US Secondary School Application and Early Stage Planning



"Please show us who you really are. We will find you through your talents and potentials"


——Dean of Admission and financial Aid at Deerfield Academy

In the US, one of the prerequisites for getting into a top university is a good high school education. University admission officers have natural trust and confidence towards their high school education system and quality, and believe that their high school graduates are capable of mastering the studies in universities.



Our Values

The most fundamental change is the change of value. We cultivate the unique personality of each individual student according to the established American education philosophies. Thus, we would focus on developing the following values:

  • Academic potential ; academic achievement; curiosity; efforts / determination and perseverance ; ability to work and study independently; organization and planning skills; creativity; willing to take risks in the learning process (accepting challenge , trying out unfamiliar disciplines and methods)
  • Caring for others; honesty / integrity ; self-esteem; mature and complete personal character (relative to their age) ; responsibility ; respecting teachers and peers ; emotional stability (inner peace); comprehensive evaluation as a whole person and as a student, and so on.
  • These stories as “hidden values” will be collected by us and conveyed in their writing and personal statements, so that their unique personalities and deep emotions can be revealed in a multi-dimensional way.
[Read Full Article: "Our Values"] (In Chinese)


Our Characteristics

The idea of studying abroad has been around for only a short period of time but developed very fast. The burgeoning number of Chinese applicants and the underlying truth has been a hot issue for the American media. It was reported by Deerfield Academy and Hotchkiss School that the number of Chinese applicants has increased ten times. For example, in 2005-2006 school year, each of them only received less than 20 applications, but up to 2011-2012, it was over 200. If these Chinese students were all accepted, one third of the school population would be from China. “This has been an incredible growth explosion”, said Patricia, Dan of Admission and financial Aid at Deerfield Academy”. It then becomes much more difficult to understand Chinese students and their strengths, as there is cheating from time to time, and the language barrier. The cultural barriers added even more complexity to it. “I cannot understand these Chinese applicants the same way as I understand the Americans”, said Patricia. This is a tough situation they are facing: as the applicant number grows rapidly, cases of cheating grow too. In this case, how do they obtain reliable information? Admissions officers at Deerfield High School said that they would pay more effort on direct personal communication with Chinese applicants, such as interviews and informal e-mail communications. “Every aspect of performance must be consistent with who the applicant truly is”, said JJ Briones, Associate Dean of Admissions at Deerfield Academy. This is also what we are working on with the students, to dig out each student’s unique personality and charms with a genuine heart.
[Read Full Article: "Our Characteristics"] (In Chinese)


Our Unique Approach

For each student, we will appoint three teachers--a senior expert counselor, a teacher from China, and an assistant counselor—to help with school selection, application process, written documents and so forth. The teachers we selected for the students often show a good combination of various areas of specialties: such as sports, in conjunction with music and academics. They can be seen as living encyclopedias, professional in every aspect concerning application. However, instead of following the students everywhere and making them do things, these teachers tend to provide general guidance and let students participate and do by themselves. Only in this way can the teachers be a good resource and scaffolding for the students. At the same time, the assistant counselor and the teacher from China will also provide necessary help throughout the whole process. In order to ensure that every student receives the most individualized and complete consulting service, each counselor can only take care of around 15 students at a time.。

IvyLabs is famous for its high quality students and strict requirement on academic literacy. The organization originated in the Yale campus, so the team members are mostly graduates from Ivy League universities, who are alumni or previous deans of admissions in these private schools. Some are still working as admission interviewers currently. We have maintained a very good relationship with these schools and universities and receive a good reputation in the circle.

Ivy Labs has developed the following unique educational methods and learning strategies and plans for our students: 【Early Stage Planning】, 【’Ten-steps’ Method for Successful Application】, 【“Ivy Bridge” for Young Chinese students】and 【Continuing Guardianship and Academic Advising】 Under this framework, students’ potentials can be maximized, and they would experience successful transition to the high school learning phase. Meanwhile, our teamwork model can greatly improve the effectiveness of the implementation of our education programs.

