Very Tough Situation - Homeschooled, International, no leads on what to do

I’ve did plenty enough research on applying to universities, even tried applying once just to get the gist of what the process is like, knowing I’ll most likely be rejected. And I did, cuz I didn’t have my A level results yet and despite my valiant efforts to claim some sort of self-predicted grades, it failed.

I know I’ll be accepted to pretty much any university I want that doesn’t look heavily at extracurriculars, but it’s not so simple.

Alright that’s it for the pre-introduction. For starters, my financial situation is poor and the Mount Everest of my parents’ capabilities would be to book my flight and pat me on the back with the equivalent of 5000 bucks or something. So if I want to study abroad, I need a huge scholarship, and it’s really not easy to find it.

I dropped out of highschool (finances) at 10th grade to study the curriculum by myself and take the exams at a private organization, and I got pretty excellent grades! The downside is now I don’t have anyone I can ask for recommendations, counselling, information, and giving me a few pointers here and there to solidify my university journey.

So all I want is for someone qualified enough to thoroughly inspect and analyze my situation, and inform me of any ways I can get huge scholarships or something, if my talents allow for it; or anything I can work towards in the next few months to further build my repertoire. I don’t think I should share too much information here, I’d rather do it in a conversation, but I hope to catch the eyes of some great people who can give me some pointers.

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I will be blunt: your chances of getting full financial aid are very unlikely.

How do you know this?

Which are? What courses have you taken? What are you hoping to study?

This is a problem at the colleges where you are most likely to get full financial aid.

In the US, the most generous colleges are also the most selective. These colleges, and many others in the US use holistic admissions, meaning they admit you based on much more than just grades. They will consider your grades, course rigor, essays, test scores (if required), recommendations, and extra curricular activities. It will not be one thing that gets a student in, but a number of things.

I think you need to consider university in your own country. There are colleges you can attend for free or very little in the US, but you still need to pay living expenses, plane tickets, expenses, etc…Can you work for a couple of years and save money? Then you might be able to afford something.

There are some colleges on this list that might be worth considering, but again, the issues you mention are going to make it hard for you to get accepted I think. 10 Tuition-Free Universities in the USA for International Students 2021

Germany might be another option. Is College Free in Germany? | BestColleges


Thanks for replying.

I am taking the British Curriculum. I finished my 5 GCSEs and 3 A levels, which are Chemistry, Math and Physics, and I got A* A A respectively. I know I will be accepted to pretty much any university, because I know my capabilities get huge tasks done in a short period of time. I spent 6 months studying for my A levels, spending on average 1-2 hours a day, and got these grades. I’m not bragging, I’m just putting out what I can do in a set period of time.

I have considered Germany, it’s a great option, but my main target is Canada. I live in Syria right now, with a residency in the UAE, so it’s very unideal to study in either of these countries (former has terrible living conditions, latter is extremely expensive, with a poor quality, lose lose). I am sure I can get down a few achievements in the 6 months I have from now till application deadline, if I know where to find these competitions, or what kind of projects I could make. I am looking to study Physics by the way, completely forgot to mention that earlier, and yeah it does suck that I didn’t manage to get an A* on it, I’m sure I was off by a few marks lol.

Thanks for being blunt though, I really want to know where I stand right now, so I can take the appropriate, most valuable and realistic course of action.

Take a look at McGill and other Canadian universities. They tend to not care about ECs or letters of recommendations, but do care about GPA and test scores.

But I don’t know about their financial aid or scholarship information.

And you know this…because?


Copied from my other comment

I am taking the British Curriculum. I finished my 5 GCSEs and 3 A levels, which are Chemistry, Math and Physics, and I got A* A A respectively. I know I will be accepted to pretty much any university, because I know my capabilities get huge tasks done in a short period of time. I spent 6 months studying for my A levels, spending on average 1-2 hours a day, and got these grades. I’m not bragging, I’m just putting out what I can do in a set period of time.

This won’t guarantee your acceptance to college….anywhere, and certainly not at the colleges that guarantee to meet full need for all international students.

I think you are very very poorly informed on what it takes to get accepted to colleges in the United States. Those full need colleges for internationals…guaranteed…are highly competitive with VERY low acceptance rates. And the over 90% rejected include many many ver well qualified applicants.

What colleges exactly are you considering?


These qualifications, while impressive, do not insure your admission to an elite university.


Actually, this student isn’t really guaranteed admission anywhere that will give very very high financial aid.

There are on,y seven colleges that are both need blind AND meet full need for all accepted international students. They are HIGHLY competitive for admissions.

There are other colleges where this student might get decent guaranteed aid, but they will be need aware meaning that the college will consider financial need when admissions is considered.

And there are colleges where this student might get great aid, but it’s not guaranteed.


