Navigating the Fluid Waters of a Successful University Application

When contemplating their choice and preference of university, parents and students alike are faced with a host of factors to consider. For example, how will the university affect your employment opportunities in your chosen field of study? What is the reputation of your preferred university? Are you familiar with the convoluted and highly specific university application procedures? Indeed, the selection and application process can be a complicated and lengthy affair, especially when applying to the UK’s top institutions.

The Long-Term Benefits of Attending an Elite University

The benefits of graduating from a well-respected university go far beyond simply bragging rights and a good education. Consider what some students of top universities have said:

“Going to the best school in Canada already paves the way for you as a student in terms of opportunities; the knowledge acquired at the University of Toronto goes a step further in helping us become who we fully can be as some doors have been opened for us in terms of opportunities.”

“I’ve certainly benefited from the school’s brand of excellence, in terms of recruitment to jobs and graduate programmes; many top firms see UPenn as a target school and look at Penn as a top academic institution.”

“I think I’m benefited by Princeton’s alumni networks. I also think that in applications for jobs or even in freelance journalism, people are more likely to respond to your cold pitches or to your applications or emails if you’re affiliated with a university that has a certain kind of reputation. For better or for worse, it becomes a kind of shorthand for a set of abilities.”

Philip Guo, an MIT graduate who has worked for Google and Microsoft, noted some interesting points in an article written around the benefits of attending an elite (or name-brand) university.

He says, “Attending a name-brand university will give you the following professional advantages over those who attended normal universities:

  • It will be easier for you to get interviews and job offers at prestigious big companies.
  • Big companies will offer you more favourable starting positions and higher salaries.
  • People at big companies will have a better initial impression of you even if they haven’t yet seen your work.
  • It will be easier for you to get involved in a more promising start-up company.
  • It will be easier for you to get admitted into name-brand graduate schools.

Carrying a name-brand diploma gives you the largest boost in credibility right when you graduate, the proverbial “helping to get your foot into the door.” Most recent college grads have little to no real job experience, so potential employers often use college reputation as a metric of intelligence, work ethic, and technical skill.”


Yes, if we have the opportunity to attend one of the world’s top universities then we would be foolish to pass it up.

However, many parents find that the university application process is difficult to navigate, with very little margin for error. The competition for acceptance into Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford and the like is fierce, which means that your application needs to be handled carefully.

Applying to Top UK Universities

We are fortunate to have some of the world’s top universities reside here within our borders. In fact, The World University Rankings (2016) show The University of Cambridge and The University of Oxford ranked second and third respectively, listed alongside the likes of Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Yale.

We want the best for our children, and I have been fortunate enough to have met (and made use of) various specialists who are incredibly knowledgeable of the university application process.

This is good news for parents who need assistance in this demanding area.

Oxbridge Applications

Oxbridge Applications has been successfully supporting students with their Oxford and Cambridge applications for over 20 years. Alicia Luba, one of their senior advisors, is both incredibly passionate and knowledgeable of the entire application process, including the finest and most up-to-date details. Their services include:

  • A private consultation with parents and students
  • A mock test suitability indicator
  • A mock interview and strategy report

Further to this, they offer tailored private tuition for pre-tests, guidance on written work, assistance with your personal statement and comprehensive interview preparation.

UK Universities Application Experts

Will Orr-Ewing and Ed Richardson are a team of experienced education consultants whose vast knowledge of the competitive UK education and university system has helped hundreds of students over the past decade to gain entry into some of UK’s finest institutions.

They offer a modular system to assist students with their applications which includes:

  • Application Management
  • Guided Reading
  • Specialist Knowledge Programme
  • Test Prep Programme
  • Personal Statement Drafting
  • Interview Preparation (mostly for Oxbridge)

The Complete U.S. Universities Advisory Service

For those who choose to travel across the pond and attend one of the excellent universities in the U.S., we have had the privilege of working with Ed and his team who have been guiding international students through the complex U.S. university examination application process for over ten years.

They provide a fully customised plan for every student, and what I like is that they can help with the entire process or just specific elements including:

  • Private tutoring and small group courses for SAT, ACT and SAT Subject Tests
  • Selecting and organising visits to a realistic range of best-fit US universities
  • Application management and completion
  • Crafting outstanding application essays
  • Interview preparation
  • Sports scholarships
  • Planning for extracurricular and summer programmes

Let Us Assist With Your University Application Planning

As you know, I offer bespoke services to busy individuals and families that need a helping hand – ensuring that the solutions offered are tried and tested.

Selecting and applying to an elite university is undoubtedly a time-consuming and taxing endeavour, which requires careful planning and extensive preparation. We know that getting the very best education for our children cannot be left to chance, and I’d like to encourage you to make use of one of our trusted service providers who will be able to assist you with your university application.