As the Class of 2017 prepare to embark on the next phase of their education, a record number of Year 13 students have applied to study in the United States. If successful they will join six former Blue Coat students who are currently studying in the states in locations such as California, Vermont and Florida. For our hopeful applicants the quality and reputation of some of the country’s most prestigious universities and the flexibility of degree programmes were key factors in their decision to apply. But unlike the British UCAS application process, the American system presents a greater challenge. A challenge described by one applicant as rigorous in every sense of the word.
During the summer of 2016 two of our Year 13 students, Ben and Oscar, who sought to learn more about the application process secured a place on the prestigious Sutton Trust summer school programme. The programme, widely regarded as a valuable asset by prospective candidates, guides individuals through the multiple admissions tests, essays and a common application essay. As well as guidance, the Trust also provide participants with an opportunity to travel to the United States, allowing Ben and Oscar to dip their toe into the world of Yale, Harvard, Princeton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
With the application process comprising of multiple components and multiple deadlines the process can prove to be quite stressful. However certain aspects can ultimately be, as Oscar described, “pretty fun” with supplemental essays proving to be “quite quirky”, with Brown University asking its applicants to discuss their local community, and Stanford University asking applicants to describe themselves in four words.
The flexibility to explore a range of disciplines has provided our applicants with an opportunity to incorporate different subjects such as astrophysics or maths with mandarin or art, combinations which cannot always be so easily accommodated at British universities.
We are delighted to report that all three students have received offers to study at prestigious American Ivy League institutions. Oscar faces a difficult decision having been accepted by Harvard and Columbia, Lucy will pursue her passion for science at Yale University and Ben will be attending Duke University in North Carolina. We congratulate them for their determination and wish them the very best of luck as they prepare to travel to the United States to embark on their four year degree programme.