2 years ago
Admissions Advice

How do I get into the United States as an international student with gap year looking for financial aid ?

I am an international student from Nigeria. I completed high school(called secondary school here) in 2020. I am trying to get into a college in the United States with full financial aid. I have a 3.2 GPA and I wrote the SAT and had a 1330.I am planning to apply for fall 2023 and I have researched about a lot schools that give 100% financial aid, most of them seem to fall in the top 20 schools but there are also some that I have a chance of getting into when I used the chancing calculator on collegevine. I do not know if I should take the SAT again and try to improve my score. My high school did not offer AP/IB classes and I do not know if I can take AP Exams to increase my chances. Please any advice will be appreciated...

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

As you know it is very difficult to get a full ride into an American college as an International student unless you are an exceptional student with top grades, course rigor, intellectual curiosity, amazing ECs, recommendations and essays.

With a 3.2 GPA and a 1330, you are certainly a very good student. You have a very small chance of getting anything close to a full ride with those credentials. I would say the same thing to American HS students as well.

Since you have completed HS already, your HS transcript is fixed and the 3.2 GPA is fixed as well. You do no have an opportunity to change that. However if you did take some online AP courses or college level courses and receive As in them, that will show admissions officers that you can do college level work with some mastery which is good. Just be careful not to enroll in college as full time student otherwise you will be viewed as a transfer student. I would look in to eDx.org AP courses or even Outlier.org college courses. These are taught by top college professors and if you decide to enroll into these, select the grade option because I believe you can audit both types without grades, but you need the physical grades to make them count for something. They are both very reasonable in cost compared to enrolling to colleges online directly.

My second piece of advice is to retake the SAT and aim to get a 1450-1500. If you haven't already, create a Khan academy account and use all the free online resources on Khan academy to improve your test score. If get some test prep books, the ones I recommend are the following:

-Erica Meltzer SAT Reading

-College Panda series for both English, Math

-The Official SAT prep guide from College Board with sample tests.

In addition, you can find older tests on reddit and other sites where you can test prep from.

Even with these additional attributes to your college application, you may still not find a free ride anywhere but you will be more competitive than you are at this juncture.

Other Nigerians and Africans have been accepted into top 20 colleges but they have used their GAP year to attend a College Prep Academy or a Private Boarding School in Nigeria where there are resources and coursework that improve their application outcomes. I would seriously consider doing that as well. I don't know if they have Post-Graduate programs like the do in the US but I would research that.

Good luck.

2 years ago

One more way to accomplish your goal is looking into schools that meet 100% of demonstrated need that are not as selective as top 20 schools. You can find them on this list. Hope this helps!

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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