University Placement

the university placement​

As part of the LALA programs, the University Placement (UP) is a 12-month virtual initiative that offers free support for socially vulnerable, academically brilliant students engaged in social impact activities to apply for degree programs at US universities.

Applications are now closed. Click below to suscribe to the LALista, where you'll receive the latest updates of our selection process and informative events.

We seek a diverse group of students with different backgrounds and academic interests. The University Placement does not have any restrictions on academic choice. We have welcomed students who will study Business & Management, Communications & Journalism, Education, Engineering, Fine & Applied Arts, Humanities, Math & Computer Science, Physical & Life Sciences, Social Sciences, and much more!

At University Placement, your interests and who you are are celebrated!

Tai Barroso

Mentor 2023

Being a mentor at LALA has given me a challenge and a great responsibility, not only towards my mentee, but also towards myself, my methods and my tools. Exercising the practice of internal acceptance, in order to be able to listen to and embrace others, is not trivial and I believe that it has contributed, as a practice, to improving my communication and leadership skills. I learned to be a better leader with my LALíder.

Wallyson Silva


The program is certainly an opportunity that everyone should take part in and experience at least once in their lives. With the help of the mentorships, I have seen a significant improvement in my life, and I believe that many young people also need this change. With the support of my mentors, I was able to get accepted into a Harvard International Relations program, the Soul Bilingual community and some internships.

Hannid Batista


Mentorship is one of the exercises that teaches you the most and gives you emotional support in times of transition or the beginning of new stages in life, which is a constant occurrence at this age. LALA’s Mentorship Program allows you to find information to solve the difficult technical questions you may encounter when making decisions. And at the same time, you can enjoy the process of building an interpersonal relationship full of support, vulnerability and mutual motivation that lasts beyond the months of the program and helps you continue with clarity towards your goals and the person you want to be.

Estela Naula

Junior Manager for Admissions

I come from a small town in Lichinga, Mozambique (Southern Africa), where young people need opportunities to join communities like LALA but can’t due to lack of access. Being at LALA allows me to support young people in raising funds so they can pursue their dreams. That way, I am helping young Estelinha, who didn’t have the same support. If you are looking for a community that, regardless of your background, is there to hug you, join our community. At LALA, we celebrate your essence, support your dreams, and ensure you achieve your highest potential in your personal, professional, and academic journey. Join LALA, and you are not alone.

Bianca Bearare

UP 2023 | Biomedical Engineering

In the University Placement, I found more than excellent technical support for my application process, including help with translating materials, feedback on my essays, and assistance with my financial documentation. Additionally, I discovered a team committed to supporting my mental health throughout the process. I made amazing friends and felt part of a community.

Alexandra Nicole Alata

UP 2023 | Psychology & Government

The University Placement has been a truly transformative experience. It has inspired me to embrace my personal story with courage and determination to improve the mental health of the Peruvian youth. I am confidently pursuing my dream of studying in the United States, thanks to the unconditional guidance of my UP advisors, together with the emotional support of my peers.

Gabriela Luana

UP 2023 | Political Science/Public Policy & Education

From the mentoring that helps with the organization and preparation of materials, the financial aid offered, and the recommendations for courses and extracurriculars that enable me to continue developing my profile to the community engagement meetings, the UP program has been a real support network that allows me to feel more confident and happy during the process. As a public school student who only sometimes had access to the best educational opportunities, I saw how much they value the particularities and power of each person to work on our points of improvement to achieve the dream approval.

Julieta Lopez

UP 2023 | International Relations & Political Science

The University Placement has transformed my life. Thanks to the support I have received from this program and the team, I have been able to advance my knowledge of my strengths and my determination, which has given me a position of self-confidence to be able to trust my story and how I can share it to the world and through college applications. It has transformed my life by teaching me an inside perspective of what this process is all about so that I could find the colleges that best align with me and my goals, mapping out each of the steps to get there.

Alice Araujo

UP 2023 | Computer Science & Computer Engineering

Being a part of the University Placement was one of the most life-changing opportunities of my journey. With this inspiring community, I could do nothing less than my best despite my economic background and all the problems I had to solve during my application process. Thank you for all the funny and smartie moments, UP!

Cauã Victor Melo

UP 2023 | Economics & Computer Science

The University Placement transformed my life by offering me a sense of inclusion and belonging within a supportive community of brilliant young Latin American leaders. The weekly meetings, comments on essays, and support with documentation are essential to making the college application process more feasible. I am genuinely thrilled to continue growing with lifelong peers I have met through the program.

