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08/01/2020 at 04:48AM[edited]

Tough decisions, need help!

Hi I’m a british student. I’m going into year 13 for my A levels in English literature/language and psychology. I want to specialise in a psychology field -neurosurgery maybe. Are my A level subjects considered tough or acceptable enough for Ivy League and top universities?

I also do not want to apply because my GCSE grades are not the best. I got all C grade in my GCSE’s and at that time I was really depressed and I’m quite worried as this could be a factor for rejection. However, I get a high SAT score as well as subject tests and A grade predictions in A levels what are the likelihood? I know the other factors such as REC letters/ECs and essays play a factor too. Should I apply for undergrad programme in UK or USA and why? If study in UK for undergrad, is it tough to come over to USA for post grad in USA. Should I do all my education in UK or USA?

Also, if I’m submitting my predicted grades, will I be made a conditional offer, how does it work? will universities contact me when I get my grades in August 2021 or will I get accepted straight away I’m referring to Ivy League and other top schools.

Do I have any advantage if I apply for Early action to any Ivy League or top school. What are the differences in my situation whether I apply ED or RD.

Considering that I am an international British student, is there a possibility that I may get rejected due to financial aid? If so, how do I reduce these measures. I mean I will be applying for financial aid anyways so what are the likelihood?

Thank you!

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1 answer

08/01/2020 at 06:42AM

So unfortunately I can’t answer any of the GSCE questions as I have no clue so I’ll answer what I can.

Should I apply for undergrad programme in UK or USA and why? If study in UK for undergrad, is it tough to come over to USA for post grad in USA. Should I do all my education in UK or USA?

So for this to kinda brag USA is kinda the educational capital of the world. So apply to what fits your needs/wants. If you can deal with being away from family for an extended period US colleges are really good to look at. As you are British there are a lot less hurdles to go through for visas regardless of undergrad or grad study. There is no harm or bonus if you go to school in one country then grad in the other it depends on school prestige. And Cambridge is likely more prestigious than Northeastern for example actually all non HYPSM it exceeds. As for visas for grad/undergrad there is no difference if I remember correctly but I’m not a customs agent so I can’t tell you.

Also, if I’m submitting my predicted grades, will I be made a conditional offer, how does it work? will universities contact me when I get my grades in August 2021 or will I get accepted straight away I’m referring to Ivy League and other top schools.

At least for US you don’t submit predicted grades merely your class schedule. Most of the time (2nd hand info) counselors will send a mid year grade update around/after the winter holidays. You will get accepted or rejected (waitlisting can happen but it’s very rare) then you either enroll or decline enrollment. If they accept self reported grades SAT or any self reported info you will typically send official documentation about said stat.

Do I have any advantage if I apply for Early action to any Ivy League or top school. What are the differences in my situation whether I apply ED or RD.

So EA is essentially saying you have strong interest at school x and is non binding. ED is binding some schools have 1 or both and some neither but if I remember correctly the ivies have at least 1 early admission program. EAs typically have a bit higher chance but not as much as EDs. RD is essentially a latter deadline and EA applicant have slightly higher admit rates.

Considering that I am an international British student, is there a possibility that I may get rejected due to financial aid? If so, how do I reduce these measures. I mean I will be applying for financial aid anyways so what are the likelihood?

So about half of the ivies are need blind for international students. HYP are need blind and if I remember correctly another one I think penn but I may be wrong. So at the need blind school (google international needblind college USA) and at those schools you will not be rejected due to need but all schools not on that list there is a chance you might be rejected due to aid needed. It depends on finicial need needed so with getting your tax info I can’t say how to reduce those measures. I’m sorry :-(

Hope this helps and please comment if you need clarification. I’d be happy to help!

Accepted Answer
@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 02:06PM

this is a great answer and it should have everything down!

only thing i’ll add is you should choose your ED school very carefully since you can only apply to one school ED since if you get in you have to go. apply ED to a school that you already have a decent shot at 30-50% and that you consider one of your top “reach” schools. Don’t apply ED to your hardest school assuming it will boost your chances a lot since if you were going to be rejected before applying ED won’t change that fact. gl!

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 02:43PM

Hello! Thank you ever so much for the feedback. I need further assistance if that’s alright. Since HYP give full financial aid and will not decrease my chances of rejection depending on my circumstance should I apply REA OR ED? if not which other safety top unis are good? Should I apply to HYP for RD? If so, what are the chances?

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 02:46PM

In regards to ECs I have a podcast and a teaching job. I will also be making a website for A level psychology and will be doing some neuroscience lab research at a university. I plan to also get more involved around my college (high school) are these acceptable enough for HYP? Or considered as level 1/2 ECs. What do HYP look for in essays as well as other universities

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 02:48PM

no top universities are safeties. i won’t be able to tell you specific ones since there are so many colleges in the us but you should just explore a list of Tier 1/Tier 2 universities (via googling) and then look at your prospective chances for them. I advise against applying EA/ED to a hyp but if you are set on it then go follow your heart

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 02:50PM

what i’ll say is those colleges want innovators, people who will change the world, make a great impact, boost the college’s name/reputation, and who are impressive and unique and passionate. i honestly don’t know what your chances at an Ivy would be since idk your course rigor, grades, standardized test score, etc but those schools are already immensely difficult to get into as is so it will be very hard to get in even with ea/ed

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 02:52PM

I’m just a bit scared and put off applying for HYP and other universities in US. As predicted grades don’t really mean anything whereas when you hold the grades it’s evident. I’m hoping that my SAT score/Subject tests can make up for it. I just feel like there are more competitive students that have a better rigour than me so why on earth would HYP and other unis would want me?

