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What are my chances of getting into Phillips Academy Andover?

Itz_MkayItz_Mkay 9 replies3 threads New Member
I probably don't have good chances because I've moved around a lot and have only stayed at 2 schools for more than a year (I stayed at each for 2 years) so I don't have that many extracurriculars but I don't know.

I'm taking the ISEE in December, the best I've gotten in practice tests so far is the upper 70th percentile. But then again I went from the 50th to the 70th in about a month and a half so... hopefully 70th becomes 90th. My classes are:

Geometry Honors

Spanish 2

IT Fundamentals

English 1 Honors

Advanced Social Studies

Advanced Science

My grades are mostly A+'s some A's and an A-minus (My only A-minus is in Social Studies ). I won student of the year in 7th grade (the teachers added up our end-of-the-year averages and mine was the highest). I went on a Spanish field trip last year where we went to a restaurant had to order food and converse with the waiters in Spanish, I've also done Spanish skits in front of the school to show off the language program to new students. As previously stated I don't have many extracurriculars because I move to a different school every year, and a different state every other year, but my extracurriculars are as follows:

Community Service (Builder's and Beta Club): 1 year

Community Service (outside of clubs): 5 years

NJHS: I went to the induction ceremony and got a member certificate, but I didn't get to attend, as I moved halfway across the US and my new school doesn't have it

Sports: Soccer- 8 years (Rec and club teams)

Guitar: 2 years (I got my first guitar when I was 7 but I never played it)

Math Counts: 1 year

Battle of The Books: 1 year

Choir/ Honors Choir: 5 years (my 6th-grade choir sang at the Kennedy Center)
(You have to audition for honors choir, auditions are open to everyone in the school district)

Coding/ Game Developing: 2 years (I'm currently making a game to send in with my application)

In 3rd grade (or 4th grade I don't remember), I spent recess every day cleaning up the school grounds, and I got a lot of other students and a teacher to join in, so for the rest of the year, we did rotations for cleaning up the school.

My ethnicity is African American, and I will need financial aid. I am also applying to Choate, and a local boarding school with an acceptance rate of 50%.

My reasons for wanting to go to Andover are: I want to go to a school where I can make and keep friends (I've never kept any friends due to always moving), I want to be in a positive community where everyone wants to learn and the teachers challenge us. At every school, I've been to I've never had to study but was always considered the smartest by my peers. I have a college reading level and math level but the teachers usually teach stuff they know I know because other students aren't there yet. Schools that I've attended are also pretty negative, whenever I do get a question wrong I am made fun of for days, resulting in me not participating as much as I'd like, and the school I'm currently attending is very homophobic. I have really short hair and only wear men's clothes and I get asked almost daily if I'm gay or trans (people usually ask me with a disgusted look), when I first cut my hair my favorite teacher walked up to me and said "It's okay, hair grows, you'll be pretty again soon", and once when I walked into the girls restroom a group of kids started yelling "OMG that's a girl?" then started laughing and saying rude things. Anyways, not only is Andover positive, but they offer amazing classes, all of which I really want to join, and I think being able to get involved, and not having to skip out on things because of poor transportation, will be good for me and help me to grow as a person.

Thank you for reading! Even if you didn't read it all because honestly, I wouldn't.
Have an awesome day!




29 replies
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Replies to: What are my chances of getting into Phillips Academy Andover?

  • TheHappinessFundTheHappinessFund 86 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Jesus, it sounds horrible to have to attend such an unsupportive school like that! I forget that there are places like that in the US, especially in 2019.
    I can't really give you any advice, because I myself am an applicant (not to Andover, though, but my top choice is Choate!) If you wanna DM me, feel free. We can like, vent or smth, idk lol,,
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 65 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I want to offer some real encouragement here — you have SO MUCH in your profile that is truly fantastic!! 8 years of soccer is just one example of something truly cool that I think you might not be recognizing.
    Yes you will have to get those scores up. Do you have a solid plan for that?
    I would really not worry about your profile or switching schools and such (and I love your answer about why boarding school). But get in there with a plan to bump up that score. You got this!
    And ugh for yucky people. We are in your team here!!
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 283 replies9 threads Junior Member
    You sound like a great person with a compelling reason to go to BS.

