US College Applications

About group

We have created this group after seeing a number of questions from both US and foreign students about US college application process. Our goal is to help college bound students navigate relatively complex college admission process by directing them to the right resources and having related discussions here on RoundPier. RoundPier community is about sharing ideas and learning from one another - we hope that those who have successfully navigated this process can share their insight and help others. Members of our team have attended leading universities in the US and Europe and would be happy to share their experience.

Keywords

Hi there ! So I have worked for a hotel as an internship for about 3 months now and also been a volunteer for a orphanage for also 3 months .But a problem is my major is Computer Science and some of my friends told me that these activities are not relevant to computer so I shouldn't mention those .Is it true ? Should I mention these things in my application ?
Link
1 month ago
You should definitely mention them.
1 month ago
Are you applying this year? If so, it's likely too late to make any major changes to your extracurricular activities, considering that early apps are due in less than a week.

Leadership positions can show a deeper level of commitment in an activity, yes. But any activities that you've spent significant time on are important and should be mentioned on the application.
1 month ago
I am actually taking a gap year ,but I don't know how to get leadership positions right now .I don't actually have any ideas for starting a club or founding an organization.So what should I do to right now ?

P/S: And again , thank you very much for all your answers !
Some relevant comments for international student here

www.scmp.c... e=3ee6eee6
Link
Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone here has any useful tips for NYUAD's admission? I am planning to apply for early admission 2
Link
1 month ago
I head they are trying to have a really diverse student body so showing that you are interested in variety of things is probably helpful. Essays seem to be important too as is the case at most top schools
A lot of second tier public colleges provide significant aid for international students. I'd advise you to look into those.
For example, UT Dallas has a scholarship that covers all tuition fees + 3k per semester and international students are eligible.
Similar universities would be University of Nebraska Lincoln and UT Tyler.
Link
1 month ago
thanks this is very helpful! i didnt realise UT Dallas has anything for international students
1 month ago
Thanks!
1 month ago
Do you know of other full-ride or near full-ride scholarships?
Hi guys, I am thinking about taking a gap year .Is this a disadvantage and if yes, what should I do ?
Link
1 month ago
Hi An - we have seen a few gap year students and some success stories! It is difficult to say whether or not gap year helps but you should definitely know what you are going to do during this year. The last thing you want to do is waste a year of your life. So make a plan and it better be more than just filling out college applications...
1 month ago
I am thinking about it too but just more to enjoy some time off
3 weeks ago
Hi, hope this reply isn't too late. Don't worry about taking a gap year. I did it too and got into college. Some schools actually like students who have taken a gap year. It's also a way for school to create diversity.
Is the University of Rochester good for Engineering?
Approximately 30% of their class is international and they provide significant merit scholarships to international students.
Link
1 month ago
@Kristen do they actually keep track of this?
1 month ago
@Brian University of Rochester specifically extremely cares about demonstrated interest.
I know someone who got rejected from there and got into MIT.
1 month ago
Yes, schools keep track of demonstrated interest. There are even some mail tracking softwares that certain college use to see if you open their emails and click on links.

For schools that don't weight demonstrated interest in the application process, demonstrating interest shouldn't be much of a concern; for those that do, however, it is a part of your file and can affect your likelihood of admission. You can check a school's Common Data set to see if demonstrated interest is considered in the admissions process.
Hi guys ! I am a student from VietNam and I am planning to study in the US.My question is what I should do in order to increase my chance of a full-ride scholarship ? This is what I got so far :
1.1520 SAT
2.780 in SAT Math II and 780 in SAT biology
3.90% GPA in my school
4.99 Toelf

About my activities :
-I have made some small computer apps for my school
- I am currently working for two non-profit organization in my country : one is about environment and one is about science

