Though I've submitted all the applications, Chance me! ( International Student)

International student- Indian
Private High School with CBSE Curriculum with a graduating class of 120 students
No legacy

Intended Majors
Biological sciences, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry

My school doesn’t report GPA
My scores:
Grade 9: 95%
Grade 10: 98%
Grade 11: 93%
Predicted 12th Grade: 97%
Top 5% of my graduating class
No honors classes or AP Classes are offered by my school

  • SAT Score: 1500

Took online courses from Duke, Harvard, Stanford, UMichigan and UC Boulder
Attended classes from the nearby college on Biotechnology

International Foundation Reasoning and Aptitude Olympiad - International Rank 1
National Winner in Aarohan, conducted by BITS Pilani University
Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Writing Competition- Bronze Award
Immerse Education Essay Competition- 90% Scholarship Winner
National Level Speed Arithmetic Competition- Champion of Champion
National level Science Talent Search Examination (NSTSE) TOP 25
World Record in playing keyboard
State-Level Drawing Competition Winner

Keyboard Tutor(Volunteering) for 3 years
Discipline Captain of the School
Research member of the New York Academy of Sciences
Elocution/Oration- Interschool Level
Independent Researcher- Current research on Parkinson’s disease
Internship with a College professor
Content Writer in School Magazine and on Medium
Volleyball Captain in school

My essays were quiter specific, where I talked about my disapproval of a certain Indian tradition, my fat shaming and how I overcame it by winning 3 medals in the sports competitions
LORs by my English and Biology teacher, are pretty elaborate (according to them)

**Cost Constraints **
Family income is less than $30,000
Require need-based financial aid

Applied Schools:

I was accepted into Purdue in Early action (with Honors College) and UIUC recently
All the other schools are Regular Decision

What are my chances of acceptance into these schools? :no_mouth:
Any predictions? :exploding_head:

Honest review please… :hugs:

You are smart enough to know that international students are ~8-15% of the student body at most US universities.

You are smart enough to know that a 5% acceptance rate means a 95% rejection rate.

So, at best an average of 10% of that 5% will be international students. Given that you are coming from a country with a disproportionately high number of applicants, you are not in the “at best” category.

You ARE well qualified, so anything could happen, but…you could also be shut out. Genuinely, nobody here can tell you more than that for your list, except for the state colleges…

And unless you have a source of income that you haven’t mentioned:


are unlikely to be affordable. They are public (state) universities, supported by in-state taxpayers and they don’t even necessarily ‘meet need’ for their own citizens, much less people who are not taxpayers. It’s great that you were accepted to Purdue & UIUC- but can you afford them?


I think you sound like a really accomplished person and you should be proud of your achievements. However, I think your chances are very small. Chances are very small for everyone at these schools. Now add to the fact that you’re international and also that you need financial aid. It’s basically a lottery win at this point- but that’s what it is for most applicants at this level of school.

It may not be a popular opinion but I think another thing that hurts you is the lack of having some specific qualities, or skills, or a point of view. You’ve won an essay competition. Youve won a math competition. You’re into writing and speaking and music and sports and… and… I do think it’s great that you’ve done so many things but I often think these top colleges are looking for people that bring a specific skill set in one area that they are passionate about and have really immersed themselves in to contribute to the campus, as opposed to someone who has tried to master a lot of different fields.

I also think you have thrown darts at a top 20 dartboard without really considering what schools are the best fit for you. Comparing Columbia and Dartmouth is like comparing apples and Volkswagens and so it hard to see that you have a true vision of what you ideally want from the college experience when you have applied to so many different types of schools with the only thing in common is how difficult they are to gain acceptance.

I wish you lots of luck in the process and congratulations on your acceptances!


The private school portion of your list is very tough to put it mildly.
Best of luck.

I agree that most of your schools are reaches for everybody and more so for a international student requiring financial aid.

And the public schools don’t usually give much financial aid to international students. UIUC is known to seek out full pay international students. They market heavily in certain Asian markets.

My advice is to understand the international financial aid component before applying to these schools. You obviously spent a LOT of time filling out applications and writing essays but failed to do the appropriate research into the affordability of these schools. I realize it is too late for you, but perhaps you have younger siblings or friends who will be looking at U.S. colleges in the future.

Good luck to you. I hope some of these schools can come through for you.

I don’t think you are going to get substantially different responses as compared to your first thread Let a curious international student know if she's aiming high!

Do you have any affordable acceptances?


