Ramsey’s Yale success is a QE first

Year 13 pupil Ramsey Kobeissi has accepted the offer of a place at Yale – the first-ever QE boy to go to the Ivy League university.

Ramsey had initially planned to take up a place on Harvard’s Liberal Arts programme and had also received an offer from Pembroke College, Cambridge, but has turned down both in favour of the equally prestigious university in Connecticut.

“I simply found that Yale was the best ‘fit’ for me in an emotional-connection sense; I felt most at home academically and socially there,” he said. “In comparison to Harvard, I felt that undergraduate students were given more priority and attention, there was a greater sense of spirit/unity and the social scene was far better.

“I greatly look forward to being able to sample all kinds of classes in ‘shopping week’, in which students can freely drop in and out of classes to see which ones they would like to choose for the upcoming term, as well as all the extracurricular opportunities (usually free or heavily subsidised), such as weekend trips and internships in New York/Boston.

“When looking at UK universities, I was uncomfortable that I was required to apply for a subject from the very beginning, when I am undecided as to what I want to do in the future,” Ramsey explained. “The American university system involves a ‘liberal arts’ education with a wide variety of classes, and a specialisation is not selected until the second year. From then on, only half the classes taken are in the chosen field, allowing for plenty of academic exploration. Of course, there was also the adventure of studying in another continent to consider.”

Interviewed recently by QE Assistant Head David Ryan, who is Head of the Upper Sixth and of Careers, Ramsey said the US application process was not especially challenging, although time-consuming and very different to the UK system.

Asked whether Yale would cost more to attend than a UK university, Ramsey replied: “The old myths about the cost of US universities are just that. Since 2004, most top US universities have aggressively courted overseas students using financial aid packages which often bring the cost down to lower than what a student would pay in the UK. Students whose parents earn less than $60k p.a. will pay nothing, and those whose parents earn under $180k p.a. will pay 10% of their parents’ income at maximum. My education in the US will cost less than a UK education thanks to the generous financial aid I have received.”

Ramsey paid tribute to the assistance given to him by the School, which included organising a talk with Janet Irons, Harvard admissions officer for the UK and Europe. Head of Lower Sixth Liam Hargadon had been “tremendously helpful as the School’s resident expert on the US” he said, also thanking Mr Ryan and the Head of English, Susannah Sweetman. “I am extremely grateful to the Headmaster for being a mentor from start to finish and providing my ‘school counselor’ recommendation,” Ramsey concluded.