Competition for admission to elite American universities such as Harvard, Yale, MIT, and Stanford has never been tougher. In addition to excellent test scores and grades, students must be able to write a compelling personal statement which demonstrates that they have something unique to offer their potential future classmates and professors.
At Fuja, our educational counselors work with each high school student client individually to help them develop clear long-term academic and professional goals, and outside-the-classroom activities and interests. When it comes time to write their personal statements of interest to apply to elite U.S universities, they have plenty of meaningful material about which to write.
At prestigious American universities, it is the job of the admissions officers to build a cohort or class. In other words, they are looking for students with a wide range of backgrounds, interests, experiences, and strengths. Perfect test scores and excellent grades are no longer enough. Recently, some American high school students have even started feeling pressure to find internships in order to become more competitive candidates for elite American universities.
Once a student passes the basic hurdle of good grades and test scores, s/he must persuade the admissions committee (typically through the personal statement and/or personal interview) that s/he has something unique to contribute to her potential future classmates and professors. This might be by demonstrating leaderships skills, a commitment to serving others, or a unique perspective or background. They must also clearly and convincingly explain their interest in going to a particular college or university. Often the university will essentially ask this question for the personal statement: “Why do you want to come to our university in particular?” They look for essay answers that show that the student has a good level of self-knowledge, clear interest and goals, and a good understanding of the strengths and offerings of that particular university.
We help students identify their own strengths, weaknesses, and interests. We work with students and their families to clarify their long-term academic goals and list of target universities. We, base this on what will prove to be the best “match” between the student and his or her “dream” university. We educate the student and the parents about the strengths, weaknesses, and academic and social “culture” of the universities in which they are interested.
We then work methodically and consistently toward building the students set of experiences, skills, and interests, so that by the time he or she is ready to apply for college, s/he feels confident and clear about persuading the admissions officers about why s/he is a worthy applicant for his/her dream school.