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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?

  • CaliMexCaliMex 2248 replies35 threads Senior Member
    @ffsophiar @buuzn03 : I was mostly reacting to @ilovechoateeeee and the comment that top ten schools are there for a reason...
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  • dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 481 replies30 threads Member
    I think people mistakingly assume that rankings, although not necessarily accurate, must be based on “something.” In my area I know that there are many applicants for every teaching job so there are probably 50 schools around us that get their pick of the litter when they are looking for a new teacher. It’s hard to realize that those rankings might not guide you to the best school. That’s a scary place to be in - so many schools, no way to rank how good they are. Except of course by visiting them and seeing how they work.
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  • dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 481 replies30 threads Member
    Plus, consider how many truly excellent teachers, best of their fields, don’t want to touch BS life with a ten foot pole!
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  • lightningqueen12lightningqueen12 318 replies12 threads Member
    Good luck @ffsophiar!
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  • ffsophiarffsophiar 150 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @lightningqueen12 Thanks, same to you. Less than 24 hours left AAHHH
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  • peachysoopeachysoo 47 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Hi there, did you end up getting into Andover?
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  • RedLionessRedLioness 178 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I'll answer for OP - yes, she did :) and she definitely deserves it!
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  • ffsophiarffsophiar 150 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @peachysoo yes, I did! Are you thinking of applying? Also @RedLioness Thanks!
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  • peachysoopeachysoo 47 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Wow, I completely forgot about this comment! Thank you so much for replying. And yes, I'm in the process of applying right now. Any tips? :)
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  • peachysoopeachysoo 47 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Just realized a tag would probably help, haha @ffsophiar
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  • JackAntonJackAnton 2 replies0 threads New Member
    A bit late to the discussion, but....

    My 2¢;

    I’ve always been humble about and seldom ever mention any of my educational background. My mother’s coming of age period of life is filled with people once known then forgotten after communist killings, random disappearances, or just simply wide spread systemic brainwashing and re-education of anyone with any education. occasion the subject does come up and I’m asked where I got my education and I dance around it unless specifically asked as to where I went to high school, etc. So when it’s discovered that I’m an Andover alum parents have a few standing questions I often hear repeated. Here is my synopsis of notes, ideas and beliefs reflected over the years I’ve aggregated them into a legible form.

    There’s only a handful of non-merit based attributes applicants can have that will honestly improve getting a seat in Andover. (1. You have a legacy, 2. A family member’s prestige is globally renowned, 3. A family member is an extremely wealthy donor, 4. You come from royalty, or 5. You’re a child of, current or past, faculty. -it should also be noted, these attributes improve, not guarantee a place at Phillips).

    Outside of possessing the above mentioned, I’ve posted some items far below I’ve always believed earned me my spot; so after this first paragraph of generalities....

    There are a number of qualities and traits prospective students will want to express during their interview to capture a spot but first things, first; getting the interview means looking good on paper. First, consistent grades in honor roll and solid SSAT scores qualify you for staying in the pile of applications an admissions officer will initially review. So obviously it’s your extracurriculars plus essays that will leave you in contention for a foot race that should have happened long before you even applied. Don’t forget the recommendation letters too. Who and why you ask recommendations from can be an edge in propelling you forward against your applicant peers. Remember, those two letters are the only sources of information outside of what you yourself will personally disclose.

    So after it's all said and done you've only just now got your foot in the door because all of these mentioned points will only get you to the interview. If you kill it on the interview your golden, but remember even though your interview at first will seem to generally go towards affirming not just what's already been said on paper by you and your recommendation it will quickly diverge. It's the job of an interviewer to truthfully ascertain your personality, levels of confidence, and guess if you possess the potential to rise to the occasion against any of perceived future stresses you may face at Andover; is what's being measured. If all those quality traits add up even subjectively but quantify enough to a degree around the school motto "Non Sibi" there's a good chance of passing your interview. That's only going get you to the top of the waitlisted though.

    You must show some form of character, because that's the real key; and probably some of the most difficult to express during your teenage years. That's the difference between getting your foot in between the door and outright just kicking the door down. If you can express your own personal character, be genuine about it so as not to seem guarded in any manner so that outright self honesty can distinguish yourself apart from the rest will tip the scales in your favor. You can throw your ego out the door when you first step in that interview or if it's engrained in your personality flaunt it; you must allow yourself an identity even if it's locked in a box being in some part small minutia of what you do outside what you do academically, show you are not afraid to identify with it. Every student who's ever been accepted in the past 50 years outside of a non-merit basis has thought themselves as the odd one out but in reality 90% of all the students accepted to Andover when they first arrive are all weirdos and Mavericks in one way or another. Andover has always prided itself on graduating a student body who will go on to make a difference in their community and usually on their own terms. In the end what I've described from all above is how those types are culled and incubated to grow up and do just that.

    P.S. - here are additional items, maybe unique to myself, that could have potentially boosted my chances of acceptance. Listed only due to these being my own experiences I disclosed during my application process.

    By the time of I applied to Andover in 8th grade I had already detailed and logged over 2000 hours of community service time with some 15+ well recognized organizations active in my community, (local, regional & national) over the course of 4 years.

