North Cedar Academy
Source: North Cedar Academy

Many of the world’s top universities are in the US, which means the college admissions process can be tough. It is not enough to be a high achiever with good grades, applicants need to present in their personal statements as well as statement of purpose that they are prepared for the academic rigour that awaits them at the undergraduate level.

To write essays that will stand out in the eyes of the admissions committee, you need to have a rich experience both in and out of the classroom. So how do you go about doing this? You study at an establishment that emphasises a well-rounded education — a term used to describe an education that revolves around more than just books and works on other skills related to music, social and physical skills, and art for example. Here are four US schools preparing students well for college and beyond:

North Cedar Academy

North Cedar Academy

Study at North Cedar Academy and thrive in an international environment within the rural town of Ladysmith, Wisconsin. Source: North Cedar Academy

Overlooking the scenic Flambeau River in Ladysmith, Wisconsin is the international boarding secondary school North Cedar Academy (NCA). Here, motivated and committed American and international students in grades nine through 12 (ages 13-19) pursue accelerated learning in an intimate and guided setting. 

Those who join the vibrant and international community of NCA will get to engage in rigorous, in-depth academic development while living and exploring their surroundings — the recreational paradise of northern Wisconsin forests, rivers, and lakes. This tranquil location makes the perfect setting for international students to graduate from high school with an Associate in Arts (AA) degree from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire: Barron County (UWEC-BC) and a high school diploma simultaneously.

Through the NCA University Pathway Programmes, students don’t do twice the work. Instead, they receive dual credit and attend courses at UWEC-BC’s campus. Graduates are guaranteed admission to the University of Wisconsin — Eau Claire and the University of Minnesota — Duluth. This saves not only time and money — a student can obtain a bachelor’s degree within two years of high school graduation, and a master’s degree within four years — but serves as perfect stepping stones to larger campuses within their respective systems.

These NCA graduates stand out for their innovation, problem solving and critical thinking. They become outstanding young men and women committed to personal excellence, community involvement and global awareness. Find out more about what North Cedar Academy offers here.

Concord Academy

Concord Academy

At Concord Academy, every student has the freedom to follow their passions through semester-based electives –– whether it entails learning topics in engineering such as computer-aided design and manufacturing or directing a theatre production. Source: Concord Academy.

Scholars with creative and wide-ranging aspirations in mind will settle in nicely at Concord Academy –– an independent, co-educational boarding and day school in Concord, Massachusetts. A total of nearly 400 students in grades nine through 12 are already here and enjoying a broad curriculum.

At Concord Academy, intellectual possibilities are endless. Students pursue their passions through semester-based electives –– whether it be learning topics in engineering such as computer-aided design and manufacturing or directing a theatre mainstage production.  No two educational pursuits are the same at Concord Academy. The unique courses foster the development of independent thinkers who are able to spark passionate debates and make effective decisions in university and beyond.

Learning extends beyond the walls of traditional classrooms at Concord Academy. Students often spend their time nurturing their creative and extracurricular talents, as well. While participating in a rigorous academic programme, many are still active in the arts, athletics, and various clubs or organisations. In fact, students at Concord Academy are involved in over 70 student-led clubs. Afternoons are often spent on interscholastic athletics, theatre productions, music group rehearsals, and intramural sports.

Concord Academy’s location makes the perfect setting for further self-discovery. Concord, Massachusetts is a safe and small New England town that is a tourist destination and historic treasure. Its downtown area, which is just a walk away from Concord Academy’s campus, is filled with plenty of cuisines and retail outlets for students to enjoy during the weekend. The beautiful campus is also just 30 minutes away from the bustling city of Boston, where many world-class colleges and universities are based. 

George School

George School

George School encourages self-reflection and openness to foster a welcoming community where each student is celebrated for who they are. Source: George School

A global school that holds local Quaker roots, George School in Newton, Pennsylvania boasts a 240-acre lawn and wooded hillsides for students to develop and ignite their passions through a philosophy of openness and introspection. This allows students to flourish intellectually, personally, and spiritually. 

The co-educational boarding and day school represents 37 countries, with 41% students of colour in a community of 540 students in grades nine through 12. The school is among the first to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, with 59 courses to select from in a rigorous programme that balances academics and community service, creativity, and athletics. 

Residential life at George School is where students learn to be independent and grow through meaningful friendships. It is a second home that provides young minds with the opportunity to constantly reinvent themselves through various student clubs, sports, and adventures, all within a supportive environment that will help shape their character.

Student support goes all the way to the upper years, as evident in the school’s student-centred College Counselling service. With the help of an exceptional team of counsellors to nudge them in the right direction, students are able to make informed decisions that are grounded in self-reflection about their future plans after graduation. Every senior student secures placement, with some securing several admissions to illustrious universities such as Brown University, Columbia University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others.

New Hampton School

New Hampton School

The signature New Hampton School approach to education is an extension of the school’s mission and aims. Source: New Hampton School

New Hampton School is a co-educational, college-preparatory institution set on 340 stunning acres in the village of New Hampton, in the foothills of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It is home to 12 residential houses, state-of-the-art classrooms and science laboratories, three computer labs, a research centre, a newly renovated library, studios for every art, a recently updated athletics complex, and a vast mountain area for outdoor exploration — but what truly sets it apart is its community. 

The New Hampton School community is inclusive, open, and happy. Opportunities and support are numerous — their students are free to be themselves and try new things. They can join interscholastic teams such as alpine skiing, baseball, cross country, equestrian, field hockey, and more. Creative folk can enrol in visual, digital, and performing arts courses, including comedic improv, environmental art, animation, graphic design, and contemporary performance – just to name a few.

The signature New Hampton School approach to education is an extension of the school’s mission and aims. Here, students can build their class schedules around their interests. The fully-customisable Foundations of Learning curriculum shapes dynamic students by providing the necessary rigour and support for each student with offerings in the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, and Academic Support.

When you combine an environment that inspires wellness with a personalised curriculum and a supportive faculty –– the result is excellent student outcomes. New Hampton’s senior class enjoys an impressive success rate, matriculating to more than 85 different colleges and universities. To join a school that offers experiential education, student-led groups and clubs; promotes nobility with service learning; and encourages diversity, equality and inclusion with a vibrant community, learn more about New Hampton School now.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International