Case Studies - Sharing by Parents and Students


 

      Sharing 1

My path to American education is like the metamorphosis of a butterfly. Before I came to America to study, I was another “ordinary” high school student receiving the “typical Asian” education in Hong Kong. I read through my textbooks just like a caterpillar munched on leaves—as if there was no other purpose but solely a mundane duty. Then, the transformation came like a butterfly breaking through the womb during chrysalis.

I am introduced to the idea of active learning where individual thinking is emphasized, finding new passion is required, and team working is inevitable. It is no longer just memorizing textbooks word-by-word and taking the examinations; American education makes learning have a purpose. Inside the classroom, instead of following instructions step by step given in the laboratory manuals, I design my own experiments with my classmates; after school, instead of going home to stare at my computer screen, I change into my sailing gear and cruise in the sea with my teammates. I would not have any of these unique experiences if I had not decided to study in a boarding school. Other than that, boarding life has not only transformed me from being a caterpillar to a butterfly with colorful wings, but it has also made me a social butterfly. I become less fearful to interact with different kinds of people, and even with people that I have never met, which I would totally have no courage to do so previously. Boarding school has definitely changed me.

Being the first person in my family to study overseas in America, I was clueless with the application process for American boarding schools. Fortunately, with the aid given by Ms. Alice Lau from Scholar & Co., I was able to learn more about various types of boarding schools and also know how to perform better in the interviews. I enjoyed working with her and that is also why I decided to ask her for help again when I was applying to colleges in America, which turned out to be successful as well. Alice kept close touch with me during the summer so that we could work on the essay ideas together, and she made sure that I was on my schedule in completing all the college essays. All in all, she is both a good teacher and responsible counselor who leads her students to successful paths for American education.

~ Student of Scholar & Co. accepted by a top boarding School and then the Engineering School, Cornell University (World Class Institution), Early Decision.  The student was from St. Paul's Convent School, Hong Kong.

 Sharing 2

About 9 months ago, I came across the website of Scholar & Co. when I first started researching U.S boarding schools on the Internet for my son who wanted to go to study in the U.S.A.  I was impressed by the sharing from the parents and students, as well as the testimonials, which gave us a lot of useful tips.  Out of the various educational consultants that we had met before Alice, we found her being the only advisor who sounded positively and encouragingly to my son’s initial profile.  This supportive role has been very helpful and important to my son and my whole family, especially the times when we were miserable and frustrating during the stressful application process.  

Honestly, it was still a nightmare to us when applying to the U.S. boarding schools, despite having been warned by Alice of how tedious and challenging it could be at the very start.  We would definitely have messed up the priorities or made plenty of unnecessary mistakes without consulting Alice.  Luckily, we had her guiding us all the way, supporting closely in every single step of the application, advising on interviews, essays and setting deadlines.  Most importantly, she always responded to our countless questions in a timely manner, even until very late evenings.  This is in contrast to many other educational consultants who specify clearly about the number of hours or times of communications under the consulting agreement.  We are therefore very grateful for Alice’s professional dedication throughout the process.  I am also thankful for her tremendous help and advice on our US trip for the schools’ campus visit, as well as arranging school interviews in Hong Kong.  We can see she is a well-planned, meticulous and committed advisor. 

Alice understands what the prestigious boarding schools are expecting and what type of schools would fit my son the most.  After going through the competitive school application process, my son has also learned a great deal.  He has gained a much better understanding on his own interests and strengths.  He is also more able to present himself and has become more confident than before.  Thanks to Alice who has inspired him, prepared him to the best, and made his dream come true at the end!  We are proud to see my son having many good school choices when we come to a decision time.  Thank you very much, Alice! 

~ Parent of a Scholar & Co. student accepted by Peddie School (Prestigious Boarding School).  The student was from French International School, Hong Kong.  

     Sharing 3 

Do I really know myself? My answer had always been “yes” before the start of college application season. “I’m outgoing, energetic, sensitive…” I could make a long list of my personalities. However, after failing a million times to write an interesting essay about myself, I started questioning: who am I? Do I even know the answer? I was baffled. I do a lot of things everyday, but I have never really stopped for a moment and talked to my heart. It was Ms. Lau that inspired me into thinking who I really was and what I was really passionate about before writing those essays. After a period of brainstorming with her, I reached a realization that I was such an open-minded person in many different ways (although it was sad that I did not realize that before). Academically, I liked all subjects and really appreciated the liberal arts education in America; socially, I found it fascinating how American culture was different yet similar to Chinese culture, and I try to embrace both cultures to the fullest extent. This realization was a huge help in building up essays, as well as choosing the right college (Washington University in St. Louis) that can best support my pursuit of intellectual freedom.  

