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Need help with understanding my S's chances

MHRKHNHMHRKHNH 12 replies1 threads New Member
Here's are details:
SAT 1310 (760 Math)
GPA 3.64
Indian (International Student)
Need aid
Computer Science Major
These are some colleges we're looking into:
Grinnell, Lafayette, Bucknell, Lehigh, Oberlin and Wooster- first are all of these good colleges for CS programmes? Second, What are our chances to get through?
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Replies to: Need help with understanding my S's chances

  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3432 replies40 threads Senior Member
    Very few schools are able to meet full need for international students. Finances will be an obstacle first.
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  • thumper1thumper1 76586 replies3391 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    I can’t comment on the strength of the CS programs at these schools. But I think the only possible sure thing on the list for acceptance is Wooster. BUT even need based aid is listed as “competitive” for international students. It might not be affordable.

    The rest would be close to reaches for an international student. These schools do not meet full need for all accepted international students, (except Oberlin) and some are need aware for admissions for international students.

    How much aid does your son need annually to be able to attend these colleges?

    Actually..better question....how much can you pay annually for your son to attend college in the U.S.

    Lehigh website says they only offer limited aid to international students.

    From College of Wooster:
    Need-based aid is competitive, and the maximum financial aid package at the College of Wooster for international students covers full tuition.

    And Oberlin:
    At Oberlin College, our financial aid policies reflect a historic commitment to inclusion and academic excellence. Oberlin’s financial aid packages meet 100 percent of the demonstrated need for every student, both within and outside the United States, as calculated by the Office of Financial Aid. More than two-thirds of students receive need-based assistance.
    BUT keep in mind that Oberlin is need aware for admissions so your ability to pay could factor in when your admissions application is reviewed.

    From Lafayette website:
    Each year Lafayette College offers need-based financial aid to approximately 55 international students. The students who are chosen for financial aid are among the top-ranked students in their high school and often have outstanding SAT/TOEFL scores.

    Bucknell:
    A college education is an important investment in your future, but we understand that not every family has sufficient funding to attend Bucknell. We do have some scholarships for international students. These scholarships, however, are limited and competitive.

    Grinnell:
    Grinnell College offers a full range of financial aid opportunities to international students and we are committed to providing affordable education to students from around the world. Admission to Grinnell is highly selective, and the competition for financial aid is more competitive as the applicant’s demonstrated financial need increases. Students who demonstrate academic excellence and who maintain active co-curricular involvement are especially attractive to our admission committee, regardless of financial need.
    edited December 2019
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9929 replies538 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    I will be honest. I don’t think your son has a chance at any of those schools. His test score and GPA will be low for almost all of them. I agree that MAYBE Wooster is possible. Needing aid is also going to work against him. And I don’t think those school offer CS.

    He might be able to get into Marist or Union, both in NY. Both offer CS.

    I suggest you spend more time figuring out which schools offer CS, and give aid to International students. Then compare your son’s grades and test scores to the 75th percentile of all accepted students. To even have a shot, he needs to be high in their stats. You can google Common Data Set, name of college to see their data.
    edited December 2019
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  • me29034me29034 1800 replies92 threads Senior Member
    If your son has a 1310 total SAT score with a 760 math, that means his English score is 550. That is low for most of those schools. This may add another hurdle in addition to the issue of being international, needing aid, and applying to one of the most competitive majors
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  • thumper1thumper1 76586 replies3391 threads Senior Member
    @MHRKHNH

    Please let us know...

    1. How much can you pay annually for your son to go to college here? This is a very important question. Your son won’t be able to take U.S. loans at all. He will need to complete a certificate of finances showing he has at least one year of all expenses covered (which can include awarded financial aid) in order to get a visa to study here.

    2. Is he also planning to apply to colleges in your home country, that are affordable.

    3. When will your son graduate from high school?

    You also need to understand that his application for admission will be reviewed alongside others from your region which typically has some very high stats kids applying.

