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Private London secondary schools with strong exits to US universities

(43 Posts)
Tigermom79 Tue 04-Jun-19 10:42:31


As the title of the post suggests, I am looking for (non-IB) private schools in London which have a sizeable number of exits to (and hence good relationships with) high-ranked US colleges. I believe Latymer Upper sends a few (~10% every year?) Others? Just trying to map the system, and this may change considerably by the time DD (currently 6) is in senior school.

Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
Needmoresleep Tue 04-Jun-19 11:05:01

Westminster sends plenty and always has. Girls in sixth form. SPGS also has good experience.

The IB schools like G&L and Kings Wimbledon have always been popular with potential US applicants.

Numbers from schools like LU, JAGS, Putney HS etc are growing so by the time your DD reaches that point they should be very much up to speed. Plus you can always revisit after GCSE and look for a sixth form with strong support for US applications.

londonparisny Mon 15-Jul-19 23:16:51

@Needmoresleep I dont have a DD but I shared your notes with a friend and she is very thankful.

Pipandmum Mon 15-Jul-19 23:18:13

I thought US universities preferred IB?

Needmoresleep Tue 16-Jul-19 00:01:26

Not particularly. Most pupils will be taking 4 A levels which allows breadth. IB is easier for generalists. Really good mathematicians hoping for Harvard or MIT are probably better off offering tip top double maths A levels. Equally one bright girl we knew struggled with maths and the decision was for her to take her best subjects at A level and to be tutored specifically for the maths required for SATs. She got her Ivy place, helped by very strong extra curricular.

TartanTexan Wed 17-Jul-19 15:13:06

How much can you typically expect to pay re: a UK student at an Ivy League or similar?

mimbleandlittlemy Wed 17-Jul-19 15:51:36

This gives some idea but is a bit out of date:

This was how much it would be without assistance for 2018/19:

The total 2018-2019 cost of attending Harvard College without financial aid is $46,340 for tuition and $67,580 for tuition, room, board, and fees combined.

mimbleandlittlemy Wed 17-Jul-19 15:52:21

Obviously that's just Harvard but I presume, possibly wrongly, that most Ivy League are about the same.

RandomPlatypus Wed 17-Jul-19 17:31:14

<The IB schools like G&L and Kings Wimbledon have always been popular with potential US applicants. >

Both those schools offer A Levels as well as IB.

I'm not sure how much of a 'relationship ' any school has with US colleges given that admission is done by the individual pupil (albeit with extracurricular coaching in the school I'm familiar with). There may be the occasional recruitment visit from colleges but little else.

Needmoresleep Wed 17-Jul-19 17:45:56

Random, yes I know, but one reason why G&L offer IB is that breadth is seen as a good match with those wanting to study Liberal Arts in the US - where again in your freshman year you have to take a wide variety of subjects before deciding on a major. It is part of the USP. It is expensive to run both, and they would not do so if it did not give them advantage when recruiting/retaining sixth form pupils.

Needmoresleep Wed 17-Jul-19 17:49:56

Also it is nothing to do with "relationships", other than for the odd rower.

Some schools are very practiced in advising pupils on the process: SAT preparations, personal statement (leadership, extra-curricular etc are very important), where to apply and how (Early Decision, say), diversity criteria (first in your family to go to University) and writing suitable school references. Others are not. I would argue that it is very useful to be at a school that is experienced in the process and able to support both pupils and parents.

BubblesBuddy Wed 17-Jul-19 19:32:05

Your DD is 6! You have a long way to go. At the moment, the UK sends around 400 students to the USA. It really isn’t big business. Many go on “needs blind” scholarships and that costs less than above. However you have to be ferociously clever to get that at the top universities because they have the choice of students from a world pool. It’s also not offered at many universities.

There are very few grants and bursaries for standard average students to reduce the cost. Occasionally scholarships will be offered but they may not be much of a discount. So if you are not likely to be the type of student a university actually wants and will be generous about funding, do save up lots of money. Even now it’s 4 x $70,000 plus fares home and spending money. Is it really worth it?

user1494050295 Wed 17-Jul-19 19:34:50

A friends daughter is being lured by the Ivy's and she is in a state school. Something to do with being built like a brick s house and can pull close to 7 mins on the erg

user1494050295 Wed 17-Jul-19 19:35:34

At age 14.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 17-Jul-19 19:41:10

A friend of ours has a daughter at uni in the states on a full soccer scholarship.

Needmoresleep Wed 17-Jul-19 20:13:44

Bubbles, It is probably over a decade since your DDs left school and I think you may find things have changed a lot over that time. The US is now a much more common destination. Parents interested in the US do start planning early firstly to save enough, but then to be sure that you have sufficient extra-curricular. The admissions system is very different, and to get to the right level in sport or music you need to start early, or this is what parents we knew seemed to do.

It is also very usual to factor in a schools experience in US admissions when choosing a secondary school. So eight is about right. Six may be a little early but not, perhaps if you are thinking of a house move as well.

I am also a little surprised by your numbers and the suggestion that many go on "needs blind" scholarships. Most we knew, and about 25 went from DCs school, paid full whack, and went to Ivies or similar, with other schools sending similar numbers. Lots obviously went from International/American schools like Southbank, and Cobham, whilst pupils at schools like Kings Bruton, Plymouth or Millfield who aimed at sports scholarships, though at less academic Universities.

Whether it is a waste of money of not is an individual decision. The feedback is that students work a lot harder, with tests every three or four weeks, and, with restrictions of alcohol for under 21s, drink less. (There are exceptions.) The wider liberal arts programmes mean that students try things they have not tried before, and DDs friends include one who is majoring in maths/music and another in economics/drama, something that is not easy to do at, say, Cambridge.

