Ask @CAMPphilippines:

I'm not from an IB school or intl. School. I want to take SATs but I don't know how and I don't know how to review about it and I would like to apply for a financial aid if ever I'd like to apply at a uni/college in the US or in UK. I'm almost 17, thanks.

Sounds like you need a mentor! Apply here: http://www.campphilippines.org/application-for-mentees.html (also read through the CAMP website, doing so will give you a better idea of what applying to colleges abroad entails).

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I'd like to enter to a uni and apply for a financial aid, I don't know how to get in. What do I do? :(

This question requires a very comprehensive answer and is contingent not only on your interests but also on your grades, extra-curriculars, and experiences. We recommend that you apply for a CAMP mentor who can give you more personalised mentorship and can really help you through the application process. Apply here: http://www.campphilippines.org/application-for-mentees.html. Also check out all the resources on our website for mentees, they may be just the information you're looking for!

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If I plan to transfer to a college in Europe after one year of college here, would it be better to go to Ateneo or UP?

This depends on what course you want to take and what field you want to pursue. Remember that for most, if not all, European universities, unlike with American universities you declare your major during your first year and take classes specifically towards that major.

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Is it possible to bargain for additional aid later on if a university gave me a partial scholarship in the early round?

For many colleges, aid is assessed per year; they can give you the same, more, or less aid after each year enrolled if your circumstances change (given that you have accepted and attended the university). Typically, you cannot bargain for more aid. One of the few cases you can is if you were accepted and offered aid by two (or more) universities - sometimes, a student in this scenario can have the colleges "compete" for his/her decision and try and match/beat each other's aid offer.

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Would you recommend that we take one year of college here in the Philippines first before applying as a freshman in the United States?

This depends on a student's situation; we recommend it to students who feel that they are not yet ready to apply or are too late in applying to colleges abroad. If you want to discuss your situation more in-depth, please feel free to contact someone from CAMP either personally, through our email (exec@campphilippines.org) or through our Facebook page!

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does having an IB Diploma is a great advanatge when applying to college?

Because the IB is recognized by many universities, taking it can give you an advantage in that universities recognize it as a challenging academic program. However, if your school doesn't offer the IB, don't fear! As long as you can show that you have taken a rigorous academic courseload in your school, you should be fine (e.g. honors classes, MTAP, etc.)

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what is IB Diploma?

The IB Diploma is a rigorous, comprehensive 2-year educational program offered by certified high schools that is recognized by universities the world over. In the program, students are required to take classes in at least six different fields: language, second language, individuals and societies, math/computer science, arts, and the experimental sciences. At the end of 2 years, students sit cumulative examinations testing them on all six fields.

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Can you get in a selective school with an average sat score?

This depends on what you mean by "average". We would say aim to score at least above the 2000s for especially selective schools. Remember though that the SAT is only one part of your application, and while you should aim to do well on it, it shouldn't come at the cost of other parts of your application like your grades, extra-curricular involvements and personal essay. Admissions teams always looks at applications as a whole.

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Do need-aware universities accept int'l students even if their need is too big? Like you get in but you dont receive scholarship or any aid... does that happen

Yes, you can get accepted without being offered financial aid, although financial aid contributes to their decision, even if you asked for it. If you get accepted and asked for aid, the more usual scenario would be being offered some aid, though this may not match how much you stated you need.

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In the job market, are there significant drawbacks to attending a small unheard of LAC in the States instead of a big university here like UP?

The disadvantage of this can be in your lack of connections and networks in the Philippines, especially if you plan on coming back to the country right after graduation. One drawback in going abroad is that you can become distant from the ongoings in the Philippines, which can cause you to lose touch with people and events that may help push you forward career-wise.

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is financial aid for international students accessible? or is it very difficult to get?

It is always much more difficult to get financial aid for international students than it is for local students (Americans in the US, UK citizens in the UK, etc), and getting a full financial aid package can be difficult. However, it also depends on the universities you are applying to. Though most universities in the US are need-aware for international students (meaning they take into consideration how much financial aid you need, and your financial need is factored into their decision), many of them still have significant financial aid packages. This takes a bit of research.
At CAMP, we often encourage mentees to heavily research their schools and consider applying ED to a university that, while need-aware, states that it has financial aid for internationals. Applying ED and showing commitment to the university can help an applicant's chances of receiving financial aid.

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Will applying for fin aid lower my chances to get in a selective school?

If you are an international student, then yes; for most colleges, the more aid you need, the harsher admissions officers can be on your application. This does not apply to colleges that are need-blind for international students (Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton, Dartmouth, NYUAD, Amherst). For these colleges, applying for financial aid should not affect your chances whatsoever.

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What is the difference between financial aid and a scholarship?

Financial aid is based on your family's income, while scholarships are based on merit or a certain set of criteria. There are not very many scholarships that are available for Filipino students - financial aid, while still difficult to get, is more accessible, as colleges/universities usually will have money set aside for financial aid for international students.

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