What is involved?

Applying to US universities requires a far more significant investment of time, thought, money and energy than applying elsewhere. It is highly advisable to start the process early – quite simply, a great deal is involved.

Academic Record

For the most sought after universities, your child will be expected to have a very good academic record. He/She may also need US standardised test scores. He/She will need excellent school references, very well written application essays, and an interesting wider student profile showing in-depth involvement and commitment.

Stanford University Hoover Tower

Wheeler Hall University of California Berkeley

Comparison with UCAS

Many parents are scared off by the complexity of the admissions process. In comparison to UCAS (where a set of predicted grades and one personal statement suffice for application to five different universities), applying to US colleges is a lengthy and strenuous process.

As private institutions, the rules and requirements for each US college are different. Moreover, it is essential that institutional priorities are understood and considered to successfully align an application.

Without this expertise, chances of acceptance are significantly reduced. We have seen too many talented international students fail in the presentation of their applications and urge parents, for this reason primarily, to seek professional guidance.

Types of applicant

From our experience, there are three types of applicant to the US: 

  • First, we see the student whose parent(s) has studied at a US college and is forced to rely on his or her previous experience and/or limited knowledge. Institutional priorities and systems shift over time, and the parent’s experience may not be relevant today.
  • Second, there is the student/family that relies solely on guidance from school, which while knowledgeable often is under-resourced and unable to provide personalised service.
  • Finally there is a student/family that uses the support of an educational consultancy. For students outside the US, to use a US consultancy firm geared towards promoting US students is counter-productive. The two ‘pools’ must be treated very differently.




Successful Applications

A child’s future is too important to be put into the hands of ‘interested amateurs’ or into the hands of experts with differing priorities or fields of expertise. Successfully applying to the world’s top universities does now require professional support. We have seen many applications that are convincing to the untrained eye. The last draft changes to our most recent success to Yale may have seemed unimportant, but it is the subtleties in the presentation of a young person to an anonymous admissions team that require professional guidance.


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Please call us to discuss your US college application. If you would prefer to make an online enquiry, please use our client enquiry form.

Contact Nemecek Bonas MacFarlane