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Chance me for NYU, Northeastern, Brandeis and UCSD

AtomicMan576AtomicMan576 60 replies2 threads Junior Member
Background: I'm Indian (ethnicity-wise), and I live in India but I was born in the States and I am a citizen. My school is extremely small and very new, but is known for its tough grading system, people have transferred because of it haha. My dad lives in California so I live with my mom (they are not divorced), I'd say middle class, dad used to make around 45k in 2018 but since he moved to the US around 110k.

Probably applying for biochem/neuroscience/molecular bio, with premed track.

GPA: This doesn't translate very well since my school doesn't use GPA, but around 3.8-3.9 UW, 4.6-4.7 W.

SAT: 1550, with 770/780. I will be taking Bio, Chem and Math II in the fall, and based on practice tests I should do well in all three.
Classes: In my school we have IGCSEs freshman and sophomore year, then IBDP junior and senior year. IGCSEs are, roughly, equivalent to honors classes in the US.
As for my individual IGCSE scores:
Math, Bio, Chem, Physics, Economics, Eng Lang, Eng Lit - A*
Business, Spanish - A
I'm taking Bio, Chem and Math AA at HL, and Spanish B, Econ, English Lit+Lang and Physics at SL.
I also self-studied and took AP Psychology freshman year, I got a 5.

Extracurriculars:
- I play soccer for the school team, it was me and a few friends who really created the school team to be honest, in junior year. Before that I played for a small local club, we won a few city-tournaments but nothing special.
-I'm a founding member and leader of the school newspaper club junior year, I'm also one of the editors and write articles + helping younger kids in article writing.
-Created a website full of notes for IB math
-Did some volunteering, around 200 hours. We worked with a group of kids and helped them read, I also worked at an orphanage for a bit one summer.
-A few Coursera/edX courses in complex analysis, physiology, neuroscience, and philosophy.
(clearly a weak point in my application, I didn't do as much as I'd hoped to do due to the attitude and culture of the place I live in and admittedly, my own apathy)

Awards:
Nothing special, I should be a National Merit Semifinalist based on predicted cutoffs and I won third place in the state in an English competition freshman year.

LORs: I have great relationships with my teachers. One of the letters I expect to be stellar, my Bio teacher has taught me for three years and she absolutely loves me, could be "one of the best I've ever had" material, 10/10. The second one is also pretty good, my English teacher knows me well and helps with the newspaper, 7/10 or 8/10.

Essays: I'm starting them only now, but I'm a pretty good writer (if I say so myself) and so they should be around 8/10.

So yeah. Chance me for, uh, Brandeis, UCSD, NYU, Northeastern, University of Washington, Boston U, UW Madison and JHU (I'm aware I will be extraordinarily lucky to get into JHU, but I fell in love with it way back when and so I had to try).
Thank you so much!
20 replies
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Replies to: Chance me for NYU, Northeastern, Brandeis and UCSD

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8043 replies85 threads Senior Member
    College in the US starts with 'how much can you afford', not 'where can I get in'. So, what is your budget? Do the EFC's (expected family contribution) for all these schools look realistic? If your Dad is tax-resident in CA in theory you should be eligible for in-state tuition? check that out. The other state universities that you mention (Washington, Wisconsin) will not only charge you out of state (OOS) fees, but will not give you financial aid. Finally, afaik, none of the other colleges you list are 'need blind', so how much financial aid you need can affect your chances of admission.
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  • AtomicMan576AtomicMan576 60 replies2 threads Junior Member
    You're right, I should've mentioned these. The EFCs are, in general, around 20-30k for each place, and this is within our budget. If I were to get in to these schools I would try to pick one that has the least effects upon our finances but regardless, the EFCs are within range.
    As for whether I'll be eligible for in-state tuition, it's a very tricky situation. No website/forum online seems to be crystal clear on this, so I'll try emailing the UCs and asking for their help.
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 30736 replies446 threads Forum Champion
    edited July 3
    EFC is for Pell grant eligilbity not your final costs. Use the Net Price Calculator for each school on your list. If you are not a CA resident, then UCSD would be around $65K/year to attend not the in-state rate of $35K.

    Residency requirements for the UC’s are pretty clear, see link: https://www.ucop.edu/residency/residency-requirements.html
    edited July 3
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2721 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited July 7
    From what I can tell of the schools I visited/looked at in depth with my daughter:

    -Brandeis is probably a target
    - BU is probably a target to low reach - their admit rate has been dropping quite a bit
    - NYU low reach - also because of admit rate. Your chances would probably be slightly better applying to Tandon than CAS
    If you were to get an offer at NYU it would not be surprising if the financial aid offer is insufficient- they expressly do not meet full need.
    Not sure about the other two.

