The Student Room Group

Chances for US IVY league

I am currently studying Maths, Physics and Biology and am currently predicted 2 A* and an A, though I'm confident it will turn into 3 A*. I come from a low income immigrant household and am looking at scholarships available for me.I am doing stem smart, stem potential, Nuffield Research placement, Biology olympiad and I'm a school sixth form coordinator/ peer mentor.I achieved 88888777 at GCSE and am planning to take the SAT in august.I wish to do a major in Physics (Astrophysics) with a minor in either biology (anatomy or genetics) or computer science, if possible.I have my eyes set on Harvey Mudd College and will also apply to Caltech or MIT, just to test my luck.I've noticed that a lot of ppl have done EC's such as massive fundraisers and charity events and I don't think I'd be able to raise as much as other ppl, so I'm not too set on doing that.Is there any advice you have for me or anyone else who is attempting to go on the same journey.
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Original post by Apiidba
I am currently studying Maths, Physics and Biology and am currently predicted 2 A* and an A, though I'm confident it will turn into 3 A*. I come from a low income immigrant household and am looking at scholarships available for me.I am doing stem smart, stem potential, Nuffield Research placement, Biology olympiad and I'm a school sixth form coordinator/ peer mentor.I achieved 88888777 at GCSE and am planning to take the SAT in august.I wish to do a major in Physics (Astrophysics) with a minor in either biology (anatomy or genetics) or computer science, if possible.I have my eyes set on Harvey Mudd College and will also apply to Caltech or MIT, just to test my luck.I've noticed that a lot of ppl have done EC's such as massive fundraisers and charity events and I don't think I'd be able to raise as much as other ppl, so I'm not too set on doing that.Is there any advice you have for me or anyone else who is attempting to go on the same journey.
Hello Apiidba,

I'd answer your post on what you have successfully completed and perhaps what you need to do to be more certain of getting a good chance at the universities you mentioned. I can definitely say you already managed perhaps the most important part, academics, after all they are an educational institution so that's the most important and you nailed it perfectly, so congrats on that. Also your Co curriculars are highly impressive, the Stem potential, stem smart, Nuffield Research placement, Biology olympiad, very impressive I must say. So that also checks.

Now on what's missing, I think its worth noting that Ivy league is VERY heavy on sports, so it's important that you are a key player in sports, if you do some more research, some article state that you have been more guaranteed admission spot in an Ivy school if you are a recruited athlete, and its okay if its a bit late for that stage, but I'd recommend knowing a sport or two that you are both passionate about and good at, it'll definitely boost your admissions in the Ivy. Also another very important thing is your college essays, you might wanna consider the best of the best consultant to go through your essays (some are usually Ivy league graduates themselves or past admission officers of Ivy schools, and while this might be expensive, it's usually worth it if working with the right person who doesn't only see you for monetary value but rather the dreams in your eyes too.) If its too expensive, you might consider having a friend or family member go over them, but they may not be as critic as a trusted consultant who's done it over and over, so might have to efficiently prepare to spend some money on this. But you should definitely let your personality shine through. And they aren't really as hard, they are just trying to know the person outside your GCSE and other academic accomplishment and how you'll fit in their university community, so be sure to let that show on you fit in the community and how you see yourself thriving there if admitted.

Also another thing that's usually not emphasized enough is doing your research about a specific university. More often than not, you'll be asked on either the essays or interview on why you are choosing a certain school. It's important to have found key not features on why that university is unique to you and why they should be certain you'll attend if accepted. You said you are highly interested in Astrophysics major, so perhaps they do offer better opportunities after graduation to connect with let's say NASA or whatever institution you are interested in, or perhaps you have connected with a professor during a summer program as they have many of those at Stanford, Harvard and the like, and perhaps seeing how passionate Professor X was made you realise you definitely wanna be taught by someone that passionate, or perhaps their internships, or you know, something related to the field. I'd highly recommend trying to connect with an admissions officer and schedule a virtual visit to the university isn't possible, and try to learn everything related to the opportunities offered at the university and how you'll thrive if admitted. It's usually best to find something that's unique about the university and what really interests you about it as it shows you did your research and know exactly why you wanna attend. And probably on the same note, it's very important to show how you are an asset to.the university and why they should select you.among the thousands of students who apply there. Scholarships(or even financial aid) go both way, what the university gives you which is an opportunity and how you give back to the community. Is there an important research that you are working on and hope to complete it with more knowledge and resources found at the University and will credit it as well, are you a successful athlete who'll join the sports team at your uni, it goes a really long way if there's something significant that you hope achieving from the uni beyond an Ivy league degree and a job afterwards.

