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Getting Into Your Top Choice US Universities: What Parents Need to Know

Apr 18, 2018
The right education is the foundation for an impactful career; but how can Arab youth get into world-class US universities which are best suited to their career goals? This was the focal element of discussions at a seminar titled ‘Getting Into Your Top Choice US Universities: What Parents Need to Know’, organized by Young Arab Leaders and IvyWise at In5 Tech, on the evening of 18 April 2018.

Founded in 1998, IvyWise is the premier educational consultancy with global presence and expertise in helping students and parents make the right university choices. It is powered by a team of expert counsellors who have been former deans and directors of admissions from some of the most prestigious universities in the USA, including Princeton, Yale, MIT, UChicago, Georgetown, NYU, and others.

Dr Katherine Cohen, Founder & CEO of IvyWise shared some valuable advice and insights, coming from over 20 years of expertise in Education Consulting. A seminar presentation, followed by an open Q&A session and networking were key components of the event as YAL brought together over 50 enthusiastic attendees, including students and parents of diverse backgrounds.

Nabra Al Busaidi, Executive Director of Young Arab Leaders welcomed attendees, introduced Dr Katherine Cohen and invited the audience to make the most of the seminar as well as the Q&A ahead.

First up, Dr Kat strongly encouraged students to be enthusiastic and think ahead. She put forward an informative presentation as to how various components like academic scores, extracurricular activities, awards, professional test scores and a personal statement go into making an ideal university application which Admissions Officers of Ivy League Schools actually seek and admire.

Dr Kat advised students and parents alike to research and accordingly create lists of preferred universities, carefully considering academic interests and career goals, while also taking into account other factors like course requirements, duration and location. Having enlightened them about the various factors impacting university rankings, she encouraged students to opt for the universities most suited to them, rather than simply vying for the top-ranked universities.

Furthermore, she proposed that a compelling personal statement is like a story, well-balanced with academic, extracurricular and professional achievements and aspirations, while also being coherent and clear. She strongly encouraged students to go the extra mile in academic and extracurricular work by pursuing their passions, with a focus on learning from various experiences since it would help them be distinctive and also better prepare for an effective university experience. She suggested volunteering, summer courses, relevant internships and online courses as good ways to add extra value to a personal statement.

In conclusion, she emphasized that it is vital for students to prioritize and apply early to make the most of early decision rounds by presenting unique achievements and specific S.M.A.R.T. goals as key parts of an application.

An interactive Q&A session helped attendees have their queries answered by Dr Kat and a networking session concluded the evening.

The values and objectives of this event are fully aligned with YAL’s goals of empowering Arab youth through quality education. YAL is pleased to have organized a successful event, in partnership with IvyWise, wherein over 50 ambitious students and parents came together, learned from experts, shared experiences and exchanged knowledge.