3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Which Colleges should I apply for?

Hi, I have to decide a college/colleges for ED/EA. I'm an international student with an SAT score of 1480.I'll be needing aid as well since I can't afford college and I'm a first generation student. I know it's a holistic approach but Which colleges do I have a good chance of getting in to with this score?


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

You have some options but not a lot since only the Top colleges give the very best financial aid to Int'l students and I don't think you'd have a good chance at any of the Ivy League schools, Stanford, UChicago, Northwestern, Duke, MIT or Caltech.

While a 1480 is an excellent SAT score, it's not a very competitive score for Int'l students at Ivys and Elite colleges. If you wanted to try ED'ing, I would pick the ones that are the least competitive, say Dartmouth or Cornell.

The schools I would try for an ED or EA would be the following because even though they are not Ivys or Elites, they are some of the best colleges in America and they still give out some of the best aid packages to international students.

Wesleyan University in Connecticut

Berea College in Kentucky

Amherst College in Massachusetts

Williams College in Massachusetts

Hamilton College in NY

Colgate University in NY

St. Lawrence University in NY

Vassar College in NY

Kenyon College in Ohio

Reed College in Oregon

Dickinson College in Pennsylvania

Lafayette College in Pennsylvania

Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania

Middlebury College in Vermont

Also, please don't bank on the whole holistic marketing propaganda. Your entire application will be read in about 10 minutes regardless of where you apply to. In that 10 minutes, the application readers will review your grades, test scores, recommendations, honors, awards, essays, supplemental essays and questions, and school reports. They will make their decision on what you present to them in a holistic review process that aligns with the needs and goals of the college, not you. You are only an applicant, one of tens of thousands. If you are not a good fit for their school, it doesn't matter how smart you are. This is the reality of college admissions. It's very fast and impersonal. If each admissions officer had a chance to interview you for a couple of hours, they would factor in other things but when 10,000 people apply Early Decision for 500 or 1000 available spots, the readers have to make surgical, quick decisions to move along the process. Never take it personally or think that their decision is a reflection of you as a human being.

(if you have the opportunity to take the SAT again in December and improve your score, that will only help you for regular decision opportunities.)

Good luck.

3 years ago

Hi, thank you for asking your question! @CameronBameron has done a terrific job answering this question and I agree with them completely. More specifically, their advice on: 1) Not selectively applying to only Ivy League schools 2) Noting that SAT score is still critical for admissions selection, especially as an international applicant and 3) ED/EA choice should increase your chance of admissions by roughly 10-15% chance and 4) Selective schools in the US are less likely to provide financial aid (in the form of merit or loans) to international applicants.

I will also note that it may be helpful to utilize our chancing engine, which can account for more variables than the SAT score alone.

Best of luck!

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


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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