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How do top boarding schools view your application?

saddoughnut27saddoughnut27 27 replies5 threads Junior Member
Hi guys!

So I'm applying for Choate and Andover 10th grade and I just wanted to know how these schools view an application.

How important are:
-Teacher recommendations
-Essays
-Interviews
-Grades
-SSAT
-ECs and Volunteering
-Sports
-FP/FA
-Ethnic/Geographical Background

I'm very worried about my middle school grades!! I had an 3.75 overall GPA because I did not try in middle school. I currently have a 4.22 GPA as a Freshman in High School. How seriously do admission officers take your middle school grades? Will they see my different GPAs as improvement/potential or will my 3.75 GPA automatically rule me out for admission?

If anyone could give me some insight, it would be much appreciated. I literally cannot sleep at night and I am super stressed. Thank you so much!!
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Replies to: How do top boarding schools view your application?

  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 769 replies17 threads Member
    The answer is those things are important. None of us, since we don't work in admissions, know the exact breakdown of how important each part is.

    My guess is that recommendations, interviews, essays are important as they are your chance to tell schools what kind of person you will be at the school.

    Grades, very important.
    SSAT important but varies greatly school by school. Also, after a certain score, not important at all. So they are not looking at a 90 and a 94 and picking the 94 because of that score alone. Two apps are almost never equal and AOs know that SSAT scores vary enough that picking kids just based on scores is foolish.

    Sports and volunteering/ecs. If you are a recruited athlete, important. If not all ecs show is that you have actual interests. I know kids who literally just don't have interests. They aren't bad kids but all they do is watch tik tok and hang out with friends. They had a hard admissions cycle. You need to have something you really like to do. IMO you should also be doing something to help other people. Not fluff volunteering like at your school, but actually helping people in need.

    Ethnic/geo can matter but kids overestimate how much. "There are only 5 kids from utah at the school" so it's underrepresented. 1 kid counts as represented. This is NOT going to get you get in if your application is weak and it will not make up for bad scores or grades. If can help distinguish a great app from other great apps.
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  • saddoughnut27saddoughnut27 27 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @one1ofeach Thank you so much for your thorough reply! Will bad grades having improved affect me negatively? Middle school gpa 3.75 ---> current gpa 4.22
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 769 replies17 threads Member
    Isn’t a 3.75 indicative of an A- gpa? I’d assume that having a good gpa as a highschool student is more important.

    Honestly your biggest problem is just the very limited number of 10th grade seats.
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  • saddoughnut27saddoughnut27 27 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @one1ofeach It is, I had straight As until I got a C and a few Bs in 2nd sem 8th grade which dropped my gpa. I asked Choate during a reception event and they said that they have 70-80 spots for 10th graders. Also maybe there is less competition for 10th grade because people usually apply for 9th grade??
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6290 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Many schools have a decent number of 10th grade seats. Not as many as 9th, but it's also a smaller applicant pool. At this point, you can not change much.

    Improvement in grades is seen favorably.
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  • saddoughnut27saddoughnut27 27 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @gardenstategal thank you for your reaffirmation!
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