UGS selects high-potential young leaders — sharp yet humble shapers of their communities. Our previous finalists included international Olympiad winners, world-class athletes, student activists, and many others.
UGS accepts 5-7% of all applicants. Admission decisions are based on candidates’ academic, merit, socio-emotional skills, extracurricular achievements and family income. Strong GPA and English fluency are fundamental prerequisites. We also consider a track record of contributions to local, school, and other communities. UGS supports applicants from modest backgrounds only, typically with the gross annual income of less than $35K. The three-stage screening process includes detailed application & essays, online English and Math assessments as well as 1-3 online admission interviews.
Typical student profile
Over the years, UGS scholars included winners of All-Ukrainian and International Olympiads, professional athletes, accomplished musicians, internationally recognized artists, etc. However, many of our most successful scholars attended small rural schools and didn’t have long lists of accolades. On the high level, we welcome applicants from modest backgrounds with strong grades and English fluency. We also consider academic (e.g., Olympiads, research) and extracurricular (e.g., in music, sports, etc.) achievements.
More importantly, we seek students with a strong passion in one or several fields and a track record of measurable impact. For example, an ideal candidate would be someone passionate about writing who has published his/her own works; or someone interested in entrepreneurship who has launched his/her own startup; or someone keen on robotics who has built his/her own robots. In other words, we celebrate action and tangible results. A track record of contributions to local communities and willingness to return to Ukraine are paramount. Culturally, we hope to build a community of mature, humble, high-energy, and selfless young leaders who are willing to come back to Ukraine.
Students meeting the following criteria can apply to our program:
UGS online application opens every year on January 24th, 00:01 and closes on March 31st, 23:59 Kyiv time. We don’t accept applications submitted after the deadline. We strongly encourage all applicants to start working on their applications at least 2-3 weeks prior to the submission deadline or even earlier.
First selection stage
What we request: We ask all applicants to submit an online application consisting of biographical information, school transcripts, several long and short essays, and any additional supporting documents (e.g., portfolios).
What we hope to see: In terms of structure, we hope to see well-written responses in the English language, without typos and using sound grammar. In terms of content, we hope to see deep and mature self-reflections on your academic/extracurricular successes/failures. We are less excited about quotes from famous writers and generous use of adjectives; instead, we love reading strong and coherent prose describing your interests and worldviews.
Second selection stage
What we request: We ask those applicants who advance to the 2nd stage to take online English and Math tests. These resemble SAT and TOEFL questions and test the applicant’s ability to comprehend complex texts in English and solve high-school-level Math problems in English. To prepare, we encourage applicants to take practice SAT and TOEFL tests (available online for free).
What we hope to see: We hope to see high proficiency in understanding English texts and solving Math problems relative to other UGS applicants. Top 25% of highest scoring applicants typically advance to the 3rd stage.
Third selection stage
What we request: We ask all semi-finalists to participate in two-three 30-minute admission interviews over Zoom/Skype with members of the Admissions team.
What we hope to see: We hope to hear honest and impromptu responses to basic questions about your background, passions, and key global events. On the high-level, we test your speaking skills and ability to articulate your thoughts in English. On the deeper level, we are excited about your thoughtful reflections on current political, social, economic issues (i.e., front page of the New York Times), your plans for the future, contributions to your school and local communities, and how you will ultimately impact Ukraine and the world.
Tips for future applicants
Please review a quick assessment done by UGS volunteers of typical applicant profiles we see. Hope this information will help you prepare better written applications and avoid some common pitfalls. Available here.
Our application form opens on January 24th, 00:01 and closes on March 31st, 23:59 Kyiv time. The link to the form will appear here.