    The suggestion of a place like Marist will only work if he gets sufficient aid to attend. Their website is pretty vague about international student aid.
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  • momprof9904momprof9904 403 replies3 threads Member
    Adding to the list in post#5: NJIT, Kansas State University . They have solid CS programs which are not competitive to get into. You may get some scholarship money,but wont be substantial.
    Without knowing your budget, its difficult to give further advice.

    Note that international students are not eligible to work in the US without sponsorship, which is becoming more and more difficult to obtain.

    With your son's lower verbal score, the selective liberal arts colleges in your list will be a poor fit, as others have already pointed out.

    Getting a bachelor's from India and coming to US for master's may be a better idea.
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  • MHRKHNHMHRKHNH 12 replies1 threads New Member
    Thanks everyone.
    Wooster is on our list as every one suggested, though Lehigh was our first choice.
    We can pay around 18-20K USD annually.
    In India, CS w are good but there isn't anything great happening around AI and Robotics, which interests my son the most.

    I know his verbal score in the real exam is not great, but he has took some mock tests (College board latest tests) and there he scored as much as 1550, not once but thrice! We were shocked when we saw the score, but there's not time to do a second attempt, so we have to live with this unfortunately.

    We were planning UK but we're contemplating on the choice of universities- any suggestions?
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  • sdl0625sdl0625 710 replies11 threads Member
    How about RIT? They have international students. I am not sure though what their policies are about aide.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2276 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    That’s a significant amount of aid you are needing, for a student that does not have outstanding stats for the schools you are looking at. The harsh truth is that it’s difficult for someone needing a lot of aid but without outstanding results, to get it as an international. Your catch-22 is that the colleges that are most generous with aid are also those that are most competitive for academics.

    Is there really nothing good on AI and robotics anywhere in India, even at places like IIT? I presume your son is applying to some local universities as backup? As another poster suggested, undergrad in India and postgrad elsewhere is probably the way to go - many in India and other developing countries have found this is the best route.

    If you are set on international, the UK will end up cheaper than the US, probably significantly so - both fees per year and the fact that you are only paying for 3 years, not 4.
    edited December 2019
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  • momprof9904momprof9904 403 replies3 threads Member
    Specialties like AI and robotics are not that common in the usual undergraduate CS programs that would be good fits for your son's stats. However, there are Master's programs at many universities with those concentrations. And 10-20K will not cover much for undergrad, even with some of the generous scholarships for internationals like the ones Kansas State has.

    The kids I know who have come from India for undergrad have parents with deep pockets and are full pay - no aid. Also , US universities mainly view international students as cash cows to boost their budget. The *very* few students from India who get aid to study at top universities like CMU or MIT are at a very high level of accomplishment - in addition to top GPA and test scores, they have distinguished themselves in international competitions or have some other noteworthy accomplishments.
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  • MHRKHNHMHRKHNH 12 replies1 threads New Member
    Thanks everyone.
    We are seriously considering the UK- same logic 3 years instead of 4.
    In India, competition for top notch colleges is extremely high. You mentioned IIT- that's like gold (or maybe platinum) standard for even an extremely meritorious student there are like about 5 lakh+ students take the entrance exam and only about 9K get a seat!
    The difficulty with India is, unlike US/UK, second tier institutes here have mostly bad reputation and faculty.

    Any suggestions for UK uni's?
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7243 replies70 threads Senior Member
    What are his marks? All of the UK unis post their requirements online, and the marks needed vary by both uni and course.. IIRC, an A*AA is more or less like an average of 85-87% (best 4 of Standard XII).

    But finances will still be a problem: expect to pay USD$40K+/year.


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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3362 replies63 threads Senior Member
    MHRKHNH wrote: »
    Thanks everyone.

    Any suggestions for UK uni's?

    @myos1634 Can you help suggest potential UK, perhaps EU and Canadian colleges too, for this student from India?
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5847 replies86 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    One of the top schools in the nation for AI in an undergraduate setting and is more accessible to be accepted than MIT and CMU- is the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It’s still incredibly difficult to be accepted into this major from out of state and international but not quite like the other two. It’s less expensive but still expensive for a state flagship comparatively.

