Choosing a School for Top US and UK University Admissions

07/08/20235 minute read
Choosing a School for Top US and UK University Admissions

If you're searching for schools that can enhance your child's chances of securing admission into esteemed US or UK universities, you've come to the right place.

With seven years of experience in the international admissions space and having worked with schools around the world, Alex Cork, CGA’s Admissions Officer shares some essential factors to consider when choosing the right school for your child's academic journey.

International Curriculum Options

Look for schools that offer renowned international curricula like the International Baccalaureate (IB) or the A Levels.

Both curricula are highly regarded by top universities and can significantly boost your child's chances of success. If you can’t get into a school offering an international curriculum or you don’t believe it’s a good fit for your child, make sure the school offers the most challenging local curriculum subjects or allows students to study subjects beyond their grade level.

For local curriculum students, take additional subjects in APs (preferred by the US) or A Levels (preferred by the UK) alongside regular schooling which you can do with CGA.

Consistent Top Scores

Check the school's historical performance by examining the top 5-6 students' scores over the past few years. High-achieving students with ATARs of 98.5+ or IB scores of 42+ are likely to be competitive applicants for prestigious universities. Beware of schools where they haven’t got a top score in the last few years.

Diverse Student History

Ensure the school's success stories are not limited to a handful of elite athletes. Inquire about academic students who have gained admission to top universities, as this will provide a more comprehensive picture of the school's track record.

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Emphasis on Unique Extracurriculars

Look for schools that encourage participation in distinctive competitions and initiatives, such as F1 in Schools, Future Problem Solving, or academic Olympiads.

Engaging in such activities sets applicants apart during the US admissions process. Ask what the school’s policy is on students starting their own extracurricular clubs. Is this a common thing for students to do - even in junior year levels? Do students need teacher supervision to do so?

Finding schools that have this kind of culture will help students build a unique extracurricular profile.

Comprehensive Careers Department

A strong careers department is crucial for students applying overseas. Ask about the school's careers department. Have they supported students to gain admission overseas before? When was the last time the school had a student gain admission overseas and were these student-athletes or academic students? Are the advisors full-time or part-time?

The best opportunities for admission often arise right after high school, so early and thorough guidance is essential.

Opportunities for All

Remember that overseas options are not exclusive to private school students. Exceptional students from various backgrounds have achieved admission to renowned universities. So, don't limit your aspirations based on school type or don’t think that being at a “good school” means admission to top universities is guaranteed.

Choosing the right school is a vital step in setting your child on the path to success. By considering these factors, you can ensure that your child receives the support and opportunities they need to unlock international opportunities and reach their full potential.

Whether it's the International Baccalaureate, unique extracurriculars, or a comprehensive careers department, the right school can make all the difference in preparing your child for a bright future.

Speak to one of our Academic Advisors and start your journey with CGA today!