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Could I get into Andover/Exeter

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Replies to: Could I get into Andover/Exeter

  • sparkatzzsparkatzz 221 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited July 2019
    The Bolles School in Florida has a very strong swimming program as well and produced tens of swimming olympians and medalists. Florida is just a sports powerhouse honestly.
    https://www.bolles.org/athletics/olympians

    Edit: Also I realized this is not a post for swimming :facepalm:/
    edited July 2019
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  • B1ackUnicornB1ackUnicorn 15 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I think you definitely have a chance, but I can't say for sure because admissions is very at times.
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  • eekeekeekeek 49 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @sparkatzz Haha, it's slowly becoming one :smiley:

    @B1ackUnicorn Thanks! I agree that admissions is interesting. Sometimes, it really comes down to factors that you can even decide yourself, but I'm still hoping I get into either 😀
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  • RedLionessRedLioness 178 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @eekeek I'm going to give a more conservative answer to your post, if you're still looking for chances. I think that you have a fairly strong application. However, admissions is very dicey. Thousands of students apply - specifically to Andover and Exeter - yearly, most of whom also have very strong applications, and as I understand it, only 400~ students (at most) are admitted to the prep/junior class.

    They will want to know why you're applying from such a good school, so be sure to have an answer to that.

    Otherwise, go for it if that's what you want to do! Hope for the best, brace from the worst, and cast a wider net (as there are many schools out there and you might regret not applying to some match or safety schools come M10 decisions). Best of luck to you!

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  • eekeekeekeek 49 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @RedLioness Thanks! I might actually apply to Choate in addition to Andover and Exeter. Do you recommend any safeties?
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  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 144 replies1 threads Junior Member
    You have the scores and background to be a serious candidate, IMO. Now it's about the odds and how to stand out. Those schools will receive roughly 3,000 applicants for 300 seats. A few might be a reach, but at least 2,000 will be in the serious candidate range. Everyone has straight As, everyone has high SSATs. Your unique location and language skills stand out. The idea of "bored", even if true, is not a selling point. Padding your resume fall of 8th grade won't work. In your case STEM and like minded people might be a key for your essay...something about leaving home to grow and be pushed by the best and brightest plus meeting amazing people who are not in the STEM field. Those schools are about the people who will be your classmates and the community as much as academics. It is a whole different world. You also need to practice for the Upper Level SSATs which kick up the level of testing. Good luck.

    Chances? About the same as all top qualified candidates....20% ish, IMO. My son was accepted into one of the schools you want to attend but denied at another with the same application. We will never know exactly why because everyone is qualified. You need to fill a missing puzzle piece for their pool.

    New England offers other "top 10" schools such as St Paul's to consider as well.
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  • CateCAParentCateCAParent 610 replies7 threads Member
    I am going to chime in here from a mom standpoint. If you were my kid, I would:

    (1) Be totally supportive of you choosing a boarding school. You sound like a good fit for it.

    (2) Tell you to look beyond the name recognition schools -- you can get the great stem education you seek at 50 different schools, at least. They all have fantastic reputations and gobs of opportunities and small, discussion-based classes. Looking at just Andover, Exeter and Choate is a rookie mistake. There are a lot of super-qualified applicants like you who are crushed when they don't get in, or worse -- get in only to find they are miserable when they get there. Hawaii makes you interesting, but don't overestimate its impact on your chances. If your parents are the ones driving your school choices, make sure your parents understand this dynamic.

    (3) Challenge you to look beyond the course catalog to the CULTURE of the school. Ask yourself what you love and hate about the FEEL of your current school. Big or small? Cut-throat competitive or collaborative? College-y or more home-y? Lots of adult involvement or more independent? Traditional or more progressive? In a town or isolated? Sporty or artsy? Values well-rounded or spiky kids? Location? Weather? Aesthetically gorgeous? Diverse? Whatever matters to you.

    (4) Ask you to come up with the deal-breakers. What does the school have to have? What can't it have?

    (5) Insist you look for schools that fit you, not try to fit yourself into what you think a school wants. You don't have to volunteer, play multiple instruments, multiple sports, yada yada. Do stuff you love, and the rest will follow. If you gave up an activity, why would you pick it up again? Don't do it just for application fodder.

    *Only after you have thought through all of the above,* put together a spreadsheet with all of your criteria, for about 20 schools culled from the various ranking websites, along with any other schools mentioned here that pique your interest. Ignore the names of the schools, if you can. Rank them on your criteria. If you can't find at least 5-8 schools that meet your criteria, you aren't looking hard enough. This decision is a big one, and it deserves an exhaustive, deliberative evaluation. And if at all possible, VISIT THE SCHOOLS before you judge them as not worthy.

