2 years ago
Admissions Advice

asking about stuff will help me in my admissions

first, I am a full-stack developer freelancer, I'm a Syrian Refugee student in Turkey, I'm in 11th class with a 2.2 GPA, I started SAT a week ago. my dream school is CS at MIT.

I know you are laughing bc I'm a 2.2 GPA who wants MIT.

but, I can improve my GPA to 4.0 (A/%93-%96) it's easy, but it needs a lot of time. bc, I've requested to change my school to a better one, I face racism every single day from teachers and students, I'm the only Syrian in 10-11-12 grades, students harass me every day, literature teacher give me %25 for my notebook score (%33.3 of the final score + exam and performance) I deserve %100 and no one cares if I complain. So changing was the only thing I can do. I think it's a good reason for the low GPA.

I believe I can fl... get 1580-1600 in SAT.

last but not least, I have no money to afford any university, even if it is $2000 a year.

(my extracurricular activities):

1- I worked in an education center, managing YÖS students and teachers (an exam like SAT in turkey) and helping students to choose their universities and too many things else.

2- I also worked almost the same thing in another education center owned by my big brother.

3- I worked in an online course website as a website manager (just uploading videos and tracking the analysis of the site)

4- I worked with too many customers on the web, the highlighted one is https://beta.tt.social

5- I made a blog for sharing my knowledge in code, freelancing, psychology (for improving the websites)

6- I made an application to create websites. (I'm sorry I stopped both blog and application bc I'm making a new version, it will improve everything, I'll finish everything in like the start of 12th grade)

my questions:

1-) what is the personality that top school needs?

2-) Are my extracurricular activities good or do I need to make more?, then what are the best activities I can do?

3-) how scholarship works in this case? in other words, what is the scenario of them?

(ex: the traditional Turkish scholarships, submit your files to scholarship and they will send them to the university, and if you get accepted they will pay the university, with a monthly salary)

4-) I don't have an ID like other normal people, I have a refugee ID I can't have a visa or a passport, how can I send my files to schools I wanted or how I'll travel if I get accepted?

5-) is changing the school will delete my black scores history, if they reach 4.0 GPA.

6-) what is the thing I must focus on more? SAT GPA extracurricular activities freelancing or projects.

7-) what are AP/IB, Honors classes? (I've searched but I couldn't understand)

It's long I know, but I combined every single question I had in my mind that I really stuck in and.

thank you for reading.

🎉 First post
Let’s welcome @eymen to the community! Remember to be kind, helpful, and supportive in your responses.
@yyeyyeyye32 years ago [edited]

Dear friend there's not much difference within our cases. I am a student like you with high dreams. Although not a refugee but there's lot going on. So maybe we can work together and see where life takes us. Don't forget to mail me :- rathermutaib333@gmail.com

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4 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Wow, a lot of different things to answer here.

1. Top schools don't look for any kind of specific 'personality.' They do want students who are intellectually curious and dedicated to learning, passionate about their academic and extracurricular pursuits, and talented and intelligent. They also tend to prefer students who demonstrate strong leadership skills and who take the initiative to seek out special opportunities and/or attempt their own self-driven projects. Finally, they generally prefer students with a "spike" - a specific academic or extracurricular area in which they have achieved great things - to more well-rounded students.

2. Your extracurriculars look strong. I'd work to keep building on the activities you already do (expanding your blog, building out your application, getting more users, etc.) and possibly adding a few more as well. Since it seems like your 'spike' is in programming, I'd continue to focus on that area primarily

3. In the U.S., only 5 of the very best schools (including MIT) provide 100% of demonstrated financial need on a need-blind basis. Basically, if you were accepted to MIT, Harvard, etc. you would just report your financial situation, and they would cover your cost of attendance. Other schools provide some amount of financial aid on a need-aware basis (meaning that they will provide you aid if they accept you, but they're less likely to accept international applicants who need aid). In general, outside of the very best schools, it's extremely difficult to get financial aid as an international applicant, so I'd probably mostly apply to more local universities as well as very affordable (or even free) public schools in Europe. For more information, you can check our numerous blog posts on getting financial aid as an international student: https://blog.collegevine.com/schools-that-grant-financial-aid-to-international-students-a-complete-list/.

4. I'm sure it will still be possible to apply. If you have any trouble, make sure to contact relevant admissions offices directly to ask what to do.

5. You will not be able to get rid of your GPA - if you transfer schools, you will need to send both transcripts.

6. Given that your GPA is the weakest part of your application, I'd focus on that. A great SAT or ACT score will definitely help you, but cannot make up for a low GPA.

7. AP and IB courses are not important if your school doesn't offer them. If you want a chance at the top schools, you'll need to take the most challenging courses your school offers (whatever those may be) and do very well in them.