The sentence “I’m going to Wash. U next year” might sound simple, but the application process involving choosing schools among thousands of colleges in USA, writing college essays, taking ACT, TOEFL, SAT2, communicating with admission officers etc. was an incredible amount of work. I was so naïve into thinking that I would have more motivation to finish these tasks when deadlines were coming up. The fact is, without Ms. Lau, I would have procrastinated, and I would have regret so much. She was very thorough in making and executing plans, and she cured my procrastination by sending me email almost every day during summer.  I respected her a lot and always wanted to meet her expectation. At some point, I started to realize that instead of being pushed by deadlines, I should start taking initiative. What right do I have in asking to get in to my dream school if I could not even drive myself to work hard? Besides motivating me to finish more than 20 essays, Ms. Lau was strict on the quality of the essays. Literally, every single essay that I turned in was creative, nicely structured, and well written. Though, instead of she telling me what to write, she always gave me a hint and let me come up with an idea. This critical thinking skill that I gained from working with her was extremely precious to me and will benefit me life-long.     

To me, the process of applying to colleges is not just about filling out the applications and turning in essays, but about finding out who I am, and what I want. I am grateful to be accepted by my dream school at the end, but the intellectual growth that I had made along the way was the most memorable.

~ Student of Scholar & Co. accepted by Washington University in St. Louis (World Class Institution).  The student was from Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Florida, USA  

     Sharing 4  

After 2 years of hard work, my son could finally realize his dream of studying in a top boarding school in the USA!

My son studies in an elite traditional school in Hong Kong.  He has always been at the top of his class from primary to secondary school, and speaks superb English.  One would think he is a native English speaker.  In the first year of application, we thought my son could naturally go to an elite US school of similar tier.  However, he was rejected because all the US schools considered his school grades poor.

I was totally confused and sought help from two agencies in Hong Kong.  They were unwilling to take up the job also because of the poor grades.  Later, I sought help from an agency in the USA.  They proposed some day schools in addition to some low-ranked boarding schools which were not what I wanted.

Later, I met Alice Lau of Scholar & Co. through a friend.  Alice has a wealth of experience in consulting and a wide network with many top US schools. She has established sound relationships and trusts with the US schools over the years.   She is the most professional, attentive and responsible consultant I have ever met.  Under her guidance, every task was so perfectly done and met our requirements and ideals.  Due to the different grading systems between the American schools and that of our elite traditional school in Hong Kong, we encountered tremendous difficulties in the applications.  Alice spent great efforts to communicate with the US schools thoughtfully and patiently and the problems were eventually solved.  The process fully demonstrated Alice’s professionalism and strong sense of responsibility.  She not only assisted us to communicate with the schools all along, but also made me aware of the strengths of my son.  She inspired and guided my son to write his essays to reflect his best self.

      This year, at last, we received an acceptance letter from a top US school, with an email as follows:

       “Your file was read by our committee today and everyone loved you!  We would love to have you here in the fall!

     ~ Parent of a Scholar & Co. student accepted by a prestigious boarding school.  The student was from La Salle College, Hong Kong.

     Sharing 5

     It is hard to put into words how deeply gratified we are for the help and guidance of Ms. Alice Lau of Scholar & Co. throughout the whole process of school applications over the past few months. I felt lucky for meeting such an experienced and enthusiastic consultant, someone who never failed to provide my child with useful tips on how to prepare for numbers of school interviews, and who never grew tired of giving her the insightful advices and innovative ideas on how to write impressive application essays. I believe my child would struggle a lot more without Alice’s clear guidelines and constant communications when filling the application forms. My child truly learned a lot, no matter in term of how to present herself in the right image or how to express her personality through words. She now feels more confident and clear of her goals, and has figured out her true passion through this process, and this is no exaggeration. 

