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Could I get into Andover/Exeter

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Replies to: Could I get into Andover/Exeter

  • sparkatzzsparkatzz 194 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 2
    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 2
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  • B1ackUnicornB1ackUnicorn 15 replies0 threadsRegistered User 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 23 replies2 threadsRegistered User 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 87 replies1 threadsRegistered User 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 23 replies2 threadsRegistered User 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 39 replies1 threadsRegistered User 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 147 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior 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 23 replies2 threadsRegistered User 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 147 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior 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 87 replies1 threadsRegistered User 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 39 replies1 threadsRegistered User 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 23 replies2 threadsRegistered User 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 87 replies1 threadsRegistered User 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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