So I don't really know what I should do next ? Do I need to increase my activities ? Do I need to take AP exams or do I need to focus more on something else?
Link
1 month ago
I am actually in grade 12 but I am thinking about taking a gap year , my GPA is about top 5 or even higher in my class and we don't have any APs courses in my school so if I take APs ,does it increase my chance ?
1 month ago
At this stage there is no point wasting time on AP classes especially since your school doesn't offer it. You have very good SAT II scores. It is all about picking the right schools now and applying to as many as possible. Top 20 schools are very unpredictable but have a look at this list of colleges that are most generous for international students here.
1 month ago
I'd advise you to start your application as soon as possible because the deadlines are close.
What do you think of Minerva Schools KGI?
Link
2 months ago
I have done some research on it. It is a unique place but reviews are mixed. I also couldn't find what options they have after graduation. Here are a couple of good posts on Quora www.quora.... ols-at-KGI
2 months ago
Is it really that hard? And what kind of exam do they give you when you are applying?
2 months ago
Acceptance rate is lower than most of the top schools
I have made some small computer apps for my school .They are not something big but these apps does help to reduce the work my teachers have to do. So I wonder if I should include this in my college application ?
Link
2 months ago
By the way , I just want to to add a few details about some of my apps .Basically , these apps are able to gather students'information (their name,national award,scores,...) from excel files and then use these information for different purposes (each of my apps has their own mission) .So I don't know if these apps are complicated and "great" enough to be included in my college application
P/S: Thank you very very much for the answers !
2 months ago
Hi An - this is more than most of the students will do during their academic careers. If you have built a project that has been used by the school it is an excellent example to show the depth of your experience and passion for technology. Unless you have 5-7 other more impressive activities this is definitely something that is worth mentioning and explaining how your school benefits from the work you have done.
2 months ago
Definitely include it!
Here is common app question from another group we have - see if you guys can provide some feedback www.roundp... evelopment
Link
Hi guys :) I need some (a lot actually lol) help. Do colleges consider your unweighted GPA (and average) or weighted? If so, what would a weighted GPA of 4.0 be considered unweighted? And what would a weighted average of 94 be? Do they really consider these aspects of “weight”?
Link
2 months ago
Hi Jared - it depends on your school's weighting system. See what the premium is for honors/AP classes your school has and you can calculate it. They look at both weighted and unweighted (many schools dont report weighted GPA) and the level of classes you have taken.
2 months ago
They basically look at the classes and grades rather than just gpa - if you have 94 out of 100 and that includes a mix of AP and honors it is a great result
ED or not to ED? Comments please
Link
2 months ago
It is better to ED if you want to increase your chances but you can't compare financial aid offers, that's why I am applying EA not ED.
2 months ago
But if you don't you become desperate and start getting paranoid about RD or this this just the feeling I get? And what if I do but can't afford it, can I still get out of the contract?
2 months ago
Yes you can if the financial aid package doesn't suit you
Does having someone from your country accepted at the university last year decrease your chances of admission? (If the university didn't admit students from your country before)
Link
2 months ago
Which category does Rice University fall in?
2 months ago
*Sohbet ;)
2 months ago
Rice has lots of intl students I doubt anyone will tell you if they will reject students based on someone else attending the school a year before
Will Dartmouth become need-blind again?
news.dartm... -call-lead
Link
What is your advises when writing the main personal essay?
I have no problem with the supplements because they are mostly straightforward and short, but the main one is too broad.
What is your advice about where to apply in the early round? Is it better to apply for a highly selective school or a less selective one?
On the supplement essays, is it okay if you miss the word limit by a few words, say 8 or 9?
Link
2 months ago
Thanks for your advice, I also didn't like the idea of a binding decision.
2 months ago
So now, I plan on applying to Yale SCEA, MIT, Vanderbilt, Swarthmore, Dartmouth, NYUAD. Do you have any other suggestions to add to my list?
The problem with 3-2 programs is that there isn't financial aid available at the partner university, so I will have to apply only to universities that have an Engineering department.
I have safeties in Egypt and in Malaysia.
2 months ago
If you are aiming for top schools we suggest to add UPenn. We have seen at least one international success story here on RoundPier in the previous admission round (www.roundp... .machaidze ) and while it doesn't mean anything for the next year it is still a large school with sizable international student representation.
Hello, I am a senior in high school located in California. I am currently in the midst of doing my college applications but I seem to be having trouble on my uc personal statements. I understand colleges don't want to hear a full on sob story, but at the same time they'd like to hear about obstacles that I've overcome. I have my fair share of obstacles, but i was wondering if anyone had any advice on finding a balance between boasting and being humble at the same time on the uc personal statements?
Link
2 months ago
I haven’t started writing college essays but I think if you focus on how you’ve overcome the obstacles and learned or improved from them it won’t sound much as a sob story. Opening up like most wouldn’t ( maybe about mental issues) doesn’t sound bad to me as long as you focus on what good came out of it.
2 months ago
Hi Benson - agree with Faith. All about how you present this and "lessons learnt" that shaped you as a person/student. You also need to realize that there are many students out there overcoming obstacles so try to make the story about your personal growth rather than focus on things that distracted you from this. If you are talking about personal insights questions make sure to choose the questions that relate to you and where you can add your accomplishments. Finally, try to make it memorable and fun.
2 months ago
Memorable is key imo. This is true for any college essay
Hello, I am an international student planning to apply to the US, however, I am not very familiar with the admission chances, SO PLEASE FEEL FREE TO RECOMMEND SCHOOLS, this is what I got:

- 99,98% GPA from a public Saudi school, 2nd on +100 students.

- 1430 SAT ( Math: 800, R&W: 630), will my 800 make my score more competitive?

- 99 TOEFL

- SAT Math 2 (730), No other Subject Tests

We have fewer than 5 activities in my school but here are mine,
ECs:

- Deputy head of the Organising Club, it's like students who help to organize other students(11-12).

- Help the counselor in organizing events, like anti-smoking event

- Head of the library club (5th and 6th grade), I really don't know if I should include this

Prizes:

- Won a Mathematics contest on the level of Central Region (Riyadh and cities around it), First place. although, they didn't send me any Model or Trophy.

- Excellence Medal from the General Directorate of Education in Riyadh

Other important notes:

- I am Syrian living in Saudi Arabia, from a very disprivileged background.
- By September 2019, I will have completed two years of gap years, because of visa rejections or my mere nationality here in Saudi Arabia
- I know no one who took SAT, I had no mentor, and I scored the given score after one attempt
- I learned English on my own, no one helped in this journey
- I need financial aid or Merit scholarships, if none I won't be able to attend.
some points above I don't know if they matter at all, but I am writing everything just in case.


universities I am aiming for are:
Amherst College
University of Michigan
Boston college & university
NYU Abu Dhabi

and the list is open for any universities or colleges with Financial aid or scholarships
Link
2 months ago
The most important thing is to ask the right teachers! And in most countries teachers have little experience writing recommendation letters for US colleges so you better educate them about what should be there...
2 months ago
@RoundPier Team
I am currently looking for universities to add to my list, however, I find it kind of hard to choose a safety that will provide me with full financial aid, do you have any suggestions?
2 months ago
@Abdul we said it many times there are no safeties for international students especially if you require substantial amount of financial aid.
We receive a number of questions about MIT admissions directly and there are a few below in this Group. If you are just starting out and thinking about applying start with their blog mitadmissions.org/!
Link
Hi, I'm a sophomore in high school, and I'm looking for internship opportunities, preferably something related to science or engineering, but I am open to options. I know that volunteer and internships are very valuable resources that colleges look at. I am also limited to virtual internships or volunteer work.
Link
3 months ago
Hi there - we have answered your question in Eduniverse. Give us a shout if you have more questions.

RP Team
3 months ago
Focus on things you really care about, dont worry about what colleges look at. Most colleges understand that in certain places there aren't that many opportunities but you can also work on your own projects
For Indian students interested in US colleges, Tata Scholarship at Cornell is an excellent opportunity to finance your studies

admissions... cholarship
Link
3 months ago
Thanks!
2 months ago
Thanks for the information!