    When you apply you need to streamline your application a bit. Stories about what you did in third grade are great during an interview to explain how you got interested in some activity but they are not really important for your application.

    Focus on activities you did in 6,7,8 grade and plan to continue in BS. Especially focus on any activity that will be “useful” to the school.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1831 replies34 threads Senior Member
    edited October 14
    Hmmm.. Nearly all the things you wrote about Andover apply equally to many other boarding schools.

    Why Andover, again?
    edited October 14
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  • Itz_MkayItz_Mkay 9 replies3 threads New Member
    Hi! Sorry that it took me so long to reply. My reasons for why I wanted to go to Andover were a bit summarized in my original post because I had something to do afterwards but, I want to go to Andover for the amazing opportunities they offer. By this I am mainly refering to the classes they offer. Japanese and astronomy, for example, are two classes I am very interested in that I haven't seen at many other schools. I also want to apply because of the need-blind admissions, as my family cannot currently pay for BS without the extra help. Their motto of "Non-sibi" is something I am also drawn to, because it displays what a great community the school has, and volunteering is something I do regularly as I find it fun, and a way to help the community. And lastly, because if the amazing experience I know it will be. I like the balanced approach to EC's and academics the school takes compared to schools who only focus on STEM or Arts, and I think becoming more well-rounded will help me when it comes to college admissions.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1831 replies34 threads Senior Member
    I only know of two private boarding schools that focus on the Arts and I don't know of ANY private boarding schools that are primarily focused on STEM. The vast majority have both.
    All boarding schools have community service/volunteer opportunities.
    Several have robust Astronomy programs and observatories.
    Most give full (or practically full) rides to families with demonstrated need.


    Advanced Japanese instruction might be tougher to find, so if that is an area of passion, it makes sense to focus on schools that offer the language.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 283 replies9 threads Junior Member
    I second this^^. Every BS I know of, except the arts schools, are focused on offering tons of opportunities and creating balanced kids.

    I would make a list of schools that offer Japanese and astronomy and apply to all of them. Andover is not at all unique in "how it does things." it is simply the most well known school.

    Don't focus only on Andover.
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  • Itz_MkayItz_Mkay 9 replies3 threads New Member
    Sorry. The only reason I mentioned arts and STEM schools is because the only schools I really looked into other than the bigger schools were more local schools. In my original post I mentioned a school with a 50% acceptance rate, which happens to be a STEM school, and some of the other schools I looked at in my area were either religious or specialty schools. Even though I did look at numerous schools I had to choose a few and thoroughly evaluate those to choose my favorites, as my parents know of the low chances of acceptance and didnt want to spend to much on admission fees. After I selected the 3 schools that I wanted to apply to my parents basically said that that was all they were willing to pay for, so I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to BS. I appreciate your replies, and I'm just trying to go off of what little I know. I'll try to do more research next time, and I'll hopefully have a good reason for being interested in Andover when my interview rolls around. Have a good day/ night!
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  • Itz_MkayItz_Mkay 9 replies3 threads New Member
    Also sorry for sending paragraph after paragraph every reply. I'll try to shorten that next time. :)
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1831 replies34 threads Senior Member
    If you are low income, you can ask for an application fee waiver.
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  • Itz_MkayItz_Mkay 9 replies3 threads New Member
    If I did start looking into more schools to apply to, do you have a suggestion for what acceptance rate I should be looking for.
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  • RedLionessRedLioness 122 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Don't look for "acceptance rates", per se. The goal should always be fit in this process. Look for schools you're interested in. You mention Japanese. Look up BSes that offer Japanese. Exeter is another one. I'm sure there are others.