    However for AI it’s world class and CS in general. Overall it’s 64 in USNWR for National universities and 24 for all public universities.

    As you know there are thousands so this is an incredibly good university. In your disciplines it arguably elite.

    They also are ranked number 1 in usnwr for campus dining. Not a bad feature. Lol.
    edited December 2019
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  • MHRKHNHMHRKHNH 12 replies1 threads New Member
    Yes UMass Amherst is on our list and we are ready to try our best to get into it, even if it means going an extra (or maybe multiple :-) ) miles for arranging the finance. Keeping our fingers crossed.
    I hope my son can dine there next year this time :-)

    @ collegemom3717, he's scored very good marks in class 10- 96 % in both Math and Computer; 89% in Science (Phy/Chem/Bio) and 86% in English overall he scored 92% in class 10 and got a 12th rank in his school.

    He will take class 12 exam now in Feb-March 2020 and his school counsellor has given a predicted score- 95% computer; 85% math; 82% English - please note in India counselors ALWAYS give predicted score on the lower side.
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  • MHRKHNHMHRKHNH 12 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you very much, some recommendations will really help. We looked up Delft TU- they base their admission solely on the school examination marks, which we think we have on our side and the fees are OK as well. But we can't probably rely only on one U..
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  • aquaptaquapt 2282 replies47 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    If you're looking at the UMass system, also consider the Lowell campus. UMass Lowell has a strong and rising reputation in CS, and they're far more likely to give some merit aid to reduce what is already a lower "sticker price" than UMass Amherst. (Full-pay for Lowell would be around $34K; full-pay at UMass Amherst is over 50K.) If he goes there and does well, he can still consider transferring to the Amherst campus, but in the meantime you'll have saved a lot of money and he'll be getting an excellent CS education (with the option of a robotics minor https://www.uml.edu/Robotics/Robotics-Minor/Robotics-Minor.aspx ) on a campus that's only a short commuter rail ride from the city of Boston... and there would be nothing wrong with remaining at Lowell for his whole degree. https://www.uml.edu/international-applicants/competitive-costs.aspx
    edited December 2019
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2276 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    Full-pay for Lowell would be around $34K;

    Tuition only - all in cost is around $47k according to their website. From their website also, it looks like max scholarship for internationals is $20k : “UMass Lowell offers a variety of scholarships to our first-time, first-year, undergraduate out-of-state and international applicants of exceptional merit.
    Awards: Scholarship amounts range from $10,000 to $20,000
    The type and amounts of the award depends on a comprehensive evaluation of each year's applicant pool.”

    No idea how competitive OP’s son will be in this pool.

    If son does get max scholarship there, and OP can pay $18-20k a year all in, that still leaves a $7k-$9k annual shortfall for the tuition/fees/room and board calculation, plus there is still textbooks, day to day expenses and transport home needed on top of that. The math doesn’t work.
    edited December 2019
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  • aquaptaquapt 2282 replies47 threads Senior Member
    Oh, sorry, I misread based on their saying that their costs run less than the 38K average *total* cost for publics in MA, but I guess in-state must be included in that average. Yeah, looks like about 45K minus merit. Still cheaper than the Amherst flagship as a baseline, and chances of merit are much better at Lowell than Amherst for any given candidate. If Lowell doesn't add up, I don't see how Amherst does.

    TBH, the truly affordable programs are in the midwest, not on the coasts. There's good CS at highly affordable and high-quality schools like South Dakota Mines - they're just not popular because they don't have an in-demand location. For 26K/year (before any merit - I'm not sure whether there's merit $ for intl students or not), they offer an excellent STEM education, and they have a robotics minor as well. http://ecatalog.sdsmt.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=13&poid=974&returnto=2327 U of Minnesota Morris also has a solid CS program and a sticker price of around 25K/year (with the possibility of internal transfer to the Twin Cities flagship campus - but the yearly cost there is about double). That's about as inexpensive as it gets, short of attending a US community college for the first two years, which a fair number of international students also do.
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