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    I understand the basic hoops that I would have to jump through to get to the point of having the material to apply to a US university of this calibre, and have a fairly good idea of application process.

    SATs (as I left it quite late) overlap with my A levels, and I understand the scores that I would be aiming for.

    I'm currently in year 12, at a state school in Herts. US applications are extremely rare here, if they exist at all; however, I think that the school would be able to supply all the content without a problem.

    I love the idea of the Liberal Arts system in the US, as I'm not completely sure about a degree here. I also love the freedom, breadth and length of study as well as the work life mix that the US offers.

    I had 8 A* grades, and 4 A grades at GCSE, and am predicted 3 A*s and an A at A level (my maths A level being taken this year). My ECs are not as wide as some of the selections that I've seen online etc. but I think they do show a passion. I have set up and run a computer science club for KS3 students, that has been sponsored by both O2, and the school (we hope to expand the programme to another school this summer); I've taken part in a robotics engineering competition (Rampaging Chariots), where we won 2 of the 3 trophies (hoping for 3 this year); have supported computing and ICT lessons with younger students; I also volunteer at the local Code Club, at the library; on top of this, with 3 other students, I am building an autonomous robot to navigate a maze, for the Micromouse competition.

    Last summer was spent in a software development part-time job, and reading about, as well as attending a summer school for economics (for which I have a huge passion); experiments with a Raspberry Pi sparked my interest in computer science again. This summer I hope to do research experience at UCL, in the high energy physics lab. This will of course be shared with my passion for computing, where I am planning to learn Swift and Java, so that I can finish developing a running coaching application (currently part of my CS coursework).

    My grades aren't perfect, and don't have a huge amount of ECs. Providing I get about 1450 of 1600 in the new SAT, as well as two good subject scores (750 +), is it worth applying?
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    Having a ton of ECs is not important, quality is far more important than quantity. I think you have a chance but beyond that, it is impossible to say. So much of it comes down to luck. There are quite a few American-style Liberal Arts colleges in the Netherlands (e.g. University College Utrecht, University College Maastricht, University College Roosevelt, Amsterdam University College etc). If you want a broad four-year degree which lets you try out different subjects before you commit to a degree then these are just as good as the American LACs.
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    I think you should, by all means, apply! It really does not hurt (unless the application fee is the issue).

    At the end of the day, how they distinguish you from the pool of academically competitive applicants is through your references, and essays (also how passionate you are with extracurriculars).

    I'm really hoping I get into at least one USA university as well, so I understand all these worries. I think they can offer me, as a student, a really exciting opportunity, and from what I have heard from students who studied overseas, it tends to be easier to interact with the faculty, and there's more lecture time and weeks in the school year. Which I believe I would benefit from!

    Best of luck to you!
 
 
 
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