Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

Academics in Boarding Schools

NewAngelNewAngel Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
edited December 2013 in Prep School Cafe
Hi everyone,
I am about to apply for a boarding school. I heard that Andover and Exter are the best ones, but I had a really good feeling about Choate. Are the academics in these schools about the same level? And if not, should I rather go to the school with the better academics (I am very ambitious) or go to Choate even if the academcs might be worse?
Thanks for helping me!
NewAngel
Post edited by NewAngel on
«13

Replies to: Academics in Boarding Schools

  • stargirl3stargirl3 Registered User Posts: 3,363 Senior Member
    Andover and Exeter are like the Ivy League of boarding schools.

    Do you know what the Ivy League actually is? It's an athletic league. My point is that they might be the most well-known, but there are many other schools that are just as rigorous.

    Andover and Exeter are two premier boarding schools, and so is Choate. So is Groton. And Deerfield, St. Paul's, Cate, St. Andrew's (DE), and lots more.
  • PelicanDadPelicanDad Registered User Posts: 536 Member
    Rigor comes as much from your own will as it does from the environment. All of the top 20-30 boarding schools have suitable rigor if you are suitably motivated. Andover and Exeter are great schools and BIG schools. Some types of kids will excel better at a St. Paul's or at a Taft, just as some will knock it out better at Amherst or Davidson over Harvard or Stanford.
  • hotchkisshopeshotchkisshopes Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    Once you get to the top 10 schools, there is no significant difference in academics. You cannot say that one or two schools are the best because it comes down to the person. Plus, education is what YOU make of it.
  • AlbionAlbion Registered User Posts: 272 Junior Member
    I'm with PelicanDad on this one--any of the top 20+ schools could help you earn an excellent education. No one on this board can even agree on a top 10! Just look at some schools that have not been name-checked yet: Lawrenceville, Milton, Hotchkiss, Middlesex, Thacher... People seem to love to argue about who is better to boost their self-esteem, but honestly, anyone who is lucky enough to be able to consider any of these top 20+ schools has an opportunity that many deserving kids will never get. Being +1 or -2 is insignificant.

    As you research more and learn more about boarding schools, you're also going to realize that you may or may not ever be in a position to ask "should I go here or go here?" Even kids with perfect grades and top scores get rejected. It's very competitive, and schools are looking for more than just stats. Good luck in your search.
  • NewAngelNewAngel Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Thanks to everybody! I feel better now.
    My problem is just that I can´t visit most of the schools because I´m an international student.
    @Albion: Yes I know it´s very hard to get in one of these schools, espicially because I will need some Financial Aid :(. But I have some hope because now, I´m in the summer program from Choate and a teacher told me that I have some chances to get admitted.
  • ThisOneKidThisOneKid Registered User Posts: 264 Junior Member
    Go to the websites if you can't visit all of them. Visit the (pardon the arbitrary acronyms) HADES and GLADCHEMMS schools' websites,+ here's a short list I made of great schools outside these a few months back; http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/prep-school-admissions/1130908-hidden-gems-lesser-known-prep-schools-18.html
  • Andover2015Andover2015 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    Andover and Exeter students believe that their two schools are the most rigorous academically. Granted, their opinions may be more than a little bit biased. Really, any of the top boarding schools probably have comparable academics
  • prepschoolpleaseprepschoolplease Registered User Posts: 174 Junior Member
    This is what you said if analogize this in college terms: I heard Stanford and MIT are the best ones, but I have a good feeling about Yale. Are the academics in these schools about the same level? And if not, should I rather go to the school with the better academics (I am very ambitious) or go to Yale even if the academics might be worse?

