Comprehensive and measured advice for US university applications

The American university application process is unique; it is unlike applying to university in other countries. It is much more complicated, with particular and unique requirements. Academic excellence is not the only application dimension, which is unlike European, Asian, and International universities.

We offer a thorough and bespoke service for students looking to apply to university in the United States and can guide your child at each step of that journey.

Our team has strong links and relationships with many of the USA's top universities, including those within the Ivy League such as Harvard or Yale and will develop a focused and targeted approach following an initial consultation.

Oya Christie-Miller - Ivy Education
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Careers & Universities Consultant

"Oya specialises in supporting students with their options after school, including university degree choices, structuring a gap year and applying to apprenticeships. She also gives guidance on subject choices at GCSE, BTEC, A Level, Pre-U and IB."

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A full US university application service

Our team of experts can support your family along every step of the admission process for US universities.

For students wanting advice on US university applications, we begin by arranging an initial meeting with one of our University consultants.

At Ivy Education, we generally advise parents and students to start thinking as early as 9th Grade / Year 10. Developing interests and extracurricular activities can be more difficult when these activities are not provided readily in school. From Year 11 (10th Grade) onwards, students should expect a carefully crafted timetable to cover the SAT or the ACT, SAT II Subject Tests, applications, and extracurriculars.

Beginning as early as the 9th Grade or Year 10, our consultant will prepare a timeline so your child can manage their application and highlight the dates of any standardised tests.

Applications to the US are judged against multiple criteria: academics, leadership, extracurriculars, volunteering, and "likeability" (which comes primarily from the application). Academics are the easiest to both quantify and measure. They form the baseline bar for admission at most universities. For example, a score less than 1450 without additional factors is very unlikely to secure admission to a top school. Once the academic standard has been met, the other criteria come into play.

In the 10th Grade or Year 11, the consultant will update the application and testing timeline whilst offering guidance as to final A-Level, IB or Pre-U subjects.

They will help your child with the process of researching universities and colleges, and if necessary, will help your child apply to any summer programmes if they think this would help improve their academic profile. Alongside continued academic check-ins, they might also recommend work experience and help your child prepare a CV to apply.

By the 12th Grade or Year 13, the consultant will have helped your child develop an application list, in accordance with predicted grades and standardised testing scores.

They will assist in developing an optimal early application strategy and communicate with the universities regarding any extenuating circumstances or additional information on behalf of the applicant. They will offer personal statement and supplemental advice and editing, whilst helping your child complete the applications within the deadlines (via various application sites including the Common App, Coalition Application and individual university application platforms). They will help your child follow up on applications and offer advice for them to select the correct university or college once the results are released.

Admission to a top school usually requires at least one very strong extracurricular. There are a few metrics with which to think about these activities.

Is the extracurricular to an international, national, local, or school level standard? If the activity is not to the level of the school, then it is probably not standout. Is there evidence of the excellence e.g., awards, recognition, a leadership role? While most parents consider sports and music to be the classic extracurriculars, anything that is pursued with enough rigour is relevant. Starting a company, developing a charity, writing for a think tank - all of these have constituted stand out extracurriculars for past students.