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The Truth Behind Prep Schools, from an Exeter '17 Grad


Replies to: The Truth Behind Prep Schools, from an Exeter '17 Grad

  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 18,967 Senior Member
    The reference to 4.0s is in the context of being prepared for and doing well at college.
  • SatchelSFSatchelSF Registered User Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    edited January 13
    "Most of us are getting 4.0’s"

    In context, I believe the poster is referring to PEA grads who are now in college, not to GPAs while at PEA. I believe it, for the most part. It's never been easier to get As in college anyway. This website has some very interesting information, including links to research papers and college-specific data: http://www.gradeinflation.com/

    As anyone who has been at one of the elite HPYMS+ schools will tell you (if he is honest), the toughest part has always been getting in.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 36,861 Super Moderator
    edited January 13
    Sounds like a PEA administrator or faculty member wrote this. (In fact the more I re-read it the more I am convinced of this: "Our college counseling office....")
    I have no dog in this fight and I'm usually one of the most suspicious when it comes to users with one post, however I am confirming that a PEA Administrator/Faculty Member did not write this and that it was written by a current college student. You can certainly take the comments at face value or dismiss them, but let's stop debating the identity/veracity of the poster. Thank you.
  • buuzn03buuzn03 Registered User Posts: 1,269 Senior Member
    I appreciate OPs eloquent perspective mainly because of the way PEA (and the other P school, not to mention a few others) are idolized and painted as the end-all/be-all when it comes to BS. And I have to admit, I'd like to shake some sense into the kid posters that appear to idolize these BS. Some seem to refuse to acknowledge there are any other schools of any credibility and god forbid one suggest PEA is imperfect. I agree that pinning this post is a good idea. If only to help future applicants to truly find a right fit by being as informed as possible about all schools and the realities behind some of their golden shrouds.
  • PrepNewEnglandPrepNewEngland Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Question --- Do the prestigious prep schools collude on admissions ?

    I ask this because of the near unbelievable yield rate at some of these schools. As well, bear in mind that the Ivy schools and MIT were charged with financial aid and tuition increase collusion in the early 1990s (http://articles.latimes.com/1991-05-23/news/mn-3080_1_ivy-league-universities). Thus, there is precedence to believe that schools will share data to aid their common interests. Looking at the top Prep Schools in New England, it appears that many competitive boarding students will apply to many of the same schools (Exeter, Andover, Deerfield, Hotchkiss, St Paul, etc.) Of course, all schools do not view all students the same -- but it would seem to follow that a stand-out gaining admission to Exeter would have a decent chance at Andover, etc. Yet 85% or so of Exeter admissions choose to go there. There is a similar number for Andover. Deerfield is not far behind at 66%. This does not seem plausible. Again, for another reference -- my eldest applied to college last year. The top 20 students in the class applied to similar schools. One got into Cornell, but got rejected from most others. One got into Dartmouth, but rejected from all others. One got into Yale, but rejected from most others ... and so on. Get the picture ? It is almost like the schools are colluding and deciding which student goes where. Why would they do this ? To increase their yield of acceptances.

    Do the prep schools data cited above appear suspicious ? It would seem odd that Exeter would choose a group of which 85% would matriculate ... and Andover would choose a mostly different group of which the vast majority.would accept their invitations. Logically, this does not seem to follow unless they share information. For a strong applicant, how would one manage such a situation ? Do you apply to less schools or make it perfectly clear to your top choice that it is your top choice.

    Thank you !

  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 Registered User Posts: 566 Member
    @PrepNewEngland - do you think the official portals make it easier to share info? Couldn’t all that info be exposed or hacked into?
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 2,160 Senior Member
    No one is more cynical or jaded than I am about this stuff....
  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 Registered User Posts: 566 Member
    @Center - the competition for “most cynical” award on CC is very impressive ! Can we nominate ourselves? >:)
  • buuzn03buuzn03 Registered User Posts: 1,269 Senior Member
    I’d heard from several generation BSers plus a few educational consultants (who’d been in the business prior to computers) that the AOs from schools do call each other and get a feel for who is high on their lists, etc. but that is all hearsay...albeit from some possibly credible sources, but hearsay nonetheless.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 2,160 Senior Member
    I think we can and should! There can be more than one most cynical! :))
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 18,967 Senior Member
    edited January 20
    Probably should be its own thread... but I don't buy into the adcoms being in cahoots with one another. IMO, what happens more is that students coming from private middle schools - feeders - have their applications managed by their middle school placement officers. These employees of the middle schools do know the BS adcoms well. Many private middle schools ask their students to rank the schools they are applying to. It helps in placing all their students. So, if Johnny indicates that he prefers Deerfield to Groton, he's more likely to get into Deerfield and a waitlist or rejection from Groton. A side benefit is that it also helps the BSs to manage yield since a good 40-50% of the students are coming from private schools.

    Additionally, many legacy kids only apply to legacy schools. I know several who put all their eggs in the legacy basket.

    Also, where is the 85% yield ratio for Exeter coming from? Seems high to me. Numbers I've seen in the past have been in the 70s - still impressive.. Are their stats to prove 85%?

    I'll answer my own question. Here's the admissions data from 2016. The yield for Exeter that year was 76% https://www.exeter.edu/sites/default/files/documents/facts.pdf
  • vhsdadvhsdad Registered User Posts: 145 Junior Member
    I've heard that at certain private high schools the college counselors act as gatekeepers of sorts and decide which student will go to which Ivy , , ,
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 2,160 Senior Member
    There was an article about this in the New York Times several years ago: about the connected counselors and others at top private day and boarding schools with open lines to HYP etc
  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom Registered User Posts: 4,603 Senior Member
    And we can speculate til the cows come home but none of us will ever know. Just like we speculated for 22 pages about whether or not Andover can be truly need blind. Going to get the popcorn...
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