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Applying ? Read this !

flakothetacoflakothetaco Posts: 63Registered User Junior Member
edited December 2012 in Prep School Admissions
Well, if you are reading this I congratulate you on making a big mistake, being on the College Confidential forum.

I applied two years in a row (got in but never decided to go ... weird huh ?) and let me share with you some experiences insights ...

First and foremost college confidential ... I think it was the worst thing I ever found. Not only do people not have any way of "chancing" you since it is completely opinionated on their part and they basically (no offense) have no idea what they are doing, but also you always see kids that have a 5.0 GPA 500 community service hours a week, president of 25 clubs, and president of their nation, I hated reading those cuz I knew that I would definately have to wait in line behind that guy ... College confidential is/was for me at least, a waste of time, and created way more stress than needed ...

Secondly, not getting in ... it sucks, believe me, been there done that, however and even though this is easier to say than to do since ive had to go through this, don't see it as a negative ... I got in to the boarding schools I wanted, however never decided to go, because in the end it turned out that being where I was, was right, and was what I felt should be, living in some icy cold competition driven prestigious educational institution that will supposedly make you more succesful is not what is best for you afterall ...

Thirdly, getting into Princeton harvard and Yale doesn't depend on being at Andover or Exeter, if you are good enough to get into those schools, then you are probably good enough to go to harvard, regardless of where you go to highschool, acutally it would be easier to get in from a regular school a. less people apply b. if you are at exeter, the chances of someone outshining you are massive.


So don't crap your pants when March 10th rolls around (don't crap your pants any other day either) ... all it is is a school, you have to take classes just like at every other school, yes you can say you went to exeter, but I promise you that most of the millionaires and the guys that made it big out in the world didn't go to one of those schools, the school you go to doesn't make you stand out, you do that.


All I can say is good luck, applications are due in 2 months ... don't procrastinate the stupid essays (I was a big fan of doing that, stupid me) Enjoy your time applying, looking at schools ... it's a good experience, are admissions fair ? probably not ... but whatever



If you read all of this congrats first and foremost to me for making something worthy of reading, but compliments to you for reading something a tiny little insignificante kid wrote on his experiences ... Afterall, reading doesn't hurt does it ? :P
Post edited by flakothetaco on
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Replies to: Applying ? Read this !

  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Posts: 6,030Registered User Senior Member
    While blunt, there are a lot of wise insights in flakothetaco’s assessments:


    First… Not only do people not have any way of "chancing" you since it is completely opinionated on their part and they basically (no offense) have no idea what they are doing …a waste of time, and created way more stress than needed ...
    Chance threads are a waste of time. Thank goodness there is a separate “Chances” board on CC, or the main Prep School Admissions board would be cluttered with the pointless “chance me!” threads.


    Secondly, not getting in ... it sucks …don't see it as a negative ... in the end it turned out that being where I was, was right, and was what I felt should be, living in some icy cold competition driven prestigious educational institution that will supposedly make you more succesful is not what is best for you afterall ...
    Pick the school on fit, not prestige. Remember that you will actually have to live there and deal with the people there for the next 3-4 years.


    Thirdly, getting into Princeton harvard and Yale doesn't depend on being at Andover or Exeter, if you are good enough to get into those schools, then you are probably good enough to go to harvard, regardless of where you go to highschool, acutally it would be easier to get in from a regular school a. less people apply b. if you are at exeter, the chances of someone outshining you are massive.
    The elite prep schools are not automatic feeder schools for HYPMS.


    So don't crap your pants when March 10th rolls around ... all it is is a school, you have to take classes just like at every other school, yes you can say you went to exeter, but I promise you that most of the millionaires and the guys that made it big out in the world didn't go to one of those schools, the school you go to doesn't make you stand out, you do that.
    Keep your pursuit for BS admissions in perspective. Life will go on if you don’t get admitted. Most people have never heard of these schools anyway and just don’t care.


    are admissions fair ? probably not ... but whatever
    Life in general isn’t fair
  • ThisOneKidThisOneKid Posts: 193Registered User Junior Member
    This the happiest thread ever, isn't it? If there were rain clouds on the internet they'd be here.
  • opsops Posts: 810Registered User Member
    Except. about being here, it would appear you overlooked those topics that validate your conclusions as they are covered at length here on CC.
  • Sue22Sue22 Posts: 2,271Registered User Senior Member
    I'd add-

    If you're serious about attending a boarding school apply to a range of schools. Have reaches, matches and likelies on your list and don't fall so in love with any one school that you lose sight of the wonderful things about the other schools to which you've applied.

