I was hired as the Director of Web Development by a teen-startup, Quaranteen Music Lessons.

I authored a research paper titled “Artificial Intelligence: The Means to Curb the Increasing Suicide Rates”. In this paper, I proposed a method to detect changes in lifestyle trends and monitor social media activity to identify who’s at a higher risk of suicide. This paper was listed as a semi-finalist at an all-Asia research competition which many of you might’ve heard of- YHSA. My paper was also published in the October edition of the International Journal for Scientific and Engineering Research. I’ve been invited to speak at the IEOM Singapore 2021 Conference for this paper and post the conference, my paper will be indexed in SCOPUS.

I was one of the two people who were given the opportunity to job shadow at India’s leading AI company- Myelin Foundry. This was a one-month internship and through this, we gained access to the newly-developed GPT-3 and we got to experiment with it and create documents for the company.

My poem titled, “Triumph,” has been published in the StoryMirror website and has an average rating of 4.8/5 stars. I was also awarded the “Write of the Week” and “Literary Captain” awards. Lastly, this poem was also chosen to be included in a book they’re publishing this year.

I was the captain of my school’s girls basketball team and I led my team to the state championships (we lost though :frowning: ). I’ve been playing basketball for 10 years now and it is by far the most time-consuming extracurricular of mine because I used to practice for like 3 hours everyday. I also played for two nationally recognized basketball clubs in India.

I was the lead guitarist of my school’s band and every year, we had an annual music festival and we played for an audience of over 2000 people.

I was the president of my school’s photography club. I also do a lot of visual editing and graphic design in my free time.

My Common App essay was about the passing away of my role-model Kobe Bryant (RIP) and how that changed my entire life. I spoke about how as a kid, I promised him that I’d chase my dreams relentlessly and refrain from making blatant excuses and how after he passed away, I realised that I wasn’t keeping my word. It was due to this epiphany that I was able to achieve all this within such a short period of time and I wanted to emphasise on this incident as this truly was the most important event in my life.
In almost all my supplements, I spoke about a very specific career goal which is to establish an AI-based startup that would develop humanoid robot psychologists/psychiatrists and certified online chatbot-based therapists to provide accessible and free mental health care. I also stated that I wanted to make the model I proposed in my research paper, a working system to prevent suicides. Furthermore, most of my essays were based on my passion for mental health advocacy and my long-term goal of dampening, if not eradicating, the stigma associated with mental illnesses.

Colleges I applied to:
I applied to around 50 colleges and before you get mad, I paid application fees for all of them. The reason I chose to apply to so many schools is that when you’re a fifteen-year-old international student, no school is a safety/target because in my case, colleges are not only going to consider my academics, ECs, and essays but they should also be willing to take the risk to enroll and allow me to live in the dorm because maturity is certainly a deciding factor.
Here’s the list of colleges I applied to (in no particular order):
Harvard
UGA
Radford
Regis
Purdue
Kent State
Stony Brook
UMiami
ASU
UNC
GTech
VTech
UMich
UWisconsin-Madison
UVA
USC
UMass
Ohio State
Penn State
UCLA
UC Berkeley
UC Davis
UC Irvine
UC San Diego
UC Santa Barbara
Carnegie Mellon
Wesleyan University
Colgate
Northeastern
Northwestern
Vanderbilt
Colby
Oberlin
Johns Hopkins
University of Illinois
Case Western
Dartmouth
Davidson
Stanford
Yale
Princeton
Columbia
Bowdoin
Clemson
Franklin and Marshall
Hamilton
Middlebury
Skidmore
MIT
RPI
Georgetown College
Bard College at Simon’s Rock

My decisions:
Harvard- REA- Rejected : (
GTech- EA2- Rejected
UGA- Accepted with Honors College and Presidential Waiver (>$20,000 per year)
Purdue- Accepted but no merit and Honors decisions aren’t out yet
Stony Brook- Accepted with $20,000 merit but Honors decisions aren’t out yet
Kent State- Accepted but other decisions aren’t out yet
Radford- Accepted with Honors College but Merit Scholarship decisions aren’t out yet
Regis- Accepted with Honors College and full-tuition scholarship

I know you can’t chance me for all of them and that’s okay. Thank you so much for reading this extremely long post. I really appreciate the fact that you spent your valuable time reading this.

You seem to be quite motivated. The list of accomplishments are impressive. Congrats.

Would you be willing to move to the US and start in person studies at age 15? Most of the freshman students will be at least 3-4 years older than you. This may lead to some awkward conversations when they find out how young you are. Also as a minor in the US, you will probably need a local guardian, since you wouldn’t be old enough to sign things on your own. I’m sure these types of things have been worked out for other students, so I don’t know how it would work.

