US Citizen living in Australia. Chances?

I lived in America for 10+ years before moving to Australia a couple years ago. When I apply to the Ivy Leagues, I’m pretty sure I’ll be counted as a Domestic Applicant.

Compared to domestic applicants residing in the US, would you say I am advantaged or disadvantaged? I’ve seen the stats of the ivy leagues, so I know the application caliber they require.


Depending on the school, you will have a slight advantage, as being from an “exotic” location. This will, all things being equal, increase the lower ranked the school is and/or the farther it away from the East and West coasts.

Hi londondad
Thanks for the reply! I live on the Gold Coast in Queensland, an hour away from Brisbane. I do the IB program at a selective state school. Our school’s reputation is quite good; we attract the brightest students from the area. I’m hoping that being a female interested in STEM will be a hook for me as well.

“I’m hoping that being a female interested in STEM will be a hook for me as well.”

Yes, definitely.

Are you a U.S. citizen? That is what determines if you are considered an international or not. The international pool is much tougher. And if you need financial aid, your options are more limited.

Yes, I am a US citizen. I was ‘born and raised’ in America.

mmmmm, I disagree: the top tier of schools have plenty of female STEM applicants. Unless you are a startlingly talented STEM applicant (in which case it wouldn’t matter if you were male or female) it is unlikely to make a difference.

Colleges may not know your school’s reputation, but the school profile will put your achievements in context (and if it’s QA, that is an impressive context ;-))

For the top colleges (and you might find it interesting to look at [Forbes Top College List](, which uses a very different [methodology[/url] than USNWR), your grades and test scores are only one part of the equation. What you do beyond the classroom is also significant.

The usual buzzword is ‘leadership’, but the key point is showing that you have put substantial time and effort into something/some things beyond school work, and have achieved a meaningful level of expertise and responsibility within those things. Something that might not be obvious about this aspect is that a student who has been able to manage both a high level of involvement (both in terms of time and developing responsibility/achievement) in ECs and a rigorous courseload with high marks, is likely to be a student that can handle the workload at a demanding college- AND who is likely to become a contributing member of the community.

Overdone ECs include starting a charity and starting a club: if you do either it counts more if it is done before the penultimate year (b/c the assumption is that if you start it that year it is basically resume padding).

What you do over the long holidays also counts. At a presentation to HS juniors, the Dean of Admissions at Princeton said ‘we don’t care what you do on your summer vacation, but we do care that you do something and we care what do with what you did’. She then went on to make the point that they are not looking exotic, giving the example of people who babysat or scooped ice cream for summer jobs, and wrote compelling essays based on that. Be aware that college experience summer courses or community service trips are seen by many colleges (and most of the top ones) as signs of privilege (even if the program is ‘selective’, with some examples of exceptions [url=<a href=“]here[/url]”>]here]( That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do them, just don’t count on saying ‘I did a summer course at Famous University’ or ‘I spent a month in Underprivileged Place helping the Poor Natives’ and expect them to be impressed. Rigor of thought is as important as rigor of coursework.

Thanks for replying, college mom! It is QA! :slight_smile: Are you from the area?
In the STEM area, I have gotten Prize for the AMC, and earned a place in the Science Olympiad Summer School. I also have my AMus in piano, and Grade 8 in viola. I have leadership at school and outside of school, and I also do volunteering at a local hospital and animal shelter. Over the summer holidays that are coming up, I will be spending a month doing scientific research for my EE, and training at the Summer School I mentioned earlier.
I’m just hoping this is “enough”, haha.

Color me impressed. if your stats are strong, and your essays are good, I’d fancy your odds. BUT (requisite CC PSA here): do your homework on the “Ivy Leagues”. Aside from the fact that the odds are vanishingly small for ALL applicants, they are not a homogenous lot (classic examples are Brown’s open curriculum v Columbia’s core curriculum, or Cornell’s hinterland to Columbia or Penn’s urban-ness), and there are some top-drawer schools that are every bit as good, but just don’t happen to belong to the same athletic conference.

Ah, good point. I was also thinking of some non-Ivy Leagues as well, like MIT for example. Either way, the acceptance rates are sooo small. Thanks for your responses, I guess now it’s just more hard work and more research on my part :slight_smile:

Do you have test scores? Also, no matter how good they might be, you need to find some lower ranked schools that are matches – every school mentioned so far is going to be a reach because of very low acceptance rates and a very talented applicant pool. And if you want to be sure you have a place to go in the fall in the US, you need a safety or two.

A couple of resources:

  • The best book to get a good flavor for colleges is the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Not sure if you can order one or not, but it is very descriptive. A copy a couple years old is fine, just check test score ranges and admission requirements online, as they can change.
  • Net Price Cslculators - On each school website financial aid page. Tells you about what you would be expected to pay. But overestimates your aid if your parents are divorced, own a small business, or rental property.

Of course, your safety might be in Australia. My niece is a U.S. citizen at AMC in Tazmania.

You may want to buy two books, The Fiske Guide 2016 and Colleges That Change Lives. Colleges that Pay you Back 2016 is also interesting.

I’d agree with those who said that it would depend on the school