If you or your teen is considering studying at a UK or US university when they finish school, but have no idea where – and how – to start the application process, then Crimson Education can help you!

Are you feeling disillusioned by the unrest and academic disruptions at South African universities? Or perhaps you feel that your child is an exceptional student, with a great work ethic, community and entrepreneurial spirit and excellent leadership skills – and would benefit from the opportunity to obtain a degree from one of the best international universities in the world.

Crimson Education is now in South Africa

I read about Crimson Education – and what they can do to help young South Africans with their applications to UK or US universities. Being a parent of a grade 10 daughter, I contacted them for more information. I was offered a free telephonic consultation with the SA manager Duncan Parsons, and we spent 30 minutes discussing the options for my daughter and the role that Crimson can play in helping her to achieve them.

Important advice for teens: Start early – curating your career begins now!

Teenagers are such experts at curating their personal image on social media: they select what to share, who to tag and how to display their interests and activities in a single image, or 280 characters.

The next step for Generation Z (that means those born after 1995) is curating their career.

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Whether preparing to apply for a competitive university programme, or starting an entrepreneurial venture, there is great value in starting to think about how to express your professional interests from an early age

“Gaining acceptance to top international universities is challenging and students need more than just good marks to succeed. Curating your extra-curricular activities during high school is important, as a well-rounded candidate with an engaging personal story stands out from the crowd,” says Duncan.

We chatted about how different the tertiary institution application process is in South Africa, compared to applying to study at a university in the United Kingdom or United States. South African universities base their admission requirements mainly on school academic results (with the exception of some degrees, like those in the medical field, where community service while at school plays a role). It’s usually a case of get the marks, fill in the forms, pay the deposit and you’re in.

Universities in the US are a whole different thing: the university decides if they want to offer prospective students a place based on what the student can offer the university – and the world out there – and how they can motivate their acceptance and convey their personalities and ambitions in their application letters and interviews.

Quite a foreign – and often overwhelming – prospect for a 17 or 18 year-old South African applicant.

This is where Crimson Education can help you

Crimson Education is a mentoring company that helps build high-schoolers’ candidacy to apply for universities in the States and United Kingdom.

Founded in 2013 by Jamie Beaton, a high-schooler who was accepted to the top 25 universities in the world, and his South African-born partner Sharndre Kushor, Crimson places an emphasis on exploring a variety of interests and demonstrating entrepreneurial drive.

Not only does this boost their application, it gives learners the confidence to apply to a university that best suits their passions and skills; “Crimson students often start small businesses or launch social initiatives while still at school – our mentors offer guidance and support through this,” says Duncan, who sold watches online during his school years before getting the full-ride Robertson Scholarship to Duke University.

“Schools and parents can place too heavy an emphasis on academic success alone, when well-roundedness is becoming a crucial part of an applicant’s success”

About 30% of an application to an American university is based on activities outside of academic curricula; “Colleges look for and fund students who demonstrate that they’ll use the university’s resources to the fullest – they want to see initiative and the potential to become a leader in your field,” he says.

Growing up with access to vast amounts of information through the internet, Generation Z are well poised to think creatively and disruptively about business, as well as social and environmental problems. “A great university education, at an institution with leading research groups, lecturers and students from around the world is a very powerful starting point for future changemakers,” says Parsons. “Landing that opportunity is challenging, but not impossible, for driven South African students who apply their online curating skills to their careers.”

Crimson Education recently launched in South Africa, making the company operational in 17 cities around the world. Duncan Parsons and his team regularly host information evenings for parents and learners interested in studying overseas and have recently introduced a career exploration service. For more information, visit www.crimsoneducation.org or email [email protected]