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emmak

High School Diploma AND IB Diploma?!

Hello all... I have quite a unique education situation, and I'm wondering if anyone could enlighten me on what I should be expecting when applying for university this fall.

First of all, I am a citizen of Finland, but I have lived in America for 11 years, where I graduated high school in 3 years. I had a perfect GPA of 4.0, college-prep classes, and extra-curriculars. Because of visa issues, I ended up having to move to Finland, where they told me I was too young to go to university (17). Now I'm in an IB school here in Finland. Here are the grades from my first mock exams:

HL English A1: 6

HL Economics: 7

HL Psychology: 7

SL French B: 6

SL Biology: 6

SL Mathematics: 7

This comes out to approx. 39/42. I'm completely determined to attend university in the US, and here are my questions regarding it:

- Which grades will they assess? High school or IB?

- If my IB predicted grades fall, will my GPA bring this up?

- What about scholarships?

- Since I'm not a citizen, I need a student visa. Any help with this?

- I have no college fund, so what kind of aid/scholarships am I eligible for?

- Will I get college credits for HL classes?

- Is there hope of Ivy Leagues?

Thanks for the help on this... I'll be needing LOTS of answers before the fall. :o

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What I don't understand is, if you already have a high school diploma, why do you even bother doing IB? I mean, IB isn't that important with US universities. Why didn't you just take a year off, apply to uni? If you have an offer to a US university it will be a lot easier to get a student visa.

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What I don't understand is, if you already have a high school diploma, why do you even bother doing IB? I mean, IB isn't that important with US universities. Why didn't you just take a year off, apply to uni? If you have an offer to a US university it will be a lot easier to get a student visa.

Yeah well that's what I said too. But my old high school and my parents said that it would be better to just take some time off. But in Finland it's so hard to find a job, that I would have nothing to do here if I didn't go to school. Believe me, I'm asking myself every day why I'm at this school (my school is SO horrible + it's IB). I really don't mind the IB, but this school is just so bad. So... now that I'm here I'm trying to make the best of it and just use it to possibly get "bonus perks" or something when applying. I figure that since my grades are already pretty good, this will just help weed me out of the crowd and hopefully get accepted. This wasn't my choice, but I'm trying to live with it!!! I've heard it's very hard to get a student visa... and I don't have funds to pay for studies overseas.... so I'm wondering how that's going to work. Or is it easy to get the student visa once you have been accepted to a university? :/

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As a Finnish citizen, there will be no problems for you getting a student visa once you've been accepted to study. If you apply to need-blind schools (i.e. all the best schools), you will get financial aid based on your parents' income. With your GPA (I don't know your weighed GPA) and IB predicteds (which will probably go up), you have a fair chance of getting into an ivy if your SATs are OK. You will probably get credit for HL, but it depends a lot on the university.

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- Which grades will they assess? High school or IB?

Usually, most American universities will see your High School grades, GPA, class rank and SAT score. A minority, usually the better ones, will look at your IB predicted grades.

- If my IB predicted grades fall, will my GPA bring this up?

No, why would they? The GPA is dependent on your current classes, your GPA has no control over your performance in IB.

- What about scholarships?

Scholarships are hard to get unless you're really outstanding. On the other hand, most Ivy league schools give out free money if you can demonstrate that you have no money to go to university.

- Since I'm not a citizen, I need a student visa. Any help with this?

We're not really immigration consultants here, but if you get an offer, and can show your money to fund your stay and tuition in America, and the desire to come back home to Finland once you graduate from university, you shouldn't have a problem getting a visa. Just ensure that none of your previous stay in America was unlawful.

- I have no college fund, so what kind of aid/scholarships am I eligible for?

As said, apply to universities like Yale or Harvard that will match your need. Or if you have some extraordinary sports skills, some universities will give you a free ride for that.

- Will I get college credits for HL classes?

Yes, most universities will offer you credit for some classes above a 4 / 5 / 6, depending on subject and university. Don't expect to get credit for flimsy subjects like Business and Management but you don't have anything like that. Again, universities only offer up to a year of credit.

- Is there hope of Ivy Leagues?

Of course. Always is, depends on how you build up your 'package' and your test score.

Any other questions? :D

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Thanks for the responses... they are appreciated! It's a lot to digest with American Universities, at least for me. Do most Ivy League schools prefer SAT scores over ACTs? I've taken the ACT once, last April, and got a 33. I don't know what this translates to with SATs... or if I still have to take the SATs? If so... then I need to sign up pretty soon. :D I've never been illegally in the US, but my family has had some visa problems so I should probably get that checked up too. Thanks for the help though... I've been pretty pessimistic about my options, but the positivity is returning!!! :)

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top schools usually perfer that you take the SAT both I and II. A 33 is a really good score on yout ACTs so you should do well on the SATs.

look around for scholarships becuase that will be a big help in the end if you can find any to finance your education and living.

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Cool, thanks for the info... now I have to start planning to take the SAT! And yes... scholarships are like gold for me right now... I'm just looking around trying to find the school that will leave me with the least amount of debt after school. But I won't sacrifice my dreams of the perfect school at the same time!

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a little debt isn't bad though. i only take out a 2000 USD per year, so i am doing alright.

look at what scholarships the schools that you are applying for offer. i know that my uni has scholarships that are for just international students.

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Thanks for the responses... they are appreciated! It's a lot to digest with American Universities, at least for me. Do most Ivy League schools prefer SAT scores over ACTs? I've taken the ACT once, last April, and got a 33. I don't know what this translates to with SATs... or if I still have to take the SATs? If so... then I need to sign up pretty soon. :) I've never been illegally in the US, but my family has had some visa problems so I should probably get that checked up too. Thanks for the help though... I've been pretty pessimistic about my options, but the positivity is returning!!! :)

You'll need SAT Subject tests along with the SAT reasoning test. Most Ivy leagues would want a minimum of 2, if not 3, SAT Subject tests.

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Ok... well next on my list is then signing up for the different SATs I have to take! And of course finding the right uni for me! This will be a busy summer, what with EE, TOK essay, 2 WLs, + uni stuff... thanks for the help!

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