But also last but not least, if you are looking for scholarships and are from the UK, you genuinely have better chances at the UK than the US, givej your records, you are definitely an outstanding and competitive applicant, and you have a really greater chance of a good scholarship /financial aid bursary at a UK or European university compared to the US as they prioritise your academic and co curricular achievements compared to the US which are heavy on the extra curricular achievements, your essays and definitely SAT scores. Needless to say, I'd still recommend you apply to Ivy schools like Harvard, Princeton or Yale, you seem to fit there, or others like Williams college, MIT or Stanford, but I'd also recommend doing more research on universities offering Astrophysics major and a scholarship, you are highly likely to find really good offers if you don't narrow it down to Ivy only, but definitely do your research, score well on your SAT, do some sport and hopefully achieve something significant, reallyyy boosts your chances at an Ivy school, practice writing great college essays and well, apply. If they offer you an interview, while it's not necessary, but DEFINITELY TAKE IT. It could be a better chance to connect with an alumni and learn more about the university while getting yourself a better chance if you shine through, just be confident and keep it honest, and hopefully they'll greatly recommend you. Key note; do more research and don't narrow it down to only Ivy, many unis will appreciate a good Astrophysics student so you'll have a good chance for good scholarships.

That might be a really long and exhausting answer but hope it was helpful in any way
Wishing you the best of luck
Original post by Apiidba
I am currently studying Maths, Physics and Biology and am currently predicted 2 A* and an A, though I'm confident it will turn into 3 A*. I come from a low income immigrant household and am looking at scholarships available for me.I am doing stem smart, stem potential, Nuffield Research placement, Biology olympiad and I'm a school sixth form coordinator/ peer mentor.I achieved 88888777 at GCSE and am planning to take the SAT in august.I wish to do a major in Physics (Astrophysics) with a minor in either biology (anatomy or genetics) or computer science, if possible.I have my eyes set on Harvey Mudd College and will also apply to Caltech or MIT, just to test my luck.I've noticed that a lot of ppl have done EC's such as massive fundraisers and charity events and I don't think I'd be able to raise as much as other ppl, so I'm not too set on doing that.Is there any advice you have for me or anyone else who is attempting to go on the same journey.

A lil confused ngl because your title = chances for US IVY league. However, I see no mention of this in your actual description. But moving on, as I'm sure you know, the admissions process is very holistic in the US and the schools you are after (with MIT being an exception) = are need aware. Though you see many people doing massive fundraises + charity events = you don't necessarily need to do such activities to get in. So many other ECs could be listed and more than anything such ECs should showcase 1) Your passions 2) Interest in your planned major. For eg: your placement. Your GCSE look ok but do note that that they look at your entire transcript (so Y10 and 11 + Y12- all the way to the time you submit your apps). One advice I have for you is to apply ED to Harvey Mudd (if it's your top choice) = to max your chances. MIT I know has its own application system and Caltech and Harvey Mudd uses the Common App. In your CA you can list a max of 10 ECs and 5 honor stuff (awards, outstanding achievements) like your Bio Olympiad. Think where you can stand out is if you could do/find research opportunities and potentially collab with someone quite prominent in your field of interest. Do take part in more competitions on a national level if possible. Remember to have a good list of reach and safety schools. Also try and max your roles in the ECs that you do. Hope this helps!
How are you going to pay for this.

You would be better doing a UK degree with full Student Finance, and one that includes a Year Abroad in the US.
Original post by McGinger
How are you going to pay for this.
You would be better doing a UK degree with full Student Finance, and one that includes a Year Abroad in the US.

I think Caltech, MIT, and Harvey Mudd all meet 100% of every student's demonstrated need if they get accepted.
(edited 1 month ago)

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