I'm an IBDP student in India. I applied to UCLA last year around November and was rejected. However, UCLA is my dream college and I want to study Computer Science undergrad there. I plan to take a gap year and reapply. Do UCs prefer students who're still in high school? Will UCLA accept me if I apply after taking a gap year?

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    Tom O'Keefe
  • thomas.joseph.okeefe@gmail.com

Tom O'Keefe Answered 4 months ago

Brief answer here, as I have limited time myself at the moment: I would strongly encourage you to focus on what it is you are doing with your gap year. In general, most elite schools – like UCLA – in the US are now very open to students taking gap years, but taking a gap year just to reapply to your dream college is not advisable. You need to be doing something of substance with that time, first and foremost  for yourself, but also so as to be able to tell a compelling story about why it is you decided....View More

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I’m currently studying in the 12th grade. I am considering taking a gap year to improve my application. Will taking a gap year hurt my chances of admission and receiving financial aid at a good US university?

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    Lisa Buchwalter
  • lisabuchwalter@gmail.com

Lisa Buchwalter Answered 7 months ago

No. You do not have to tell any university that you are planning on taking a Gap Year when you apply. Once you are admitted, you can then request to defer your admission a year. Almost all private schools will grant you this deferral, no matter what the reason. They will ask you what you plan to do during that time, but even if you say you simply need time off to wind down and travel, or to work to pay for your education, you will most likely be granted this deferral. This is not true for state universities however,....View More

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Is it better to go to my safety school or to take a gap year and apply again with better test scores and more extracurriculars?

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    Lisa Buchwalter
  • lisabuchwalter@gmail.com

Lisa Buchwalter Answered 7 months ago

This is a tough question, and again the answer is, “It depends.” If you like your safety school and think that doing particularly well there and being at the top of your class and perhaps in their honor program, would allow you to get into a top graduate school, then consider going to your safety school. If you are extremely confident that your scores will go up and that you can do something meaningful that will enhance your application, and that you believe in doing anyway, and if you are really unhappy with your safety school, then consider taking a....View More

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I was planning on applying to a community college for the bachelor's program. I have a gap of 2 years. Are there any chances of getting an admit in community college?

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    Lisa Buchwalter
  • lisabuchwalter@gmail.com

Lisa Buchwalter Answered 7 months ago

You should have no problem gaining admission to a good community college even after a gap of 2 years. This type of gap is quite common and can actually be to your advantage in the long-run, in giving you more life experience and in allowing you to start college with more maturity.. Furthermore, community college is a great, cost-effective way for you to get your general education requirements out of the way without paying the tuition of a four-year college. Also, it may be easier to transfer into a good four-year university if you have done very well in your....View More

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Is there any disadvantage or marks deduction for the students who apply after taking a gap year?

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    Lisa Buchwalter
  • lisabuchwalter@gmail.com

Lisa Buchwalter Answered 7 months ago

The short answer is no, and the longer answer is absolutely not. In fact, if you have done well during your senior year and your final marks are strong, you may be more competitive than you were without the gap year, especially if you have done some interesting work during this year, or traveled or done some community service. You will be differentiated from the group of students eagerly applying during your senior year from your area, and this can be advantageous. If you do decide to take a gap year, make it count in terms of adding to your....View More

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    Mradul Bhatnagar

I had applied to 4 colleges in USA last year and got selected to NYU , UIUC but got rejected by cornell and waitlisted by purdue . I also got admitted to IIT and BITS in india , I couldnt go to USA because the fin aid wasn’t sufficient. Can I apply again to top institutes like Upenn , Princeton , Duke in the states next year while joining IIT as a backup. If yes , anything except improving standardised testing scores that I can do ?

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    Lisa Buchwalter
  • lisabuchwalter@gmail.com

Lisa Buchwalter Answered 3 months ago

Hi there, congratulations on your admits! You got into some great places. NYU is notoriously stingy with financial aid, so I am not surprised that it's just too much to consider. If you do choose to go to IIT or BITS (and wow, IIT? That's a great school) you would be applying as a transfer student. As such, the main thing you can do to get in is to get all A's in your first year, taking difficult courses, and to find a teacher in college who will recommend you highly. The schools you mention will all require SAT/ACT also even....View More

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As I'll be taking a gap year for non academic reasons, I won't be in direct contact with my high school authorities. Will I be able to just scan my yearly report cards and upload them myself ? For instance, Purdue requires only the 10th and 12th board mark sheets, so would I be able to upload the scanned copies myself?

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    Kim Dixit
  • kim@theredpen.in

Kim Dixit Answered 4 months ago

You will need to nominate a counsellor as the transcripts and letters of recommendation (LoRs) have to go through an official teacher account. It cannot be sent by students. Even if you can self report the scores, you will still need your school to upload a counsellor LoR and one/two teacher LoRs. Therefore, even if you are on a gap year, you would need support from the school. Inform your school about your plans and why you are taking a gap year so they can include it in their documents. I am sure they will be happy to help if....View More

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