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Ask About Andover

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Replies to: Ask About Andover

  • AetrusAetrus 62 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @fayexeter

    First of all, congrats on making it as a new lower! (I was a new lower too, definitely the right call)

    As for the must-takes, that really depends on what you're interested in. One of the great things about Andover is the huge depth of classes offered in just about every subject (for instance, theres an entire class about ancient Mayan cosmology and religion, which ends with a trip to Mexico over spring break because why not?) A popular branch of the math department is PA's computer science program. I haven't taken it personally but a lot of my friends have and they really enjoy it so if you're technologically minded, that's a possibility.

    Unfortunately, a lot of the really interesting electives are fairly advanced and require a lot of prerequisites (usually 500 level classes) so you likely won't be taking them this year. However, they are something to keep in mind for down the road if that's something you're interested in. As of right now, there are research project science courses available for biology and astronomy, and a chemistry one is currently in the works, possibly for next year. These are laboratory classes driven by student questions and experiments, and you have the chance to write about and be published for your research (now how does "published chemist" look on a college app, huh?). Both physics and math have 630 and 650 level courses which are advanced seminar courses covering things like multi-variable calculus and the axiom of choice in math and relativity and quantum mechanics in physics. These two are almost exclusively senior courses but I've heard great things about them, and I'm going to try to take a few my senior year.

    I know this is kind of long, but if you have any more questions about courses/scheduling, or anything really, don't hesitate to message me.
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  • monica20monica20 87 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hey, y'all, it's me again, with ANOTHER question (oops, sorry.)
    What's the general timeline of events from accepting Andover's admission offer to the start of the school year? By events, I mean things like getting questionnaires, taking placement tests, getting a dorm and schedule, etc.)
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  • Personof2017Personof2017 100 replies44 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    And @AppleNotFar @Aetrus

    1. How much money should parents give their children?
    2. When do the placement tests happen?
    3. What level classes will a student attend on revisit day? (i.e. Precalc vs. Algebra vs. Multivariable calculus)
    4. How is the science program at Andover?
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  • CaliPopsCaliPops 339 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    @monica20 See post #55. @AppleNotFar lays out a general timeline, with the caveat that we'll get more specific dates later.
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  • AetrusAetrus 62 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited March 2017
    @Personof2017

    1. It's hard to say a set amount, because every student is different and every family is different. I would say use your best judgement at first and maybe after a few months see where things stand, no need to give it to them all at once.

    2. Placement tests (Math, Music and Foreign Language) usually come out sometime in May

    3. A student is assigned a revisit host for the day and they go to most of their classes together (I believe the only one they miss is first period), so it varies quite a bit depending on your host. However, the host is chosen for each student based on grade and similar interest so the classes will be ones the student is likely to take.

    4. The science department is very good. The teachers are all very knowledgeable and very interested in their field and are happy to help students go as far as they want. Aside from the basic progression of Intro/College/AP courses there are also advanced courses in each subject to help students who want to specialize learn more about what interests them. This includes Cellular Biology, Organic Chemistry, and "Advanced Topics" (a physics course covering subjects ranging from special relativity to optics.
    edited March 2017
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  • Personof2017Personof2017 100 replies44 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Aetrus Thanks for the quick reply. How much do you receive? How much do trips cost?

    And what is the relationship between students and the Tang Institute?

    Do you have any experience with science fairs/innovation challenges in or around Andover?
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  • AetrusAetrus 62 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Personof2017

    Cost of trips varies widely depending on which you're talking about. Unfortunately, the Tang Institute hasn't made the cost of their programs readily available on their website but for a ballpark, I'm doing a trip this summer which is a weeklong trip to Berlin, which cost around $3,500. However, it should be noted that if a student is receiving any portion of their tuition in financial aid, the Tang Institute will contribute that same percentage towards the trip. This includes the Learning in the World programs (such as Berlin), but also smaller trips like academic competitions (Model UN, Debate, etc) and athletic camps for spring sports.

