11 Aug NCS goes international! Our Ivy League preparation programme succeeds in gaining offers for MIT and Harvard. (With Video)
Isuf Mohammed will be studying at one of the greatest Ivy League universities in the world alongside NCS alumni Tafsia Shikdar, who is currently studying at MIT.
In 2017 when Tafsia earned place at MIT – one of the world’s best universities – she left behind a legacy to inspire future NCS cohorts to follow in her footsteps and study at the most competitive and prestigious US universities; names such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale and MIT. Recognising this we established a dedicated Ivy League preparation programme supporting our talented students who wish to make the journey across the Atlantic to broaden their horizons.
Complementing our Oxbridge Preparation Programme, the US programme has also yielded spectacular results with three Ivy League offers, two to MIT and one to Harvard, all on full academic scholarships worth approximately £265,000 ($320,000).
Securing a place at one Ivy League university is a triumph but two is beyond outstanding
Benefitting from our Elite University Preparation, NCS student Isuf Mohammed from Tower Hamlets has gained offers to study at both MIT and at the world famous Harvard University, making him the second NCS student to successfully apply to two of the best universities in the world. Currently, he plans to study astrophysics when he begins his undergraduate studies in September 2019. With approximately only 60 spaces available for international students and an acceptance rate of 0.3% securing a place at one Ivy League university is a triumph but two is beyond outstanding.
What is even more remarkable is that his continued studies will be fully funded with an international student scholarship from MIT, equivalent to £265,000 ($320,000) over four years. Our Ivy League preparation programme gave him the information, skills, and confidence to put in a successful application to these prestigious universities.
Our Ivy League Preparation Programme consists of distinct phases.
In the first term for our Year 12 students, the senior admissions officer from Harvard University visits the NCS to give an overview of studying abroad. Students who want to explore applying to the US further attend a one day Common Application course where they learn about the US application process and receive support in writing their US personal statement and college essays. In the private sector, the cost of these workshops are approximately £200 per student, but the NCS provide these session for free.
To support students with the American entrance examinations (SAT), we fly in an expert SAT tutor from New York to lead a week long breakout course in understanding and acing the aptitude test. The practice continues throughout the summer holiday and autumn term with regular Skype sessions to fine tune responses. A similar course would cost £700-900 per student if they were to try and book with a recognised provider.
“We’ve needed all this prep because we don’t study in the same way that they do in America. A lot of the questions are structured differently to what we might expect. There’s a lot more focus on grammar and punctuation. I think this week has been amazing. Last week I was not confident at all. I probably would’ve achieved the worst grade possible. Now I can get a decent grade and by the end of the year I’m sure I can get a very high grade.”
- Isuf (speaking at the end of our SAT course)
A group of students then have the opportunity to attend an exploration trip to Boston and New York. The trip allows them to visit MIT, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Columbia universities for tours, application guidance, and to sit in lectures delivered by Ivy League professors.
On the trip they also had the chance to meet Tafsia, who’s currently studying in her second year at MIT. All this experience helped our candidates discover more about how the American higher education system differs to that of the UK and get a feel for student life by speaking with current undergraduates and realise that the dream is actually attainable.
“There’s a lot of things you can read on the internet that can help you, but actually experiencing what it would be like here; nothing can beat that. It definitely gives us hope knowing that you don’t have to be a private school student or someone with a super high academic background to attend here. It’s really nice to know that people like us can come to these universities.”
- Isuf (speaking about the trip in October 2018)
A masterclass on the application form with our tutor in New York rounded up the visit and moved them into the final phase of practice interviews. The trip provided many experiences for the students to discuss and cemented decisions on which universities to apply to.
Seeing our students succeed in the first year of the Ivy League Preparation Programme once again confirms Newham Collegiate’s position as one of the leading academic 16-19 Free Schools in London and UK.
On the news of our Ivy League offers, NCS Principal Mouhssin Ismail said:
“The brightest young minds in our community choose Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre because they know it is a place where their intellectual capabilities are stretched and where their teachers provide unparalleled opportunities to allow them to flourish and succeed. These US Ivy League offers are testament to the hard work our students have put into these applications, all with the expert guidance and support of their teachers and specialist tutors.
“Along with another record year of Oxbridge/Medicine offers and 96% of students receiving offers to study at Russell Group universities, the NCS is now an established centre of excellence for students wishing to join the very best universities around the world as well as here in the UK.”
– Mouhssin Ismail, Principal of Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre (The NCS)
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