    All I know of UW (Washington not Wisconsin) is some high stats kids at my daughter’s (high performing CA public) school were rejected. I believe they do not offer much aid to out of state students either.
    edited July 7
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1272 replies3 threads Senior Member
    edited July 7
    "Probably applying for biochem/neuroscience/molecular bio, with premed track."

    Suggest you add Biomedical Engineering (BME) to your list of possible undergraduate majors.

    Pros: You can still be a pre-med major and will study in the exploding areas of robotics and medical research Upon graduation you will have real employment options in the medical field if, for whatever reason you decide not to go to medical school. This area of studies is exploding. JHU, CMU, Case Western, and WPI are leaders in this area. Closely related bioengineering BE is very strong at UCSD. You would be a "high tech" MD.

    Cons: A very tough major to get super high grads in. High grades are important for competitive med school admissions. You can also major in straight pre-med at these universities, but you also have the BME/BE options.
    edited July 7
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  • AtomicMan576AtomicMan576 60 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Makes sense, I'll think about applying as an BME major to a couple schools, see how it goes. The only issue for me in terms of BME is that physics is pretty much my worst (relatively) STEM subject and I've heard engineering courses have more of a focus on physics than bio, and so that really put me off initially. I'll still think more about it though, thank you!
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  • AtomicMan576AtomicMan576 60 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Okay, if so, where do you think I should apply ED? I have an equal preference for BU, Brandeis and NYU, so where would you advise me to apply ED? Thanks!
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 10388 replies73 threads Senior Member
    edited July 7
    I have to agree with @Gumbymom, in that, you should have used the net price calculators that are on each school’s website. You have to go on each of your target school’s websites, look for the Net Price Calculator, plug in your numbers to get the estimate of how much you will be paying. It’s usually pretty close and accurate.
    The EFC is a minimum of what you will pay for a school. It estimates qualification for any federal funding which could include a PELL grant ($6k max a year) and a government loan ($5500 Freshman year). This federal government funding shouldn’t be expected to cover your tuition. Given your father’s income level, you probably won’t qualify for a Pell Grant but may qualify for a loan. So, being a US citizen helps you to qualify for possible federal funding, but it doesn’t make you a resident of any state. So you would be considered a citizen but an “international” applicant.
    You won’t qualify for a CalGrant, which is funding from the State of California (and what a lot of residents use), because you don’t currently attend a California high school, and you are not physically present in California. So assume $65K a year at the UC’s.
    NYU is notorious for not giving any financial aid so assume full fees at about $75K a year.
    Oh and my daughter’s med school is expensive. Students use either, the Bank of Mom and Dad to pay tuition and fees, or loans, since there’s no free tuition money for med school. Most of the students are using loans, loans and more loans. Assume $240 K to attend med school.
    You need to realistically look at costs first.
    The UC’s do have scholarships, but these typically run about $2K per year on average. That should just about cover your health insurance fees.
    edited July 7
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2721 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited July 7
    Okay, if so, where do you think I should apply ED? I have an equal preference for BU, Brandeis and NYU, so where would you advise me to apply ED? Thanks!

    This makes me wonder if you have visited them. Brandeis is very different from the other two. ED at Brandeis is probably your strongest chance. BU took 50% of their admits from the ED pool last year so probably your next best bet. All 3 schools do have a noticeable ED advantage that is not, or not much, diluted by legacy and athletes as it is at some other schools. All 3 schools (I believe) have ED2 as well so you have a second ED option if the first doesn’t work out.
    For ED you should be applying to a school that you love and have no doubt is a clear first choice.
    edited July 7
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2721 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Slight correction to auntbea’s post, NYU averages $37k per student financial aid (though I think that includes Pell where applicable) so it’s not “no” aid, but again, they explicitly do not meet full need - I think the number of students who get full rides are in the tens (not even hundreds) out of an entering class of over 6000 students.
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  • AtomicMan576AtomicMan576 60 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Oh, I think I made a slight "miswording" in my question, haha. I wanted to ask where I should apply ED, assuming that I had no preference between any of them. I did in fact visit all three schools and I loved all of them, and I'm still figuring out the pros and cons of applying ED to Brandeis or Boston. The thing that puts me off about Boston is that I've heard horror stories about the lack of financial aid, but at the same time I believe I would fit in better at Boston (but this is not to say that I would not fit in at Brandeis or anything).
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1272 replies3 threads Senior Member
    College physics is all about math. Ask Einstein who was not so good with the math, but had a little help from his wife (and some mathematicians... , he made it! Evidently you have the math tools. What is Biophysics?

