Pathways to University: 7 Schools that hone success
Source: Western Reserve Academy

Landing a place at your dream College is now more competitive than ever. The sector is now so vying that High School students are finding it increasingly difficult to stand out from the countless other candidates with which they’re battling for that invaluable slot.

Within the top-ranked schools, applications are going up as acceptance rates go down. According to data from US News, top-flight colleges aren’t growing fast enough to meet demand, and are therefore becoming increasingly selective. This means that students need that all-important competitive edge to shine brighter than their peers, and a supportive high school committed to your post-graduation success is absolutely key in developing this.

There are a select number of schools and colleges across the world that are preparing students for higher education achievement through their challenging and forward-thinking curricula, and by providing a safe environment for students to explore their interests and pick-up a well-rounded education incorporating real-world experience alongside academic excellence.

The right high school can also be instrumental in providing much needed guidance and support throughout the application process, ensuring each individual can experience the joy of securing a place at their ideal college.

Here are 7 Schools setting students on the pathway to university success…


Western Reserve Academy is world-class when it comes to getting graduates into their dream college, with a 100 percent admission rate in their 2017 graduating class. It is the school’s dedication to pioneering academics, sustained for almost two centuries since the school was founded in 1826 and dubbed “The Yale of the West,” that gives its students such a convincing advantage when it comes to the all-important application process.

The school became the first in the region – and joined an exclusive consortium of elite institutions – when it moved beyond Advanced Placement courses in favour of College Level courses and an independent curriculum that offers the most engaging, challenging and motivating courses possible, inspiring students to become the innovators, forerunners, and entrepreneurs of tomorrow’s world.

Source: Western Reserve Academy

By reducing the number of daily classes, WRA students are afforded the opportunity to delve into in-depth discovery and collaboration in longer classes designed to inspire college-bound students to discover their individual passions.

Nestled in the heart of the Midwest – in idyllic Hudson, Ohio amid the lush woodlands of the Cuyahoga Valley – Western Reserve Academy offers a safe and beautiful environment for students to explore interests, discover their unique skills and hone their future aspirations.


Cheltenham College believes that Higher Education and Careers guidance is intrinsically linked and of the utmost importance. In response to this, they ensure guidance in this area starts as early as possible by allowing students to explore their options and make informed decisions.

Students applying for highly-competitive universities and courses are given one-on-one support with their application from specially selected mentors. They also receive guidance on university tests, try out practice papers to ensure they’re on the right track, and attend master-classes on interview techniques to make sure they nail the big day.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate evaluated the college as “excellent” for teaching, curricular and extra-curricular circular provision, as well as the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all students.


Graduates of Emma Willard stand out from the crowd when it comes to applying for college, in large part due to this all-girl School’s commitment to personalized learning. The dedication to allowing students to explore and engage with their passions and interests in real-life terms sees them develop as an individual while also building a skillset that is absent on more traditional applications.

Emma Willard believes that everyone has a unique signature to put on the world and encourages students to find theirs through ‘trying on’ their desired future by immersing themselves in a topic. Career exploration is also encouraged to enable students to gain real-world, hands-on experience in an industry, subject, or sport of their interest. A commitment to serving those less fortunate is also instilled in the ‘Emma Girls’, with a service program that sets them apart from their peer schools.

To condense all of these skills into a successful and fruitful college application, Emma Willard offers college counselling to ensure each individual attends the college of their dreams.


Source: Strathallan College

This boarding school, set in the beautiful rugged landscape of rural Scotland, ensures students develop outside the classroom as well as in academics. All pupils are encouraged to take part in a range of activities to ensure a well-rounded and balanced education.

Students can choose from over 55 out-of-class activities including, dance, debating, chess, photography, life guarding, judo, shooting, fishing and equestrian – for which they have won many individual and team awards.

They also have a large voluntary contingent of the Combined Cadet Force comprising of Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Army sections, as well as delivering the Duke of Edinburgh awards, upon which many universities view in a positive sense.

These unconventional pursuits set Strathallan graduates apart, instilling in them a self-reliance and knack for leadership that catches the attention of any prospective college.


ISI’s position as the most challenging high school in Indianapolis, and 73rd most in the country, makes it a firm favourite with first-rate colleges across the world. It is, in part, due to this academic rigour that both the School’s graduation rate and college attendance rate stand at an impressive 100 percent.

The international approach taken at ISI sees students undertake a bilingual curriculum with younger students learning key subjects in their second language of choice, ensuring almost all ISI students are bi- or even trilingual upon graduation.

ISI students consistently achieve eight percent above the world average and 20 percent above the US average in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, as the teaching and learning environments drive children to excel on every level while focusing on respect, responsibility, and effort.

Source: International School of Indiana


Fettes graduates achieve considerable success in gaining places at Oxford, Cambridge and other top British universities. Fettes is also the only SAT centre in Edinburgh and there is growing demand for places at American universities.

The College consistently achieves outstanding academic results in International Baccalaureate, A Level and GCSE exams. The quality of the grades that students achieve strongly supports Fettes’ reputation for being among the leading co-educational boarding schools in the UK.

The long-term aspirations and needs of each individual are taken into account at Fettes, with 98 percent going on to Higher Education at their ideal university, and those looking to pursue a different path receive the guidance needed for success.


Trinity Pawling makes sure no student is left behind and is dedicated to making sure each individual achieves his academic goals, builds confidence, and plans his future. The Centre for Learning Achievement ensures this happens, tailoring learning to the individual and focusing on students with learning differences who may otherwise have struggled in a traditional learning environment.

The one-year Executive Skills Program acts as a college preparatory course for students who need additional support, instilling in each student the skills and traits that are necessary for success within the college environment.

With dedicated college counsellors on-hand to coach pupils through the process, college success is inevitable.

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

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