    If your backup is your local public school give it as much attention as you do the other schools on your list. Visit, talk to current students, go to a play or a football game. Check out the list of clubs and honors classes. If you play a sport find out about the tryout process. Find all the things that make your local school great so that if prep school doesn't work out you can be excited about the school you'll be attending.
  • SevenDadSevenDad Posts: 2,615Registered User Senior Member
    FWIW, I lurved [see "Annie Hall" for what I think is the first use of this term] this post. I think it's a good dose of reality for the current crop of applicants.

    I checked the board this AM after a weekend away to see another crop of "Chance me for Exoverhotchtonfield" posts and just shook my head.

    To pick just a few recent "apply to" lists posted in the "Chance Me" sub-forum:
    - Andover, Exeter, Choate, Hotchkiss, Deerfield
    - Andover, Exeter, Deerfield, Groton, Middlesex, Concord, Choate, Taft, Hotchkiss, Cate, Milton, Lawrenceville, and St. Paul's (bonus points for Taft and Cate, which while still very selective, indicate a willingness to look beyond the "usual suspects")

    Let me repeat this again: Your chances at the most selective schools are, to use flako's language, crap.

    When a school admits 20% or less of applicants, a great number of whom are either the country's brightest middle schoolers or full pays or both, your chances (especially if you do not fall into one of these categories) are not good. They are not 50-50. They are 20-80 or worse. If you are an Asian girl who needs FA, your admit rate may be in the single digits.

    If you are a URM (under represented minority: Hispanic, African-American, Native American) your chances are better, but you still need to be able to demonstrate that you will thrive at the school.

    Notice how it's mostly parents with kids already in BS who are commenting/validating parts of flako's post here. People who have been through this before. Do not take that lightly.

    And Happy Thanksgiving. ;-)
  • 2kidsnoanswers2kidsnoanswers Posts: 555Registered User Member
    Yes, some points here that need to be repeated and repeated, because they are the truth.

    The posters here do not mean to be 'rain clouds'. My son is actually thriving and very happy at boarding school. He works hard, gets enough sleep, and has a great bunch of friends. It is very balanced and yes, the teachers do inspire and yes, the faculty does care and get to know each kid. He is now at home for Thanksgiving break and quoting Hamlet just for the joy of sharing it with me. For him, his boarding school was the right choice...as he says, the teachers make learning fun..which is something he NEVER would have said about our day school option. BTW, he is at one of the 'hidden gems'. For him, the chotchexfieldovers schools would not have been the right fit.

    However, I can see that the wrong choice (meaning a poor fit) would have led to a far different result. With child #2, she may not go to boarding school at all. If I've learned anything at all, it is that each kid is different and so the best choice is going to be different when it comes to high school. For some, that might mean homeschooling or whatever road the family decides to travel.

    And be prepared for all sorts of curves in the road. As a mom who was one of those public school kids who didn't even know boarding schools existed (nor would I have cared), I didn't think we'd travel this road with #1, but here we are.

    I'm not worried about college...I know plenty of HYP grads working for bosses who went to colleges that chotchexfieldovers kids probably don't even consider. Don't feel that you 'must' attend this or that high school or college...it just isn't true. At the end of the day, it is the stuff the person is made of that makes the difference in life.

