Transfer chance - I'm from UCLA, but am an international student

<p>I did my freshmen year at UCLA, majoring in Computer Science and Engineering.
My parents's finances got pretty bad and as an OOS student, I had to drop out.</p>

<p>I'm still contemplating the plan of finishing college in the US, but I'd have to get really good financial aid at privates in order to be able to finish. </p>

<p>The problem is that I made the mistake of taking a really heavy engineering course-load, with no general education courses during my first year (2.7 GPA).
I'm wondering how much is it going to impact my chances at other private colleges?
I do have a 4.35 HS GPA and "ok" SATs (2000) and SAT2s (700+). </p>

<p>Other facts:
I'm sort of like a minority student since I'm from South America but Asian, fluent in 4 languages, got 2.5 years of industry experience (2 years abroad and 6 months at a top internet company in my country), studied abroad for 2 years, if that's going to help at all...</p>

<p>What would be some suggestions of private colleges in my academic range where I could get financial aid (50%+)?
I don't have any state in mind.</p>

<p>When financial aid comes into question, I don't have enough idea besides those extremely top privates that offer need-blind, which I know is pretty much impossible for me because of my GPA.</p>

<p>I forgot to say: I'm considering transferring to either Spring 2011 or Fall 2011.</p>

<p>Thanks</p>

<p>You could try raising your grades at a community college. Do you still want to be an engineer? Why are only looking at private schools? Look into lower tier publics. (The college board website lists 124 U.S. schools that offer some sort of engineering major and have tuition and fees less than 15k.)</p>

<p>How much can you/ your family afford to pay? Your best bet may not be college in the US.</p>

<p>I just thought of something very critical.
The idea of me transferring out of UCLA never came to my mind while I was attending there (2008-2009). I only took engineering "weeder" classes all my 3 quarters and didn't get a good chance to know my professors personally (classes of 200+ students). Since I haven't been in the US this year, how am I going to get a recommendation letter at all?
I know I can get the "in good standing status" letter from the dean no problem.</p>

<p>Yes I still want to be an engineer. I'm looking at private schools because they're the ones that offer financial aid to OOS and international students. I've been researching using college board's matchmaker.
I would be able to pay $10k at most per year... which would only cover housing, depending on state/city.</p>

<p>This is a list of schools that have been known to give internationals financial aid: eduPASS</a> | Financial Aid for International Students | Schools with Aid for Undergraduates. Note that acceptance to a lot of these schools is very competitive. You might want to investigate further if these schools offer aid to international transfer students once you narrow down which schools have an engineering program.</p>

<p>To be honest, even if you went the community college route and got recs from profs you still might be out of luck when you must pay for a four year school. Most colleges, private or not, do not have the means to meet full need of domestic freshmen applicants, let alone international AND transfer students. </p>

<p>Hmm... you might be able to find online courses from a community college where you can take "core classes" and raise your GPA. However, there are no guarantees, if this will help in the end, although I imagine it's easier to transfer with > 3.0. </p>

<p>I don't know anything about this CC (Cerro</a> Coso College* ||* Student Services ||* International Students) except that it showed up when I searched for "community college online courses."</p>

<p>You need a back up plan, whether it is going to school in your home country or work for a few years so that you can pay your own way. </p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Is it possible to stay at UCLA and simply take an official leave in order to work?</p>

<p>Thanks college_ruled for the post!
I definitely thought about doing the "core classes" like math up to differential equations and all the general education classes that are required for UCLA at a community college. As of now, I can only do it if the online course is COMPLETELY online and I don't have to be physically present in the US for exams.</p>

<p>eyethink: I am not officially enrolled at UCLA now, although I can return anytime I want (just need to file for readmission).
I have been working full-time these past few months in my home country. I'm paid the same amount as a graduate here, which is a very good sign, BUT if you convert that to dollars, it's really nothing that will help me pay my own way for college in the US - saddens me being in a 3rd world country where people only show country pride during the World Cup.</p>

<p>I also thought about just sucking it up and doing college here, which unfortunately is a big step down, I just wanted to take the best possible route.</p>

<p>Does anyone know of any good/cheap colleges in Canada/Australia/...New Zealand?</p>