Early Stage Planning

Ivy Labs has various education plans and programs catering for the needs of the students and their parents to help them get into their dream schools. These projects are interrelated and mutually complementary and reinforcing, allowing students to stand on a higher starting point in the process of applying to the university in the future, to be closer to a more ideal school. [Read More About "Early Stage Planning"] (In Chinese)


’Ten-step’ Method for Successful Application

In secondary school preparation and application process, experts in Ivy Labs have researched and concluded a "ten-step” method for students and parents to reference and implement. We would provide a well-trained and experienced team to help each student tailor-make their own learning process in these series. Through the use of ten-step method, students will be improved in various aspects, including time management, long-term planning and training, as well as short-term decision-making and strategy development. At the same time, our team will collaborate with these teenage students to demonstrate to the admissions committee their personal study plan and their life goals. Apart from these, we also give advice on how to plan extracurricular activities in order to help students stand out from the many applicants. [Read More About "Ten Steps Method"] (IIn Chinese)


【“Ivy Bridge” Program for Young Chinese Students】

First of all, congratulations! The launching of this program means that your child has been officially admitted by his/her dream high school already! However, due to the huge difference in educational systems in the US and China, students with a Chinese educational background may find it challenging to adapt to the academic study and culture in American high schools. Based on years of research and practice, we have developed a program—Ivy Bridge, specifically for young Chinese students preparing to study abroad. Here we aim at providing a clear picture of life and study in the US for these young students with expectations, so that they can be bridged during this transitional period. This allows them to obtain the necessary skills to survive and grow in the high school, and to learn to adapt to American high school life in advance. [Read More About “Ivy Bridge” Program for Young Chinese Students] (In Chinese)


【Continuing Guardianship and Academic Advising】

We treat every our secondary school student as of our own family member. Once they been accepted to their favorite private schools, we will continue provide these students with our support to ensure that they will have smooth transition to a completely new environment, new education style, and new life; to ensure that they can be more independent, to ensure they will succeed both academically and personally; to ensure they are fully prepared for challenges and, ultimately, success! Our continuing support includes but not limited to new student survival guidance; acting on behavior of parents to communicate with schools; break and holiday arrangements; emergency and disaster management and communicating with parents; course selection advisory and academic tutoring. [Read More About "Continuing Guardianship and Academic Advising"] (In Chinese)

US Secondary Schools

Guardianship & homestay services


Specially designed to provide professional guardian services and homestay arrangement services in the New England region for high school students from China. A good host family puts security as the first priority and offers nutritious food and a warm home environment for students’ growth. With the help of host families, students can integrate very well with American families and their communities. [Read More About "Guardianship and Homestay Service"] (In Chinese)


Boarding schools or day schools?


Which one is better? American boarding schools or day schools? There is never a definite answer to this question, especially for young high school students. Both types of schools have their advantages and disadvantages. However, we believe that choosing the most suitable one for children should be the primary concern for parents. American Educational Research institutions have done a systematic survey on this issue. With regard to the top 20 elite private high schools, data shows that high school graduates from both types of schools exhibit similar admission rate to Ivy Leagues. The only difference lies in whether they live at home or at school. [Read More About "Boarding School VS. Day School] (In Chinese)


Comments from the graduates of the top boarding schools


Our experts in Ivy Labs have collected and edited comments and reviews of these high schools based on interviews with their graduates conducted by the authoritative private school rating agency "PrepReview". These data provide objective advice and clear analysis of each school’s special features and characteristics as well as their weak points.
[Read More About "Top Boarding School Reviews Made By Their Graduates"] (In English)

Comments from the graduates of the top private day schools


Our experts in Ivy Labs have collected and edited comments and reviews of these high schools based on interviews with their graduates conducted by the authoritative private school rating agency "PrepReview". These data provide objective advice and clear analysis of each school’s special features and characteristics as well as their weak points.
[Read More About "Top Day School Reviews Made By Their Graduates"] (In English)


American Boarding Schools Association and Certification


American Boarding Schools Association is not certified by TABS. However, members of TABS must obtain the schools accredited by regional or state private school associations as follows:

U.S. Public and Private School Accreditation Associations:
• MSACS
• NEASC
• NCACS
• NAAS
• SACS
• WACS

State, Regional and International Private School Accreditation Associations
• ACIS
• AIMS
• CAIS/CA
• FCIS
• HAIS
• NJAIS
• NYSAIS
• PAPAS
• VAIS
• AiSNE
• lSACS
• ISAS
• NEASC
• PNAIS
• SAlS
• SAES
• CESI
• CIS