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    I'm currently doing Cambridge A-Levels and I live in South-Africa but I'm interested in applying to the US.

    The admissions process is starting to make me feel inadequate. I only do 3 subjects (at A-level) and extra curricular activities are limited because Sixth Form doesn't really offer for them. My school doesn't really offer them because I go to a private boys school with a small co-ed sixth form program, so we operate within the larger (boys) college and in most cases can't participate in their clubs and societies.

    I did an advanced A-level course so the last real participation I had in high school was two years ago because I switched education systems.

    Basically, do you think I have what it takes to get into a reputable American uni i.e. Columbia, NYU or Georgetown with:

    AS level: AAAAC (English language, Literature, History, Maths)
    A2: A*AA (predicted) (History, Literature, Economics)
    A pre-uni diploma in Global Perspectives
    A high SAT score
    High SAT II scores in: World history, Literature and Modern Hebrew
    Extras: Debating (first girl allowed into the final college team last year, co-captain this year), House Committee and community service.

    Your help would really be appreciated!!
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    I feel so alone. This is great.
    Thanks guys, you've really outdone yourselves (y)
    jk
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    So I'm new to this, but having previously gone through the same thing that you currently are I am going to attempt to be of some assistance.

    Your predicted A-level and AS level grades are rather impressive so that's a big plus, but I was wondering when you say high SAT scores what exactly do you mean? For example when I applied, I had a 2090 on the SAT 1, 720 in the Literature subject test, 740 in Math level 2 and a meager 660 in World History. Your extra curriculars are important, but so too are your essays so I wouldn't be worried about not having more, and considering the schools you're applying too I think the debating aspect is a good addition.

    Columbia is the hardest school to get into, out of the ones you've listed, but I would apply if I were you; applying to American universities is almost like buying a lottery ticket because there are various instances where a person with lower grades and scores can get into a college that has high requirements, if they are deemed to be able to offer something to the college community.

    My advice to you is make sure your essays are strong indicators of your character and don't be disheartened by your lack of opportunities through school, cause more often than not the universities do account for the lack of opportunities experienced by international students.
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    Hi GabTR,

    Don't feel alone! We are here to help.

    First - when your school writes your transcript/school report for the university, they will provide context about your school - so for example how does your course load compare to your peers, do they limit the number of Alevels you can take, etc. I think you will find this page helpful on what schools typically provide:
    http://www.fulbright.org.uk/study-in-the-usa/undergraduate-study/applying/transcript

    Also, here is more information on admissions criteria at US unis: http://www.fulbright.org.uk/study-in...sions-criteria
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    Gab -

    Columbia, NYU, and Georgetown are three different levels when it comes to chances of admission. Columbia is by far the most selective, followed by Georgetown, then NYU. If you're big on academics, you may find NYU weaker than the other two schools; if you're big on film, music, and the media arts, NYU would be amazing for you. Don't get me wrong, NYU is a great school, but what I would call "1C" if that makes any sense, compared to the "1B"ness of Georgetown and "1A"ness of Columbia.
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    You'll have a good shot at a top US uni. You're A Levels are good enough (maybe don't mention the C grade) and you're extra curriculars are good enough (as Fulbright said, make sure that your school gives you a good reference that explains your context) - not that anything is a sure thing at this level of competition. Many people have had equally good grades and been rejected, but you certainly have a shot. Your SAT scores will make all the difference. If you can get 2200-2300 on the main SATs, that will be a huge boost - anything less than 2100 will be much less competitive at the likes of Columbia/Georgetown.

    As others have hinted, there are many US unis that are much less competitive than these famous ones, but where you'll have an equally awesome experience/education. You should definitely try applying for some of the many less well-known but still top unis which have higher acceptance rates - you'll still have a fantastic time! For good reviews of such unis, try Uni in the USA, which is written for international students.
 
 
 
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