    I understand that you had good intentions while making this thread, but keep in mind that there are other schools of equal caliber to Exeter and Andover that exist, some more well known than others.
  • strangeusernamestrangeusername Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    Andover and Exeter are probably the best known among kids, just as Harvard is better known than MIT among kids. But University Admissions people know a lot more. Any of the top 20 prep-schools will be more than sufficient academically... but only if you apply yourself and do well. A student must also decide if they want to be one of 1200 students in the school, or one of 300 students in the school. What sports, arts, extra curricular? What kind of campus? What kind of Culture? How convenient will it be for you to go home on long weekends, or for your parents to visit? These are important questions that have nothing to do with name ID of schools.
  • agentwoodagentwood Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    Strangeusername brought up a good point. Both Andover and Exeter have more than 1000 students and the larger size isn't for everyone. It depends if you want more of an intimate atmosphere or a school that feels more like a small college. There are a number of smaller BS that have excellent academics.
  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    I am about to apply for a boarding school. I heard that Andover and Exter are the best ones, but I had a really good feeling about Choate. Are the academics in these schools about the same level? And if not, should I rather go to the school with the better academics (I am very ambitious) or go to Choate even if the academcs might be worse?
    To be 'willing' to go to Choate even though it has 'worse' academics is like saying I'm willing for my parents to give me a Lambourghini for Christmas even though it isn't as nice as a Ferrari...
  • strangeusernamestrangeusername Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    For college admission purposes, I would far rather be in the top-10% in a smaller top school like Gorton or St. Andrew's, than a top-40% student at a larger school like Andover or Exeter. So you need to do an honest assessment of yourself, your goals, and what best fits your personality, capabilities and objective.
  • patronyorkpatronyork Registered User Posts: 436 Member
    If you are not the U.S. citizen, it will be extremely difficult (or almost impossible) to get the Financial Aid. Some schools officially state that they will not offer financial aid to foreign students. So, check with the schools.

    @strangeusername,

    I guess your remark may be misleading although I don't think you meant it. If you are implying that top 10% in a smaller schools such as Groton are academically at the same level as 40% at Andover, it is not true.
  • strangeusernamestrangeusername Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    That's a very good point patronyork, and that is not what I meant to imply. Obviously, any of the top 20 or so schools will have comparable academics. What I awkwardly tried to say, is that students and parents need to look at a number of schools and try to assess which school is best suited for the individual student's goals and personality... and not simply go with the name that they are familiar with. And you are also correct about financial aid for international students being very rare. I did not notice that he/she mentioned that they are international in a later post. I stand corrected.
  • Charger78Charger78 Registered User Posts: 711 Member
    @ patronyork, the original claim at #13 is that, "for college admission purposes, I would far rather be in the top-10% in a smaller top school like Groton or St. Andrew's, than a top-40% student at a larger school like Andover or Exeter". I think I would defend, this, actually. Strangeusername referred to college admissions, and I'd submit that those outside of the top fifth at Andover and Exeter are not getting into the same elite schools as those in the top decile at Groton and SAS, numbering only about eight or nine kids in each school's graduating class.

    I have St. Andrew's matriculation list for 2009-2012 in front of me, and 10% of the students for these four years went to: Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, Swarthmore, Williams and Yale. Another 11% went to: Brown, Cal Tech, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, JHU, UPenn, and Wesleyan.

    A recent three-year matriculation list from Andover reveals that approximately 16% of the students went to the first list of seven schools (swapping in Amherst in lieu of Swarthmore), and another 18% went to the second list of ten schools. In other words, a third of the three Andover classes went to these seventeen very selective schools. What about the rest of the "top 40%" at Andover? Some went to very fine schools, like the five who went to Oxford and the 25 who went to Carnegie Mellon and Claremont McKenna, out of a three-year sample whose size I estimate at 1000 (about 335 times 3, including PGs). The point is, however, about half of the top 40% did not go to the most-selective/elite schools that the top 10% at Groton and SAS went to.

    Am I missing something? If not, will say with confidence that graduating top 10% at the two smaller schools is "better", for college admissions, than graduating top 20-40% at the two largest schools.
«13
This discussion has been closed.