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    Year on year the success of Merchiston pupils applying to and receiving offers from top universities is impressive: 2020 is no exception. 

    An A* star achievement and our many congratulations extend to Upper Sixth Form pupil, Rory W, who has secured a place to study Liberal Arts at New York University (NYU). From an applicant pool of 85,000, Rory is one of only 15,000 students to be accepted by this world-leading university. Rory's Merchiston journey stretches from the age of 7 when he joined Merchiston Juniors, and the building blocks for success were laid, through to Upper Sixth where he has achieved the highest possible academic standards. 

    "Bucking trends among many major universities, NYU had more applicants and a lower acceptance rate than last year. After evaluating more than 85,000 admissions applications for its campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai (an increase of more than 1,000 applicants over last year), NYU has as of today notified approximately 13,000 prospective students of their acceptance to NYU's Class of 2024 at its New York campus for an accept rate of 15% - a record for NYU." NYU.ED

    Rory's parents commented: "Rory is hugely indebted to all the staff at Merchiston who have helped him realise this success since he began his Merchiston journey in 2009! We are incredibly proud of his achievement and whilst we are sorry that our time as parents has come to a rather abrupt end we cannot talk highly enough of the outstanding education, support and guidance that Rory has been given and made him into the young man he is today."

    Rory added, "After visiting several universities in New York, I decided that NYU was where I wanted to go. Prior to these visits, I had taken SATs; however, NYU also make offers based on GCSE results and predicted A Level grades.  The application was online and also involved two essays and references from School. Mr Rowlands and Mr Campbell were a big help in the application process; thank you." 

    "NYU is in the middle of the 99th percentile of USA universities, which makes it comfortably one of the most competitive for entry in the world. Rory has developed and exhibited outstanding academic calibre throughout his many years at Merchiston, during which he achieved a clean sweep of A*/A grades at I/GCSE in 2018. His application to NYU is one of the strongest academic applications I have seen and it was extremely pleasing to hear news of his successful Early Decision application. He is a true polymath and is ideally suited to the Liberal Arts style of degree on offer at NYU. We wish him well as he embarks on this exciting next phase." Stephen Campbell Deputy Head (Academic)

    "Rory is a student of the highest calibre. He is a true polymath and his broad-ranging ability in Mandarin, Biology and English (as well as Maths and Modern Languages) makes him an ideal candidate for a Liberal Arts course. When he decided to pursue an application to NYU, he was informed that the acceptance rate could be anything up to 40%. Little could he know that this would turn out to be just 15% and that he would have to beat off some extremely stiff competition for a place. Undeterred, he went through with his application and received an early Christmas present when, in mid-December, having elected to take an 'early decision', he was awarded a place. This sat alongside offers from a number of very prestigious UK institutions, including KCL, and it is hugely to Rory's credit that he has been able to secure interest and offers from such a number of extremely reputable universities. We wish Rory all the very best and hope that he is able to travel to take up his place in New York this summer." Danny Rowlands Housemaster, Laidlaw North and Head of Outdoor Education

    "Rory worked hard over a period of months to develop his confidence with the SAT work and to maximise his scores. While a large amount of the material required for the Maths sections of the SAT is familiar to boys who achieved a strong grade at IGCSE Maths, the style of question is very different; practising how to approach this is vital for success. Another significant factor is learning how to manage the time pressure under which each section is completed, and developing the focus required to complete what, for many students, is the longest exam they will ever sit. It is always a pleasure to work with boys who have taken on this different kind of academic challenge and to see the opportunities it opens up for them. I was delighted to hear of Rory's acceptance by NYU and wish him every success with his future studies." Naomi Steen, Teacher of Mathematics

    Looking back , we can listen to Rory's early interest in the academic side of Merchiston life in a flashback clip from Rory's First Form year (Primary 6) at Merchiston Juniors.   

    We wish Rory all the best as a young student prepared and ready for the future ahead. 


    Rory W Smiling Headshot taken in Merchiston Juniors J4 in 2009
    Rory W with Headmaster Jonathan Anderson - Headshots smiling at camera
    Rory W at the 2017 Merchiston Prizegiving holding certificate wearing traditional kilt outfit in Memorial Hall
    Tracey Gray