I think you have an extremely compelling story, and I'm deeply sorry about the challenges you've faced as a refugee in Turkey. That said, I think it's unlikely that even this story, other successes, and perfect grades this year and next will make up for your GPA at top schools. Given that scholarship is very important to you, and that it is extremely difficult to get scholarships to US universities as an international student, I'd temper your expectations and look to apply primarily to more affordable non-US schools. I'm wish you the very best of luck.

2 years ago

Hi, welcome to Collegevine! As a matter of housekeeping, only ask 1 question at a time. Most people are very busy with the college applications and will not be interested in answering 7 questions.

1. Most Top schools are looking for remarkable students that are not only excellent students but have a proven track record of serving their community, showing strong leadership qualities, having impressive accomplishments, superior writing and communication skills and being humble and gracious and kind. 95% of MIT applicants were rejected during early action admission. And close to 97% will be rejected for regular decision. Within the reject pool, which is a self selecting pool of some of the smartest kids in the world, are many students with perfect grades and test scores and ECs. There simply isn't enough room to accommodate more than 4% that apply and many certifiable geniuses end up at the their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or lower school choices.

2. Your ECs are good but not impressive compared to ECs of students admitted at top Schools.

3. The Turkish International Scholarship is much more generous than American scholarships. I also think European countries that have free college are a much better fit for you. In the US, unless you are a top student with the highest GPA, Test Scores, ECs and other evidence of intellectual vitality, you will not be considered for full tuition scholarships. Less than 1% of universities offer such need based scholarships as you seem to require since you are poor. This is a grave misunderstanding amongst HS students living outside the US.

4. If you should get accepted, you would work with the country's embassy in Turkey to secure a student Visa. For example the US Consulate or US Embassy in Istanbul.

5. Changing Schools will not expunge your academic record to zero. You will have to repeat all your 2.5 years high school if you want a clean slate and start over.

6. There isn't very much you can do about your GPA so try to get a high SAT or ACT score. But remember having a high test score is only one of the many criteria used.

7. AP classes are college equivalent courses offered primarily in the US. Every May there is a week of AP testing. IBs are International Baccalaureate coursework that high achieving kids take either individually or towards an IB diploma. Every year there is IB testing as well.

51 schools in Turkey offer them.



It's good to have dreams @eymen. Moving forward, I recommend you work on getting into a college that will have you, not MIT. So be realistic yet optimistic that you find a place that will give you the opportunity to prove yourself. A place where you can grow into your potential.

Good luck.

2 years ago

Hey @eymen! Welcome to Collegevine.

Also an aspiring MIT freshman here.

Here are my best answers to some of your questions:

1) MIT emphasizes that it's looking for "nice" people over and over again. It's looking for genuinely compassionate people in addition to those who are interested in deepening their knowledge in many areas (like you!).

2) Your extracurriculars look alright, but I'd need to see more detail to really be sure. MIT also cares about community service and your involvement towards real ends and making an impact in the world, so consider adding on strong extracurriculars that fit in with that profile. Collegevine's blogs have some resources that might help.

3) Scholarships are super complicated, and since I'm a domestic student, I probably don't understand all the minutia required for international students. If possible, I would try to get in touch with someone from Turkey or Syria that is currently attending university in America and ask them how they did it.

5) I don't believe changing your school will remove your score history, especially if a whole quarter/semester/marking period has passed and your grades have already been put into a report card. There will be a section on your college application for you to explain unfair grading circumstances like you have in your question.

6) Do what you love! Freelancing and working on projects is great for building skills in development and creating a portfolio. However, it's also critical that you get your scores sorted out—both your SAT and GPA. MIT is really picky with both of these, so you'll want your GPA to be near that 4.0 you're working for. As for your SAT, aim for 1510+.

7) Advanced Placement (AP) is a high-level standardized class, usually for students in the US. IB (International Baccalaureate) is an international diploma program that hosts a ton of similarly high-level classes. Both IB and AP classes are usually indicative of high course rigor, which is what colleges are looking for.

Let me know if you want me to explain more about anything!

— Tetrachloride

a year ago

I have some advice on entry and the first years of college that I wish I had known and used in my time:

1. You should plan your time clearly and know what you can spend more time on and what you shouldn't pay attention to at all.

2. Working and learning is a good idea. You will have a clear idea of how to communicate with employers, what is required of you as a professional and so on. The earlier you start working, the better.

3 Never refuse help. There are many different services that can help you with different tasks, for example you can buy a custom essay here: https://papersowl.com/buy-custom-essay and not spend too much time writing it. Instead, you can devote more time to your work.

4. Plan and execute your plans. When you know clearly how much and what needs to be done and how much time to do it, it becomes very easy to be productive.

I hope you will find these tips very useful!

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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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