Uni help! taking a gap year

Thank you so much! I researched a lot about IB prior to deciding i want ot become one. Turns out the highest pay is in NYC, and that too by a fairly huge margin. Internal transfers are not that common, so i was trying to break into NYC IB from the get-go. However, i will take everything you have sai into account. Praying that this time i do better in these apps.

At first i thought i was being told that i wouldn’t get in since my application lacked something. Thank you so much for telling me the fault isn’t with me. But i could definitely improve in some areas. Trying to aim for a higher SAT score this time. What i would like to know from all of you is that was this Test Optional thing a bunch of BS? I heard they accepted most of the students who submitted their SATS/ACTS. I believe it was a lie just to make the students think that the unis care about their health and to relieve their stress.

No, you heard wrong.
TO was not BS at all.
In fact, for internationals who need aid, test scores matter little, because they generally "bunch together"among applicants from the same country/area and reflect cultural norms - if you’ve trained since age 10 to ace multiple choice tests v. If you spent the past 6 years practicing writing a structured 6-page essay on a heretofore unknown question expecting you to pull together your knowledge of literature, philosophy, and history.
A-Levels and GCSEs are closer to writing long answers but some KS2-Ks3 tests or Eleven+ exams have multiple choice characteristics so I have no idea how you’d be judged. In all likelihood all applicants from Pakistan would have similar scores so the scores would not be a differentiator.
In short : test scores don’t matter for you at that level of selectivity.
Sure, higher scores can help, but the key factor here will be your different ability to pay compared to last year. That being said, it may not matter to NYU (note their profile above is about aitted students, not students who enroll : they don’t meet need, so that the first gen or internationals they did admit may have no way of actually affording the school).

You’re right that "breaking"into IB from Pakistan is near impossible so your process makes sense.

Just look further. I think I already mentioned Colgate and Middlebury- lots of kids recruited for NYC banking.
Beside Baruch Honors (efficient but no frills no campus), for a more “campus” experience, if you can get into Penn State Smeal Sapphire and maintain a high GPA (which you’d have a better-than-most shot at due to getting ALevel credit to replace the dreaded weedout 1st year courses) their finance major also does well.
You have IU Kelley and its famed IB workshop of course.

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Turns out the highest costs are also in NYC, and that too by a fairly huge margin. And it’s more than just the obvious costs (housing, food, transportation), but the less obvious costs (such as the clothes you are expected to wear). And that’s not counting paying off any debt.

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Was going to make the same comment about high cost of living. My H has turned down a few offers in NYC because of the crazy cost of living. Quality of life can be much better elsewhere.

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As someone who just secured an IB position at BAML, I can tell you that most people who are MD’s and Associates at some of the big bulge bracket banks come from a variety of schools. I know 5 associates at BAML who went to Lehigh.

I think you are being a little too specific on where you want to go. As someone who is an international student who need to be realistic with your options. A lot of us who live in the US have the ability to attend high ranking public institutions like UNC and UT Austin because we live in those states.

I think you need to find institutions you like and just apply. Generally, private schools have a larger international student quota. I am being completely frank but as long as you go to a well recognized school it truly doesn’t matter too much where you go. Your ability to get into IB will be inherently dependent on your interviewing ability and your ability to spin all your life experiences into something that is useful for the company. You being an international student and taking a gap year is something that makes you stand out and can make you desirable for an investment bank.

Take that as you wish but I just secured a spot at a bulge bracket and most, if not all, was due to my interviewing ability. Not the school I went to.

So, it’s your ‘research’:

vs their lived experience:

The point is to broaden your view: getting into a US college from Pakistan is hard enough in it’s own right. You talk about dozens of applications- but they take time to do well. Blasting out apps that are just ok is going to get you less than doing half as many, but doing them well. That means choosing the schools thoughtfully, including considering what you will add to their community, not just what it will do for you. Remember that they will be wondering what will be the advantage to the school of choosing you over another student.

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