We asked our CAMPers: why do YOU want to study abroad?
What exactly does CAMP Philippines do?
Because our mission is incredibly ambitious, we do a lot to make sure that we are reaching out to students with proper and comprehensive information on the college application process, and with opportunities to develop as a student. We also want to make sure that you are getting all the attention you deserve and that your personal, specific questions are answered. We do this mainly through our mentoring program, where we pair you up with an actual college student who has gone through the application process to help you and guide you through your own. In July and August, we also hold college talks at local schools in the Philippines geared towards first, second and third year students to raise awareness about attending college abroad. Around the same time, we hold an annual CAMP Study Abroad Conference for high school seniors to get more in-depth information and training on how to apply to colleges abroad. We also recently started a summer internship program, which provides high school students with the opportunity to gain professional work experience.
What if I’m not sure whether or not I want to apply abroad?
That’s totally fine! Part of CAMP’s mission is to raise awareness on the ups and downs of going to a college overseas. You are still more than welcome to be part of our discussion group and take advantage of the resources on our website. You will ultimately have to make the decision yourself, but we hope that you will seek help from us if you do choose to apply abroad!
What will my donation to CAMP be used for?
Whatever donations we get are used 100% for our mentees and students. We will use this money to conduct school visits for college talks, hold workshops for students and teachers, keep our website running, and create guidebooks and instructional videos for the application process! Thank you so much for even considering to donate to us!
Why do I need a CAMP mentor?
As much as we hate to admit it, there is a lack of college information and resources for local high school students in the Philippines, particularly for colleges overseas. While students attending most international or American schools are given this information from the beginning of their freshman year and are guided carefully through the application process, many in local schools do not have the same opportunity. Part of CAMP Philippines’ mission is to level the playing field among high school students, independent of socioeconomic status or background. CAMP mentors, who mostly come from the same background as you, are part of our effort to bridge the information gap. From their experience going through the college application process themselves, they can give you the information and guidance necessary to have as much competitive advantage as any other student.
Will it cost me anything to take part in the mentoring program?
The mentoring program is FREE! We absolutely do not charge you for wanting to learn more about applying to college—in fact, we should be rewarding YOU for attempting it!
Who is eligible for the CAMP mentoring program?
High school students who are currently in their THIRD YEAR or FIRST QUARTER of FOURTH YEAR are eligible to apply for the mentorship program. We believe in making this program accessible to anyone who applies, so we do not have any GPA or SAT score cut-offs for students whom we accept. However, students must submit a COMPLETE application before they can be assigned a mentor (this includes the written application, a video statement, and a copy of your resume). Additionally, if you are not making the most of the program (e.g. you are not replying to your mentors’ emails or have not been working on your essay), you will be given a maximum of three warnings by the executive team through email before we remove you from the program and assign your mentor to someone else.
How do I apply for the CAMP mentoring program?
We will officially open applications for the mentoring program to students in DECEMBER of their THIRD YEAR of high school. There will be three rounds of mentor-mentee assignments: February, April, and July. An important thing to remember here is that we assign the best mentors in the early rounds, so try to shoot for an earlier application date! View the full mentorship program description here. Currently, there is only one way to apply for the mentoring program, and that is by filling out this form.
When is the application for the mentoring program due?
All applications for the first round of pairings are due by FEBRUARY 15 of your third year in high school. Applications for the second round of pairings are due by APRIL 15 before you enter your fourth year. Applications for the third round of pairings are due by JULY 15 of your fourth year. An important thing to remember here is that we assign the best mentors in the early rounds, so try to shoot for an earlier application date! View the full mentorship program description here.
Why do I have to provide my SAT scores, grades, and personal achievements in my application for the mentoring program?
Given the extremely complex nature of the college admissions process, we want to pair you up with a mentor who will be the most helpful for your particular set of college, academic, and extra-curricular interests. We also want to make sure that your mentors are giving you reliable advice, and the only way that they can do this is if they know as much about you as possible. Knowing your scores, grades, and personal achievements really helps mentors determine what type of student you are and which colleges would be most suitable for you to apply to.
How do you guys monitor what my mentor and I are doing?
Members of the Executive Team will be checking in with you and your mentor on your progress every month. We will also be sending out a monthly newsletter for mentors and mentees. However, it is up to both your and your mentors' discretion which information to share with us and how best to update us on your personal progress.
Does CAMP give financial aid to students?
Unfortunately, we do not give financial aid to students to attend college. Alternatively, we help students search for and apply to financial aid programs and scholarships, as well as understand and negotiate their financial aid packages with colleges. In special cases, we may solicit funding from donors on your behalf. The good news is that all of our services are offered to students free of charge!