    All of this advice has been given over and over again on this forum by much smarter people than me -- for a reason. Listen to the hard-earned advice, and best of luck to you. There is a lot of support on this forum for students like you looking to find your way. Please feel free to ask questions -- doing so will help a lot of lurkers out there, too.
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  • eekeekeekeek 49 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @PrepDad2018 thanks for the info! Really interesting how only 20% of qualified applicants get in.

    @CateCAParent Thanks for the good advice! Well, I can't really visit schools because my parents don't want to spend money and time to fly out to the east coast. Also, the reason I dropped tennis due to an ankle injury, but it's good now so I'm picking it up. I also decided to take a break from swimming because it was slowly consuming my time for homework and other clubs/activities. I think I might do the spreadsheet to see what schools are a match. Thanks again!
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  • CateCAParentCateCAParent 610 replies7 threads Member
    @eekeek -- totally understand that a trip to the East Coast may not be realistic. Two thoughts:

    (1) travel hassle is a very real consideration for choosing schools, especially for parents. Some of the East Coast schools are a couple of hours away from an airport, and that airport will require a connecting flight for you to get to/from home. It is easy to minimize what a toll that long travel day will take on you and your parents.

    (2) There are excellent boarding schools in California. The two that are most mentioned, but by no means the only great ones, are Cate and Thacher. California schools are probably not as "exotic" to a Hawaiian as New England schools would be. But from a reputation/college matriculation standpoint, and especially from a quality of education/experience standpoint, California schools have everything the East Coast schools have.

    This has veered away from being a chance me thread, and I encourage you to post in the Prep School Admissions forum with lots of questions as you do your research. I envy you embarking on this path -- I had a blast researching schools with my kiddo.
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  • RedLionessRedLioness 178 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @eekeek First thing you ought to know - Choate is NOT a safety. I started out on the standpoint that it was GLADCHEMMS or nothing (please, no one attack me, my area doesn't have too many people applying to BS and I was woefully misinformed) and got lucky. And if I'm honest, I know very little about safeties. I (being woefully misinformed) applied to Top 20-type schools only. Exeter, Andover, and Choate being among those schools.

    However, I do have tips for searching for good match or safety schools. I'd search on the forums here for the Hidden Gem thread and other such threads, which are quite the gold mine of info on spectacular safeties. In addition, should you take @CateCAParent 's excellent advice on the point of what a school you apply to has to have, I'd use Boarding School Review to do a search on schools with your criteria. (Boarding School Review is just such a good resource generally). Single-sex schools seem to be in lower demand, so if that's something you're interested in, go for it! Niche is also a helpful website in determining schools with good reviews and not too large applicant pools. There are also some great posters here (skieurope, PhotoMom, ChoatieMom, I'm looking at you!) who seem to know all there is to know about BSs that might be of help if you want more detailed answers to your questions (You'll figure more of them out if you spend time in the Café).
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  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 144 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @eekeek If money is a factor (and it sure was for us) you also need to consider available aid. Andover is needs blind, they are the (possibly only) school that will make the money work vs family income after acceptance. Exeter has the largest endowment in the country and "gives" (grant, not a loan) big money. SPS is similar. Essentially these schools will charge your parents about 10% of their income to attend, and that is huge. Certainly other schools offer great aid, but many others do not. Some will flat out warn you on their financial aid pages it is extremely limited and middle/upper middle class families will have a hard time qualifying. The good news is aid often includes book and computer money and stays steady all four years.

    If you are looking at NE, I would say it is VERY important to visit all schools in one trip. If you are accepted, you need to fly there and back for the opening, Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring break, and the end of the year. Even if you stay with a friend for Thanksgiving and spring break you are still looking at 2 round trips per year (combining coming and going as one trip) so it is an investment worth making. Visiting SPS vs Exeter and Andover was night and day. You'd never get that understanding via the websites and CC threads. Plus it can't hurt your application chances interviewing and touring in person. Plus your excitement to apply will hit a whole new level after you meet the people and see the campus.

    As people recommend, cast a wider net. I'd recommend Andover/Exeter and then visit other NE schools you discover with research and add 1 to 2 to your application. The application process is time consuming. I wouldn't go for more than 4 or 5 but others would disagree.

