Where can apply to fund my education?Answered
Hi, I'm a senior in high school. I am applying to a lot of schools and I am looking for ways where I would be able to fund my tuition for college. I am currently considered an international student when applying to college besides my home state University (U of M). I am unsure of places where I can look to get scholarships or other state grants. I obviously cannot apply for FAFSA as I am not a permanent resident of the United States. I have fairly decent credentials, but not anything great or good enough. I know that schools do offer scholarships based on credentials for INT students and other students in general, but I think it is far too hard for me as it places me to compete with other international students from around the globe. Most of my schools are instate or have reciprocity with my state and very few out of state. Most of the schools charge a tuition fee of 20k+ or 50k or more (out of state)- I am trying to find ways to slice this cost by at least a fourth.
Here are some of my credentials:
I have a 3.4 GPA UW (Weighted is likely to be 3.74), 1240 SAT [(700 Math) and (540 Reading -->RIP)], 4 AP courses (Env. Sci, Calc. AB, Calc. BC, and Micro. Econ), 11 honors, and 2 college courses. I am also part of many clubs and activities: Science Olympiad (3yrs), Genesys Works, AVID Tutor, Museum Volunteer(2yrs), Planetarium Volunteer(2yrs), Library Volunteer (3yrs), Soccer (JV), Swimming (JV), Tennis (JV), Newspaper club, and DECA.
I already know of a few places that offer scholarships- (but not something that I am qualified or able to apply to)- Niche, Collegecoverd, Scholarship.com, Fastweb, and Raise me are some that I am familiar with. If you guys know anything other than these that would be highly appreciated.
Thanks in advance to all those who help!
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I remember your question about submitting your SAT score to UMinn School of Engineering a week ago or so and thought it best not to do so.
My answer may not be what you want to hear but it is accurate and truthful so sorry in advance if I lack decorum and sensitivity.
If you wish to matriculate in the Fall of 2021, I think your best option(s) is to apply to the State colleges in Minnesota where you live and not to put much effort in applying to private colleges outside your state with the hopes of getting merit scholarships or financial aid. The reason for opting out of the out-of-state path is the following:
1.) Although you are a very good student, your UWGPA, course rigor, ECs, and test scores are put you in the B to B+ ranges (81% percentile on SAT/the high 80s for GPA). Since these stats don't qualify for merit scholarship aid at most top colleges and your personal immigration status prevents you from properly filing the FAFSA and CSS profile, you will not get need-based aid either.
2.) You will easily exceed whatever budget you and your parents have set aside for your college attendance if you apply out of state.
3.) You will be in the same predicament each of the next 4 years with regards to financial aid based on need unless there is a permanent change in your immigration status.
Therefore if you wish to matriculate as a Freshman, I would pick a few State schools to apply to and pick majors that are less rigorous than engineering, because if you only apply to engineer schools, it would very unfortunate if you didn't get in and have to attend a community college because you didn't want to be flexible about your major. As you previously mentioned in your other post, you are below the 25% threshold for engineering majors so why push your luck.
The other consideration takes an open mind and maturity to read and understand so bear with me.
My other suggestion is that you conscientiously take a gap year. In affluent communities, there is a tradition that if high school students do not have the requisite stats, grades, or course rigor to get into the college of their choice, they take a gap year. While most wealthy families can afford to send their senior to a PG Post Graduate year at a private boarding school, you can essentially do the same by homeschooling (or not graduating by not fulfilling a core requirement triggering essentially a 13th year of high school). The purpose of a PG year is to get your GPA up, your test scores up and to close the gap on any obvious weaknesses in your academic record and profile. The best boarding schools in America have had PG programs for the past 250 years and this how recruited athletes get into Ivy League schools. If they are good lacrosse players etc but lacking in grades and course rigor, they can take an extra year to improve their record and become a better athlete in the meantime. No one cares if you are 18 or 19 when you start college. No one cares if you are 25 or 30 when you earn your Ph.D. But everyone seems to rush into college out of HS whether they are prepared or not.
If you can get your GPA up to 3.7 and improve your SAT to 1400+ (700/700) and narrow your spikes to 1 or 2 things you are extremely passionate about and good at, I think you will have a much better opportunity in a year from now to get into a college that is 1 drawer higher than where you are at currently. If you think of the 5300 colleges metaphorically as a giant chest of drawers, the Top Drawer is limited to say the T20 schools including Ivys, Stanford, UChicago, Duke, and MIT/Caltech. The 2nd Drawer is the T20-T40 research Universities like Tufts, UMich, U.of Washington, NYU, UCLA, Berkeley, and the best LACs (Liberal Arts Colleges) like Pomona, Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore. The 3rd drawer is Top 50-75 schools like GWU, American, UofMinn, UofWiscosin, Syracuse, UCSB, and LACs, like Lafayette, Bucknell, Kenyon, Holy Cross, Trinity, etc. And the 4th drawer is Top 75-200 schools like U of Oregon, Ohio State, Florida State, Penn State, and LACS like Lewis & Clark, St.Olafs, Gustavus Adolfus. And the 5th drawer is ginormous with say the next 500 schools, and the Last drawer has 4500 schools in it.
The 2nd minor consideration for doing this is that many colleges across the country will still be operating either fully online or on a hybrid model 8 months from now. There is no reason to believe that in 8 months, our country will be immune to COVID-19 because of the lack of focus on rolling out the vaccines. I will say that the best small liberal arts college and top elites may have on-campus learning but not large UC campuses or state schools.
The 3rd consideration and this is a long shot. But you might be able to get into Posse or Questbridge if you are low income. But they both have a cut off so I wouldn't get ahead of myself there. The idea is that perhaps a community-based organization can assign you a mentor to help you focus on your academic record and narrative so you can get closer to your goal.
My thoughts are out of love and thoughtfulness for giving yourself space and time to be your best version of self before you apply to college so I hope you understand where I was coming from.
Peace and good luck.
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