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What are my chances of admission to Stanford or Berkeley? Watch

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    Sorry, I think I was getting mixed up there. I meant to write A,A,A,B AS Level and A*,A,A for A2. Would this help?
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    (Original post by Student403)
    The SAT of 1450/1600 would be fine

    I don't think you can get A* at AS level

    Also AAB might well be too low for places like those :/
    Sorry, I think I was getting mixed up there. I meant to write A,A,A,B AS Level and A*,A,A for A2. Would this help?
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Qualifying for BMO1 isn't really significant, I don't think. You need to do very well in BMO1, preferably amazingly in BMO2 as well for it to be noticed.
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    I qualified for BMO1 but was outright rejected early from MIT and Caltech, which put me in the bottom 25% of MIT applicants lol

    Thank you, when will I be able to get into the BMO challenges(I'm guessing sixth form). I am only in year 10 so I'm currently in the intermediate challenges.
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    (Original post by BKStudent123)
    Thank you, when will I be able to get into the BMO challenges(I'm guessing sixth form). I am only in year 10 so I'm currently in the intermediate challenges.

    That's fine. But if you are really committed to them my best advice would be to start looking at the senior challenges now. Preparation early is very helpful. Also much more than academics, it is very important that you participate in extra curriculars now that you will be committed to and involved in until Y13. This committment in a couple of activities for several years is quite important and will help you a lot as well as give you lots to write about.

    (Original post by BKStudent123)
    Sorry, I think I was getting mixed up there. I meant to write A,A,A,B AS Level and A*,A,A for A2. Would this help?
    Alright. jneill since this person is in Y10 now, would he not do the new A Levels?
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Alright. jneill since this person is in Y10 now, would he not do the new A Levels?
    Yes - but he could still do ASs in Y12 if his school continues to offer them. Although my bet is fewer and fewer schools will offer AS in subjects also being taken to full A-level.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Yes - but he could still do ASs in Y12 if his school continues to offer them. Although my bet is fewer and fewer schools will offer AS in subjects also being taken to full A-level.
    Alright thanks!
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    (Original post by BKStudent123)
    Regarding funding, I don't know exactly how I will fund my studies in the states but I will look into it myself. I would guess along the lines of a university loan or asking for help from parents.
    Stanford and most other top US unis are need blind, if you are accepted and can't afford you will likely get a very generous bursary / grant / loan scheme from them.

    (Original post by BKStudent123)
    My main query is whether I would be good enough and if not, what my alternative choices would be.
    In contrast to British unis American unis care much more about your extracurricular activities. Having stellar grades is expected but only the bare minimum of what you need for your application to be considered. What ECs do you have?

    I would suggest you also apply to British unis (Oxbridge are just as good as Stanford, at undergrad level I would argue they provide a better education) as well as American ones - diversify yourself.

    Regarding other good unis in America other than Stanford.. There are literally hundreds (HYP, CalTech, MIT, UCB, Amherst....). Look at league tables, etc.
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    (Original post by Chr0n)
    Stanford and most other top US unis are need blind, if you are accepted and can't afford you will likely get a very generous bursary / grant / loan scheme from them.
    Not for internationals. The only need blind unis for internationals are HYPM + Amherst.
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Not for internationals. The only need blind unis for internationals are HYPM + Amherst.
    Ah true, thanks for pointing that out! Most do still offer (some) financial aid for internationals though, but just aren't need blind.
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    (Original post by Chr0n)
    Ah true, thanks for pointing that out! Most do still offer (some) financial aid for internationals though, but just aren't need blind.
    True
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Not for internationals. The only need blind unis for internationals are HYPM + Amherst.
    And for those universities are the need thresholds different (i.e. less advantageous) for internationals?
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    (Original post by jneill)
    And for those universities are the need thresholds different (i.e. less advantageous) for internationals?
    Do you mean are they less generous to intls? I don't believe so because the financial aid application and admission application are treated completely separately. My friend is going to Harvard for $20k a year starting in the Fall and he's an international, but his FA packages for Princeton and Yale were much less generous (he'd have been paying 30k and 40k respectively). We attend a private school which isn't overly cheap, so it wasn't like they offered ~40k a year to him just because he "wasn't well off".

    I've heard similar things in terms of differences in packages from my American friends headed to similar unis (i.e. even though they submit the same financial information to all places, some just seem to give less than others - it's almost random in that respect)

    But although I say it's random, several of the top unis match packages from other top unis. Harvard was his first choice but had Yale or Princeton offered a better FA package, Harvard would have matched the package if he requested so.
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Do you mean are they less generous to intls? I don't believe so because the financial aid application and admission application are treated completely separately. My friend is going to Harvard for $20k a year starting in the Fall and he's an international, but his FA packages for Princeton and Yale were much less generous (he'd have been paying 30k and 40k respectively). We attend a private school which isn't overly cheap, so it wasn't like they offered ~40k a year to him just because he "wasn't well off".

    I've heard similar things in terms of differences in packages from my American friends headed to similar unis (i.e. even though they submit the same financial information to all places, some just seem to give less than others - it's almost random in that respect)

    But although I say it's random, several of the top unis match packages from other top unis. Harvard was his first choice but had Yale or Princeton offered a better FA package, Harvard would have matched the package if he requested so.
    Yes, less generous than for American applicants... sounds like they probably are
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    I just want to say thank you to everyone who has responded so far!

