From China to the Ivy Leagues

Over the last 2 years, I have had a 55% increase in Chinese clients who have hired our services specifically for Ivy League admissions.  Each year, we place on average 20 Chinese clients in Ivy League and highly selective U.S. colleges and universities.  Last year, we placed 45 Chinese students into Ivy League and highly selective U.S. colleges and universities.

Chinese students are attending U.S. colleges and universities in record numbers.  Demand for Ivy League and highly selective universities such as Carnegie Mellon, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Northwestern, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), University of Chicago, Duke, University of Michigan, Tufts, Swarthmore, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Los Angeles, Georgetown, Barnard, Villanova, etc., is increasing exponentially.

By Chinese, I mean students from mainland China who attend high schools in China, private boarding and day schools in the U.S., Canada, UK, Italy, Singapore, Australia, all parts of the world and those who attend public schools in the U.S.  Even when attending elite U.S. boarding schools where they have college counselors, the parents (or students) call us to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the college admission process to achieve the dream of an Ivy League education.

Parents all over China have the same dream.  They want their children to have the best education for a better future.  For Chinese parents, the benefits and the biggest advantages of an Ivy League education are undoubted and obvious – better employment opportunities, easier access to high-profile jobs, networking benefits and connections needed to start a global business.  Most importantly, an Ivy League education adds transferable financial value to be utilized over their children’s lifetime on a global scale.

For Chinese parents, the choice of an Ivy League education for their child (almost always their only child) is considered a worthy financial investment, a shrewd political maneuver, and a satisfying personal sacrifice.  They are appreciative of the chance for a greater opportunity for their children to study abroad in the U.S.  Four years of an elite U.S. private college/university education can cost around $250,000, a considerable sum for American families, and even more so for a family from China, where average wealth is about one fifth that in the U.S.  It is interesting and understandable that they are willing to make sacrifices for this pedigree degree that opens doors!

We work with many wealthy Chinese families who feel that sending a child to an elite Western university is a way of signaling status and prestige – yet “another luxury brand purchase”.   For wealthy families seeking a safe haven for their assets – by one estimate more than $1 trillion in capital left China in 2015 – a U.S. college education for a child can serve as a first step towards addressing capital flight, foreign investment and even eventual emigration.

A HSBC (Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation) survey indicated that 80% of affluent families in China plan to send their children to study overseas.  From 2009 to 2011, the number of Asian students studying in the US has increased by 40%.  President Trump and former President Obama may have different political and economic views but they both agree that the U.S. has the best universities in the world!  The U.S. is now the primary destination for Asian students. China is the number one source of international students. Many of the children of the Chinese economic and political elite desire Ivy League degrees.  President Xi Jinping’s daughter is a Harvard grad.

Since 1999, China was the second leading place of origin for international students at Harvard, trailing only Canada. Its student numbers steadily increased to lead Harvard’s international enrollment since the last academic year, with 686 students currently enrolled (nearly 16% of the international student body).  China similarly dominates international enrollment at other Ivy League schools, including Yale and Princeton.  According to the Hurun Report (a research, media and investments business best known for its “Hurun China Rich List” a ranking of the wealthiest individuals in China), Harvard, Yale and Princeton are the biggest attractions for Chinese millionaires.

In March 2018, research from Hurun found China minted 206 billionaires in the last year, taking the country’s total to 819 billionaires, 40% more billionaires than in the US.  Chinese billionaires are pulling away from the US for the third year running on the “Hurun Global Rich List 2018”.  There are 819 Chinese billionaires in 2018 compared with 571 in the US.  Just two years ago, they were neck and neck at 534 and 535.  A recent Hurun annual survey of China’s elite has confirmed that 80% of the country’s wealthy families plan to send their children abroad for education.

It would seem that as long as Ivy League colleges and universities exist, wealthy and middle-class Chinese families will want their children to obtain the rare luxury brand of the unique experience of a valuable education. My team and I are here to help!

The Yueng family with Dr. Paul Lowe Pinnacle Educational Center/Admissions Advisors Group headquarters.


Blog:  College Admissions is a Competitive Sport – How to Win Your Personal Admissions Game!


“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions AdvisorsSummer Camps:  BS/MD Application Boot Camp and Ivy League Application Boot Camp.