    Students are encouraged to participate in at least one Learning in the World program through the Tang Institute during their time at PA, and Tang is very generous in their support of this goal. Their philosophy is generally that, if a student has not yet participated in one of their programs and would like to, they will make it happen, regardless of the financial situation.

    I haven't done any of the in-house innovation challenges myself, although I'm somewhat familiar with them. I know one team is currently working on a national competition regarding the use of drones/automation in agriculture. On a more local note, another team is currently designing solar powered WiFi routers to use on the Great Lawn and other places around campus which I just think is kinda cool.

    I have, however, done some local competitions with other Andover students, such as the HackNEHS, a New England contest based around software and web design. I met a lot of really cool people I wouldn't have known otherwise and we all worked together to tackle problems we'd never seen before (for instance, this was a software competition and at the start of it, not one of us knew how to code! but we learned!)

    A lot of the invention and innovation projects at PA are run through The Nest, our MakerSpace and my personal favorite place on campus. There's a wide variety of resources available, such as hand tools, 3D printers, and even a laser cutter, and students nearly always on hand to help you out with whatever project you're working on. All materials and tools are totally free to use, with the idea that we just want people down there having fun and being creative as much as possible. They also host a series of seminars (NestED) throughout the year where a speaker comes in to talk about their field. Thus far this year we've heard from an engineer working with next-gen prosthetics and a scientist studying artificial intelligence and facial/emotional recognition, and many more. It's a really amazing resource to have on campus and I try to see as many as I can.
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  • livesk8dreamlivesk8dream 62 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @monica20 I have a friend who's a ninth grader at Andover and she's taking Chem 585 (and she's taking AP Calculus AB for math) so I know it's possible to test up to an advanced science.
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  • livesk8dreamlivesk8dream 62 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Does anyone know if Commons has takeout? Like if you're in a rush and you want to bring some food home or something like that
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  • AetrusAetrus 62 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @monica20 @livesk8dream

    There isn't a Chem 585...we do have chem 580 (advanced AP) and math 575 (Calc AB) so that might be what you're thinking of. However, Chem 580 is exclusively for students who have already taken chem so unless you have, that won't work. If you're looking for more of a challenge, there is Chem 550 which is the standard AP level course which you can take without prior chem experience.

    And not really. Commons really isn't too happy when you leave with their plates and stuff and though it does happen, I wouldn't recommend it.
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  • SoundCheck1SoundCheck1 22 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Couple of questions:

    1. Daughter may be starting as a 10th grader. She is worried that everyone her age started in 9th grade. How easy is it to slip right in. Will she feel like a "new kid?'

    2. She''ll also be a day student- what is the relationship like between day and boarding? Will she feel odd that she goes home everyday? I know there are other day students but we would be new to the area so she would NOT have any "hometown" friends at all. Just the Andover ones.
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  • AetrusAetrus 62 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @SoundCheck1

    1) I started as a 10th grader myself, and personally I never had trouble with feeling like the "new kid". In fact, I've heard some people even recommend it over entering as a freshman. Aside from freshmen, the largest group by far of incoming students is new 10th graders (or "lowers" as PA calls them), with about 50 new lowers a year. Your daughter will be far from the only new kid in her grade and should have no trouble fitting right in.

