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What are my chances of getting into Phillips Academy Andover?

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

  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1259 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,269 Senior Member
    I think many people feel like they should chose the best known BS's which in their minds are often equated ( not always unfairly) as the best.

    Many on this board have deeper BS experience and have recent insights. They know that fit is perhaps the most important thing when choosing an education. By comparison, I'd bet money that most people applying to Ivy league colleges haven't even bothered to check the curriculum of their intended/possible major. Likewise, for BS, many people, and perhaps even a majority are applying to the name brands because they are a known entity. This is part of the attraction.

    Yes, there are many BS schools perhaps even 75-100 where you can get an excellent education. What you might not get from the top 75 as opposed to the name brands is the "Wow" reaction from others. The "Wow" reaction is a definite factor for some people. They live in a rarefied world where only the top names matter. This goes for BS as well as colleges hence the CC infatuation with a handful of BS's and Colleges. The good thing is, that makes it easier for those who are looking for fit. There will be more spaces for them in the Top Tier/Hidden Gems that aren't mentioned over and over. They'll get an awesome education. And they might even avoid the downside of linear thinking for what is the best. My kiddo had a choice between #1 and #2 and decided based on life goals. Now that the year is half over, I think the decision was a good one.

    And to your Dad's point, I don't trust the ranking either. Some of the rankings have nothing to do with education ( like endowment, etc). Some of them are biased. And finally some of the ranking companies are obviously not doing deep research. Before you spend the money on something as big as BS, you should research or know what you are buying.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1684 replies34 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,718 Senior Member
    FWIW, there WILL be some employers for whom your having attended a well-known boarding school or Ivy League university will NOT be a plus. They might (wrongly) assume you are wealthy, entitled, and less hungry and eager to work hard on the job. Go for the educational opportunity, not the brand.
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  • ffsophiarffsophiar 132 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 136 Junior Member
    Being criticized for wanting to go to Andover seems a bit much. I’m not going for the brand, I’m applying because it most likely does have great educational opportunities and it might be a bit easier to get in because I’m a legacy. In the lines of work I’m hoping to pursue, I doubt that boarding school would be a problem.
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  • ffsophiarffsophiar 132 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 136 Junior Member
    I’m applying not for the brand, but because I can’t apply everywhere and it seems like a great place. I also do have a legacy there (might make it easier and it’s familiar). If I don’t get in, I won’t be heartbroken and I’ll keep attending my current school. I’m also looking to get into North Carolina School of the Arts.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1684 replies34 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,718 Senior Member
    I am pretty confident you will get in and have happy news on March 10!
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  • ffsophiarffsophiar 132 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 136 Junior Member
    I didn’t know the letters came on March 10, thanks for telling me.
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  • CC4lifeCC4life 241 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    @ffsophiar actually I believe that this year Andover and the rest of the Ten Schools are releasing decisions on March 9th. I doubt this makes a difference but just wanted to give you heads up, they will follow up with emails as we get closer to that date.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1259 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,269 Senior Member
    @ffsophiar Actually, I see some value in the brand of some schools. Having gone to a brand school myself, I have gotten opportunities that would not have come my way otherwise. I think Philips is a great choice for the right kid and reasons :)
    @Calimex Yes, there are people who will hold having a great education against you, but those folks are generally not someone I ( or my kids) would want to work for anyway. In many cases, those who discriminate against someone based on someone's perceived "privilege" have other issues as well. And, often they will be mistaken as the kid who attended on FA don't exactly wear a sign ( or at least I didn't when I was young and a newly minted full FA graduate from an Ivy league college) In many fields, you will be expected to have this type of education and you will be connected by an infinite band of unseen connections. This bothers some people, a lot. I am not one of them.

    My kid noticed that all the kids at BS's know each other or the parents know each other. This is not indiscriminate. There is a network. These people often are in similar fields or have college and social connections. Many even vacation in the same places. So while the world is changing and while people dislike advantages based on connections as opposed to a meritocracy, I have seen that connections still matter. There are just not that many people whose children attend boarding school as a % of the total population. And those who do tend to have some shared characteristics.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1684 replies34 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,718 Senior Member
    Where you get your education isn’t nearly as important as what you do with it! I know CEOs who went to crappy high schools an lesser known colleges and Ivy League grads who are jobless.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1259 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,269 Senior Member
    Statistically, CEO’s went to a small % of schools particularly if you look at the largest multi-nationals. It’s growing albeit very very slowly. Also, many Ivy League graduates may be unemployed by choice. But being able to get the job you want when you want it, isn’t available to all.