I’m well aware. I cannot go into MIT or other elite schools, unless I dedicate a year to getting accomplishments, such as winning/placing high in olympiads and competitions, interning with a relatively renowned organization/s, making impressive applications (code), volunteering, etc. But it’s a better investment of my time to go to a less elite university now, and then possibly get a masters or PhD at an elite school.

My goal first goal now is to find a way to get a 50-100% scholarship in Canada, it’s the ideal place for me considering the co-op programs and I prefer Canada from a living standpoint. If that fails, then I can go to Germany or somewhere with free/low-cost university tuition.

First of all, my goal isn’t a very elite college. It’s to get into a moderately good college in Canada, such as Waterloo (it’s elite for Engineers, but moderately good for Physicists), and have at least a 50% scholarship fund, and some aid to help me get through the initial steps. My ability to get huge things done in short periods of time isn’t gonna get me in, but if I get a bit of intel on what I CAN do, then I can get a few big accomplishments in the span of a few months, which will certainly boost my chances.

Since you aren’t targeting US schools (which I agree with that decision), have you read through the threads in the International forum?

There’s information there about financial aid and admissions requirements. That would also be a good place to ask some of these questions.

@DadTwoGirls Do you know anything about aid offered to internationals by CA unis? Most likely not since I believe your kiddo had dual citizenship but taking a chance :grin:

Edit: Are you fluent in German? While education in Germany is free I believe fluency is required. You should research The Netherlands unis if you need instruction in English. However, I do not know if they will meet your financial requirements.

Please answer my questions.

  1. Have you now graduated from high school?

  2. You say you have some scholarships and some money for “initial stages”. What does that mean. College degrees are usually four year endeavors. Can you fund four years? Or are you hoping to gain significant aid so that you can attend a Canadian college? You say you need 50-100% scholarship. That seems like a high bar to reach.

  3. You said you applied to some colleges already? It sounds like that was before you had completed your high school course of study. Why did you do that? Who paid the application fees?

  4. While many colleges are now test optional or test blind…have you taken the SAT or ACT?

@DadTwoGirls might have some info on what sorts of aid an international student can get at Canadian universities.


It would be useful if you told us how much you can afford per year for your education. Bear in mind that flights, books, living expenses, etc… are not the same as tuiton.

Basically about 5k USD max per year

That will pay for your health insurance which will be required at many places….not Canada but here in the U.S.

It could pay transportation costs for you…if needed, plus necessary things like linens, clothes, books, etc.

$5000 won’t cover much else. So you are looking for a place that can almost cover your full cost of attendance, right?

Well yeah, hoped someone could scout me out and give me some pointers on what I can do to be valuable enough by the time I have to apply (about 6 months). Since like I said, I could totally get down a few big things down in these 6 months, but idk where to look. I’m not worried about being accepted, I just want a relatively big scholarship. A 50% scholarship is minimum, cuz I’m sure I can get get the other 50% scholarship while I’m smashing projects and stuff in the university. Getting to Canada while being set for at least a year is my first and foremost goal.

This is not guaranteed.

I am also going to be blunt and reiterate: You have grossly underestimated your chances of being accepted to a university in the states and possibly Canada.

I guess you don’t realize how many international students are extremely capable, strong, with myriads of excellent grades, high SAT/ACT test scores, amazing EC’s, and strong letters of recommendation. A number of these students can pay the high fees but are still rejected. You are asking for full financial aid which adds to your issues.

Honestly, no one cares if you “can get tasks done in a short period of time”- this is expected of all students applying to universities. So, if you are certain that you’ll be accepted to any university that you want, then apply to those universities and check your outcome. See if those schools will provide a full scholarship. That doesn’t happen.

That $5000 will have to cover health insurance and your travel expenses. At the US schools, health insurance is required and is not covered by scholarships.

Make sure you will be employable in your home country because these universities will educated you, and that’s it. Don’t expect to get permission to work. No guarantees anywhere.


bro come on I have been doing nothing for the past year or two cuz I didn’t have opportunities around me (trust me, the UAE and Syria are really, really bad from this standpoint). Once I get into uni and get to know the community, I’m sure I can do so much. I know my talent and capabilities, but getting into a decent uni in my preferred country is right now my biggest wall, and I don’t have anyone to give me guidance.

Isn’t an A*AA with only 6 months of studying, no tutor and 1-2 hours a day very impressive? The British curriculum is more difficult than you think, so I hope you are not thinking it’s the same as your APs or something. I really don’t wanna and don’t intend to brag but I need to throw this out there so I can get the most suitable replies.

Ofc no university is gonna buy the fact that I did it in 6 months and without a tutor, whilst putting minimal hours, but I want you to assume I’m that capable to send me off properly.