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How proximity to US universities gives high school students an edge

There are all kinds of opportunities which universities can offer high school students. US universities in particular regularly plan accessible educational events aimed towards inspiring young people. Exploring a personal interest at a higher level can be the key to success for some students – leading to both motivational growth and confidence about the future they’ve chosen.

This confidence translates into academic work in high school, resulting in better study and higher grades, but it also boosts university applications too. University admissions officers recognize that high school students already engaged with university life are likely to be motivated, independent thinkers and hard workers. In this list, we’ve put together our top universities that offer opportunities to give high school students that competitive edge.

Columbia University

Columbia University is very visitor friendly and even hosts workshops for prospective students and a guided historical tour of the architecture and sculpture of the Morningside Heights campus. Those who love math and science can apply for the university’s Science Honors Program (SHP), a Saturday morning program specifically designed for high school students. For aspiring historians and prospective Columbia students, this is the ideal opportunity to explore the university and feel inspired by its storied past. US high school students who can access this opportunity are guaranteed to leave feeling motivated and prepared to make an application.

California Institute of Technology

CaltechLive! is a series of events at California Institute of Technology which are free and open to the public. The series spans science, culture, music, art and more. These lectures are the ideal opportunity for high school students to experience university-level learning. When students can demonstrate on their university applications that they’ve been interested in a subject long enough to visit a university-style lecture, they’re instantly impressive. It’s also great practice for students to engage with higher-level material.

The Juilliard School

The Juilliard School is one of the top performing arts conservatories in the world. With more than 700 performances throughout the year for all to enjoy, the opportunities for US high school students are plenty. For aspiring musicians, actors, playwrights – there’s nothing more focusing than seeing another student perform who is dedicated to pursuing the same goals. Creative high school students might find a visit to Juilliard gives them the drive they need to push harder to succeed.

University of Southern California

The libraries of the University of Southern California are among the oldest private academic research libraries in California. The Leavey, USC Special Collections and Architecture and Fine Arts libraries are all open to the public for academic and research purposes. Students can browse the collections, feel inspired by the university students hard at work, and experience studying in the quiet, calm environment. Obviously, the library is also the ideal place to seek out those books which will help you succeed in your future university interviews.

The New School

For high school students who explore to study art or design, Parsons at The New School’s offers a Pre-College Academy on Saturdays throughout the school year. 11th or 12th grade students can even enroll in the Portfolio Development course, which helps students prepare artwork and presentations for university admission applications. In addition to Parsons, The New School in New York hosted over 1,300 public events last year alone. These public programs offer US high school students a chance like no other to ask questions, make connections and discover a whole community of people to engage with. A visit to this institution will expose high school students to new ways of thinking and perhaps lead them to discover their own opinions, dreams, and passions.


Our EF Academy schools in New York and Pasadena benefit from proximity to some incredible universities – each with their own program of events open to high school students.

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