What are my chances?

<p>Hello collegeconfidential :D I am a junior at an international school in Albania and I want to get into a selective college in the States next year. I want to know if admission officers will look past my disadvantages being from a country with a flawed educational system. </p>

<p>I have decided that I want to major in philosophy, and these are my top choices for college:</p>

<p>New York University
Columbia University
University of Pennsylvania
Princeton University
RUTGERS University (I heard their philosophy department is one of the best in the country.)
Union College in NY</p>

I just took the May SAT and am looking forward to my scores. I am opting for 2100+, and if I don't achieve my desired score this time, I'm taking the SAT again in the fall.</p>

<p>I am taking the Literature and World History Subject Tests in June. I currently take four history lessons a week and five literature classes a week (although I ** rarely** learn about American authors). My literature and history classes are in Albanian and English. </p>


<p>I was a member of my photography club until my teacher left and I also help little kids improve their reading skills in English every Wednesday at my school.</p>

<p>Due to the small number of students in my school, the school doesn't offer a wide program of extracurricular activities, so a few of my peers and I have created these opportunities ourselves.</p>

<p>I am President of a Debate Club which seeks to create connections with other students around the Balkans. Two of my friends and I have created this group and are now searching for students in other countries to hold conventions. </p>

<p>I am also President of an informal environmental organization that a friend and I have founded. We have conducted several activities which seek to raise awareness about littering, such as cleaning up areas of the city, bike-riding days, parties to spread awareness, competitions, protests etc and have appeared in newspapers and on TV. We have had ** minimal ** help from teachers and other adults to carry out our projects, unless you count sponsorship. </p>

<p>^^^ I carry out these activities in these clubs because I feel like I'm doing something important for my country. I am a more QUALITY type of person than QUANTITY. Also, adults rarely help me with these projects.</p>


<p>My grades are in the A range and have been in this range all throughout my school career, so my GPA is about 3.75 to 4.0. Consistently, I have been and still am one of the top students at my school. </p>


<p>I want to mention that I want to be a future leader of my country in my application essay. Will admission officers care about this?</p>


<p>I have known one of my teachers for 2 years now. He is Canadian and will most likely write me an excellent recommendation. My principal (who also plays the role of a guidance counselor) will write my other recommendation. </p>


<li><p>I take 14 classes in total and there are NO HONORS in my school. I learn a little bit of everything and have not studied several subjects as in depth as American schools would prefer. YET, this is not my fault because the Ministry of Education in my country requires that I learn this many subjects. However, most of my books are part of the "advanced series," but most of the teachers cannot be compared to those in the United States. The curriculum is challenging but not the right kind of challenging.</p></li>
<li><p>I can't take the AP exams since they are not available for me.</p></li>
<li><p>My school does not have an official guidance counselor though it will next year. </p></li>
<li><p>Since my school is so small, there is a lack of extracurricular activities.</p></li>
<li><p>I live in a corrupted country and it's a very RARE instance when a truly deserving person wins any sort of competition organized by our local countrymen. </p></li>
<li><p>The educational system is still transitioning from its communistic-style learning to a more Western one with difficulty. </p></li>


<p>Taking all this into consideration, how much of a chance will I have if I apply to one of the schools I listed above? Are there any other schools you recommend that I apply to based on my descriptions?</p>

<p>Is money an issue for your family? I don't know if any of those schools meet need for international students.</p>

<p>Hmm well, money is not THAT much of an issue. Princeton meets needs for international students and I am aware of several organizations that give loans to international students as well. Columbia and RUTGERS are okay. I know NYU is kind of crappy. :D so disregard the money issue for now..</p>

<p>Money could be a big issue. For internationals, many schools do not have need blind admissions even if they do for US students. So applying for aid is an obstacle.</p>

<p>The schools will not be prejudiced towards your country,but most will want to see money from you, high test scores and some evidence that the courses you are taking will have given you the preparation you need to succeed in the US select university environment. If that is not the case, even more emphasis will be placed on your SAT scores and that includes the SAT2s, the subject tests. I would not worry much about the ECs and prizes, but those test scores will be critical. I don't know a single international student studying here at a top school on aid without very high, near perfect scores. </p>

<p>If you are aware of organizations that give loans to international students and the word gets out, you will be mobbed with requests for the info. These boards fill up with such students who are accepted and are trying to get loans. I don't know any organization that will lend the huge amounts 4 years here in the US would cost to any student, international or not.</p>

<p>What is the average SAT score for international students with financial aid?</p>

<p>I did some research now, and only eight schools in the States offer need-blind admission for internationals. Among these is Princeton, as I have listed above. It's going to be a LONG summer to perfect those SAT skills....</p>

<p>I'm going to be a champion of Rutgers and say that you should apply there; with your stats you're an excellent candidate and will almost definitely get accepted. Plus, although I don't know personally how good their financial aid for international students, you say that they're okay. They've also got a really diverse, accepting community. </p>

<p>I'm a junior also planning to apply to some of those schools (:</p>

<p>thnks Mrytor</p>


<p>Coming from Romania, I know EXACTLY what your situation is like. I have about 17 subjects, no AP's or honors offered and competitions are rigged. </p>

<p>That being said, as long as you make the most of your circumstances, as I can see you are by starting clubs and organizations on your own( always a plus that being a simple member), I say you have a fairly decent chance. If you say that money is not that much of an issue, even more so. I come from a <$15000/year family, so I personally will need a full ride. From my "what are my chances" thread, I've gotten only positive comments. </p>

<p>That being said, I think you have as much of a chance of getting in where you want all the other qualified applicants. With the top schools it's more an issue with how lucky you are. Focus on writing some *****in' essays, something that will boost your chances even more. Also, keep in mind that I'm applying next year too and don't kick me out of the applicant pool xD</p>

<p>I'm so happy I have someone from this region of the world on here!

<p>Personally, my teachers have told me that my prose is polished. I just need work on my organizational skills when writing essays.</p>

<p>From what I've been looking at on this site, I will probably have to opt for 2200+ on my SAT in October. In Albania, people just need to learn a few terms when dealing with math. Getting a 750+ in the Math section sooner or later is not going to be difficult; I'm just scared about MY ESSAY and the CR section. Also, I have done prep courses before taking my SAT this month, and I am confident I have mastered the grammar section.</p>

<p>I'm starting from Poland guys, and indeed, it is very hard to make your high school performance near to that of US students. Each year I have 15 obligatory courses without any college preparation courses. Furthermore, ( THAT IS SICK ! ) the city government CUT OFF funds for school/student organizations ! Thus, I decided to ride an English high school preparation courses with additional Physics and Physics in English courses for middle school students, take additional Physics lectures from time to time at my local LAC ( IN THE BASEMENT ), run a first aid group in school by myself ( we managed to prepare for the first aid contest, so I think it's not that bad, I've spent some time in an organization in my city until....FUNDS WERE CUT OFF ). Meanwhile I translate Interactive Science Simulations ( PhET, University of Colorado at Boulder ) and the website, so that they can be used in classes in my city and cooperate with one of the Polytechnics ( translations, proofreading ).</p>

<p>So, yeah. I try to do my best, but still I think it won't be enough. Ehh...post-communism, kiss my a... </p>

<p>Oh, and I love to pick up girls, though I sound like a nerd :D</p>