I’m glad to see that you were accepted to a couple of schools already. If money is no object then I suggest you enroll in whichever one you like the best. If money is an issue, then look to see which college is most affordable. Almost any college will give you a great education.

Good luck

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In that it might influence some responses, It appears the OP will have turned 16 prior to beginning her U.S. residential college studies.

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Thank you!
Both, my parents and I, are comfortable with it. The thing is, I’ve mostly hung out with older people for the greater part of my life. For instance, one of my best friends is a Freshman at VTech and his girlfriend, who also happens to be my best friend, is applying to colleges along with me. I also have friends at USC, Harvard, Case Western, Johns Hopkins, Berklee College of Music, and IIT Guwahati. So, I don’t necessarily feel like I’ll have a hard time fitting in (I might be very wrong though) and hopefully, I’ll get to go to a college which my friend(s) currently attend.
As for the signing forms thing, I hadn’t really thought about it until now. I’m not really sure how that’d work but I guess I’ll have to figure that out. Thank you for pointing that out!
My parents told me not to worry about the money aspect. I had to fill out the International Student Certification of Finances and in that my parents stated that they could pay up to $90,000 a year. I’m guessing that some expensive schools like Harvey Mudd might cost more and that’s why I didn’t apply there.

Thank you for your response!

Yeah, I would’ve just turned 16! I should’ve mentioned that, sorry and thank you!

Because of you varied and interesting background, your chances of getting into even one college might appear to be impossible to predict. However, since you already have gotten into a few schools, as well as denied at a few, it appears it can be predicted that you will get into more schools, as well as denied at a few more others. Your main task at a later stage will be college selection. I hope you continue to post as your mystery unravels. Best of luck.

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It sounds like you’ve grown up in India your entire life. Don’t underestimate the culture shock you might receive when being in the US for the first time. But I’m sure you’ll be fine, almost everyone adjusts fine.

Your parents must be very wealthy if they can bankroll $90K USD per year without any problems. Thats good, because it is very expensive to study in the US.

What are your long-term goals. Do you want to stay in the US? Or go back to India? Note that getting a visa after you finish studies might be difficult.

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Yeah, I agree with you.
I am actually dreading the selection process because if I make the wrong decision, I’m going to have to live with it for the next 4 years (I’m absolutely not going to consider transferring because IDK, I kind of feel like it’s betrayal, you know? I just want to stay committed to one college for all 4 years).
Sure, I’ll post my updates! I should be hearing back from UNC, UMiami, and UMass- Amherst by the end of this month. I don’t expect to get into UNC because of it’s very low admit rate for OOS and International students. I don’t really know want to expect of the other two, but we’ll find out shortly!
Thank you, I’ll be needing all the luck I can get :joy:

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Yeah, I have! I’m sure it’ll be different. As a female student, I’m certainly worried about the safety aspects. Moreover, the increasing gun violence doesn’t put my mind at ease. But if I want the good parts of America then I need to also be willing to accept the bad side as well, and I’m totally okay with that!

Well, my dad owns a company and business is always risky and unpredictable so if his company incurs a huge loss during my undergraduate study, I might not be able to pay for college. But he does having savings and other assets so I’m not worried about that. I was actually planning on taking a student loan after a year or two because I don’t want my parents spending that much money on my education. Moreover, they will also have to pay for my sister’s undergraduate expenses, albeit 6 years from now.

Well, I honestly don’t plan on rushing to get a job as soon as I graduate. I actually don’t want a full-time job working under someone. As of now, I plan on immersing myself in research and internship opportunities to gain industry experience as well as utilize my knowledge in practical real-life situations. I want to establish a startup. I know, very ambitious and unrealistic but that’s what I’ve always wanted, so might as well try to attain that goal, right? So, after I graduate, I’m going to try staring a company in the US. If that doesn’t work out, I’d probably try getting a job in Snapchat or OpenAI. Please note that I will have graduated from grad school before I get my BS/BA degree. This is because I received a conditional offer from the University of Colorado- Boulder to begin my Masters in Data Science this spring (online-only). So if I get more than 80% in 3 of my foundation courses, I will be eligible to continue taking other higher-level courses and graduate. I will be doing that part-time. Probably a time commitment of 10-14 hours a week and if I do spend that much time, I was told that I’ll be able to satisfy the course requirements within a year. Hence, I expect to finish it sometime before then end of my freshman year in college. So this way, instead of attending grad school, I can pursue a PhD or directly establish a startup. I’ve heard that it’s easier for those with doctorate degrees to get a green card (my uncle lives in VA and he’s been trying to get a green card so he told me about it).
But to be more concise, no, I don’t ever plan on returning to India.

Congratulations on an impressive resume. Have you researched age limits for on-campus housing? Some of the schools won’t allow 16 year olds to live in the dorms; the ones I know had to live off campus with relatives. Some colleges do have host family programs; just something to research before committing to a school. Good luck!