    Best of luck! I'm rooting for you!
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39771 replies7241 threads Super Moderator
    Look up BSes that offer Japanese. Exeter is another one. I'm sure there are others.
    Not many. The few that offered it back in the heyday have long since dropped. I would not make Japanese a primary consideration for a BS. If you are lucky enough to get accepted to one that offers it, great. If not, target schools that meet your other parameters and study Japanese in college.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1831 replies34 threads Senior Member
    @skieurope I suspect the OP is looking for reasons to apply to Andover, not really looking for the absolute best fit school...
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  • Itz_MkayItz_Mkay 9 replies3 threads New Member
    @CaliMex well Japanese is a language I've wanted to learn years before I even really thought about boarding school, and when telling my parents about BS I really did think that Andover was my best fit school. Now that I've paid the application fees for Andover, you're not wrong when you say that I'm looking for reasons, I just don't want to draw a blank when asked in interviews. I feel as if my original reasons are kinda stupid now...
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 65 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Just want to jump in and offer some support: your reasons are not stupid at all. In fact, knowing your reasons might help identify some other options that might also help you fulfill your dream of going to BS. Ideally, IF there are other schools, and IF you can apply, you would identify them and apply. It's just statistics. You have a greater chance of getting to follow your dream.

    You have answered the question "why boarding school" very well. Next up is the "why Andover?" piece. You're getting there. The Japanese piece is a good chunk of that answer. Their school motto is another great piece. Keep digging in. And don't be afraid to dig in at other schools too because I'll bet there are a handful of schools that could be great fits for you.

    Some thoughts if you are open to them --

    First thing -- as someone mentioned, you can get fee waivers, so at least the application costs go down.
    Second thing -- check out this conversation on Japanese language at BS if you haven't already.
    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/prep-school-admissions/2007073-any-boarding-schools-with-japanese-language-classes.html

    Third -- you are doing the work now of the research of figuring all this out. I'm a 50 year old adult here -- so don't compare your questions and thoughts with those of folks who have been around the world 30 or 40 years longer than you. You have a lot to offer. Trust that, and keep researching and figuring it out. I know a lot of folks here would agree with me in saying we want to see your dreams come true on M10, so keep at it. I'm in your corner.
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  • PrepMommPrepMomm 15 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I am a mom of an Andover student. First, I agree with what some other people said that moving schools so much is not a huge issue. You have managed to try a lot of different things and you have great reasons for wanting to go to boarding school. So kudos!

    I DO think your SSAT scores need to come up higher. You will likely have tough time with Andover at 70%.

    But that's where I need to chime in and say something -- from the heart! -- that you probably don't want to hear. As CaliMex said, why Andover? I've been around Andover for a long time, and I realize now more than ever that (1) The workload is very intense and grueling. That really appeals to some people! I think the school is a great fit for them :) (2) There are MANY boarding schools out there, and honestly, I think a lot of them have a great atmosphere, a challenging learning environment, instructors who are great mentors, and give you a wonderful boarding school experience.

    Itz_Mkay, I hope it all works out for you :)
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  • Itz_MkayItz_Mkay 9 replies3 threads New Member
    I have been working hard to get my ISEE scores up. I recently invested in some more test prep books, and I got my scores up to the low to mid 80th percentile in the math sections and the low to mid 90th percentile in the reading sections.

    I also have been looking into what aspects of boarding schools make them a good fit for me. The intense workload of Andover is something that I do like, but I don't feel as if that was one of my original deciding factors. I will continue to look at schools and if I feel that one a great fit for me, I will definitely try my best to persuade my parents to allow me to apply.

    Thank you for your post! The "why Andover" question definitely isn't my favorite to hear, but thank you for bringing it up, as it is something I really need to think about.
    Do you have any tips on the admissions process, or know of anything I can do to increase my chances of acceptance to the boarding schools I do apply to?

    Have a great day!
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 283 replies9 threads Junior Member
    My son, not at Andover has a far more grueling workload than one of his best friends, at Andover. I don't think grueling workload is a great way to choose a school. There are quite a few that could make that list anyway.

    I hope you expand your list. As I said, I think BS would be a great choice for you but I fear that focusing so narrowly on one or two schools will lead to disappointment. Broaden your list, get fee waivers.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1831 replies34 threads Senior Member
    How do you know what kind of a school is a good "fit"?
    What kind of culture and community are you looking for?
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