US University Applications
Applications to the United States are extraordinarily complex, much more so than the application systems students are typically used to (for more information, see our articles on US applications) or get in touch.
Through a three-stage process, David Hawkins helps students to make the strongest possible applications:
Exploration: with such a large number of universities to choose between and huge variation between even the most highly selective institutions, working out what type of university experience a student aspires to is crucial to the success of future applications. David works closely with the student and family to examine a range of criteria in order to prepare a shortlist of ‘best fit’ universities.
Preparation: once a shortlist has been agreed, there is work to do in order to get ready for applications opening. SAT / ACT test preparation is a key part of this, and David works closely with a select group of partner companies to ensure each student receives the best preparation. Alongside this, David can prepare itineraries for college visits to the USA, connect students with colleges for Skype interviews as well as to prepare ‘demonstrated interest’ strategies.
Application: if the preparation is done correctly, the process of applications should run smoothly. The most time-intensive aspect will be the essays, which David can support students with through regular sessions and detailed feedback on each draft. In addition, David will give guidance on completion of the Common Application and other application portals, as well as supporting a student’s school with references and supporting documents if necessary.
Canadian University Applications
Canadian applications present a strong alternative to US applications, with a more streamlined system that can be managed well with careful preparation and consideration.
Canadian university programmes operate in a method distinct to those in the UK and the US, and understanding how subject prerequisites, typical requirements and specialist programs interact is key to ensuring a stress-free application process.
With detailed knowledge of the application systems for either direct applications (McGill, UBC and others), Ontario applications (to both universities and colleges) and post-application protocol, David can support students through all stages of making applications to Canadian universities.
Once applications are submitted, David will ensure that all post-application requirements are met and will work with students and their schools to ensure that all key requirements and deadlines are met.
UK & European Applications
Having worked at schools in both the UK and Europe, David has considerable expertise in all aspects of these applications.
With a heavily grades-based system, UK university processes can sometimes be confusing for international applicants, and David can demystify this process for you. From creating a college shortlist though a wise use of data and rankings, through to preparation of a strong personal statement and on to the completion of the UCAS application, David supports students (and schools) through all aspects of the process.
Students are increasingly also looking at English-language degrees across continental Europe, with the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Ireland growing in popularity each year, each with different application requirements.
David has experience and connections across the European university comumunity, from the private universities that make up the European Universities Consortium to public options in the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy, and many more.
With detailed understanding of the differences between the style of education, selection and assessment across the main European destinations, David can guide you through all aspects of the process.
When working with a family, we do our best to ensure positive outcomes through open, ethical and knowledgeable advising. Our work takes place in a number of ways: in person, via calls through the telephone or video conferencing, via email and, increasingly, via WhatsApp messages and groups.
Our work starts with the creation of a university list and application strategy and involves all facets of the applicant journey. These three case studies explain how we enable students to take ownership of their processes so that they can meet with success.
From London to YALE
We worked with a student with stellar A*/A grades at A Level and GCSE, who had been turned down on all of his US applications while at school. On contacting us to ask for help, he soon realised that he had not understood the complexities needed to apply to the most-competitive US universities. His application essays had not focused on the right topics, he had not used his extra-curricular activities as an additional ‘hook’ in his applications, nor had he connected effectively with the universities in advance of his applications.
With mentoring and feedback, from his reapplication he was able to secure a spot in Yale’s class of 2022.
From boarding school to Madrid
An international student attending an English boarding school, this student aspired to a future as a journalist in her own country and was disappointed by the courses she found available to her in the UK. She also wished to pick up a further language as part of her studies, but to study a degree in English.
Working with us, she was able to draw up a shortlist of universities in Italy, France and Spain which matched her interests and study profile and was assisted in writing successful applications, eventually choosing to pursue her studies at University CEU San Pablo in Madrid.
A student and her family had always dreamt of university in California, but found herself attending a school in the UK which had limited experience with US applications and could not advise on the nuances of the various options to study in California.
With the need to achieve some scholarship funding a key part of this process and the student having a busy schedule of commitments at school, introductions were made at two universities in California which gave positive feedback. After applying to the University of San Francisco in the early round the student will join their class of 2023 this August.
By reading through my essays and giving clear and helpful written feedback, David Hawkins made the essay writing process a lot easier and more enjoyable.
It was extremely helpful to have someone who knew which of my ideas would reflect well in my application, and which I should leave out.
David and his team made all the difference in my applications, and are the reason I’m able to attend Yale today.
/ Class of 2018, attending yale university /
As part of Syzygy Global Education, we provide a number of bespoke packages to fit the needs of each student, so please contact us to discuss your needs.
For those looking for immediate help with planning for international applications, we offer an introductory service to help build your strategy. After a number of discussions with one of our lead advisers, we will suggest which countries and universities a student can realistically consider, create plans for testing and test preparation and build a timeline of further actions.
This service, to cover three hours of our time, is priced at only USD $1 ,000 (around £800), with various follow-up packages available depending on your needs.
For information please contact us.