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Starting boarding school in 10th grade v. 9th grade

lexie101816lexie101816 Posts: 94Registered User Junior Member
edited April 2011 in Prep School Admissions
I was wondering what the differences were between starting at boarding school in 9th grade and 10th grade. Is it harder to get into boarding school when applying for 10th than 9th? Is it harder to fit in? Please answer!
Post edited by lexie101816 on

Replies to: Starting boarding school in 10th grade v. 9th grade

  • SamanthaWasHereSamanthaWasHere Posts: 171Registered User Junior Member
    I personally entered as a 10th grader, and I don't think it's harder to get in. In some cases it may be easier because there are less people applying for the possition (also less spots available so that evens itself out). It's a bit more challenging to adjust to the acadmics. Freshman have the chance the ease into everything, where as new sophomores just are thrown into it.

    Also socially it's a bit harder, because the other students in your grade had a chance to become friends before, so it's a bit harder to "fit in" but it all works out.
  • MDMomofTwoMDMomofTwo Posts: 200Registered User Junior Member
    I think you will be welcomed by your peers at any grade. Your biggest issue is numbers of places at each grade. Some schools have decent numbers of places in the 10 th grade- whereas most have way LESS places available at the 10 th grade level compared to 9th. This makes admission inherently more difficult. Also if you fail to get in to your choice schools in 9th grade, you can apply again in 10th, and learn from any mistakes. Just food for thought
  • Linda SLinda S Posts: 1,570Registered User Senior Member
    For my son (and also daughter) we asked specifically how many 10th graders they add. Not for how hard/easy to get in, but for the social aspect of it. Many (most actually) "reserve" 30-50% of their overall spots in the class to be added in 10th grade.
    I disagree with MDMomofTwo on the admissions difficulty, every school we talked to said the admissions % is virtually the same in 9th and 10th grades - there may be fewer spots, but there are fewer applicants. The only thing that throws a monkey wrench in that is when there is an odd yeild year like the Deerfield 9th grade girls a few years ago.

    There will be lots of new 10th graders and you will be living with new and returning students, and if you do a sport you will get to know those kids too.

    That said, I think what Samatha said is true, 9th graders get some "easing" in. They sometimes get specific classes about study skills, time management, etc. And athletically there is an advantage to competing at the higher level for a year. I know one athletic student who entered a "top" school as a 10th grader who felt like they were playing catch up athletically for the first year. But that's not everyone. I know others who have gone in seemlessly.
  • DiveAliveDiveAlive Posts: 1,734Registered User Senior Member
    "Is it harder to get into boarding school when applying for 10th than 9th?"

    as MDmom pointed out, it totally depends on the number of applicants applying for the number of spots... sometimes (i'd guess, usually) the admissions % stays roughly the same, but at some schools (ie, thacher) they take far fewer sophomores -- thacher takes around 7-10 a year.
    it's a different case for each school.

    if you're going to deerfield though, i think that deerfield accepts a reasonable number of new sophomores, so you won't be alone in that boat. academically, i'm sure it's harder to adjust, as well as socially, but as long as you don't stay cooped up in your dormroom waiting for people to come to you, i'm sure you'll make friends -- be proactive.

    best of luck!
  • ExieMITAlumExieMITAlum Posts: 2,367. Senior Member
    I started in 10th grade, so did my daughter. The only difficulty she faced was brief - 2/3rds of the class started the year before and therefore friendships were established. But then she realized 1/3 of her class were on campus as "new admits" After a few weeks, she got the feel of campus life, found "running buddies" and it was like she'd been there all along. Having a roommate who is also new eases the transition a lot.
  • teddy100teddy100 Posts: 84Registered User Junior Member
    Yeah, I'm really worried about the social aspect of joining as a sophomore. That's why I didn't apply to schools like Groton (they also have an 8th grade). People have already made friends and everyone... My brother said that at a school with lots of incoming 10th graders, you just hang out with the other incoming 10th graders, and eventually you blend in with the other groups. Any thoughts or advice?
  • lexie101816lexie101816 Posts: 94Registered User Junior Member
    Im guessing sports helps ease the transition between the new 10th graders and those who had been there the previous year. A fall sport would be best.
  • ExieMITAlumExieMITAlum Posts: 2,367. Senior Member
    @teddy - it really doesn't matter. If that were a major problem there wouldn't be student applying for 11th grade, senior year, PG year, etc.

    My husband said that when he and my daughter went to revisit day freshman girls saw the "class year" on her badge and said "Hey, you're going to be one of us" and whisked her away.

    It's not any harder than starting any school where students are established. I say find the school that steals your heart and go for it!
  • lexie101816lexie101816 Posts: 94Registered User Junior Member
    @ExieMITAlum - Your daughter sounds like she had a really good experience at revisit days!
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