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3 months ago
Admissions Advice

GED and Coursework
Answered

Hi, so I am a new resident of the US (newly arrived) and I am planning to apply to Ivy Leagues and a bunch of other colleges that are competitive and are highly ranked, I could not finish high school in my country due to the fact that we had to flee the country. I have had perfect grades throughout school (Straight A+ until 11th grade) and I have also done a lot of extracurricular work and voluntarily community service which I believe is above average, so there are two things that I am not sure about, first is that since I could not finish high school and get my diploma which would have been a 4.0+ gpa, I am planning to take the GED in the coming days as the equivalent of my school diploma, so does the overall GED score that I get really matter to colleges and is there a way I can transfer my scores and grades from my high school like my transcript and then include that alongside my GED score or not?! Since I have had really good grades throughout school and I feel like they would be just useless just because I could not finish high school and could not get my diploma. Besides that, another question I have is that in the US coursework is an important aspect of a student's academic background and it affects your chances in college applications, but from where I come from, we did not have such thing as course work or AP classes that we could take, so how would that affect my chances at colleges, would it be considered that I could not do coursework since there was not this kind of system in our country or it would negatively impact my college applications?

My story is kind of different so I really do appreciate your consideration and putting your time to kindly help me out in this which could potentially give the answer to a lot of questions for me!

And also I am taking the ACT soon and I know that application deadlines are right around the corner but I'll try my best to have my applications submitted soon, and I believe that you can submit ACT/SAT scores after submitting your application packages so that would be an option too for me.

Again I really appreciate your time and consideration and your help and support is much appreciated!!

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2 answers

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Accepted Answer
2 months ago

Here are the answers to many of your questions:

1. The only part of your GED score that matters to colleges is whether you passed or failed. Scoring beyond passing will not really give you an admissions boost, but it will make you eligible to receive college credit.

2. You will be able to submit a transcript showing your past performance by working with your former school's administrators (if possible). They will be able to send colleges or an American high school your official transcript.

3. When it comes to academics, colleges only expect students to do well in the most rigorous classes they can given their circumstances. If your school offered no APs, that will be fine as long as you got good grades. If your school offered one AP, for example, colleges would want to see that you took that one class.

4. It is possible to submit ACT/SAT scores after submitting your application. Note that you will need to take the tests in October for early deadlines and November/December for regular deadlines.

Hope this helps!

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3 months ago[edited]

I would highly recommend that you enroll yourself in an American high school next week and take your time to acquire the course rigor, extracurricular activities, community service, volunteering, recommendations, sports exposure, and standardized testing that will make you a competitive applicant to an Ivy League or Elite college. Right now you are hoping all the planets will align in your favor and that is taking on a huge risk that you will not get into your top choices.

The common thing with college admissions that many American and International students miscalculate is that it's a ONE SHOT DEAL. You don't get another shot at some of these schools because the transfer rate is like 1% at many Ivys and Stanford, or exponentially lower. So would you rather settle for an okay college for 4 years or spend a year or so getting your ducks in a row and presenting the best version of yourself to these most selective colleges?

There are too many things that can go sideways and wrong with your plan. Most top colleges expect their admits to having a 3.9-4.0 unweighted GPA which is equivalent to a 750-800 GED score. So what's your plan if you get a 650?

The same risk is present with your ACT score. Unless you are scoring a 34-35 composite test score across all 4 subject areas on your practice tests, on test day most people are super stressed and find it very difficult to improve on their practice tests, in fact in many cases, realized test scores can be lower. So what's your plan if you get a 31 or 32? You only have 2 test dates for the ACT which are 10/22 and 12/10. The 12/10 ACT result will come out between 12/20-1/3 so there is a chance you won't even know your ACT score by the time you hit the submit button to Ivys on 1/1. And the ACT will get to the colleges sometime between 12/24-2/3. You really can't take an ACT or SAT test after December 10 or 12/3 for the SAT.

95% of super highly qualified applicants do not get admitted into Ivys or Elite colleges, so you have to seriously ask yourself what's the rush? If it is something you really want then be over-prepared rather than under-prepared. High school just started a couple of weeks ago. I would seriously consider enrolling as a 12th-grade senior and playing catch up rather than taking your intended path.

There are no shortcuts to getting into the schools you have suggested you want to apply to.

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