(That said DS studied at undergraduate level in the UK but has been able to access full funding for a PhD in the US, which is obviously cheaper than a first degree in the US, not least because UK degrees are normally 3 years.)

sendsummer Thu 18-Jul-19 04:57:53

The US is now a much more common destination
‘Common’ is only really applicable to a micro population of extremely affluent families, often from an international background, who have the US college admissions system on their radar early on because of their international outlook and the ability to fund it. It would be reasonable to assume Bubbles that the OP fits in this category.
Then of course for the vast majority of the UK population it is as you say. There are those who can get sporting scholarships (and are made aware of it) and the very few who fulfil all the criteria for needs blind admissions to top US universities.
The most affordable way to access the US HE undergraduate experience for that vast majority is via UK degrees with strong links for a year in the US.

AlbertWinestein Thu 18-Jul-19 05:20:39

This thread is so filled with bullshit, I don’t even know where to start. Have any of you actually ever been to a US college?!

MarchingFrogs Thu 18-Jul-19 08:42:25

This thread is so filled with bullshit, I don’t even know where to start. Have any of you actually ever been to a US college?!

Personally, not (but then, nor have I offered advice, erroneous or notsmile). And I'm sure Legally Blonde is a terrible misrepresentation, although Dulwich College was instantly recognised by DH, a former pupil.

None of ours has shown the slightest interest in studying in the US, either, but no doubt along with PP, including the OP, I would love to be enlightened on the subject?

ChicCroissant Thu 18-Jul-19 08:53:32

The two people I know that studied in the USA had American expat parents tbh. They attended private school outside London and they arranged to sit the SAT tests somewhere in London themselves.

Agree with PP that the first year of their degree was very different to ours!

Needmoresleep Thu 18-Jul-19 09:11:14

This thread is so filled with bullshit, I don’t even know where to start. Have any of you actually ever been to a US college?!

Errr yes. To visit my son.

I confess he has gone at PhD level but about 25 in his year group, and DD's year group studied undergraduate in the States, so I attended a fair number of briefing (partly because I am nosey) on the subject, and DS was even taken by his school on a US college tour. DD played three different sports to at least county level and came across plenty who were aiming for that wider extra-curricular required for American applications, and I had conversations with those moms, every present with their video cameras, ready to take shots of their DDs star moment, whilst DD surprised some of her 15 year old peers, using the time waiting for competition to do SATs prep, with her naturally wide vocabulary. I also once sat next to an Ivy alum/interviewer during a day long competition who described the range of kids she saw, including plenty of over prepped London ones, and what attributes made someone likely to shine.

Eight of DDs peers got offers to Harvard, which was apparently the best of any school in the world that year.

Obviously we did not actually go through the admissions process. However we saw plenty of it, and the question was about which UK schools had strong US exits. I feel I am qualified to answer that. And equally happy to be corrected on the rest. Better than than simply being called out on bullshit without explanation.

nolanscrack Thu 18-Jul-19 13:06:12

Well sleep,congratulations on posting about Westminster without for once chucking in a snide Eton reference ,however I doubt very much if 8 Harvard offers was the best in the world,if it was then schools like Boston Latin,Phillips Andover/Exeter,Trinity ,Stuyvesant etc must have all had a very bad one off year for offers..

Nancydrawn Thu 18-Jul-19 13:21:19

Just a side note that the Ivy League doesn't do sports scholarships. That isn't true, though, for most other NCAA Div I schools, but the vast majority of Ivy scholarships are based on domestic financial need. Yale is basically free if your household makes under $60k a year and then a sliding scale up to $250k or more. So good athletes from poorer American families going to Ivies can get help that way, but not by being athletes alone.

Needmoresleep Thu 18-Jul-19 14:23:09

True. However entry itself is so competitive, and so much emphasis is given to the contribution a student can make to the campus community, that having something like sport or music will help an application stand out. It seems that an applicant wanted by the sports staff gets their application flagged quite early, and the athlete commits to a specific University, but I dont know the process.

The real sports scholarships seem to come from either Universities that have a strong squad or are using sports scholarships as an aid for recruitment. If that is OPs bag, Millfield is obvious though other schools have good track records (Kings Bruton and American School Cobham for girls soccer, Plymouth or Kelly for swimming, etc).

Nolan, I am not sure if my assertion is correct, however there are quite a number of Universities that top students will be aiming for: MIT, Caltech, Stanford etc as well as the Ivies and places like Chicago, Georgetown and UCLA. My guess is that it is very possible to have a good year with hitting high numbers with a particular school. Eight, though, is good for a non US/non International school.

OP was asking about a daughter, so no need to mention Eton. It is also a very different school. My guess is Westminster's high achieving, super international parent body, will mean that they have supported more applicants over a longer period, but I think Eton is the larger school. You could @ Peteneras?

Nancydrawn Thu 18-Jul-19 15:04:40

Of course! No, you need exceptional abilities/extracurricular interests/life story to get into the best US schools. Far more holistic than it is in the UK and far less based on scores. Good grades are expected, but there's no mandated criteria for entry for the best schools. This gives them the flexibility to take students with potential as well as those who have achieved the potential.

Also, acceptance is acceptance--there's nothing about trying to hit an exam mark afterwards. (They can withdraw an acceptance in an exceptional circumstance, but by and large you get in based on 3.5 years of performance before your application.) Some schools--none of the Ivies, but some very good schools--don't require any standardized tests. At least one school actively refuses to consider them.

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