Your child will face global competition in the jobs market, so what better than a global education to prepare them? Without help, US applications are complex and easy to get wrong. Our specialists will help you get them right. We pick our US College Counsellors from leading ivy-league US universities and often work in partnership with specialist US companies to add extra insight and ensure you are getting the best possible advice.

US Admissions

We can provide first-hand consultancy on the pros and cons of US colleges and their courses – from film making at USC to an MBA at Stanford. If you need to know anything more practical about studying and applying for a place we can help with that too, including how to write the perfect paper, where to get your visa and how to get internships through and after college.


The SAT is a challenge, even for the best UK students. Finding a fantastic tutor to lead the way often makes all the difference, especially when students are already preoccupied with their A-level or Pre-U exams. Nick Cole heads up our SAT tutor team. Nick has tutored the SAT test in London since 2007, and his students have had success with America’s top universities including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Penn, Cornell, Stanford and NYU. We also introduce tutors for SAT subject tests and help with the GRE.

Applying to a US University – The basics

There are just under 4000 Higher Education institutions in USA and 1600 in the UK. With an average cost of $60,000 per year (fees, food, accommodation, one trip home etc.) going to University in the USA is an investment that needs to be carefully planned for. The application process is complex and one which British students and parents are often ill informed about. Within this guide we provide an overview of the Common Application process, used by over 600 US Universities. More information on the Common Application can be found on the Common Application website. Please remember that it is always best to check directly with the University for their specific admissions information,

Common Application

Just as with UCAS, you can complete the Common Application once; this is then sent to all of your University choices. Many universities will also ask for further information and additional essays.

The Common Application asks student to provide:

  • Results transcripts from school
  • Information about parents or guardians
  • A list of your extracurricular activities
  • SAT or ACT scores and dates


Almost every college accepts either the SAT (Scholastic Application Test)  or ACT (American College Test), however it is advisable to check specific school entry requirements. Some colleges ask that students sit the ACT and take the optional writing section, as well as the SAT II (Subject tests), if they are not taking the SAT.

We have summarised the main differenced between the SAT, below:

– The ACT includes Science based reading and reasoning questions.

– The ACT includes slightly more advanced mathematics, such as trigonometry, however most students find these questions more straightforward than the SAT.

– The SAT has a greater focus on vocabulary. The wording of the SAT essay question is often less straightforward than the ACT writing test, which are typically easier to understand.

– The ACT writing is not compulsory (but advised) and is provided as a separate score.

– The SAT is split into various sections, so students will flit between concepts. In the ACT students are asked about each concept in chunks.

– The ACT results are generally considered by admissions as an overall score, whereas the SAT results are generally considered per subject area.

When to get started?

To get a head start, applications to US Universities should begin in year 10.  Investing time early in preparation rather than taking the SAT test multiple times is advisable. Although students can take the SAT as many times as they like, naturally schools will look favourably on the candidate who only took the test once.

Students often don’t think about their University applications until Year 12, as they embark on their A Levels or IB and don’t get started until they are well into their studies. Although this time line for applications and test preparation is fine, it is worth bearing in mind that students will need to work at a fast pace. Work on their applications and preparation alongside their existing studies may be problematic.

Applications are typically due by the 1st of January on year of entry. Offers then follow a few months later.

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