Client Affairs

INTERVIEW: Preparing HNW Youngsters For Elite Universities

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, August 16, 2013

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This publication recently interviewed Jason Ma, the founder and chief executive of ThreeEQ. His firm advises wealthy families, such as those from the Asia-Pacific region, among others, on issues such as education for children, universities and business.

This publication recently interviewed Jason Ma, the founder
and chief executive of ThreeEQ. His firm advises wealthy families, such as
those from the Asia-Pacific region, among others, on issues such as education
for children, universities and business. Such work represents the kind of "added value" services that wealth managers can provide to clients in ways that go beyond the standard areas of estate planning, tax and investment. As the new academic year looms over the horizon, this is an issue this publication will continue to track. 

In a nutshell, how do you help kids get into Ivy League universities?

Admit rates to the eight Ivy League
universities, Stanford, MIT, Caltech, UChicago, Northwestern, UC Berkeley, and
other elite universities on average continue dropping (getting increasingly
fiercely competitive each year), as more qualified applicants click
"Submit." This past season, Ivy League university admit rates were
5.8 per cent at Harvard, 6.7 per cent at Yale, 6.9 per cent at Columbia, 7.3
per cent at Princeton, 9.2 per cent at Brown, 10.1 per cent at Dartmouth, 12.1
per cent at Penn (but lower at its Wharton School), and 15.2 per cent at
Cornell. Most applicants as usual were high achievers. In other words, only a
small fraction of amazing kids get admitted to these elite universities. I hear
often `My kid is very smart’ from parents. To admissions offices at Ivy League
universities, this type of comment or thought typically causes polite yawns.

Admissions offices at the very elite
universities are typically chartered to build special communities of very
bright young people, to help:

•         
Create diverse classes
where students inspire and teach each other;

•         
Retain top
professors by providing top students;

•         
Provide future university
alumni that will be leaders of society and maintain the top reputation of
university.

The elite universities' admissions
offices want diversity in a class. They look for high-achieving applicants with
authentically high-quality independent thinking, communications skills,
emotional maturity, likable character, interesting stories, and strong
aspirations.

Realizing how hyper-competitive it is
these days to get admitted to Ivy League and other elite US universities, I
have honed a highly effective, time-tested, step-by-step methodology in
personally guiding and mentoring students - helping them become as good as
possible authentically as human beings, students, and truly competitive university
applicants.

With my support team, I combine my
experiences and skill set as a seasoned independent elite university admissions
consultant, personal life success coach, globally well-connected CEO, and
serial entrepreneur into ThreeEQ's high-powered capabilities. This approach
offers uniquely inspirational, motivational, and useful know-how that benefits
profoundly our students and their relationships with parents. In a nutshell, we
routinely upgrade the mindset, skill set, and habits of our students, while
taking them through the awfully complex and demanding top-tier university
planning, applications, and admissions process, strategically and pragmatically...with
warmth, focus, and mutual trust. I try to help them authentically stand out in
context.

When should kids start preparing for college applications?

Students should start
preparing for college applications for undergraduate freshmen admission during
their junior year in senior high/secondary/upper ("high") school. So,
start a few quarters prior to the college applications season, which spans late
summer (August) through early January of high school students' senior year in
most high schools in Asia, America,
and Europe. The university transfer
applications season spans autumn (north of the Equator) through early March for
most applicants who are mostly college/university sophomores in these regions.

College applications are when students pedal hard to the
metal, when the rubber meets the road, when dozens of apps-related decisions
are made by the student, in addition to dozens of academic/testing and
non-academic decisions, many of which are interconnected, that need to be made
through his/her high school career. Making wrong decisions can sting later on,
reducing (dramatically) chances for admission to top schools and lowering
practical competencies in college.

The college planning and personal success habits building
process should really start in middle school, if not earlier.

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