5 months ago
Admissions Advice

Suggest me some colleges

Can you guys suggest some colleges which are in my range of acceptance

GPA:3.91(UW), top 3% of my class

I have no APs offered in my school but I self-studied 4 and got 3 5s and 1 4.

SAT: not taken but am consistently getting 1500+ on all official tests


Blog: 100k+ views, 100+posts. My articles were published in DB(NY of india) and NDTV(CNN of india)

Podcast: weekly podcast Available on all platforms which is related to my blogs topic

Founded a nonprofit which supports about 500 people monthly

10+MUN and chaired 2 and these were sponsored by UNDP and Australian embassy

I self learnt 6 language and developed 2 apps

I was CS club leader for 2 years

Played football(Soccer) for junior team of LNIPE(among the top 5 sports Universities in india) for 1 and a half year

Interests: CS, journalism and Economics

Requirements: just need financial aid


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
5 months ago[edited]

First, you are asking the wrong question because if someone gave you a perfect list of colleges you can get into with your stats, then the chances they are not the TOP colleges in the US are a possibility, which means that the financial aid might not be the highest either.

The simple math problem for you to consider is that if you require financial aid to attend an American university, the only way that you get to get that financial aid is first to apply to the best colleges. The better the college, the better the International Financial Aid. So if there are 4300 colleges, you should eliminate about 4200 of them and focus only on the Best National Private Universities and Best Liberal Arts Colleges. There are some outliers like Berea College and SOKA University and give excellent aid as well.

The best financial aid for Int'l students are from schools like

Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Stanford, MIT, Brown, Dartmouth, Yale, Amherst, Pomona, Williams, Wellesley (womens college), Duke, Wesleyan, Trinity, Skidmore, Vassar, Colgate. You get the picture. If you can get into those, you can get good aid.

The caveat I must share for all International Students is that the concept that you get get a "FREE RIDE" is highly unlikely since many of the costs will never be covered even if you get a generous grant. If a total annual budget to attend one of these is approx. $80,000, you are doing great if you get $60,000-$70,000 in financial aid. Keep in mind you will have to pay for travel back and forth for 4 years, health insurance, technology like your own laptops/mobile devices/peripherals, VISA/legal docs, various College fees, and during the 3 1/2 month schools are not open during the summers, you will have to find some alternative room and board options if you decide to stay and work during that time. Also, very common is the work-study grant where you work for the college 10-15 hours a week and use that money toward your college expense. Some colleges even expect you to contribute say 20%-25% of your summer earnings toward college expenses as well.

So for all of you International Students requiring money from the college, the goal must be to get into the very best colleges that offer Int'l students financial aid. If your parents can afford to pay the going rate, then you can pick wherever you want to go. This is why competition is fierce at all the top schools in the US. There are limited seats, say 1500 at each of the best Ivys and Elites. And if they get 40,000-60,000 applications including 10,000+ International students, then you're competing with a global applicant pool, many of who have much better applications.

5 months ago[edited]


You have great ECs (Especially the fact that you have your articles published in NDTV and DB which I assume is Dainik Bhaskar). I wouldn't go as far as calling Dainik Bhaskar the 'NY of India'. Published article in NY is a VERY BIG DEAL while not so much in Dainik Bhaskar (they literally post tons of articles written by middle/high school students). Nevertheless, I think you have a very good shot at journalism but I'm not so sure about CS or Econ (Unless you go to one of those colleges which lets you decide your major after freshman year.)

The most important factor will be how much aid you need. Maybe specify a bit about how much money your family can contribute towards your education and I could help you.


After knowing your Fin Aid requirement through the comment you made, here is what I have to say-

Your choices are very limited. Now, I am also in the same situation (Indian needing full aid) so I know that it's very discouraging to hear that options are limited. But it is the harsh truth. Before I even start to recommend you colleges, I must say that you should definitely have backup options in your country since getting a full ride is nearly impossible (more so because COVID-19 ate a lot of funds for colleges).


The best colleges for you would be the ones meeting the full needs of all students accepted. I'd say apply for merit-based aid too but don't expect much because your grades and ECs although good, aren't stellar either.

For full-ride merit-based scholarships-


For full-need based aid-

1. Amherst College

2. Harvard University

3. MIT

4. Princeton

5. Yale

6. CalTech

7. University of Notre Dame

8. Dartmouth University

9. Cornell University

10. Duke

11. Pomona College

And maybe 10-15 other colleges.....

Now, do realize that these colleges are extremely hard to get into, and just by looking at your profile, I honestly think you have very little chance of getting admitted to any of these (again, not trying to discourage you but do know that admission for Indian Internationals is extremely competitive and extremely 'unfair' in the sense that they would much rather give a full ride to U.S. Citizens not even half as qualified as you rather than give it to international students.)


1) Have backup options. There are quite literally no safties or even targets for international students needing a full ride. Almost every college is a reach.

2) If you can, improve your ECs. Don't get me wrong, you have great ECs. But you do need a full-ride so you need to somehow show colleges that you will be a very essential addition to their class. After all, you're asking them for around $300,000 dollars over four years which accounts for ≈2.2 crore Rupees. You need to show colleges that you are worth investing that much money into.

3) Even if you have stellar ECs, the only saviour you have is your essay. Make sure to nail the essay so much so that the AOs will be extremely willing to add you to their college and passionately defend your application.

Hope this was helpful!


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