Because of the ever increasing numbers of international students applying to US universities, there is greater competition for acceptance for a limited number of spaces. Students therefore constantly seek ways to differentiate themselves and their application from the millions of applications received annually in admissions offices at US universities.

Similarly, international high schools are constantly seeking opportunities to raise the profile of their school and thus become even more attractive to the most able students. National ranking of high schools is a good way to raise the profile of the school. In many cases this ranking is driven in part by the success of their students either in national examinations such as the Gaokao or the CSAT, or which university the students attend.

With so many international high schools, it is difficult for US universities to calibrate between them. In most instances they use national ranking data, existing pipelines of students who have been successful as students at their university or scores on international standardized tests such as the International Baccalaureate or the Advanced Placement. Unfortunately, while this information gives some guidance to the admissions officer at the US institution, it does not provide an absolute guarantee for success if accepted.

A growing number of schools and students in the US see similar issues in gaining admission to US universities. This is especially true now that an increasing number of universities no longer require the SAT as part of the admissions portfolio of a student applicant.

Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in students taking university level classes while still enrolled in high school. The courses count towards the completion of a student’s high school work as well as being able to be counted for credit at a university. These courses are called dual credit courses. This increase in dual credit coursework has been of benefit to students because they can demonstrate proficiency of university level work as part of their application. Furthermore, the completion of university level work permits the student transfer this credit to the university. This transfer of credit provides the student with an opportunity to accelerate their studies and graduate earlier than most or affords the student with the opportunity to take more classes of an advanced nature in their chosen discipline. In the case of accelerated studies, families benefit because the cost of taking classes while in high school is much less than if taken as a university student.

For international students the benefits of taking university level classes at high school are:

  • Demonstrates ability to complete university level work and increases chances of acceptance at US universities
  • Provides an opportunity to graduate in less than four years and thus save money or to take advantage of being able to take more advanced classes in their major
  • Keeps international students at home longer so that they may be better prepared for living away from home and make a better adjustment to US university life since they have already gained confidence in the academic rigor
  • Enables international schools to demonstrate their quality and student success
  • Provides opportunity for high school faculty to teach US university level classes under the guidance of a faculty member from a US university

For US universities the benefits are:

  • Ability to draw from a broader pool of potential qualified applicants
  • Being able to offer more lower level course credits and thus increase credit hour production
  • Growing the brand of the university to a broader international market
  • Developing ties to an international community that builds on the globalization effort
  • Provides opportunities for faculty members to experience international education
  • Building a more diverse alumni base


With a very broad network of international education connections, CEO can help both international schools and US universities partner to offer dual credit classes at the international school. CEO experts have a great deal of experience working with both entities and have established many relationships with schools and universities. This experience is also useful in establishing paths to success and learning from past experiences. CEO will help an international high school establish a partnership with a US university to offer dual credit classes at their school and will also help US universities to find international high schools that are interested in establishing a partnership. The cost of this initiative is quite minimal and dependent on the depth and breadth of the partnership once established.