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 02:55PM

don’t think that way- but it’s good that you’re getting realistic. what are your grades like? do you take the most advanced classes and how do you do (A*/A/B/C/etc) in them? btw american colleges see your grades from years 10-the first part of year 13

i would say your extracurriculars are lacking but good enough to help you get into a T50 or T20 in the US

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 02:57PM

Thank you for your feedback. May I ask why you’re against applying ed or ea for hyp?

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 02:59PM

it just will not help you much and i think you should use it on another american university that you have a better shot at so that applying ED/EA will help you to get accepted. lots of people apply to ivys ED/EA thinking it will help them get in. it if they are still under qualified, however, it will not do anything to change their status from a projected rejection to an acceptance. i’m not saying this would be you, but you should think hard about it - if you have a decent/competitive shot at...

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 03:00PM

Could you please elaborate further as to why my ECs are lacking and a way of boosting them. I had C grades in all my GCSEs it was a tough time for me in my personal life. At the moment I’m working on B towards A grade in my A levels.

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 03:00PM

... getting into an Ivy, then go for it. if you don’t think you would normally get in, then you might end up wasting your ED/EA on a school that would still reject you instead of applying early to another top uni that would accept you because you were competitive enough and showed that interest by applying early. does this make sense?

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 03:02PM

for ivy colleges you need near perfect or excellent grades so i would assume A* and A with some B. not sure how british a/o levels and gcse compare to A/B/A+ so i would just google what grades from intel students ivys look for since an A+ american might not equal an A*...

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 03:02PM

No I completely understand and I appreciate your honesty. As I Brit student I’m unfamiliar with the system in US. If you were in my position what would you do? Should I give it a shot to other US universities. Or should I apply to HYP after I complete my bachelors degree in UK. Does that seem a better option, I am considering this too as I’ve got to keep all my options open.

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 03:03PM

for ivy and top tier colleges you need to show extracurriculars that 1) match your major, 2) you are passionate about and not just doing to look good, 3) have been involved with for several years, and 4) have leadership position or awards in. what you have is a good start and see if over the next few months you can expand on them into greater/more extensive opportunities where you can showcase your leadership and passion

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 03:05PM

You sound like you have decent grades and good extracurriculars so I recommend you stop apply to american unis but lower levels than ivys where you have a greater chance of getting in. Some to look at are the University of Texas system, the CUNY/SUNY system, the UC system, state schools like ohio state penn state oregon state rutgers (in new jersey), and some private schools like amherst, wake forest, gw, american uni, etc... there are so many colleges but these are some more well-known ones

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 03:09PM

Ahh I see how I may differ from what Ivy’s are considering. In regards to ECs I’m really not doing them for the sake of it. With teaching I really do help students who are at a disadvantage in regards to their socioeconomics backgrounds etc and are not native English speakers like me, so I had to learn. Podcasts are way for me to express myself. The website is to help A level students in their psychology as I’m wanting to study psychology too. The lab research to get a feel of what my potential

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 03:11PM

Field will look like and a stretch and challenge tbh. Let’s say if I get a high SAT score as well as Subject tests and A*/A predicted grades where does that place me considering all American universities and the Ivy’s

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 03:16PM

Sorry, id like another clarification if that’s alright. Will I not be able to demonstrate why I want to attend to HYP, the opportunities that I can bring as well as how I can impact other British students, encouraging them through their academics and helping them by attending to Ivy’s as well as the teaching that I learn at HYP I can adapt back into England?

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 03:17PM

there is a HUGE variety of american universities - there are plenty which would be very easy for you to get into as is and there are some which would be incredibly difficult (ivys). honestly i’m not sure where you would fit in but i thin some good match schools would be the lower UCs like riverside/irvine (in california), the schools I mentioned before (SUNY and CUNY are universities in New York), various state and public universities, etc. not all american universities are created equal an...

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 03:20PM

Through essays^

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 03:20PM

no no i definitely think your extracurriculars are wonderful and they do show passion. the harsh reality is that you need to literally be best in the world to get into those three colleges since they have extremely competitive admissions. like, even perfect grades and a perfect 1600 SAT still do not guarantee an acceptance. it will be unfortunately very difficult for you unless you’re world-class in your activities and are a real leader in your community

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 03:21PM

(cont from above)… i’m not sure if studying at any american university carries prestige at the us, and of course you want to go to the best ones, but there are also loads of great colleges in the us that are going to be more suitable for you due to your grades and profile

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 03:21PM

What’s Stanford and Emory as well as Uchicago , Michigan, UC Berkeley. Should I consider those too

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 03:23PM

Stanford, UChicago, MIT are considered the three “unofficial ivys” so they are just as difficult to get into as harvard but not considered ivy league.