The U.S. school application process is undoubtedly stressful and tiring. But with Alice and Scholar & Co., you would definitely find it much easier and could have the best chance of getting into your dream school in the United States!

       ~ Parent of a Scholar & Co. student accepted by Phillips Exeter Academy (Prestigious Boarding School) and then Northwestern University (World Class Institution), Early Decision.  The student was from Po Leung Kok Choi Kai Yau School, Hong Kong.

     Sharing 6

      Strictly speaking, we are far from being competent parents.  Two years ago, we made a decision rashly when our elder son improvised to enroll in an old-fashion UK boarding school.  Soon after, we felt guilty and sorry, knowing that we could not let our younger son enroll in an overseas school randomly again.

Being incompetent, we missed the March deadline when applying for our favorite UK boarding school for our younger son last year.  We were disappointed, tried all other means and re-applied, we accidentally came across the seminar held by Ms Lau at the Admiralty Center.

Before the seminar, we knew nothing about higher education in the USA.  We just treated it as a backup in case our son could not study in the UK.  After the seminar, we met Ms Lau and we found US education would fit our younger son even more.  So we decided to try a bold attempt that could possibly affect his whole life.

When applying for the target US schools, we found our inadequacy in meeting the school requirements.  In particular, our son has been studying in a traditional local school, but he was competing with students studying in the famous international schools.  The conditions were in great disparity.  We could not explain the frustration and tiredness in the process.  Feeling defeated, we wanted to give up for several times. Especially in December last year, when we received an offer from that same favorite UK boarding school, we almost had an impulsive decision to give up halfway.

Fortunately, with the perseverance, constant encouragement, support and assistance of Ms Lau, we finally felt the joy of a fruitful achievement.  We were also fully aware that with a child studying in an environment like ours, when applying to top US boarding schools, the success chance would be very slim if we did it without a veteran and responsible consultant.

Thank you, Ms Lau!

~ Parent of a Scholar & Co. student accepted by Phillips Exeter Academy (Prestigious Boarding School).  The student was from St. Stephen's College, Hong Kong.

       Sharing 7

     With the time, effort and a variety of ingenious question answering techniques Alice had provided for my son, he was accepted to his dream college.

Alice has been very helpful throughout my son's college application process, especially in the essay portion. Not only would she sit down with my child patiently discussing with him what he would like to emphasize on, she would also guide my child through the entire applications, to be certain that every single bit is clear and good to go.

I would recommend you to consult with Ms Alice Lau regarding American high schools and universities. She would be of a tremendous help in the area of school applications.


~ Parent of a Scholar & Co. student accepted by Princeton University (World Class Institution), Early Action.  The student was from St. Joseph's College, Hong Kong.

       Sharing 8

It is every child’s dream to enter into a top U.S. university.  Like most parents, we have very limited knowledge about U.S. universities.  Fortunately, we found Ms. Alice Lau whose experience and professionalism helped our child get into his dream college.

In the beginning of the process, Alice conducted a thorough assessment of my child’s learning ability, interests, growing background, etc. Soon she made a personal educational plan for him, including a college list, SAT/ACT exam timetables, AP course selection, etc.  These plans provided the biggest balance between the college applications and his daily homework at school.  We feel that my child’s admission to his dream college is exactly the natural return of these organized and detailed plans.

What impressed us most was Alice's patience when assisting her students, from the big tasks like executing plans, to the smallest tasks like spell checks.  Alice oversaw every single step.  In the whole process, Alice not only paid meticulous attention to detail, but also helped lift my child's independent thinking and sense of responsibility.  We were pleased with his progress and growth.  We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Alice, and also recommend Scholar & Co. enthusiastically as your U.S. educational advisor, to experience the same joy of success as ours.

     ~ Parent of a Scholar & Co. student accepted by Williams College (World Class Institution), Early Decision The Shanghai student was from Peddie School, U.S.A.

      Sharing 9

We are very pleased that our son is placed into Milton Academy for this fall entry.   The application process was long and complicated.  But we were very fortunate to have Alice guided us through the whole process.   Alice is professional and dedicated, she upholds a very high standard and does not compromise for sub-standard quality.  She coached and guided my son on personal essays and school interviews, helped him bring up his best potential.  She patiently and repeatedly guided my son on refining the applications to perfection.  Alice understands the US boarding schools’ requirements very well and provided sound advice on school selections as well as counseling to anxious parents like me.