    2) Honestly, it's a lot closer than I thought it would be before coming to PA. A lot of day students spend most of their time on campus during the week, not leaving until maybe 8 or 9 at night, so I had no idea they weren't boarding until much later. Aside from the kids in my dorm, I see my day student friends just as much as the boarding ones so it's not really an issue of feeling like you're missing out or anything.
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  • SoundCheck1SoundCheck1 22 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks! Also, I'm sure there is huge economic diversity between full pay students and students that are on full financial aid. Is that apparent? Is it obvious and do those that don't have a ton of money feel like they are missing something. I went to a college like that that but it must be different at boarding school.
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  • gossipgirlMEgossipgirlME 33 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @SoundCheck1 There is a huge range of socio-economic and financial backgrounds at Andover and you can't really tell the difference in the students. It's not really a big deal as to what your situation and the only way to know is if someone tells you. I have neither seen a crazy disparity between the two groups nor felt like I was missing out. Andover helps bridge that gap by giving stipends to those of us that are on full aid just to have a little spending money (go downtown, order takeout, etc.) so that way our financial situations aren't really holding us back from enjoying ourselves. Andover's financial aid program is really personal, generous, and discreet and ensures all students a chance to take part in the opportunities it presents.
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  • monica20monica20 87 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Does anyone know the sizes/environments of each junior girls dorm? I know Hale is larger, Double Brick (fingers crossed for me!) is smaller but closer to town, Isham is very clean, etc., but is there any other significant details about certain dorms? Which rooms are the best in terms of size or accommodations for doubles? Is it difficult making friends when in a smaller dorm rather than a larger one? Anything about house counselors for these dorms?
    (Sorry for bombarding y'all with questions... It's definitely a bit too early for me to be thinking about dorms lol.)
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  • gossipgirlMEgossipgirlME 33 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @monica20 Nathan Hale House is in Pine Knoll Cluster and has 42 (students and house counselors) people living in it this year. It's got singles, one-room doubles, and three-room doubles. A lot of the one-room doubles started as singles but got turned into doubles because the school overmatriculates some years, but they're still not horribly sized. The bedrooms of three-room doubles are smaller than a regular bedroom, but space is made up for it in the fact that you and your roommate would have a common room to share. Double Brick House is the Abbot girls' dorm that's closest to campus. It has 21 people and all the juniors live in one room doubles. Abbot dorms generally have larger/nicer rooms to make up for the fact that they're so far. Isham Dormitory is in West Quad North and houses 17 people in a combination of singles and one-room doubles. The doubles, although not as large as Double Brick's are very nicely sized as well. There's also usually a small junior girls' dorm and this year it was Eaton Cottage (also in WQN), which I don't know much about but next year it'll probably go back to being an upperclassmen and then Smith House in Flagstaff will be a junior girls' dorm again.
    I wouldn't say it's harder to necessarily make friends in a smaller dorm. You might not be living with as many people, but it's easier to get closer with your dorm mates when you don't have as many. However, a social butterfly (such as myself) might do better in a larger dorm, where there are more people. There are two house counselors in Isham and Double, while there are three on Hale and they're all really great. I absolutely love the Double Brick and Hale house counselors, but I don't really know the ones in Isham that well, but I know that one of them is kind of strict.
    All of these dorms are really nice, and it really depends on what you look for in a dorm. If you want a three-room double, Hale would be the way to go. If you want a single, then you won't get one in Double Brick. If you really like the Quads, then Isham is the place to be. Double Brick is a great dorm with really great people and I hope you end up getting it!
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  • gungabluegungablue 109 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    These are such great responses with tons of info. I just wanted to add two things:
    Personally, I thought the revisit student performances were not that appealing -- tons of inside jokes and loud, boisterous students more interested in the other students who were there than putting on a show. My child attended anyway and the school has been a lot better than this part of revisit day indicated.

    One of the best things about Andover is science. There are many options with different levels of each course. There are 9th graders in bio, chem, and physics. If math is there, you can start with calculus-based physics. If you've already had chemistry, you can take a higher level chemistry and if you've had that, you can take organic. Each science has multiple years of study -- there are higher level bio courses like cell bio, organic and potentially a chem research course in the future, and post-AP physics with fluid mechanics. Science has been extremely challenging and well-taught for my student and the flexibility has been much appreciated.
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  • panpacificpanpacific 1289 replies13 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @gungablue I agree with you about the revisits! The school and admissions are putting in a lot of effort in the revisits, but the student hosts not so much. They seem to be more interested in hanging out with peers who are already there than helping the school "recruit" new blood! I know at least a couple of enthusiastic new admits were turned off by their hosts, which is NOT good.

    I also agree the science classes and resources are great. Andover is nonetheless better known for its strong humanities program. I know at least it used to have some very good history and English teachers, but I am not sure if that's still the case with some of them retiring recently.
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  • CaliPopsCaliPops 339 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    @gungablue @panpacific Thank you for those insights.
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  • bc12345bc12345 152 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    So much good info here. Thank you and keep it coming!!
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