Young entrepreneur and Harvard graduate Jamie Beaton. (Getty Images)

More than a dozen Kiwis have been offered places in the top US universities, with more students from rural and diverse backgrounds securing the prestigious places. 

In what is known as early decision and early action offers, five of the eight Ivy League institutions – Brown University, Cornell University, Harvard, Princeton, and University of Pennsylvania – as well as top ranked Stanford, Duke, Amherst College, Babson College and Vanderbilt University have all offered coveted places to New Zealand students nine months before semester begins.

21 year-old entrepreneur and Harvard graduate Jamie Beaton is the co-founder of education consultancy company, Crimson, which helps students gain places in top universities, said it had been a record year for the company for early round offers to New Zealand students.

Crimson students received multiple early round offers from 14 of the top 20 universities, compared to 11 of the top 20 in the 2015/16 round.

Figures for how many students receive early round offers are not held nationally, but there will be others around the country also celebrating their early acceptance.

An Auckland Grammar student has been accepted to Oxford University, and King’s College student Amay Aggarwal has been accepted into both University of Michigan and King’s College London.

Fellow King’s College students Michael Daya-Winterbottom has been accepted into Selwyn College, Cambridge to study classics, Max Hardy has been given an offer at Cambridge for classics, and Haoran Wen was offered a spot at Michigan University (Ann Arbor) in the United States.

Aimee Bebbington from ACG Strathallan has been accepted into a natural sciences course at Cambridge, while Diocesan swimming star Annabelle Paterson was awarded a $500,000 sports scholarship to Harvey University.

Last year, a record 50 kiwis won admission to top-ranked United States universities, including all eight Ivy League schools.

There had been a lot more interest in applying for early decision and early action places this year, Beaton said.

And more are being accepted – with New Zealanders having “a really phenomenal effect” on Ivy League campuses.

Kiwi students were more open to applying to universities outside New Zealand, he said, with a much more global outlook among young people today.

However, he denied the country was at risk of a “brain-drain”, saying most Kiwis intend to return home, and will bring their new skills and global connections with them.

Large companies – such as Silicon Valley tech giants – were increasingly signing on international students to their books, said Beaton.

There had been a cultural shift among the universities, he said, and a move to accept more all-rounded candidates.

The top institutions “put a massive emphasis on diversity”, Beaton said, including nationality, socio-economic background and sexual identity.

Cost did not need to be a barrier either, he said, as the top schools offer substantial financial aid packages.

Source: Newstalk ZB

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