US vs UK Colleges – Where should I send my children?

us vs ukBeing the Top SAT and ACT Test Preparation Center in Hong Kong, it would seem very obvious that we promote American based colleges.

However, our support for the two most prominent exams in the world helping secure college admissions doesn’t simply come from our expertise.  It was a strategic decision many years ago when we acknowledged that basically the World’s Top Universities were in the United States.  Even a UK based survey by Times Higher Education places 14 American based Universities in the Top 20 and only 4 of its own in the same list of Top Institutitions of Higher Learning.

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The latter ranking listed the following American Universities as Top 20 Schools:

#1 – Harvard University – Ivy League

#4 – Massachussetts Institute of Technology

#5 – Stanford University

#6 – University of Calfornia, Berkeley

#7 – Princeton University – Ivy League

#8 – Yale University – Ivy League

#9 – California Institute of Technology

#10 – Columbia University – Ivy League

#11 – University of Chicago

#13 – University of California, Los Angeles

#18 – Johns Hopkins University

#19 – University of Michigan

#20 – (Tie) New York University

#20 – (Tie) Cornell University – Ivy League

These 5 Ivy League Universities and 9 other Top Colleges represent 83,870 freshmen spots annually.*  The highest number of seats offered comes from New York University at 18,500 students admitted in the class of 2019.  UCLA is a close second with 16,016 spots offered with University of Michigan offering 13,611 and UC Berkeley close behind with 13,321.  These 14 Top Universities provide strong brand names to their graduates so they can use these names for the rest of their lives.  Every time a graduate from one of these students are asked, “Where did you go to college?” they will be automatically perceived as “very well educated” and many doors will open for them.

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Likewise, these Top 4 UK Universities provide the same brand appeal:

#2 – Cambridge University

#3 – Oxford University

#14 – Imperial College London

#17 – University College London

However, these 4 provide only 1/4 the number of spots though at 22,376 admissions letters sent to their applicants after they apply annually.**  As a result, when your child needs to obtain their International Baccalaureate with a level of performance of 38–40 points, including core points, with 6s and 7s in the higher-level subjects, their A-levels will range between A*A*A and AAA depending on the course, Extended Projects, 14-19 Diplomas, Pre-U’s, YASS, English Baccalaureate and possibly much more, they may still only be aiming for less approximately 25% of the freshmen spots they might qualify for vs. the close to 84,000 spots available at Top American Universities.

Frankly, many other Top Universities like Ivy League University of Pennsylvania which has another 3787 available spots annually add on top of this number.  Ivy League Universities like Brown University or Dartmouth College would most likely support your child’s career far better than frankly UCL or Imperial College on the global stage and has more available inventory to add to America’s landscape of education opportunities.  Universities like Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University or Northwestern University as well are added into the US Top 20 and again provide so many more strong brands for your children.

While we sincerely appreciate the British for some of the rich history here in Hong Kong, we simply want to be realistic and provide your children with the best possible chance at a strong education opportunity after high school.

If you could give your child 5 chances in life versus 1, wouldn’t you?***

*The 83,870 admission offers were tabulated by visiting each admissions page of the Top Universities including: Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Yale, CalTech, Princeton, Columbia, UC Berkeley, UChicago, UCLA, UMich, Johns Hopkins, NYU and Cornell.  The 2019 class was used to calculate the number of total spots available every year and does not necessarily reflect the exact number of students who chose to enroll.  This gross number was calculated by adding all the offers to the students who applied.

**The 22,376 admissions letters were totaled by visiting the four Universities and other websites that revealed the admissions statistics in the most recent year.  Imperial College only had 2014-2015 data and University College London only had 2012 data.  Oxford and Cambridge had more current data.  

***Adding all the other Universities that are in the United States, the figure would be well over a 5:1 ratio for American opportunities versus UK ones. Washington University in St. Louis, Georgetown, Emory, Vanderbilt, Rice, USC, Boston U, Boston College, UW Seattle, UNC, UM College Park, UCSD, UT Austin, UW Madison, Georgia Tech, UIUC and a handful of others could easily be added and push the number to possibly 6:1 or even as high as 7:1.  Frankly, there could even be an argument made than only the Oxbridge combo carries the same weight as many of the Top American Universities.