João Lucas Silva

UP 2023 | Political Science & Computer Science

When I joined the University Placement, I found an engaged community, a family united by unique values and destinies, and, coincidentally, connected. By meeting people like this, we understand that applying to universities abroad goes beyond detailing our story, connecting with those like us during the application, and looking for individuals passionate about social impact, transformation, and breaking new ground.

Gustavo Serra

UP 2023 | Biochemistry & Molecular and Cellular Biology

The University Placement was a game-changer in my life, as it allowed me to fulfill a long-held dream: to study and do research in the USA. The available resources gave me access to tools that seemed like a distant reality. The highly qualified staff helped with all parts of the application, and the connections made during the program created powerful bonds.

Enio Barbosa

UP 2023 | Computer Science & Education

The University Placement undoubtedly helped me a lot during the application process. I had the opportunity to meet brilliant young people from all over Latin America, who became great friends during this journey, as well as having access to incredible materials and super interesting info sessions. But the main thing that really impacted me was the individual mentoring support, which goes beyond the technical part of the application and allows us to be vulnerable and have the support to express ourselves interpersonally to build a solid narrative.

Ana Clara Abreu

UP 2023 | Women’s and Gender Studies & Communication

As a student, I have seen firsthand how the University Placement can transform lives. The students come from a variety of backgrounds, and, including me, many of them have faced significant challenges that brought a lot of discouragement when it comes to pursuing a higher education. However, the program has filled me with hope and possibility.

Maria Eduarda Oliveira

UP 2023 | Business & Political Science

Community, support, and love. In the University Placement program, I was able to experience every aspect of this. In this difficult time of application, with many challenges, especially mental ones, I received incredible support from the program and from the friends I made. University Placement offers exceptional support! I feel like my potential has been explored, and I feel like stepping out of my comfort zone to achieve my dreams.

Isac Lima

UP 2023 | Political Science & Economics

The University Placement has changed my life in many ways, especially when it comes to the application. I was able to develop many skills and also self-knowledge through mentoring. Receiving this community’s support was crucial for me to do well on this arduous journey.

Noel Vicente Neto

UP 2023 | Political Science & Education

I believe that I have been completely transformed by how University Placement (UP) brings with it, in such a vivid way, LALA’s atmosphere of love and welcome. Although the application process is extremely challenging, causing me, as an applicant, to be challenged at every turn – whether it’s to take big academic steps that I’ve never taken before or to look inside myself in a highly profound way that I would never have thought to see back – all this tension is broken by the contagious lightness of the mentees and staff members.

Lívia Paiva

UP 2023 | Neuroscience & Symbolic Systems

In the University Placement, I found a community that supports and lifts each other. My journey with them has been truly transformative, not only in the application process but in terms of self-development and guidance.

Davi de Jesus

UP 2023 | Computer Science & Linguistics

The University Placement has been a fantastic experience in my life. It has allowed me to deepen my understanding of myself and learn how to express it best. Through the classes and meetings, I have become much more aware of my profile and how to showcase my values and proposition in the college application system. I felt welcomed and belonged in this incredible community and would not change being part of it for anything.

Cristofer da Silva

UP 2023 | Computer Science & Business Administration

From following detailed schedules to creating college lists adapted to my profile, LALA UP made me create extraordinary strategic thinking that I didn’t have. I also learned the process of creating essays, such as brainstorming, drafting, and refining. Finally, at LALA UP, I gained several insights about applications that I can’t find on the internet. Connections with admission officers through webinars provide us with up-to-date information about how the holistic process works at each college.


how do we work?

To ensure that students are in a position to apply to universities in the United States and around the world, we offer one-to-one support with U.S. university application specialists and benefits.


We organize the translation process of all required documentation and give support to schools and parents to understand what documentation is required and how it should be submitted.

unique value proposition

We help students better understand their life journey to intentionally and objectively share their trajectory with their peers and the colleges they are applying to.

application process steps

We meet weekly with the group to discuss each step and element of the application process to international universities, with a focus on undergraduate programs in U.S. colleges and universities.

community engagement day

We meet once or twice a month to foster group cohesion and care through Community Engagement Days, which are sessions focused on wellbeing, interconnectedness, and different games.

connections with higher education institutions

We connect our students with HEI representatives and current college students to learn from them about the colleges and universities they are applying to.

financial aid

We give financial support to cover the costs of the application process, such as individualized advising sessions, standardized tests (if applicable), documentation translation, and other fees.

