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What are my chances of getting into Phillips Exeter, Phillips Andover, or The Lawrenceville School?

AKmathAKmath 66 replies4 threads Junior Member
I’m an Indian Male from NJ.

Grades:

Language Arts - 87 (B)

Math (High Honors Course) - 87 (B)

Science - 93 (A)

Social Studies - 91 (A-)

PE - 100 (A+)

Band - 100 (A+)

Innovation and Design (required elective) - 96 (A)

French - 93 (A)

I’m very interested in politics and applied mathematics (particularly infinite series)

I’m very good at tennis (played for ~6–7 years) and have played clarinet for 4 (I play in my school band, another jointure band, and am auditioning for my school’s honor band this year).

I got in the 95th percentile on the SSAT.

I’m a person with great leadership qualities who can influence my peers.

A Boy Scout (First Class), I also was chosen as one of two students from my school to attend a JrNLYC leadership conference in DC.
122 replies
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Replies to: What are my chances of getting into Phillips Exeter, Phillips Andover, or The Lawrenceville School?

  • AKmathAKmath 66 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Can someone please reply. There've been 40 views but absolutely no comments besides this one.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6446 replies10 threads Senior Member
    I'd say 50/50. Your stats are fine but you don't really offer something compelling to the school. Someone might meet you and think you'd really contribute to the community. Or they might have other applicants "just like you" who offer even more. Put differently, without meeting you, I wouldn't be surprised if you got in and I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't. It may help that all are larger schools. If the tennis coach really wants you, that could definitely tip the scales in your favor!

    If you are committed to going to BS, I hope you are not just applying to these 3 schools.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 893 replies17 threads Member
    I agree with the above. The schools are larger so they have more room for kids who are all around good but not varsity starters freshman year or amazing artists/trombonists/something the school needs.

    If you really are great at tennis and would make an impact on a varsity team as a freshman you should be in touch with the coaches so they can boost your application.

    The competition is fierce for these spots.
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  • AKmathAKmath 66 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Thanks, guys.
    That's all I was looking for, a 50/50. Nice to know that I have a small chance. I am applying to other private schools nearby me like Pingry and Newark Academy. Would you recommend any advice/tips for the essay? I hear that bears a lot of weight. I've heard to write something that surprises them but isn't too far off. Is there more too it than that?
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1834 replies13 threads Senior Member
    Honestly, I think your grades are very low for PA and PEA. The perhaps your school is very tough in which case the BS’s will know it.
    Play up the tennis and write good essays.
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  • AKmathAKmath 66 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Yes, that is true. I'm still in my town's public middle school (which is quite good), I was put in the highest Language Arts class (only out of two tiers) and in the third-highest math class (out of four). I think I've done well with the essay as my LA teacher was very impressed when she proofread it. Does anyone know how I can get in touch with one of the tennis coaches?

    P.S. I was also told by a family friend that the fact that I'm paying full tuition will help. He attends PEA and says that while they advertise as Need-Blind it really comes down to money in the end. Is this true at all because I very highly doubt it?
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6446 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Being full pay can help. At most schools that have good FA, around half the class is FP. But in all likelihood, you are in the same "buckets" as other students who are FP. My guess is that most tennis players are FP, for example. You are not exceptional academically but can probably handle the work, and that will be the case for probably at least 75% of the FP applicants which may also include legacies. As for being from NJ or being Indian, I would guess there is a range of FP and needing FA. It's really not so straightforward even for the need blind schools.

    I think that one of the reasons people talk about FA being so tough is that most kids applying to BS with significant need are really excellent students-- and often without having had the advantages of great schools and exciting enrichment opportunities. It tends to be a very talented, and deep, pool. It is also unlikely to include kids with athletic hooks requiring money (squash, tennis, many travel sports), which many schools give preference.

    But yes, if it's between you and your needs FA twin, you would probably edge him out at most schools.
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  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 132 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2019
    @AKmath
    Agree with several above: your grades are not great BUT your SSAT balances them out, so I would say they are fine for consideration. Band and tennis help IF you are seriously good enough and interested in playing at school. Are you a varsity as a freshman type player? If so, have you contacted the coaches? If not don't try and fake that level of interest.

    I am not seeing school leadership type positions. These schools want you equally engaged with the campus as the classrooms. When appropriate in an essay I'd work that Scouting and "leadership qualities" into specifically how you will be an involved member of the class.

    FP is a +

    Chanced by a keyboard warrior? SSAT score helps show some of your potential but the resume a little light for these schools. Bump you past some of the students with no shot.....maybe 20% per school? Expect the unexpected on M10. You could get into one or none, really hard to say with your stats.