Emory is a great research university in georgia in the southern US. it’s very difficult to get into and prestigious

Michigan is a public university for Michigan State but it is one of the most highly ranked state/public unit in the Us. I would consider applying there - it’s competitive so it’ll be reach for you but if you work hard you could get

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 03:24PM

accepted. UC Berkely is a university in California and along with UCLA is one of the highest ranked colleges in California and in the US. Also very hard to get into

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 03:26PM

Should I just apply to the unofficial Ivy’s as well as Ivy’s and other unis for post graduate? By then I’ll have my bachelors degree and can continue my education in US as I initially wanted. What do I need to work on from now if I want to attend to HYP.

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 03:31PM

YEs, you should definitely apply there for graduate studies (your first 4 yrs of college are called undergrad in the us, the next 2-4 are called grad where you get a second degree). They will judge you on a completely different criteria using the extracurriculars, job experience and gpa from your COLLEGE not high school

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 03:36PM

So you think I may have a shot at getting accepted for post grad at HYP. Btw is it because of my academic rigour that is preventing me from applying to HYP and other schools or everything else that we have discussed

@DebaterMAX08/01/2020 at 03:53PM

So sorry I had to sleep :-) so I missed answering everything but crsgo advice is very good. Ivies are ivies for a reason and they constantly reject phenomenal applicants and so with you being in the lower end of the spectrum in terms of gpa at least you’ll need to make that up in other areas and you can still apply REA to ivy school(s) but it is your preference. There are a lot of schools that will admit a well qualified applicant purely based on academics and they are great schools. If you’d

@DebaterMAX08/01/2020 at 03:53PM

Like I can post some.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 04:03PM

No problem at all, I hope you got some rest! I would appreciate your insight so feel free to mention anything. In regards to my low GPA how can I make up for it through ECs and essays. What about SAT/subjects tests. Do I still have a shot at Ivies. What if i explain my poor results during GCSE?

What advantage do I have if I apply to HYP at post grad? Holding a bachelors degree from U.K.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 04:06PM

If I apply to average yet well respected university in RD does that also put me at a disadvantage rather than applying REA?

If I’m going to be honest, I will not be upset if I get rejected from ivies by or top schools as I understand what I’m putting myself and how competitive it is. Yet again I will not be relaxed if I don’t apply to all even if I get rejected I’ll get the ‘what ifs’ if I never made the sacrifice to even apply to ivy and other unis

@DebaterMAX08/01/2020 at 04:10PM

So if you have a 3.8 to like a 3.9 you are still competitive at ivies. A good SAT such as 1550+ and subject tests 760+ can really help you. You can explain the CSGE results with a valid excuse (death of family etc) in a professional non blame shifting manner. As for post grad unfortunately I can’t help you there as I know near nothing about it. Sorry :-(

@DebaterMAX08/01/2020 at 04:15PM

So great mindset in regards to ivies. My recommendation is more or less find a school that you really like can afford etc and apply ED there. ED is binding as in if you have to enroll there if admitted. But REA is simply you can only apply to one school early so REA will disallow ED and EA applications. ED and EA provide a small boost at school and you should generally apply to them to boost your chances. So generally apply to a target school at the higher end approaching a reach. For you some

@DebaterMAX08/01/2020 at 04:17PM

Schools that are likely in that range are SUNY Binghamton U Florida UT Austin UC Irvine/Davis U Washington. Hope this helps!

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 04:22PM

basically - as of right now you have a very small/difficult chance of getting into an ivy mostly due to your grades, since you have no sat as of now, and your ECs. i recommend that you apply to ivys for grad school and while you’re in college work to build up strong college grades, get a job and some professional experience, etc. you can also apply regular decision to ivys to just see what happens but personally i would say don’t use your early admit on them since it won’t help you much

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 04:23PM

This helps tons! Thank you so much. I’ll give the SATs a shot and see from there which university is suitable for me.

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 04:23PM

i agree w everything max is saying. you should go to a different college for your first 4 years, either in the uk or us, and then apply as a graduate student once you get your bachelors from a different college. another alternative is you can go to a different college for 1 or 2 years to build up great grades and then apply to ivys as a transfer student to finish your undergraduate studies there and get your bachelors from there

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 04:25PM

@crsgo0422 thank you for your insight too.

I appreciate both of your help.

@DebaterMAX08/01/2020 at 04:28PM

For college searching try using the find school feature and try sorting it. Also the chancing engine while not perfect is very useful to see how you fare against other applicant. Glad that I could help!

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 04:36PM

Thank you! I’ll definitely use this tool

@DebaterMAX08/01/2020 at 04:38PM

Your welcome! If you found this useful would you mind accepting my answer? If not no biggie. :-)

@crsgo042208/01/2020 at 04:41PM

you’re welcome, and good luck :)

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Marinaaa108/01/2020 at 04:43PM [edited]

Yh sure no probs! :)

@DebaterMAX08/01/2020 at 04:43PM