I know that asking for financial aid as an international student will hurt my chances if the college is need-aware. But, can anyone at least estimate how much my chances are going to decrease? For example one could say: "applying with financial aid as an international student will decrease your changes as if you are applying with 1390SAT for an Ivy league school" or something similar.
Unfortunately what you are asking for is beyond the ability or knowledge set of anyone on CollegeVine because there are too many variables and we nor anyone at CV can answer chancing questions on the Q & A blog posts. So the first order of business is to address that you can't ask a chancing question like this on C.V.
What I can comfortably say is that if you are a top applicant with all your stats and achievements, honors, essays, ECs, grades, etc in the Top 75% of the middle 50% percentile, you will have a better opportunity to get accepted at a top school versus someone who is lacking in 1 or more area regardless of the college being need-blind or need-aware. So if you are planning on applying to UPenn Wharton or Cornell Dyson with a 1390 SAT, you are most likely to be denied admissions because your high SAT score is still below the lower 25% percentile of the middle scores of admits. You'd have a much better chance of applying with a 1550 test score at a need-aware Ivy. (Both schools 75% percentile SAT score is a1560).
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a college, and many of them are interrelated and affect each other in a myriad of ways. That being said, there are a few important considerations schools make when choosing candidates while having need-aware policies.
Need-aware admissions mean that an a college admissions decision is made with the applicant’s financial background in mind. However, this isn’t always a bad thing; sometimes universities will distribute more generous financial aid packages to admits with demonstrated need as they have a better idea of what to expect from their incoming class.
If you're applying need-aware to a school, you will still evaluated primarily on your academic stats, essays, and recommendations over financial ability. Applicants would not be accepted solely because they can pay full tuition.
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