    However, studies HAVE found that those at the very bottom with the best education ( by their studies confined to a small number of schools) have the greatest likelihood of jumping two or more quartiles in income. I think many kids who get lots of FA want to be financially stable as adults ( I know I did). Maybe some don’t care.
    Getting back to the OP’s point, having a shot at PA and attending is a win-win. I would say go for it. BS is a great opportunity. The resources at these schools are amazing!
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  • ilovechoateeeeeilovechoateeeee 396 replies15 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 411 Member
    I agree! I don't think anyone should be criticizing the OP for the schools she's applying to. After all, she is the one applying, not you. The top 30 ish boarding schools are generally the same, but the top 10 are in the top 10 for a reason! Anyways, you do you @ffsophiar Good luck!
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1684 replies34 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,718 Senior Member
    edited February 5
    Where you went to COLLEGE matters for your first job. Maybe your second. After that, how you kicked ass at your last job carries a LOT more weight. At least that the case when I’m hiring and in my region of the country (California).

    Everyone should read the Frank Bruni book. Most Fortune 500 CEOs did not attend Ivies and there are colleges with more Rhodes Scholars than most Ivies.

    But we digress.

    To the OP: I think you will get into Andover and I trust you will take advantage of the opportunity to get a great education and make wonderful, lifelong friends. Just know that you will still have to work hard to make a measurable difference in every job you are hired for if you want to have a successful career. That will make a much bigger difference in your career than the name of your boarding school. Promise.
    edited February 5
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  • ffsophiarffsophiar 132 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 136 Junior Member
    edited February 6
    I’m aware of the challenges that come with finding a successful job, no matter what college or boarding school I go to. I’m planning on doing something with music, which is mostly merit-based anyway. I’m wanted to go to Andover to find new friends similar to myself and to get a challenge, not to feed into an Ivy and a career in business.
    edited February 6
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1259 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,269 Senior Member
    @ffsophiar Best of luck to you.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1684 replies34 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,718 Senior Member
    edited February 6
    If you want to be a professional musician, then you know that the school brand name matters not at all, just the quality of the training you can access.
    edited February 6
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  • ffsophiarffsophiar 132 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 136 Junior Member
    Exactly. But that doesn’t change that I happen to like Andover, regardless of its reputation.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1684 replies34 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,718 Senior Member
    @ilovechoateeeee Don’t put a lot of weight on rankings. I used to publicize rankings as part of my job and 1) The criteria are not always relevant to applicants 2) The criteria and weighting often change just to try to make the lists look slightly different year to year 3) Rankings can be influenced by investing in marketers who specialize in gaming them (one common tactic is to invite specific students and families to post reviews... )

    What matters is what YOU value! Impressive facilities are, well, impressive. But they don’t affect educational outcomes as much as other factors. And if those facilities were built by recruiting the wealthiest donor families possible, regardless of character or credentials, there might even be a price to pay for the community.

    Large endowments help provide stability and financial aid. But once a certain size endowment is assured for stability, having 5X that doesn’t make you 5X more stable. And the financial aid budget that matters most is not the total budget or average grant: It is the details of your own financial package.

    The number of clubs and courses? Wonderful. But guess what? You still won’t be able to take many of the courses that interest you because the opportunity is limited by the number of hours in a day, not the course catalog.

    If you care about average SAT scores or selectivity, know that not all rankings weigh these heavily. @buuzn03 van confirm, but I believe St Marks School has higher test score averages than most of the higher ranked schools and Thacher’s acceptance rate of around 11 percent makes is harder to be admitted. Note: I am not advocating that these criteria are important.

    Knowing yourself and what you need to thrive. Knowing what you value. Researching the schools carefully to know how they rank based on YOUR values and needs. That matters more than what some magazine editor thinks.

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  • buuzn03buuzn03 1513 replies15 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,528 Senior Member
    I really really suggest y’all read at least one of the following books...it gives you a TON of insight on how schools are “ranked” and what these schools do and what lengths they go to to protect their rank! They refer to colleges but the admissions tactics are exactly the same: Crazy U by Andrew Ferguson (I think this is the best for breaking the “rankings” down), The Gatekeepers (can’t remember the author) and The College Admissions Mystique by Bill Mayher.
    This will be a good way to distract yourselves for the M10 wait freakout and prepare you for college applications at the same time. Prestige and Rankings are not as objective as you would think!
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  • buuzn03buuzn03 1513 replies15 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,528 Senior Member
    @CaliMex I’m not sure how happy I am that you pulled me into a chances thread!!! It’s against everything I believe in! [-(
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  • ffsophiarffsophiar 132 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 136 Junior Member
    I’ve actually read Crazy U. It’s hilarious and really frightening at the same time. Thanks though.
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