Being Smart About Admissions Means Managing Uncertainty
Are you University Bound?
And we believe that higher education should provide students the opportunity to explore, grow, and thrive. Our company was founded by people who have contended first-hand with a university admissions system that is complicated and constantly changing. And for international students, the challenges are multiplied. Choosing the right school is a lifetime opportunity and investment. Let us help your student apply with knowledge and confidence to achieve good choices and admissions success.
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20 February 2023
The New UCAS Reference
As part of a broader reform package for UK university applications for 2024 entry, UCAS has announced changes to the school reference. The changes will repurpose the reference as a tool to advocate for student support rather than to report student aptitude and achievement. The latter will now be the task of the student in the personal statement. This will make the challenge of the personal statement even harder, but it too is scheduled for reform, starting with 2025 entry.
The College-to-Job Pipeline
There is vigorous discussion in the US right now about how to strengthen the linkages between college and the job market. Some promising ideas include a partnership between Arizona State University, YouTube, and Crash Course to offer four seven-week courses, including English Composition, College Math, U.S. History, and Human Communication to students still in high school or considering college. They can take the courses to acquire a college-level experience and certificate before enrolling further. In another pilot program, a Texas college is offering certificates as proof that students have a specific marketable skill, such as oral communication, written communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Core skills matter!
Standardised Tests Go Digital
Like many things during the Covid pandemic, numerous exams required for higher ed have moved online. The SAT will roll out its first digital exam in March, with the PSAT following in the fall, dispensing with paper and pencil once and for all. English-language proficiency testing has also experienced a rebirth online, although some research shows that test-takers prefer sitting this exam at a test centre rather than at home. With both exams, the shift promises many benefits, including increased accessibility. But it has also raised concerns about security and, in the latter case, quality.
Our services are available by the hour or in customised packages to address the needs of
every student. An initial consultation is free.
Senior Year Checklist
Starting in spring, junior year, organisation is everything. This package provides essential support to help the student stay on track and ahead of deadline throughout the application process. It starts with an assessment and checklist, and is followed by a schedule of consultations to produce a to-do list and timeline and provide guidance in the areas the student needs help most. These may include research, developing the university list, application strategy, preparing for entry requirements, providing supporting materials and essays, and reviewing applications.
The University List
University admissions are competitive and unpredictable, and so having a smart university list is essential to ensuring good outcomes. There is so much more to choosing the right school than the name! Building the list usually starts in the spring of junior year and demands self-appraisal, reflection and research. It also requires strategy, since admissions dynamics change and student priorities shift. An effective list is a hedge against risk, and an important reminder that there are multiple pathways to achieve personal and educational goals.
Essay Development and Review
Whether it's 4,000 characters, 650 words or 50, the essay that is part of every university application challenges the student to write for distinction and impact. Choosing a topic, finding one's voice, selecting evidence, and writing effectively are key. And every writer needs a coach.
Expert Advice. Admissions Success.
University Bound offers advising and support to navigate a university landscape that is constantly shifting. Our approach is individualised, student-centered and ethical. Our aim is to increase knowledge, manage risk, and reduce stress. We are alert to the latest developments in higher education and equipped with insight and expertise to help students maximise their choices and gain admission to a ''right fit'' school.
Who We Are
Joanna Levison is an American expat living in Prague. She launched University Bound to help international students navigate a complex and increasingly global university application process. She has over 20 years of experience in international relations and strategic communications. She has managed mentoring programs for journalists in coordination with the Czech Foreign Ministry and the US Embassy, and worked at the US State Department in Washington, D.C. She has a Masters Degree in Russian and Eastern European Studies.
University Bound offers one-to-one consulting. We help students reflect on the fundamental ''why'' of university and arrive at a personal understanding of ''fit." We provide comprehensive research and strategic guidance to produce an effective school list. We offer planning for every step of the application process, expert feedback on personal statements and essays, and insight into financial aid. We assess admissions offers and we celebrate results. We normally work by the hour to address every student need.