    Does anyone have some ideas of extracurricular activities that stand out to the likes of Stanford/Berkeley and does anyone know of someone who has been admitted to either from a British sixth form. What grades and extracurricular activities did they apply with?

    Also, what would the chances of me getting into Stanford/Berkeley with A,A,A,B AS Level and A*,A,A A2 Level in addition to the your suggested extracurriculars?

    Thank you!
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    (Original post by BKStudent123)
    Does anyone have some ideas of extracurricular activities that stand out to the likes of Stanford/Berkeley and does anyone know of someone who has been admitted to either from a British sixth form. What grades and extracurricular activities did they apply with?

    Also, what would the chances of me getting into Stanford/Berkeley with A,A,A,B AS Level and A*,A,A A2 Level in addition to the your suggested extracurriculars?
    American unis prefer students who have shown consistency in service to others, as well as having a major leadership position. Volunteer work, athletics, etc.
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    (Original post by BKStudent123)
    I am currently in year 10 in the UK and on track for GCSE grades: 4 A*s, 4 As and 4 Bs. If I can gain 4 AS Levels at A*,A,A,A, 3 A2 Levels at A,A,B and a SAT score of 1450+/1600 what would my chances of admission be to Stanford or Berkeley moreover, in the case of these grades being sub par, I would be grateful for any advice in order to improve my chances over the next few years or suggestions on alternative US universities. FYI, Currently I'm thinking of studying Economics, Business, Media or Design
    Thank you in advance
    You cannot achieve an A* at AS for one and you need to be made completely aware that the chances of you getting rejected are high as they are with all applicants. Despite having pretty decent grades, good references, a solid SAT score, good extra curriculars and very good interviews, I got rejected from all seven of my choices. It's the nature of the game. If you have your heart set on going to America - apply to some safeties and I don't mean Middlebury, Amherst, Washington and Lee - they're also very competitive. However, I agree with some previous posters in that it's too much money and stuff to go somewhere, quite frankly, not worth it. You'd be better off here.

    You should be looking to get at least AAAB-A*A*A*A* at A-Level for those universities, probably straight As for Stanford.

    Best of luck, feel free to ask me any questions if you need help. I am sure Student403 will also be glad to assist you.
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    (Original post by BKStudent123)
    I just want to say thank you to everyone who has responded so far!

    Does anyone have some ideas of extracurricular activities that stand out to the likes of Stanford/Berkeley and does anyone know of someone who has been admitted to either from a British sixth form. What grades and extracurricular activities did they apply with?

    Also, what would the chances of me getting into Stanford/Berkeley with A,A,A,B AS Level and A*,A,A A2 Level in addition to the your suggested extracurriculars?

    Thank you!
    Student403 was admitted to Cornell (an Ivy in New York) - they know more about it than most.

    As for the extracurriculars - you are going about it wrong. Do what you love and be good at it. Don't try to pursue things you think are original because the truth is, it won't be to them. You'll be hard-pressed to find something they haven't seen before and also, out of 30,000 applicants, probably a good quarter of them might have done the same thing and that's just me being straight with you.
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    (Original post by BKStudent123)
    I have already lived in the US and I prefer the lifestyle. Also, I would like to start a career in the states. Regarding funding, I don't know exactly how I will fund my studies in the states but I will look into it myself. I would guess along the lines of a university loan or asking for help from parents. My main query is whether I would be good enough and if not, what my alternative choices would be.
    I hope you know that it's pretty hard to adjust to the semester system with tons of midterms and finals at the end of each semester. I don't ever see anyone ever talking about it but it's a big culture shock imo.

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    (Original post by BKStudent123)
    I just want to say thank you to everyone who has responded so far!

    Does anyone have some ideas of extracurricular activities that stand out to the likes of Stanford/Berkeley and does anyone know of someone who has been admitted to either from a British sixth form. What grades and extracurricular activities did they apply with?

    Also, what would the chances of me getting into Stanford/Berkeley with A,A,A,B AS Level and A*,A,A A2 Level in addition to the your suggested extracurriculars?

    Thank you!
    2 of my friends are going to Berkeley. They both had 4A* predictions and around 5A*s and 5As at GCSE. Their ECAs are nothing more than what's offered in a typical sixth form. It's not about trying to do the same ECAs as an admitted student. It's about doing the ECAs you enjoy and being good at them.


    (Original post by ivybridge)

    As for the extracurriculars - you are going about it wrong. Do what you love and be good at it. Don't try to pursue things you think are original because the truth is, it won't be to them. You'll be hard-pressed to find something they haven't seen before and also, out of 30,000 applicants, probably a good quarter of them might have done the same thing and that's just me being straight with you.
    This is very good advice which is not given enough.
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    (Original post by ivybridge)
    Student403 was admitted to Cornell (an Ivy in New York) - they know more about it than most.

    As for the extracurriculars - you are going about it wrong. Do what you love and be good at it. Don't try to pursue things you think are original because the truth is, it won't be to them. You'll be hard-pressed to find something they haven't seen before and also, out of 30,000 applicants, probably a good quarter of them might have done the same thing and that's just me being straight with you.
    This ^

    Really irks me when people ask what ECs would be the 'best' to do. They're ECs for a reason, you go out of your way to get involved with something you're passionate about - people should stop trying to fit their profiles into a cookie cutter mould because it rarely, if ever helps.


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