US College Admission Open Day

Insight into the application process to selective US universities

The US College Admission Open Day hosted at Oundle School and Millfield marked the first event of its kind held by WLSA in the UK. This event was a huge success, bringing together 500 students and educators to learn about the holistic admission process from six highly selective Universities.



Following these events, the US Deans of Admissions expressed that they were incredibly impressed with the insightful and interesting questions asked by the students. WLSA could not be more thankful to Oundle School and Millfield School for hosting such a perfectly organized event. We look forward to expanding this event in the UK in coming years.


UK Schools Hosted


US Universities Presented


Participants Attended


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Kelly Walter, Associate Vice President for Enrollment & Dean of Admissions Boston University

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting students, parents, teachers, and educators during our two days in the U.K.  It was a great honor to represent U.S. higher education and to help everyone develop a better understanding of the often mysterious and complex college admissions process in the United States.  My colleagues and I are passionate about assisting students in the transition from secondary school to college and it was incredibly rewarding to share our knowledge and expertise with students in the U.K.  I look forward to continuing this valuable partnership between students and schools in the U.K. and our great universities.  

James G. Nondorf, Vice President, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid The University of Chicago

The trip was incredible – most impactful visit I have ever had to the UK!  The WLSA schools (and their leaders) were so impressive (and warm/welcoming too) and the students really blew me away!!

Timothy E. Brunold, Dean of Admission University of Southern California

The recent WLSA College Admission Network trip to the U.K. reinforced my sense that students from Great Britain are uniquely prepared to excel at top-tier U.S. universities. The academic facilities I saw, the administrators who hosted our delegation, and the students we met all left lasting positive impressions on my colleagues and me. I look forward to participating in future WLSA activities.

Emma Aubury, Head of Higher Education Oundle School

Oundle School was delighted to welcome staff, parents and pupils from a wide range of schools to the WLSA College Admissions Network conference on Monday 5th November.  The audience was engaged and interested throughout the presentations, and the young people asked questions and participated intelligently in the interactive session.  After the conference, the attendees took the opportunity to have informal conversations with the Deans and each other over afternoon tea.  It was a very valuable, informative and enjoyable afternoon.

James Brittain, Head of the Higher Education and Careers Millfield School

 The World Leading Schools Association (WLSA) treated us to an entertaining and informative US College Day on Tuesday with a two-part programme of discussions from 6 of the top universities in the USA, followed by questions and answers from the floor. Doug Christianson of Vanderbilt University chaired the first session during which he invited each of the panel of deans to comment on aspects of the US application process through the eyes of the Universities of Southern California, Chicago, Boston, Northwestern and Columbia. In the second session, chaired by Kelly Walter of Boston University, the panel considered the merits of 3 different applications and invited comments from the audience. This was a revealing and lively set of talks which exposed some of the behind the scenes admissions procedures of the top universities the USA. It was well-attended with around 200 in our concert hall, including pupils from local schools such as Marlborough College, King’s Bruton and Kings of Wessex, as well as Millfield pupils and parents.

Recap of the Program



Welcome Word


Session 1

This session will explore the Holistic Admissions process at highly selective universities in the United States. Focusing directly on the various types of college applications and the importance of academic achievement, extracurricular activities, leadership, engagement, essays and personal statements. The session will further take these concepts and discuss how they are applied in an international context. In addition the overall financial aid process for international students will be discussed.


Session 2

This session is designed to provide insight to the selective college admissions process and to demonstrate how a variety of factors, not just strong grades and standardized test scores, are weighed in a college or university’s review of a student’s application. Since no two colleges evaluate applications in the same way, panelists will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate and select which applicant(s) are competition for admission to their respective institution.


Afternoon Tea with the University Reps

Meet The Speakers