Looking back, we found we had made the right choice to engage Alice for her professional help.  Like many parents, we would like our children receive the best education.  US boarding school application is challenging, but the hard work pays off once you learned your child is placed into the dream school.  

~ Parent of a Scholar & Co. student accepted by Milton Academy (Prestigious Boarding School).  The student was from South Island School, Hong Kong.  

Sharing 10

     We moved from Beijing to Hong Kong in August last year.  We decided our child should apply to the US boarding schools not long before that time.  We did not have much time and information for the preparation.   Luckily we chose Ms. Alice Lau of Scholar & Co. for counseling, and the complex application process became well planned ever since.   Through questionnaires and interviews, Ms. Lau understood different qualities of our child.  She caught certain characteristics of our child swiftly.  Those that looked common and ordinary were turned into the competitive advantages in his applications.   From choosing schools, arranging interviews, following closely in each step, Ms Lau's thorough professionalism left us a deep impression.   Especially in essays, under Ms. Lau's guidance and inspiration, our child revised and revised, felt better and better in his writing.   He learned a great deal in this application process.  To sum up, Ms Lau is very trustworthy and we are very grateful for her help.    

~ Parent of a Scholar & Co. student accepted by Milton Academy (Prestigious Boarding School).  The student was from Yew Chung International School, Hong Kong.  

     Sharing 11

       College application is a specialized and painstaking exercise.  Under the guidance of Alice, my daughter was accepted by the Duke University in her Early Decision application. 

     We were impressed with Alice's professional dedication.  She gave my daughter's appropriate advice based on her character and academic strengths.  In preparing college essays, Alice was best at helping my child find out her potential and bring out her best self, inspiring her to think deeply and to continuously improve the essays.  In choosing colleges and majors, Alice provided good advice according to her interests and strengths. 

      Alice is truly committed, hands-on, and with a strong sense of responsibility.  She follows each step in a timely manner and safeguards each task strictly.  I, therefore, regard Alice as a trustworthy advisor.

     ~ Parent of a Scholar & Co. student accepted by Duke University (World Class Institution), Early Decision.  The student was from Guaugzhou Experimental School, Guangzhou.

     Sharing 12

As a parent who went through the traumatic experience of college application for the first time, I was lucky enough to have Alice as my advisor.  She shepherded us through the complex admissions process, starting with taking time to understand my daughter, her personality, her aspirations and her abilities.  Drawing upon her deep knowledge of American colleges she did extensive research to find the right “fit” for her.  She worked tirelessly beside the parent and the child to make sure all of our questions were answered, all the steps were completed ahead of time and all the essays brought out the best in the student and responded to the schools’ specific requirements.  With her unparalleled dedication and great insight, Alice brought simplicity to a very complicated process and she was instrumental in helping my daughter to get into the college of her choice.   I would recommend Scholar & Co. to any family seeking the right school for their child.  

~ Parent of a Scholar & Co. student accepted by Johns Hopkins University (World Class Institution), Early Decision.  The student was from Marymount Secondary School, Hong Kong.

     Sharing 13

       I was warned of the college application could be grueling and daunting beforehand; however, with a well thought strategy and plan, plus flawless execution, it can be very rewarding.

 Alice and Scholar & Co. is what makes the difference.  Together, we explore and search the best option for the child. They provide excellent advices and feedback, and articulate the strength and depth of the child to best fit his / her choice of college.  Along the way, Alice and Co. had eased our minds and anxiety, and made the whole college process so much easier than expected.  You can rest assured that all your concerns and queries are attended to in a professional and timely, yet personalized manner.

A good consultant is the one who understand you and your child needs.  Alice is definitely doing a good job on this.  We can't thank her enough for getting our son into his dream college and I would not hesitate to recommend Scholar & Co. to be your college consultant.

~ Parent of a Scholar & Co. student accepted by the Engineering School, Cornell University (World Class Institution), Early Decision.  The student was from St. Joseph's College, Hong Kong.