    Going to public school from 1st grade through till 8th, I ended up growing up in the poorest school district in the city. Although my family was upper middle class (yes, that used to exist) my peers were not. At any other school, typically a student like myself would have skipped a grade or been offered the opportunity to take accelerated coursework. None of these were really available as most of our school funding went to ESL, Special Ed and remedial courses for problem students, but the many of teachers found a novel approach to keep me ever so slightly engaged by allowing me to actually teach or lead many of the classes and courseware. To know or learn something vs having enough of an in-depth understanding of a subject to properly communicate and elaborate that understanding concisely across a large 30+ class of students with varying capacities, was challenging and exciting. This was one of the subjects I wrote my essay on.

    I was the first (class of ‘00) and may still yet be the only student of Laotian descendant to have be accepted to Andover (though I hope to be wrong in this assumption).

    During interviews, my father was vehemently opposed to my attending Andover in the parent/guardian interview segment.

    I had only applied to Andover because a girl I really like applied. Prior to that I had little to no knowledge of the school. Unfortunately while I was accepted, the girl I had a crush on was not. I only continued on because I was told it would be challenging. Ultimately, I was quite nonchalant about the whole process and even the prospects of making it in. I was considering trade schools instead of the public high school so I could earn income to pay for college, while going to college. Honestly, it was only the belief that Andover would be a good challenge that kept me engaged, that could have potentially manifested subconsciously and come across in my demeanor, which could have gone to benefit my acquiring a coveted seat.

    Sports were not a forte of mine during my adolescence (at age 12 I was completely paralyzed for 2 weeks and had to learn how to walk all over again -I never mentioned my illness or the struggle to learn how to walk again when applying to PA. Could have made for a great essay but I couldn’t stand for trying to win a seat on pity wanting my application to stand on other merits in challenging a position for myself) but I’d aspire to play the big three for me; football, wrestling, lacrosse. From my choice of teachers during middle school, I selected the one instructor I has each year every year, my gym teacher. He knew me for 4 years, longer then any other teacher I had at middle school. I never excelled in his class and I’d say I was just under par completing his regiment, but I also never gave up until I at least did the required minimum. It was his recommendation letter I believe that set me apart from most and earned me that interview spot. It’s easy to find someone to write a few good words championing your cause when your at your best, but finding those same good words when you’re at your worst, that’s how you let someone else show what your own character is made of.

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  • ffsophiarffsophiar 150 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @peachysoo first of all, Andover puts way more stock into personality than you might think. Academics are important, but they're truly not the be-all and end-all so don't freak out if you don't have those perfect scores. Definitely try to make your essays interesting and lively instead of writing what you think the admissions office wants to hear, because they've DEFINITELY heard it a million times before. If you're good at a lot of things, present yourself as well-rounded and experienced, and if you're not, make sure there's one special or interesting thing about you that you can play up. Study for the SSAT's! See if you can get a tutor to help you with test-taking strategies. , There's always going to be something you haven't seen before, and they can help you can learn how to fake it if you have to! I had a tutor myself, and they helped bring my math score from a 77 to a 94!
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  • ffsophiarffsophiar 150 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I also want to say one thing. Reading all these long paragraphs and chances posts on CC can be intimidating and you'll soon be convinced that you have absolutely zero chance of ever attending any of these elite schools. The fact is, at Andover, I know so many kids doing fake sports like yoga, so many kids with no extracurriculars, so many kids struggling in grade-level courses, so many kids with 70s and below on their SSAT's, so many kids who "shouldn't be there" on paper. But they have so much life and personality and make Andover such a vibrant and wonderful place. It's really not all about the academics.
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  • peachysoopeachysoo 47 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @ffsophiar thank you. I'm not sure why my notifications never alerted me of your post, but I'm glad I found it now. That's really good advice.
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  • XIEXIENXIEXIEN 6 replies0 threads New Member
    Congratulations! May I please know how many schools you applied gave your admission? Thanks.
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  • AKmathAKmath 70 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @ffsophiar
    Hello,
    I'm applying to Phillips Exeter/Andover and L'ville. I'm quite nervous because I think I have zero chance of getting into any of them. Your post really helped. Did you really mean people get in with C's and fake sports? How is this possible? Does your personality in the interview really matter that much? I'm definitely above average, but I'm not like some people on CC who have 96-99's in every class. I feel like I really just can't stack up, so I'm hoping for the best now.
    Here's my thread:
    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/prep-school-chances/2167116-what-are-my-chances-of-getting-into-phillips-exeter-phillips-andover-or-the-lawrenceville-school.html
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  • ffsophiarffsophiar 150 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @AKmath Trust me, people really do get in with C's and fake sports. Don't ask me how it's possible, but it is. Your personality apparently doesn't matter that much, seeing as I was so nervous I could barely look my interviewer in the eyes.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 896 replies17 threads Member
    AOs are usually not fact checking your application. You could add in fake anything and they might not notice. 200 hours of community service - do you think they call the org to see if you actually did that vs volunteer once?

    College AOs are apparently increasing random application fact checks because people pad their college applications as well.
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  • AKmathAKmath 70 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @ffsophiar
    So then what? Is the acceptance just a literal spin the wheel with applicants? According to you grades, nor any sports, nor an interesting personality matter. Do teacher recommendations and legacies really matter that much?
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  • ffsophiarffsophiar 150 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @AKmath It seems improbable, but it's true. I know kids with C's, I know kids who don't play sports, and kids who seem incredibly boring. Here's the thing though. I've never met a kid with all three. Sports kids with C averages get in, boring kids who play sports get in, and kids who play no sports with good grades get in. You've gotta have at least one redeeming quality, I suppose.
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