    If you are really, really set on attending boarding school, first ask why, and see if you have any local alternatives. Second, look at the hidden gems - many are called gems for a reason.
  • WillemSWillemS Posts: 82Registered User Junior Member
    This is totally accurate! I'm a freshman in BS right now, and I have to admit that during application season last year, I too was caught up in the whole HADES, Elite school thing. I ended up going to an amazing, yet lesser-known school (it was a matter of FA. Otherwise I doubtless would have been at L'ville or Taft). Yet I am so happy that I didn't get my way, and that I am at a school that allows me to be ME. I know now that I wouldn't have been as happy at a school where everyone is put into a cookie cutter and shipped off to college. I am allowed to be me at my school, and being you is going to count a lot more to college AO's than being yet another kid from exeter on the math team, or science club, or whatever. College officers want individuality, NOT a bunch of the same.
  • PEA2016PEA2016 Posts: 18Registered User New Member
    This is the truth, but only kind of. I'm an Exeter kid who loves history. I had to write a time capsule for a project in English, and I "told the future me" if I went to Harvard, Yale or Princeton, I would "literally get in a time machine and smack you upside the head...repeatedly." You see, the common misconception about Exeter is that everyone's a math/science guy who wants to go to Harvard/Yale/Princeton. I have no interest in that, I AM individual, however @WillemS is right in the fact that being in a less-known, I'm assuming smaller school increases your individuality. Don't think if you don't get into a HADES school it's the end of the world, find the school for you, even if it's not well-known or prestigeous, it's yours.
  • WillemSWillemS Posts: 82Registered User Junior Member
    @PEA2016 you are totally right! I don't think that every exeter/andover etc. kid is math/science nerd, but from the more "elite" schools that I visited, I always felt this sense of conformity, as if everyone was being molded, and I really didn't like that. Obviously, exeter and the like are going to have some brilliant students, and I applaud you for being different and being yourself! It's just that many students and (more importantly) parents view those schools as stepping stones to the ivy league, and that is not accurate! Boarding school is an experience in itself, and one that should be treasured for what it is, not just where it MIGHT lead you too. I've seen too many kids pushed into BS because of a desire to go to Harvard, and the BS experience is just not right for them. BTW, I'm at NMH. While it's not a small school, it is a bit off the beaten track of what most prep schools are like, and I really appreciate it.
  • PEA2016PEA2016 Posts: 18Registered User New Member
    @WillemS Agreed. While at Exeter there are many kids that are different from the stereotypical Exeter kid, there are even more that ARE the kid. In Math and Science especially, I've noticed that they seem to expect you to absolutely LOVE those subjects. For instance I've noticed I'll get bad grades on a test because I will get the answer right but I don't take 10 steps to solve the problem! However in the real world we want to find answers easier, and if you can do it, then you should be applauded, not punished! That being said, Harkness works best with English and History, and that's really what drew me. And yes, everyone here wants to go to an Ivy, which bugs me. Apparently a couple years ago, Stanford accepted 30 Exeter kids and only 4 went. That bugs me because Stanford is one of my top college hopefuls. The problem is that everyone here has been taught to go to MIT, Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, and although they're all great colleges, they're not far and away better than any other college. And I've heard really good things about NMH, btw.
  • WillemSWillemS Posts: 82Registered User Junior Member
    I really love how at NMH we aren't encouraged to take the ivy route. Some of the brightest and best seniors at NMH that I know may be applying to some ivies, but they aren't the first choice for most. The majority of students go to smaller, quirkier universities and liberal arts colleges, which is something that I really like. I have found no stereotypical "preps" here. Good luck at Exeter!
  • 2kidsnoanswers2kidsnoanswers Posts: 555Registered User Member
    PEA and Willem, you both sound like great kids! I am glad that both of you are thriving where you are and have the courage and self-knowledge to think for yourself rather than unquestioningly following the crowd.
  • WillemSWillemS Posts: 82Registered User Junior Member
    thanks @2kids! That's really nice of you to say!
  • PaolalemanPaolaleman Posts: 9Registered User New Member
    Thank you to all of you, this post really helped me; because I am under so much pressure and also I am sad because I recently got the scores of the first and last time I took the sat, 1300 extremely low, and my dream is to attend Stanford almost like everybody. Some people said that is something more than impossible or me, first of all because I have one year living in the USA, second I am Mexican. However thank you to those who are saying that I will not get in, they might be jealous because I AMA in the top 10% of the class and the most important I have great experiences in so many things that they cannot imagine. And thank you to this post that make me realize that I will not lose something if a apply to the universities I want, because maybe one will accept me the way I am. Is not like I will die because Stanford rejected my application, I still have a chance to build my future with or without studying in a good university.
  • 2kidsnoanswers2kidsnoanswers Posts: 555Registered User Member
    @Paolaleman, thanks for posting...knowing this thread made a difference to even one person made our collective time worth it. I hope you do apply to the colleges you want, but I also hope you find some you like that are reaches, matches, and safeties. There are so many great colleges - surely you've taken a look at resources like Colleges that Change Lives? It helps take the pressure off.

    Some kids at the selective university I attended started out at community college, transferred as juniors, and got the same degree as those of us starting as freshmen. You really couldn't tell the difference.

    I still agonize over one kid who cut herself because she did not get into a certain college (!!!) -no, not HYPMS, but a selective one just the same. I also agonize over the needless pain of another who applied to only ONE college...an ivy, no less....and did not get in, and then had nowhere to go. I hope kids read this post and don't box themselves in with tunnel vision or set themselves up for this kind of agony.

    Paola, you have an interesting background, and I am quite sure there are colleges out there that will appreciate it. If a particular college doesn't, well, it may well be a gift because if they don't value what you have to offer, then it's not the right place for you to grow and flourish. I admit it is often hard to see that until much later. Stay positive, be open-minded, and realize that there are many roads to success.

    And thanks to Flako for starting a great thread.
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