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Agree you have an impressive resume and kudos on your many accomplishments!

In your last post you mention attending UC-Boulder online. Have you checked to see if those college credits will prevent you applying as an undergrad elsewhere? I am not an expert so hopefully some of the more experienced posters will chime in; however, most schools require you to apply as a transfer student if you have over a specified number of credits from another college. But your situation is without a doubt exceptional so perhaps there is some way to make this work out for you.

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College credits earned prior to receiving a high school diploma may be regarded differently from credits earned after high school. In other words, the OP may still be treated as a first-year applicant at at least some of her colleges of interest.

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Thank you!
I don’t think that will influence my freshman status because those credits would count towards my Master’s degree and not the undergraduate one. But as for the other 30-ish college credits that I have, I acquired them before I graduated HS. So I’d still be considered a freshman!

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Thank you!
Not a lot of the colleges I applied to have an age-limit, per se. However, Stony Brook informed me that I won’t be allowed to live on-campus till I turn 18. But they did tell me that they’d find an off-campus housing for me!
I wasn’t aware of the host family programs! I’ll check them out!

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Very impressive profile. Which univesity was your ED? Each university is unique and looking for specific things from candidates. Hope you customized your essays based what each one is looking for?

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Thank you!
I did not ED anywhere but I did submit my Harvard application to be considered under REA. I applied to a few other public school EA as well.
Yeah, I understand that! I’m guessing that I did tailor my essays to match what the AO might perceive as ideal for their college, but I certainly can’t be sure I did the job right.

Difficult to chance you with too many colleges and varied accomplishments. Please know that age is not a limiting factor , there are few high achieving kids who enter in to college from 8th grade like this one Early Entrance to the UW - UW Robinson Center for Young ScholarsUW Robinson Center for Young Scholars
So some colleges/universities are very much familiar with applicants like you

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hey, thanks for your response!
I have actually looked into that program but it’s only for Washington residents.
Bard College at Simon’s Rock is IMO, the best option for current juniors or seniors. I’ve applied there as well but I’m mostly not going to attend even if I get in because I prefer a “real” college experience.

Excel won’t let you graduate before the age of 17 without an SAT. Had you taken the SATs or an ACT, you likely could have graduated already. As it is, you may not be able to graduate until August 2022. Which brings me to my first question - why did you take the GREs but not SATs?

Your class set could be problematic if AOs look at it closely.

A, How many high school credits do you actually have? 25 high school credits and 30 college credits allows you to graduate, but that ends up being only 35 high school credits, which is really not that much. Most high achieving high school students have 44-50 when they graduate. More about what’s missing below.

B, many of your DE classes are just repeats of your AP classes:
AP CalcBC - Essentials of Calculus (DE)
AP Stats - Foundations of Statistics (DE)
AP Eng Lang - Foundations of English Composition (DE)
AP EVS - EVS (DE)
AP CSP - Intro to IT (DE), MIT’S Intro to Comp Sci and Programming

So half of your college credits seem to be no more than repeats of your AP classes. That makes your class list look less rigorous

C. You lack three or four years of foreign language at least at high school level

D, you also seem to have only two and half to three years of English, and one of those courses is simply a repeat of an AP class

E, your math classes consist of Calculus twice, stats twice, and algebra. That may not be considered as four years of math.

F, your science curriculum does not seem all that rigorous. One challenging AP, one not so challenging AP, and a repeat of that AP, Honors Physics, and a general science class. That’s enough for requirements, but if you’re looking at CS in a competitive school, that may not be enough, if it was available for you.

Ironically, any course rigor issues are because you applied to Acellus Academy. You were taking all of the AP that were offered by Excel, so you were taking their most rigorous curriculum. Applying to Acellus and doing AP Bio and AP Envir may make AOs ask why you did not take AP Physics and AP Chem, which were also available?
Basically, you applied to Acellus mostly to take the “easier” APs: AP stats, AP Env, AP Music Theory, and AP Studio Art. The last two have brutal AP test requirements, and can be time consuming, but are not high on the list of courses that AOs for CS programs are looking for.

Your ECs have some issues as well.

A, Since you only spent one year in a brick-and-mortar high school, that would mean that your guitar playing, basketball, and photography club at school were almost entirely in middle school. Also, what would be left if you do not count your activities in Middle School?.

B, It’s great that you have that article, unfortunately, that is not a very reputable journal.

Be that as it may, you have a full diploma, though you’ll need the SAT for it too go through, and your GPA is good. Your ECs are decent, but you only really have half of the ones that you think that you have. This is more than enough enough for moderately competitive schools, and your profile is above average.

