right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

What are my chances? Lawrenceville, Exeter, Andover, Pennington, & Peddie.

MercurriiMercurrii 118 replies2 threads Junior Member
Hi, I'm looking to apply to boarding school as a financial aid boarder. I'm an LGBT+ individual looking to apply for 9th grade. I started playing tennis in July and wants to try out for track. I have all A's but 1 89 in algebra currently that's going to get bumped up soon. I'm taking High school art and Violin as well. As for EC's, I'm in student council and I'm volunteering at an animal shelter starting late October. I haven't taken SSAT tests yet and my interviews will be in a few days. Lawrenceville is my first choice, Exeter second, Peddie third, Pennington fourth, and Andover fifth. And what is the atmosphere and student life like in these schools? Thanks for replying! :smiley:
11 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: What are my chances? Lawrenceville, Exeter, Andover, Pennington, & Peddie.

  • tqrsssppp1444tqrsssppp1444 3 replies1 threads New Member
    The fact that you are an LGBT+ individual is a plus however, what level are you in terms of the violin and sports you play? Do you have any academic achievements? These are pretty important. My brother goes to Peddie and to give you an idea he got a 97% on the SSAT, he plays the piano and has received multiple awards for it, he played tennis for 5 years and goes to weekly tournaments, he is very good at debate and is on the national Team USA debate team, I'm not very sure but he did a lot of community service and received some awards for it. Hope this helps! :)
    · Reply · Share
  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 83 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited October 3
    Your resume is not strong for these schools, no offense intended, but you are on a Chance Me thread.

    You are missing a hook for athletics, the arts, awards, and community service (starting at an animal shelter in Oct as you are applying could be seen as a negative, TBH, as in resume filler).

    You will need to hit a homerun with your interviews and SSATs. PRACTICE interviews with an adult. Google prep school interviews questions, not to memorize, but to be comfortable talking about yourself. Buy the SSAT.org prep materials and start scoring your initial efforts.

    As I always write in these threads, you are going up against 2,000 perfect candidates for 300 seats. Countless class presidents, Student Council presidents, state awards winners, nationally ranked athletes, small business owners.......and those efforts just get you into the "maybe" pile. No one in admissions is impressed with any accomplishment I just wrote. All baseline stuff, so to speak.

    So your resume is not traditionally impressive. So for your hopes it is, What do you bring to the incoming class? What about YOU is the puzzle piece they are missing for next year? You are going to need to sell yourself as a person. An interesting, engaged person adding to the campus and class environment.

    If you can answer that, you have a shot (with 90th percentile+ SSATs).

    This is meant to be helpful, not insulting. Best of luck.

    edited October 3
    · Reply · Share
  • MercurriiMercurrii 118 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I used to do Gymnastics if that helps at all? and I’ve played violin since 6th grade. I’m in GT/Horizons courses if that helps as well. I really want to get into BS, what can I do to better my interview?
    · Reply · Share
  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 83 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited October 3
    @Mercurrii.....PRACTICE with an adult. Have them ask you the questions. Even with Mom or Dad it would be awkward enough to adjust.

    Your personal LGTQ+ story could be helpful if well developed.

    The "I used to" and "I am going to" resume items are not helpful, and possibly slightly harmful. Violin since 6th grade (with an aim of continuing in BS) IS helpful. Those types activities will need to be your push. Study up on the programs the schools offer in the areas of your interest. Show you have put in the time learning about the individual school programs and classes.

    These BS are as much about the people, community, and engagement for the student body vs academics. Your resume is just "OK" and that fine. Your sell will have to be you.

    Plenty of Student Council presidents with perfect SSATs will be rejected. You are not out of the running. You have to figure out how you are the missing puzzle piece to the new class.

    And study for your SSATs. You are aiming high for the BS list, so you also need 90th % + to get into the maybe pile.

    Again, trying to be honest and helpful. Feel free to PM any specific Qs. I am here to help. It is a long and hard process.
    edited October 3
    · Reply · Share
  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 83 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Also, the interviews will not be "formal" interviews. More like a friendly, easy chat. BUT even though you won't realize it, you are being interviewed. So IRL it will be low pressure, you do not need to stress about it. Just practice how to get out what you want to share.
    · Reply · Share
  • MercurriiMercurrii 118 replies2 threads Junior Member
    okay ahhhh tyyy! I’m so stressed but I feel like I’ll do great! Thanks!
    · Reply · Share
  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 194 replies9 threads Junior Member
    And study for your SSATs. You are aiming high for the BS list, so you also need 90th % + to get into the maybe pile.

    I am curious as to where you get this number? It has not been my experience talking to other parents over the 4+ years that I have been bumming around boarding schools. It also does not jive with my direct conversations with AOs who seem to be very forthcoming about their tactics once your kid has been admitted. I had an AO describe their interview questions to me the other day.

    · Reply · Share
  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 83 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited October 4
    @one1ofeach You know the average scores of roughly 93% for accepted students are well documented through various sources for Andover and similar schools. And I understand that means PLENTY of 80s (and 70s) are accepted as well. And certainly there are reasons to be accepted with "bad" SSATs. Some candidates' life history is so extraordinary, no AO would care about the SSATs at all. But if your resume comes across as average for these schools, you are going to need to show a strength somewhere.

    If the OP was my child with the resume that was posted, that'd be my honest feedback. If OP had been recognized by a national organization for charity work or was in the U15 national team soccer player pool, my thoughts would be different on the weight of the SSATs, of course.

    (shrug emoji)

    I hope I am wrong, but when you are looking a 16%-20% acceptance rates, I do not believe I am way off for this PARTICULAR applicant (can't underline, not shouting).

    Just advice from a keyboard warrior. Could be bad advice! I wish all earnest candidates with Lawrenceville and Exeter as #1 and #2 got in and got the aid they need as well. Truly. That is why I am here.

    The 90th% is just a rounded down version of "at least try and hit their average score."
    edited October 4
    · Reply · Share
  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 194 replies9 threads Junior Member
    Ok, I see what you are talking about. Makes sense to me now.

    I think I am skewed because I am talking to already admitted (obviously) kids and most of them have something unusual about them and often lower than 90% SSAT scores. BUT that unusual thing is quite interesting and is likely what got them in, neutralizing the need for super high scores. It also highlights, in my mind, the need to have something at which you excel and not just do some of everything.
    · Reply · Share
  • CaliMexCaliMex 1821 replies34 threads Senior Member
    All of the top schools reject tons of kids with SSAT scores in the 95th percentile and above. Once your SSAT score is at or around 85th percentile, you are in the "could handle rigorous academics" pile. That pile is NOT ranked. Whether you are accepted or not then depends on everything else in your file (essay, teacher recommendations, extracurriculars) and what they are looking for to round out that particular class (are all their violinists graduating next year? are they in the market for a lacrosse goalie because theirs is leaving for a school year abroad? etc).

    Do NOT waste time trying to raise a score from teh 87th percentile to the 97th percentile. Spend that time instead polishing your essays, winning awards for your ECs, or improving your grades and recommendations from English or Math teachers.
    · Reply · Share
  • PublisherPublisher 8512 replies91 threads Senior Member
    OP: You need an SSAT score before anyone can offer even an educated guess at your chances for admission.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity