Jessica Cox is among a cluster of New Zealand students to recently gain admission into some of the world’s most prestigious universities, despite record-low acceptance rates this admissions round.

The former Baradene College of the Sacred Heart student had already secured scholarships to the University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Otago, and Auckland University of Technology, but felt encouraged to pursue entry into Oxford University after her involvement with edtech college admissions company Crimson Education.

“I initially went to Crimson for tutoring because it was the end of Year 11. I knew the year ahead would be particularly important in terms of grades, so I thought I might as well get some additional help,” says Cox.

New Zealand students have found similar success in the United States, with offers to six of the eight Ivy League universities this past week. This is the fourth consecutive year of admission percentage decreases, as application numbers soar from more students applying to more schools. Harvard University is the toughest to get into with just 4.6 per cent of students applications accepted.

Crimson Education Co-Founder and CEO Jamie Beaton, who applied to the world’s top-ranked 25 universities while he was still in high school and gained acceptance into each of them, is delighted with the students’ success.

“We founded Crimson to break-down the geographical barriers that can prevent students from finding their best possible university for them, and achieving their potential. The results from this admission round demonstrate the impact Crimson’s holistic approach is having in a very meaningful way.”

Beaton says there is evidence that the Ivy League universities are attempting to increase accessibility for top-performing students around the world.

The US universities have accepted students from the widest range of economic and ethnic backgrounds in admission history. International students represented approximately 10-12 per cent of admitted students, hailing from up to 90 countries.

“The Ivy Leagues want to ensure that those students who are accepted will contribute interesting perspectives for students to walk away as globally-minded citizens who will make an incredible impact on the world,” says Beaton.

“Top-ranked universities don’t want cost to be a barrier for building a community of students who will be future game-changers and will often provide generous financial aid.”

For this admissions round, Crimson has also assisted its students around the world to secure a total of NZD$29.2million in scholarships and financial aid.

2017-2018 Top University Admissions Trends:
  • Seven of the eight Ivy League schools posted record-high application numbers.
  • More international students are getting accepted into top-ranked universities. Stanford University accepted 11.4% of international students representing 63 countries. Princeton University accepted 12% of international students representing 77 countries.
  • Community service is a key element of a successful student’s profile
  • Diversity among male and female gender split has increased – for example, for the first time in 10 years, the majority of Harvard’s accepted students are women (50.1% of admitted students, compared with 49.3% last year). Princeton’s admitted students were made up of 50.5% women and 49.5% men.
  • Top-ranked universities are increasing the proportion of admitted students who are first in their family to attend a four-year college.
  • Harvard officials noted that a record-high 20.3% of their admitted students come from modest or low-income backgrounds.
  • Acceptance rate for early-action applicants is substantially higher than it is for regular applicants.
Ivy League Admission Rates:
  • Brown: 7.2%; admitted 2,566 of 35,438
  • Columbia: 5.5%; admitted 2,214 of 40,203
  • Cornell: 10.3%; admitted 5,288 of 51,328
  • Dartmouth: 8.7%; admitted 1,925 of 22,033
  • Harvard: 4.6%; admitted 1,962 of 42,749
  • Penn: 8.4%; admitted 3,731 of 44,491
  • Princeton: 5.5%; admitted 1,941 of 35,370
  • Yale: 6.3%; admitted 2,229 of 35,306


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