While I am puzzled by a couple of things with the U Georgia acceptance, the rest are pretty much what could be expected. You are, more likely than not, going to be accepted to VTech, possibly Penn State, and likely ASU. Perhaps UIUC, because you’re an international full pay, but not to CS or Engineering.

However, I would be surprised if you had many or any acceptances from colleges with admission rates are ow enough that they would look more closely at your course list and ECs.

Close to safety.
VTech, ASU, some UMass campuses, UIC

Match
UMass Amherst, UIUC, except engineering or CS, Clemson, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara

High match:
UWisconsin-Madison, Penn State, Ohio State, RPI

Reach
Colgate, Northeastern, UIUC engineering or CS, Case Western, Franklin and Marshall, UMiami, Skidmore, Oberlin, UCLA, UC Berkeley,

High to very high reach
UMich, USC, Wesleyan University, Carnegie Mellon, Vanderbilt, Colby, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Dartmouth, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Columbia Davidson UNC, UVA, Bowdoin, Hamilton, Middlebury, Georgetown, MIT

I may be underestimating your chances, in which case you will be pleasantly surprised. Whatever the case, it doesn’t really matter. Your applications have been sent and now you just need to wait for AOs to make decisions.

Whatever happens, you have already been accepted to some good colleges, and I recommend that you proceed to finish the courses that you are taking and try and take the SATs or ACTs before the high school year ends.

Also, see what you need to do to get a student Visa, and what other steps you need to take. Remember that you are going to be entering the USA and staying as a minor, so rules may be different for you. It also means that living off campus is also a problem since you cannot sign a lease, since, as a minor, your signature is not legally binding.

Hey, thank you so much for such a long reply!
Firstly, I’m not going to be graduating from Excel. I transferred to Acellus in August and that’s where I’ll be graduating from. Acellus’ requirements are that if you’re going to be graduating with Honors, you need to take around 8 mandatory courses, be at least 16 years of age, and be enrolled in Acellus for at least one year. I’ve completed all of the mandatory courses except US History 2 which I will be doing next month. As for the other 2 requirements, I will be turning 16 this June and by August, I will receive my diploma.

I did not list all the courses I took. I just listed the highest level of courses I took in each subject area. I’m not entirely sure how I could get 50 HS credits because our school doesn’t even offer those many courses. For graduating with Honors, one must have 26 credits and a minimum of 3.0 GPA at Acellus and that’s the highest level of diploma offered.

I’ve taken 12 DE courses and yes, some of them are a repeat. However, according to my school, AP Eng Lang and Foundations of English Composition will be considered two different courses; AP CSP, Intro to IT, and the MIT course will also be considered 3 different courses because the curriculum is vastly different. As for the other courses, they will be regarded as overlapping courses and I won’t be receiving extra credit for them.

Yeah, I couldn’t take any more French courses because my school doesn’t offer it. I’ve contacted AOs and they said that they wouldn’t hold that against me.

No, I’ve taken the following English courses:
English 9
English 10
College-Prep English
AP Eng Lang
AP Eng Lit
Foundations of English Composition
So essentially, I’ve taken 6 years of English as they are all full-year/ 1 credit courses

These are the math classes that I’ve taken:
HN Algebra 1
Algebra 2 (Credit-By-Exam)
Geometry
AP Calc BC
AP Stats
And the other 2 DE courses for which I won’t be receiving credit (they will be listed in my transcript though)
So again, I’ve taken 5 years of Math (excluding the DE courses)

I agree with you on the Science part. These are the courses I’ve taken:
Integrated Science
HN Bio
HN Phy
AP Bio
AP EVS
I’ve never really liked Chemistry and so I chose not to take any Chemistry course at a higher level. Would it be helpful if I added AP Chem to my course load? I still have time.

As for my ECs,
Technically speaking, at NPS (Indian HS), grades 6-12 are considered HS but I know that’s not the case in American high schools.
I’ve been doing all the three activities you listed for a very long time and I’ve been continuing them even after I left NPS. I still play for a nationally recognized BB club, I still practice guitar, and I still contribute photos to Shutterstock. As for what would be left if I didn’t include the ones that I did before 9th grade, all of them would still count. My company, jobs, research, internship, and all the other ECs would still count because I did them before middle school but I also did them during HS, right?
As for the research paper, yes, I’m aware of that. But the IEOM Conference is a very reputed one and it’s been going on for 11 years. So that would obviously balance it out.

Acellus doesn’t have such requirements so I will be able to graduate without taking the SAT or ACT. You asked me about why I took the GRE and not the SAT right? So basically, I registered to take the SAT as well as the ACT but both were cancelled due to Corona. The GRE exam was being offered online as a take-at-home version (just like the TOEFL).

What is it that puzzles you about my UGA acceptance?

Thank you very much for the very detailed chance-me post! It really is helpful.

Yeah, I will look into the Visa and the other pertinent stuff!