Ninth Ivy League Offer For A Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre Student – Meet Ayesha Karim


Watch the video! Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre student Ayesha is heading to Princeton!

Ayesha Karim will be studying at the Ivy League’s Princeton University in the USA. She has earned Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre in London its ninth Ivy League offer in four years.

Ayesha joined the NCS with the aspiration to study at one of the most competitive universities in the UK. With 11 Grade 9s and 1 A* she naturally aspired to study at Oxbridge and took full advantage of our dedicated Oxbridge programme. However, she was also to benefit from our unique US University Programme which prepared her to ace the SATs and submit a stellar application to the Ivy Leagues. We look forward to supporting Ayesha on her continued bright future in the world of engineering and science.

Complementing our successful Oxbridge Preparation Programme, our US Ivy League Preparation Programme has yielded spectacular results. In four years it has helped seven students from East London continue their education journeys at the Ivy League, with a total of nine offers.

For international students, there’s an acceptance rate of 0.3% for a place at an Ivy League university. Securing the ninth offer for our students is beyond outstanding.

Ivy League application support for students in private education costs around £20,000 per pupil. Students at Newham Collegiate Sixth Form in East London, receive it for free.

Ayesha joins fellow NCS alumni into the Ivy League. In 2020 four Newham Collegiate students – Lennox, Catherine, Xuan and Umar – all received offers to study in America. They followed in the footprints of Isuf Mohammed and our original trailblazing student Tafsia Shikdar who recently graduated from MIT and is now working for a company in Los Angeles that creates plant-based eco products and food. Our Ivy League preparation programme gave them all the information, skills and confidence to put in a successful application to these prestigious universities.

Ayesha Karim on her offer to study at the Ivy League’s Princeton in America

Our Ivy League Preparation Programme consists of distinct phases.

SAT Exam Preparation at The NCS in London UK

In the first term for our Year 12 students, the senior admissions officer from Harvard University visits the NCS to give an overview of studying abroad.  Students who want to explore applying to the US further attend a one-day Common Application course. Here they learn about the US application process and receive support in writing their US personal statement and college essays.

To support students with the American entrance examinations (SAT), we fly in an expert SAT tutor from New York to lead a week-long breakout course in understanding and acing the aptitude test. The practise continues throughout the summer holiday and autumn term with regular Skype sessions to fine-tune responses.

“When we started the SAT preparation course lockdown hadn’t started. We had to convert everything to an online format. It actually managed to work out quite well.”

– Ayesha on how The NCS adapted during the pandemic

Exploring New York on our Ivy League Trip - Students in Times Square

A group of students then have the opportunity to attend an exploration trip to Boston and New York. The trip allows them to visit MIT, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Columbia universities for tours, application guidance and to sit in lectures delivered by Ivy League professors.

On the trip they also have the chance to meet NCS alumni currently studying at Ivy League universities. All this experience helps our candidates discover more about how the American higher education system differs to that of the UK and get a feel for student life by speaking with current undergraduates and realise that the dream is actually attainable.

“I’d known about these universities, but I didn’t even know how to approach the idea of applying to them. So coming here was the reason why I applied in the first place.”

– Ayesha on how The NCS inspired her Ivy League dream

A masterclass on the application form with our tutor in New York rounds up the visit and moves them into the final phase of practise interviews. The trip provides many experiences for the students to discuss courses and cement decisions on which universities to apply to.

Private Schools Vs. The NCS

It’s widely reported that students from private schools – including Charterhouse, Eton, Harrow and Godolphin – are now preferring to study abroad at the USA Ivy League, rather than at Oxbridge. To help them prepare for the rigorous application process, parents of private school students are known to spend in the region of £20,000 per pupil for the guidance. All with no guarantee of success.

By comparison, The NCS provides the same high level expertise to our students, including a trip to visit the Ivy’s in America, absolutely free. The programme is becoming an increasingly popular option for our students – many of whom live in some of the most disadvantaged boroughs in London.

Seeing our students continue to succeed on our Ivy League Preparation Programme confirms Newham Collegiate’s position as one of the leading academic 16-19 Free Schools in London and UK.

NCS Principal Mouhssin Ismail said of Ayesha’s Ivy League achievement:

“Where you come from should never determine where you end up. I am proud that The NCS is able to offer a whole range of fantastic and unparalleled opportunities for students in Newham and East London, with the Ivy League Preparation Programme being a prime example. In 2014, when The NCS was set up, one of my aims was to normalise applications and offers to the most prestigious universities in the UK and abroad. We are beginning to see this and I am really looking forward to the day when it is no longer big news that students from the second most deprived borough in London secure offers on full scholarships to some of the best universities in the world. I want to congratulate Ayesha on her Princeton University offer, together with our other alumni in America she will inspire even more students to follow in their footsteps.”

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