     Sharing 14

      We spent a lot of time and energy in the school search for our two sons last summer, and were over-whelmed by the sea of information.  In one incident, we came to know Ms Alice Lau of Scholar & Co. and we learned a lot about US schools from her.  Since then, she began to help my two sons apply to the US boarding schools.  Through various meetings and brainstorming, Ms Lau clearly understood their personality, strengths and passions.  She accurately assessed their ability and proposed a list of schools that best fit them.  During the process, Ms Lau prepared my sons in fine details, gave best advice for the strategies in taking the SSAT and TOEFL tests and guided them to present their best self in the complicated applications.  Her help was crucial in the whole process.  After a few months of hard work, both of our two sons were accepted to the most desirable school of our choice.  We thank Ms Lau so much for her full assistance as well as her thoughtful and caring advice.

       ~ Parent of two Scholar & Co. students simultaneously accepted by Peddie School (Prestigious Boarding School).  The students were from St. Paul's College, Hong Kong.   

     Sharing 15

Applying to US schools is not easy.  Solely working hard on your own is not enough.  More importantly, you need a professional educational consultant – Ms Alice Lau.

Ms. Lau understands the needs and aspirations of each student and picks those top US schools that fit us best.  Ms Lau is good at finding out students’ potential and interests, and helping us translate our uniqueness into words in school applications.  She gave me advice on interview techniques, allowing me to have fluent conversations and leave good impressions with the interviewers.  Ms Lau reviewed every essay I wrote, inspired me to think more deeply for a good portrait of myself, making each essay a perfect one.  In the whole process, from research to submitting applications, Ms Lau coaxed me patiently, offering me meticulous help.  Finally, I was accepted by my favorite US boarding school!

“Well begun is half done”.  The enthusiasm and professionalism of Ms Lau were absolutely the reasons of my success in applying the US schools.  I recommend Scholar & Co. to students who want to study in the U.S.A.

~ Scholar & Co. student accepted by a prestigious boarding school.  The student was from Cheung Chuk Shan College, Hong Kong. 

       Sharing 16

We would like to thank Ms. Alice Lau for helping my son through the college application process. We really appreciated the time and effort she spent to assist him in choosing the right college and completing the application form and personal essays. 

We know that the college application has never been an easy task. It is tedious and stressful. With Ms. Lau’s experiences and efforts, the whole application process became interesting and challenging. Her expertise and knowledge, professional and timely manner, thoughtful and creative ideas have been invaluable throughout the process. 

We are really happy and relieved that my son is accepted to his desired college through early decision and it could not be accomplished without Ms. Lau’s advice and guidance. 

~ Parent of a Scholar & Co. student accepted by Carnegie Mellon University (World Class Institution), Early Decision The student was from St. Paul's College, Hong Kong. 

     Sharing 17

Applying for high schools in the US could be one of the most tedious and stressful experience I have ever had. We realized the application process is complex and competitive, hence we engaged Scholar & Co. for their professional assistance.

Scholar & Co. has been working closely with my daughter and me throughout the application process in the past six months. Scholar & Co. was able to provide us a list of schools which matches closely to my daughter’s interests and personality. In addition, Alice of Scholar & Co. has also given valuable advice to my daughter, especially on how she should fully capitalize on her summer vacation activities so that her experiences will stand out in her student essays and interviews.

We would like to thank Alice and Scholar & Co for their assistance as well as their thoughtful and valuable advice.  

~ Parent of a Scholar & Co. student accepted by Kent School (One of the 16 elite boarding schools).  The student was from St. Paul's Convent School, Hong Kong.  

Sharing 18

I decided to apply to the US universities in September, which was absolutely late for any application. I was anxious and worried because I had not much time for the preparation work, like finding out which college would be a great fit to me, writing essays for the colleges, to name but a few. Fortunately, I could have Ms Alice Lau to be my advisor.  She is definitely familiar with the American colleges and thus could provide me an excellent college list efficiently. Apart from the responsiveness, I was also impressed by her creativity and dedication in the whole process, especially in guiding me in my essay writings for the colleges.  Besides, under her monitoring, I could finish all the applications comfortably before the deadlines and that was amazing.  Looking back now, I think that I might not be able to apply to any college without the advice and guidance of Ms Lau and so I would enthusiastically recommend Scholar & Co. to any student who wants to study in the US. 

~ Scholar & Co. student accepted by the University of Washington (Top Bio-medical Institution).  The student was from Diocesan Boys' School, Hong Kong.

 

 

      Scholar & Co. helps students achieve their dreams!