3 years ago
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Where should I apply ED-1? Trinity College (CT) VS Amherst College

Very long context. I hope you all won't mind-

I am an international student (Indian) needing almost full financial aid (My family EFC is somewhere around $2-4k).

I have a 3.91 GPA (Amherst has its own graph to calculate GPA from grades). No AP/Honor classes offered at my school. SAT score of 1500.

I have one National Award (based on merit) and few regional awards. I have over 1500 hours of community service and have taken leadership positions at different state level organizations. I lead a NGO which got funding from a minister (equivalent to a congressman in the US I guess). I also opened a business in my town and earned over 500,000 Rupees (≈$6,500). I had an investor contact me to invest ≈$20,000 to my business (although I turned down the offer since I would have had to scale my business way too much and it would have quite definitely hurt my studies). I have also organized dozens of events with hundreds of attendants (mostly workshops).

I have done research under a university professor which was published in a regional journal and received local media coverage as well.

My main concern is financial aid.

I like both Trinity College and Amherst. Trinity College is need-aware so I am worried that they might 'want' me but won't be able to afford me (partly because they can probably get 2 or perhaps 3 excellent students for what it’d cost them to admit just me and partly because they were already in financial deficit and the pandemic has drained their finances further). On top of that, Trinity College's 'average financial aid for non-resident aliens' has been going down for the past few years even after increase in COA of the college (i.e. in recent years, they are preferring students who can actually pay for the college). On the other hand, Amherst College is need-blind but an extremely selective college with only a 11% admit rate and even lower for internationals (5% I think). Academically, I think I am in the bottom 50% for Amherst (3.91 GPA, No honor/AP classes offered, 1500 SAT). I think I am academically more capable than this but I had to open my business(the one which I talked about earlier) and had to get another part-time job just to support my family so maybe I can explain that in the common app?

So, my main question is-

Which college should I apply ED1 to? Amherst or Trinity?

@mathgeek3 years ago [edited]

hey, I think I can give you some insight on this but please consider it with a grain of salt- in my opinion, I think Amherst will be a better option since it's need-blind and your ECs are pretty great, and if you have stellar essays, I think it'll greatly improve your chances. Now with trinity college, as someone who lives in CT, I think you should also factor in that the cost of living here is very high both in MA and CT so the 2-4k would only be able to cover your expenses let alone tuition .-

@mathgeek3 years ago [edited]

Assuming you'd get into trinity and considering the downward trend, Trinity will be very expensive. say you do apply ED1 at trinity and you get in but can't afford it, it would be pointless. But if Amherst provides financial aid, it'll be far easier and much less debt. To conclude I think ED1 at Amherst will be a better option. Make sure to put a lot of effort into your application. Cheers and good luck.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@pakito3 years ago [edited]

Thank you! Trinity College actually provides full financial aid for international students as well (which covers the cost of living). Trinity is actually very famous for providing great Fin Aid to international students. It's just that getting into a need-aware college with almost full financial need might be almost impossible even if I'm 'overqualified'. So, I'm not quite worried about expenses since both of them are very generous when it comes to giving aid.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@pakito3 years ago

I'm just worried about where I have more chances getting into through ED-1. Anyways, thank you for your insight on this!!!

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1 answer

3 years ago

I’d say Amherst as you highly value fin aid so ED would provide the most increase in chances. Your ECs are certainly very strong and GPA is probably bottom 50 and SAT is mid 50 if I remember correctly so you’d have decent chances based on that.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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