Compliance with the rules. We ensure compliance with the rules on sending school documentation by directly supporting the schools so that the letters of recommendation are organized without interference and access by the students, guaranteeing the integrity of the recommendations.

Authorial Writing Process. We provide individual and group moments of self-reflection that lead to the writing of all the texts in the university application process. In this process, we accompany our students at every step of the writing process to ensure that the texts are the result of a unique, authorial process.

Student-centric approach. We put the student at the center of our practice, valuing ethical integrity in the university application process, and we work driven by the truth, confirming the veracity of our students' information.

selection process

Through a rigorous selection process that includes candidates from all over Latin America, we open our selection process every year. In the process, we verify personal, academic and financial profile information through selection forms and official documentation. The selection process consists of two stages: 1) an application form with supporting documentation, and 2) an interview.

Application: Through an online application form, you have to submit personal, academic, and financial information, as well as two essays. In the form, you will find specific instructions to be followed. We highly recommend you start early as the application form is lengthy and requires lots of detailed information.

Interview: If you are approved to move to the next round, we will interview you. In this phase, we focus on understanding more about your academic background, your involvement in extracurricular activities, and any other specific circumstances that you might have mentioned in your application. This is also a moment for you to ask questions about the program, so come prepared!

Decision: Decisions are made considering phases 1 and 2, with a cumulative scoring system. We can either deny, accept, or waitlist your application. Decisions are final, and we do not provide individual feedback on our decisions.

From February 26th to April 15th
first phase result
On April 29th
From April 30rd to May 10th
final result
On May 15th

students' profile

  • They are between 16 and 20 years old;
  • They demonstrate an interest in social impact (local, regional, national, or global) and social engagement, as well as a proven financial need to cover the costs of the application process to American universities;
  • They have a sufficient level of English to communicate and adapt in academic, professional, and personal contexts;
  • They are in their third year of secondary school (or fourth year of technical school, if applicable), or on a gap year, with competitive school averages;
  • They are currently engaged in social impact activities related to their undergraduate interest;
  • They are not enrolled at any university in their country or internationally.


Selected Brazilian students, who fit the profile we are looking for, have a proven interest in computing, and intend to study Computer Science, or areas related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), will be supported by Behring Foundation and Telles Foundation, which are supporting Brazilian students who want to innovate in the field of computing in Brazil! The other selected students will be supported by LALA.

university placement
in numbers


Of the current 2023/24 cohort are first-generation students


Are low-income students


Of students declared themselves non-white


Acceptances in prestigious universities, with scholarships


Countries are represented in our cohort: Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru


U.S. dollars offered in scholarships for the 2022 cohort

university placement team

During the selection process, candidates can contact the University Placement team via email at for any questions they may have.

marco machado

Manager of University Placement
[email protected]

lúcio oliveira

Alumni Staff for University Placement
[email protected]


No, the University Placement is a free-of-cost program!

LALíderes from any country who wish to apply to U.S. universities, and fit our selection requirements. For Brazilian students, we open the application process to any student, LALíder or not, that fits our selection requirements.

Because currently the University Placement has partnerships with Brazilian organizations that are supporting our Brazilian students.

If you fit the requirements, and is a Brazilian student that is not a LALíder, when accepted, you will be required to participate in the Virtual Leadership Camps. LALA’s Camps are mandatory to become part of the LALA Community.

No, you cannot be part of other application mentorship programs unless otherwise stated by the University Placement management.

Yes, you can, as long as you are within the age limit of 20 by December 31, 2024.

No, there is not. We accept applications from students with a great range of interests! We want a diverse group of students with varied interests! However, be mindful that if you intend to study Medicine, Law, Nursing and other Professional Degrees, in the U.S. you can only do that after completing your undergraduate degree.

We assess each applicant according to their social context, taking into account where they live, the total household income, financial documentation, and any special circumstances that affect their financial situation.

The application form must be filled out entirely in English with personal, academic, extracurricular activities, and financial profile information, and academic documents (most current academic transcripts) must be attached. At this stage, our team evaluates the candidates and those who fit the profile suitable for the program goals go on to interviews.

Candidates who move on to the second stage receive an email to schedule their interviews, which are carried out virtually and in English. During the interview, details about the candidate’s profile that could not be clarified by the application form are clarified, in addition to examining any necessary particularities, such as the ability to communicate in English, the candidate’s financial and academic profile, details of engagement in extracurricular activities, etc.