Not yet…that’s the biggest problem :pensive:

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Thank you very much!
Actually, I have more extracurriculars telated to science, rangiing from volunteering in hospitals to doing a lot of experiments and internships with university professors.
I mentioned all these in my college specific essays…

Anyways, any other fault in my overall profile? Feel free to share!

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There are no faults. But the number of kids the top schools pick from each country outside the US is exceedingly small. And therefore standards are exceedingly high. Frankly I don’t know what they look at. Certainly if you medal in one of the well known international science/math competitions, it wouldn’t hurt – but it is pointless for me to mention it here because you are who you are, and that is in the past.

And the public schools on the list will not fund an international student.

@IndianHSSenior_9605, it’s a tough situation. I hope something works out for you but I also hope you have a good backup plan in your home country.


Do you have options in your home country?


Well, you have one of two paths – 1. You get into one of these schools with merit making the school affordable, which I’d honestly say is slim just because of competition. To put it in perspective, top 5% of your class extended out to a country of 1.4 billion, well, you get the idea. 2. You take a gap year and reapply. In which case, I’d look at affordable schools that are not super competitive. There are plenty of such schools in the US but international students overlook these schools. If you can swing $10-15K per year, there are schools to choose from with your stats.

What colleges did you apply to in India?

You have two types of schools on your list…very high reaches, and schools that aren’t reaches but likely won’t be affordable.

You need an option that is affordable in your own country…

And this was mentioned on your first thread as well.

You had a few UK schools on that thread…but will they be affordable? And did you apply there?

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Absolutely agree.
The responses wont change from your previous post.
US funding for international students is limited, but the applicants from your country are not.

You seem to have completed the requisite activities of your countrymen, and the dart analogy from @Joshdent, is spot one.

My metaphor, in how your applied to these schools, would be the spaghetti analogy. " Let’s throw everything at the wall and see what sticks."
The major problem is where is that money coming from?. So, although you will probably get into a couple more of these schools, they’ll expect full fees.

You appear to be a strong student, but unfortunately, that’s not enough when you need someone to pay your bills. As previously mentioned, the public schools are PUBLIC schools funded by the resident taxpayers. They are not going to use their limited public dollars to fund a non-resident, non-taxpaying family.

I also agree with @Momofthree24, that your time should have been more effectively spent in the research of how the bill would be paid, and checking the financial aid websites for scholarships and international need-based aid.

I also don’t think that you understand that all of these schools are so, so, different in “everything”. No two are alike anywhere. You have to “fit” and it has to fit you.

Some are small, some are large. Some are out in the boonies (Dartmouth) and some are very urban (NYU). Each school has a different vibe, personality, look, feel, weather, and student population. I don’t know how you would write applications, to all of these schools, and fit each and every one of these because they are too vast in their differences.

Rice, in Texas is a big cultural shift. The cost to attend is $74K. That is a large amount of money. They are NEED AWARE which means that if you need a lot of funding to attend, they may deny admission. These US schools just don’t have a big pot of money to give away.

Rice is one of the most generous US schools for international students. You should have said NYU or other stingy s chf oil with FA

I’m surprised how adamant everyone is that large public universities have zero money for international students. A good friend’s son was just admitted to UMass Amherst with a very generous scholarship. Indian citizens. So there is money from public universities for international students.

This OP has already applied to these colleges. All they can do now is wait and see what is acceptances they receive in addition to the ones they have received…and then what is affordable based on need based financial aid and/or merit aid.

I hope it all works out for them.

There are scholarships available to international students at some colleges. Very often, these scholarships are limited in terms of the number of students who receive them. See my quote above from Lehigh. They give money to a “limited number”.

This student is well accomplished. No one is questioning that.

UMass gives zero need based aid to international students.

But they are eligible for merit aid awards at UMass.

International undergraduate students are considered for merit scholarships by the Admissions Office as part of their admission to the university. There may also be opportunities to apply for scholarships through your school or college, major, or other on-campus scholarship providers. International students can apply for alternative (private) loans with a cosigner who is a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.

Your friend was very fortunate to have gotten the merit aid he received from UMass.


UMass Amherst specifically does not give financial aid to international students. The first sentence on the financial aid page on their website reads: " International students are not eligible for most types of financial aid." As with some other state unis there are some very competitive merit scholarships available, via separate application.

So, either the student referenced has dual citizenship, the parents have a green card, or they won a merit scholarship.

eta - snap! just saw that @thumper1 posted pretty much the same thing while I was writing!


I was specifically referring to the public schools to which the OP has been admitted, UIUC and Purdue. Very unlikely to receive any financial aid or merit there.