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. On the other hand, financial aid, while difficult to get, is more accessible since colleges/universities usually will have money set aside for financial aid for international students.
Will applying for financial aid lower my chances to get in a selective school?
If you are an international student, then most probably, yes; for most colleges, the more aid you need, the harsher admissions officers may 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 listed colleges, applying for financial aid should not affect your chances whatsoever.
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 factor your financial need 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.
Do need-aware universities accept international students even if their need is too big? Does it happen that you get in but don't receive any scholarship or aid?
Yes, you can get accepted to a university without being offered financial aid even if you asked for it. If you get accepted and asked for aid, the usual scenario would be that the school offers you some funding, though this may not match how much you need.
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. 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.
I'd like to enter to a university and apply for a financial aid, but 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-curricular activities, 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.
The amount of financial aid available per university is usually found online. Does this amount refer to aid available for all students in the applicant pool applying for financial aid or for one student only?
The number normally listed is the average financial aid per student. Take note that this includes American citizens, who are able to receive significantly more financial aid than international students. Most universities will not have information on the average amount of aid received by internationals.
Is a SAT score of 2100 in range for an Ivy League university?
Technically, a person with any score can apply to an Ivy League university because the admissions process is holistic and doesn't just take into account one's SATs. However, it is true that most students at Ivy League universities score around the 2100 range in their SATs. The simple rule is that the higher your score, the better. While admissions officers do not just make decisions based on one's SAT score, it can serve as a "threshold" to separate the very competitive from the competitive. Also remember that, for international students especially, SATs show admissions officers that you can match up to your American counterparts!
Can you get in a selective school with an average SAT score?
This depends on what you mean by "average". At CAMP, we tell our mentees to aim for score at least above the 2000s, especially if the student wants to apply to 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 look at applications as a whole.
What SAT II scores are generally considered competitive for selective schools?
700+. Again, the higher, the better. Keep in mind that percentiles are more important than the actual score! A 700 on Lit is the same as an 800 on Math II, and this can take into account certain expectations schools might have at the more competitive level.
Which Ivy League schools would be the easiest to get in?
There is no "easy" Ivy League school. Each university is different and caters to different student personalities and interests. All are very competitive.
What are my chances of getting into a selective school with average SAT scores below 2000?
There is no straight answer to this question. It all depends on what schools you're applying to as well as how strong the rest of your application is (e.g. an Olympic athlete applying with an 1800 is not the same as a regular student applying with an 1800). Remember that there are over 3,000 universities in the US alone and that there's a school for everybody.
Where can I take SAT's here in the Philippines?
Usually, you can take the SATs at the international schools (International School Manila, Brent International School, and British School Manila). Once you register for the SAT on the Collegeboard website, you will be given a choice of where you want to take the test. Register early, or spots may be filled and you can be put on the "waitlist" for a certain day!
Could you give some suggestions of schools that are good for academically average students?
There are thousands upon thousands of possibilities. We recommend doing college research based on your interests and abilities. Google is your best friend. One good place to start is on College Board's college search service here.
What is the IB Diploma?
The IB Diploma is a rigorous, comprehensive 2-year educational program offered by certified high schools and 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.
Is taking the IB Diploma is a great advantage when applying to colleges?
Because the IB is recognized by many universities, taking it can give you an some advantage since universities recognize it as a challenging academic program. However, if your school doesn't offer the IB, don't fear! Schools will look at your academic profile in the context of what opportunities you had offered to you. As long as you can show that you have taken a rigorous academic course load at your school, you should be fine (e.g. honors classes, MTAP, etc.)
Which schools in the Philippines offer the IB Diploma?
The complete list of IB schools in the Philippines can be found here.
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 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. This is a very important question and should definitely be discussed at length with parents, teachers, and mentors. If you want to discuss this more in-depth, please feel free to contact someone from CAMP!
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 this strategy to students who feel that they are not yet ready to apply or are too late in applying to colleges abroad. You may also want to try one year of college here in the Philippines if you want to build a network of friends or experience university here before going abroad. If you want to discuss your situation more in-depth, please feel free to contact someone from CAMP!
UP vs Less selective school with full scholarship/ big amount of aid?
This really depends on what you're looking for. You need to consider a lot of factors that include what major you want to study, the environment you'll be in, what you want to do after college, and what you want out of your college experience. We recommend applying for a mentor or getting in touch with someone at CAMP if you want to discuss your options further.
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, you declare your major during your first year and take classes specifically towards that major.