    Yes, physics, math and chemistry are all very important tools in modern science/engineering. Nature is interdisciplinary and does not follow the subject boundaries we see in basic coursework. Science applications are moving and integrating very rapidly. Approach it from the end you are most comfortable with. Try not to set disciplinary boundaries.

    BU has BME. See https://www.bu.edu/admissions/why-bu/academics/majors/pre-medicine/

    I too have not heard the best news regarding BU FA. However I also found this on their website: see https://www.bu.edu/admissions/tuition-aid/affordable-bu/

    and also https://www.bu.edu/admissions/apply/early-decision/

    !Is this a new development?!

    Warning, FA is not my expertise, but it is obviously important.
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  • AtomicMan576AtomicMan576 60 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Haha well that's good to hear, I'll do some more research on BME, then.

    As for the "affordableBU" program, yes I did read about it, they claim to fulfill 100% of "demonstrated need," but seeing as my family's financial situation has taken a rapid upturn over the past year, I'm worried that they might give me lower FA taking into account the current year's finances only.
    The issue of course is that there are a lot of other things to settle in the background, and so we've estimated that 20-30k would be apt in terms of overall family contribution, which is similar to the EFC we've calculated for most of the schools using the net price calculator.
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1272 replies3 threads Senior Member
    edited July 7
    Another option would be to apply at a university where your academics are above their average and you may have the opportunity to win a "merit" scholarship. I don't know that any of those options are on your list. They do exists.

    UCSD in a great school in your subject area.

    Does your father's status qualify you for in state CA status? Can you move to CA for one year to cover CA residency? See https://www.ucop.edu/residency/residency-requirements.html
    edited July 7
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2721 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Haha well that's good to hear, I'll do some more research on BME, then.

    As for the "affordableBU" program, yes I did read about it, they claim to fulfill 100% of "demonstrated need," but seeing as my family's financial situation has taken a rapid upturn over the past year, I'm worried that they might give me lower FA taking into account the current year's finances only.
    The issue of course is that there are a lot of other things to settle in the background, and so we've estimated that 20-30k would be apt in terms of overall family contribution, which is similar to the EFC we've calculated for most of the schools using the net price calculator.

    If that’s a worry you should probably drop NYU from ED consideration. Of those who reported offers for both BU and NYU in the NYU thread, invariably BU gave better aid - often significantly so - and some applicants chose it over NYU for exactly that reason. I don’t find the url now but i seem to recall reading that NYU on average provides 60% of need.

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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2721 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Another option would be to apply at a university where your academics are above their average and you may have the opportunity to win a "merit" scholarship. I don't know that any of those options are on your list. They do exists.

    l

    Ah, good point. There are threads on chasing merit, I’m not overly familiar with them, but one that springs to mind if OP wants a decent size urban college is Fordham. From what I can see online (and experience from my daughter’s offer) it is pretty generous with merit.
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  • AtomicMan576AtomicMan576 60 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Makes sense, I've dropped NYU - it's between BU and Brandeis now. Thanks for your help!
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  • AtomicMan576AtomicMan576 60 replies2 threads Junior Member
    As for chasing merit, I see where you're coming from, but I'm not sure my parents will see it that way haha, they really want me to go to a "top" university. I'll look into it though.

    According to the document, I will not qualify for California in-state status, and I'm afraid it won't be possible to move there now, I have to complete high school in India.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2721 replies14 threads Senior Member
    As for chasing merit, I see where you're coming from, but I'm not sure my parents will see it that way haha, they really want me to go to a "top" university. I'll look into it though.

    According to the document, I will not qualify for California in-state status, and I'm afraid it won't be possible to move there now, I have to complete high school in India.

    Wanting you to go to a top university is moot if they can’t afford it. Colleges meet their definition of need, which to be blunt - doesn’t sound like it will match what your parents want to pay. I’d say just make sure you apply to a range so that you have affordable options too. Some of those NPC calculators are very accurate but others are not and you can’t rely totally on them.
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1272 replies3 threads Senior Member
    I am not suggesting that you apply to an academically weak university. Do not confuse "brand name" as the defining guideline for academic quality. Focus on the strength of faculty/research/graduate school placement and employment records in your fields of interest.

    Look for a strong average, unweighted GPA in the entering classes. You could possibly receive some merit money from a university where the secondary school GPA of entering students is still close to yours (e.g. a 3.8 on base of 4). Remember that general brand recognition does not always reflect the best academics in your areas of interest. Do the research. This is a major flaw in the "ivy" shopping complex.

    Name recognition can bring "bragging rights," but you may have to pay for it and it may have little bearing on the quality of your education or the opportunities actually available to you.

    This does not translate to "all" universities are the same! Rankings are popular because they seem to make a difficult job seem easy. Put in your research time and you will be motivated. This motivation will feed you wherever you go. This adds to your academic/career success.
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