    Sorry for the long reply but we learned A LOT without a family history of boarding schools. I'd be happy to exchange a PM on any specifics you have for your first choice schools. I didn't discover CC until after the application process but before acceptance. I wish I had!
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  • eekeekeekeek 49 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @CateCAParent I'll be sure Cate and Thatcher! My parents are pretty cool with me traveling alone, so I think that boarding schools further away will be fine, but there's move in day, parent weekend (is that a thing?) and other things that my parents will want to be there for, so I will also check out boarding schools closer to Hawaii. Thanks so much for the good info and advice!

    @RedLioness Sorry for the misunderstanding. I never meant for Choate to be a safety. Sorry if it came off that way :smile: . I'll take a look at the thread and websites you mentioned.

    @PrepDad2018 I'm very grateful that my family doesn't need FA, but it says on some pages that families like mine could get upwards of $20-30,000 worth of FA, so my parents might reconsider. (Especially for Andover because it won't decrease my chances). I'll think about visiting all the East Coast BSs in one sweep, but I think it's wiser to save the money for when (or if) I do get into one of these schools and want to revisit. Totally agree about applying to 5 or less schools. It's too much of a hassle to apply to a bunch of schools!

    I can't thank everyone enough who replied to the original post! Thank you guys for spending time to help me in my quest to (hopefully) get into BS!
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  • RedLionessRedLioness 178 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @eekeek I'm not mad at all, just was semi-concerned and wanted to make the point clear. In turn, I'm sorry for the harsh words, I was trying to put emphasis but online stuff is rough.
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  • eekeekeekeek 49 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Ok little update - I got my SSAT results back and I got 2335 which is 99th percentile overall
    800 verbal 99%(not sure how I did that)
    787 math 95% (big oof for me but I can hopefully make up for it in the other parts of the app)
    748 reading 97% (also big oof for me)
    Do you think I should retake or just let it be?
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  • TheHappinessFundTheHappinessFund 156 replies14 threads Junior Member
    ....
    ...........
    dO yOU thInK I shoULd reTAkE a 99th PeRCentiLE?

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME NO THAT"S LITERALLY THE BEST YOU CAN DO MY GUY.
    But congrats! You did so so so good? Holy crap! You're set on the SSAT dude, focus on other stuff now.
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  • eekeekeekeek 49 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @TheHappinessFund Omg ahahah thanks! As for how I did good on the verbal, I did like eight 100+ term Quizlets. Was it fun? No (it went by faster with music) But I did learn a lot of useful vocabulary that showed up on the test.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 896 replies17 threads Member
    edited November 2019
    You do not need, nor should you, retake the ssat. With that score you have passed the test score hurdle. Taking it again is a waste of time as you need to be spending your extra time writing fantastic essays that make you stand out. You are a strong candidate but there are hundreds of candidates just like you. You can shine by writing fantastic essays.

    All the schools my kids got into reject many kids each year who have perfect ssat scores with straight A’s. There are just too many of them to be accepted and schools are looking for other things.

    With that said, you mentioned that your brother went to college in NE so you are used to it. I caution you in this, really spend time thinking about it. NE is unique in both culture and weather and it is going to be a shock for you, especially if you don’t actually tour these schools before you apply/attend. On top of that getting back and forth to Hawaii is going to be miserable. I’d strongly consider schools closer to home. There is one direct flight to logan that I know of. Other than that the trip starts to creep up beyond 16/17 hours. (I know plenty of kids do this trip from Asia to NE boarding schools but I think that’s pretty crazy too 😜)
    edited November 2019
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  • eekeekeekeek 49 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @one1ofeach Thanks for the response! I've had a change of plans and am actually going to interview/tour in person in mid-December. Hopefully, I can see the NE culture and figure out if I'll like it. Totally unpopular opinion, but I actually enjoy long flights. I just pop in some ear buds and it's a great environment to work, read, or sleep. But I see how it can become tiring. Do you have any advice to make my essays really stand out?
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  • JackAntonJackAnton 2 replies0 threads New Member
    edited December 2019
    I’ve always been humble about ever mentioning any of my educational background. My mother’s coming of age story can be 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. On occasion the subject does come up and I’m asked where I got my education and I dance around it unless specifically asked. “Where did you go to high school?”, etc. 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 I’ve reflected over the years and managed to aggregate them into a legible form as my go to boilerplate when the litany of questions are to follow.

    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.

    PS -here are additional items, unique to myself, that could have potentially boosted my chances. 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.
    edited December 2019
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 896 replies17 threads Member
    @JackAnton thank you for sharing your story. What an interesting life story.

    Interviews at Andover don’t need to be “won” or qualified for. You simply sign up for them.
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