    How was your interview? How is your personality? Did you comfortably express yourself? That is also a factor.

    edited December 2019
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  • AKmathAKmath 66 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Yes I am good at both. But as I said before does anyone know how I can ge tin contact with any of the school’s coaches? I play in my school band, in a band outside of my school’s which is a jointure band comprised of kids from surrounding towns recommended by their music teacher. I’m also auditioning for my school’s honor band this year. I’m the fourth highest chair in my school (all of the 3 people higher than me take private lessons).
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6446 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Go to the school's team pages. The coaches are listed, often with their email. Send an email! Introduce yourself and let them know about how you have done in some of your bigger tournaments. My son had a classmate who had been ranked first in his age group in his state, for example, so that was how he conveyed to the coach that he wasn't just a kid playing in the park!

    I'm sorry to tell you this, but the schools don't care if the 1st to 3rd chair had private lessons, they only care about how good you are. If you can contribute, that's great! And in some very selective orchestra, the 4th chair may be incredible. I was blown away by how accomplished a number of the musicians were when I would go to music performances at my son's school. Of course, there were also kids who were less exceptional. You can send a link to you performing a solo if you think it would help.

    If you are in NJ, perhaps you can attend a concert at Lawrenceville to see what the level is.
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  • AKmathAKmath 66 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for the info on contacting the coaches. I do plan to send a clarinet recording to the schools. I've done a bit of research and have begun worrying less about their tennis team. It seems like Exeter/Andover/Lawrenceville/all the other prestigious boarding schools play a very "1920's" form of tennis. It was surprisingly quite slow and there was no variation in the play. One person would hit a slow serve (very surprising to me) and they would just continue to hit crosscourt until one person made a technical/unforced error in their stroke. No variation, no switching it up, and no tempo, just slow unmoving tennis like aristocrats would play in the late 1800's-early 1900's. I really hate to sound arrogant or be counting my chickens before they hatch, but impossible is definitely not a word I would use to describe how hard it is to get onto at least there JV team in freshmen year. On top of that Exeter has already lost 7 out of 10 games and only won 3. It makes you wonder what all those multi-million dollar sports facilities are for? I was quite surprised because alumni of Exeter have explicitly said there tennis team is usually not on par with there soccer and football teams mostly. Just surprising is all. My mother has now given me the option to retake the SSAT for a final third time. Does anyone think it is worth it to get >95% which is already quite above all there averages of around 90th-92nd percentile?
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  • AKmathAKmath 66 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I know I shouldn't be, but I'm a little worried because 5 of my friends in school got >97% (three of them 99%), however, none of them are applying to an out of state boarding school. I'm actually the only one in my school. All my other friends said they would never want to go to boarding school.
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  • AKmathAKmath 66 replies4 threads Junior Member
    What is the essay topic for Exeter, Andover, and Lawrenceville? Do they all have the same one?
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  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 132 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Leave the SSAT alone, IMO. You are more than fine there. Be careful of statements such as what you wrote about Exeter tennis and their facilities. It comes across as negative for an applicant. People connected with admissions at any school could be reading here.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 893 replies17 threads Member
    All boarding schools go through phases with sports. Exeter doesn’t have great teams right now. At least in the sports my kids play.
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 341 replies15 threads Member
    @AKmath — please know I am in your corner when I say this: if you don’t know what the essay topics are yet for schools on your application list then I would suggest strongly that your time would be much better served letting the SSAT issue go and getting into the business of applications and essays! Essay topics have been available for months for browsing easily on Gateway. It makes me nervous that you aren’t already at least exploring your actual applications! For the love of all that is good, stop splitting 95/97/99 hairs on the SSAT and start working on something that really matters at this point. (Again — in your corner here! You got this!)
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  • AKmathAKmath 66 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @Calliemomofgirls
    Thanks for the advice. 90% of my application is already complete, it was just the essay I had to do. I've chosen "Tell us about something you learned on your own." I'm going to write about how much I love applied mathematics and especially infinite series (Ramunujuan Summation, Grandi's Series, 1/2+1/4+1/8+1/16 ..., The Infinity Hotel, etc.) I think this will do well as it's an extremely unique interest I have.
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  • AKmathAKmath 66 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @PrepDad2018
    How will admissions officers know it is me, like, my name and age and everything?
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 341 replies15 threads Member
    @AKmath -- Oh phew! I might have misunderstood your post yesterday. When you asked what the essays were it sounded like you hadn't seen them yet, or didn't know how to find them, which just made me nervous. Sounds like you are tracking great though. :)
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  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 132 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @AKmath Don't worry about it. You have enough to stress out about. I do not think anyone is digging up your true identity. A single possibly misunderstood statement is fine, just wanted to make sure it didn't (seem to) become a pattern. I get what you meant but just wanted to give you my 2 cents on how it might come across to others.
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