Pao School's first graduating class accepted at top universities worldwide


Pao School is proud to share news on university offers for our first graduating class of 49 students, a stellar list of outcomes on a par with those of long-established leading schools worldwide. 55% of students in the graduating class were admitted or offered conditional acceptance to their first choice of university and 85% of students were admitted to one of their top three university choices.


The universities to which the first cohort of Pao students have been admitted or offered conditional acceptance are leading institutions ranging across a variety of countries and specialisms, reflecting the highly diverse range of interests and abilities of our students and embodying Pao School’s belief in best fit: finding institutions that are an ideal match for the student and his or her unique interests, skills and abilities. 


This list includes some of the most highly regarded institutions in the world, including three early acceptances to Ivy League institutions with distinctive academic programmes, the University of Chicago, and the University of Oxford. Students were also admitted to prestigious art and design colleges, women’s colleges, liberal arts colleges and comprehensive private urban universities. Several students have been awarded merit scholarships including the prestigiousHesburgh-Yusko Scholars Programme for leaders (US$100,000 for 4 years) at the University of Notre Dame.


Pao students have the advantage of graduating from a school that in its first year of graduating students is already widely known and respected in the university admissions world. An admissions officer at a US university commented how Pao students stood out from many others:'We are deeply impressed with the strength of these students, from their descriptive writing and clear points of view, to their leadership, vision and character’.


The University Counselling Office has played a key role in establishing Pao School's name in the university admissions world. The Office hosted the first OACAC (Overseas Association of College Admissions Counsellors) Regional Institute on the Pao School campus in 2015, bringing admissions officers and counsellors from around the world to experience our campus and culture. Pao School offers a comprehensive University Counselling programme and students and parents who have consistently engaged in this process, and who have taken full advantage of the university counselling team’s support, are well placed to experience success. Our graduating students shared their views on the Pao School University Counselling process:


'After I had a series of meetings with my University Counsellor last winter, she provided me with a list of schools that matched my study habits, interests and lifestyle', says one Year 12 student who will matriculate at the University of California, Berkeley in the fall. 'She also helped me develop a compelling personal statement that helped me to stand out in the applicant pool. I am glad such comprehensive support for the college admissions process is available on campus'. 


Says another Year 12 student: 


'Going on a university tour abroad (to the US and UK) led by Pao School counsellors helped me understand how the US’s holistic admissions process differs from the review process used in the UK'. 


Another Year 12 student says: 


'I feel very fortunate to receive so much assistance from teachers and counsellors in the University Counselling Office. They are true friends who understand us and help us in our time of need'. 


Pao parents also praised the University Counselling Office. One Year 12 parent, whose daughter participated in several tours to school campuses in the US and UK, described her daughter's experience as 'truly hands-on', adding: 


'The students and teachers provided Pao students with a clear picture of what college life would be like'. 


Another Year 12 parent notes the crucial role played by Rhonda Leshman, Director of University and Careers Counselling, in the global university application process, 


'Ms Leshman knows our children very well, so she can provide advice for them based on their individual circumstances', the parent says. 'She always communicates and discusses with parents promptly and effectively. Furthermore, Ms Leshman never hesitates to work overtime to respond to student and parent questions - even during the evening and on the weekends. Both the students and I are very touched by Ms Leshman's dedication to Pao students'.  


The list of US institutions offering places to Pao students includes:

Bard, Barnard, Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis, Brown, Colby, Columbia, Dartmouth, Fordham, Franklin & Marshall, The George Washington University, Kenyon, Lehigh, Mount Holyoke, New York University, Northeastern, Pitzer, Purdue, Reed, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Tulane, University of California campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Cruz), University of Chicago, University of Rochester, University of Notre Dame, University of Southern California and the University of Washington.

Acceptances to the selective film production programmes at Emerson, Loyola Marymount University and Chapman were also received. 


Students were admitted to a number of art and design colleges including:

California Institute of Arts, Maryland Institute College of Art, Rhode Island School of Art & Design (RISD) and School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


In the UK, conditional offers include:

University of Oxford, Durham University, Imperial College, University of Edinburgh, Loughborough, University of Sheffield, University College London, King’s College London, University of Nottingham, University of Warwick and more.  

*These UK institutions are members of the Russell Group of 24 research-intensive, prestigious, world-class universities.


Acceptances in Canada: 

University of British Columbia, University of Toronto  


Pao students have a global perspective and willingness to pursue their own pathways, and this was clearly demonstrated in a number of applications which were submitted to universities innon-Anglophone countries in Europe including BTK Berlin Design School (Germany), Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten (The Netherlands), University of Tampere (Finland), as well as Jönköping University and Linnaeus University (both located in Sweden).Pao students will also study at the overseas campuses of Northeastern University and New York University.


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With its mission of whole-person education, carrying on Chinese cultural traditions and fostering an international perspective, as well as its core values of compassion integrity and balance, Pao School has evolved into a leading educational institution since its founding in 2007.


As we celebrate our tenth anniversary, one of the greatest highlights of all is the tremendous success of the Class of 2017 - our first cohort of graduates. We congratulate them on their outstanding work - both their personal successes and all they have done to contribute to the building of a school for tomorrow's China.