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What are my chances for boarding school?

DaNielRiver07DaNielRiver07 1 replies1 threads New Member
Hello! I understand that I'm doing this very early, but why not? I'm going to apply to only three boarding schools: Phillips Exeter, Phillips Academy Andover, and Lawrenceville. I'm only applying to these schools and not expanding the number of schools I'm applying to.

Gender/Ethnicity/School/Financial Status:
Male, Asian (Korean-American), Public School, probably full pay

9th Grade, Fall of 2021

No official scores because I haven't taken it yet, but I got a pretty decent score on a practice test from a couple months back with no studying. Aiming for 97th percentile or higher when I take it.

Haven't done any

Didn't do essays yet

All As (my school doesn't do A+)

Didn't get my recommendations yet.

-Head of Math Club
-Did Model UN for one year, didn't get to go to any conferences because of Covid-19
-5 years competitive swimming
-Top 15 in the nation 200 Breaststroke, Top 50 for 100 and 50 breaststroke, Top 100 for several (planning on athletics to be a big hook)
-Taught kids from poorer areas of my state to swim
-AMC 8 Honor Roll
-AMC 10 Achievement Award (was 3 points off of AIME)
-Saxophone 4 years (don't really have any awards, but I am passionate)
-Drum Set 2 months (always wanted to learn how, so I finally started learning during quarantine)
-LAL 6th grade achievement award? (probably doesn't do anything)
-Taking Algebra 2 in 8th grade
-I started coding a few months ago, and it is keeping me interested, so I plan to continue

Exeter's best breastrokers are graduating and I'm at around the level of their best breastrokers, so I guess there's that.

I want to go to boarding school for three main reasons: diversity, more resources, and challenging academics. These probably sound really generic, but I have reasons behind all three. First of all, the town I live in is really, really white. There are about four Asians in my grade and only one African-American. There's also no Latin Americans. The majority of kids are okay, but there is some racism. Lots of people use derogatory terms and it isn't the best feeling even if I don't feel super offended. Boarding schools are diverse in race, but on top of that, everyone is connected because they all are students who want to succeed. I guess I want to interact with more people who are unique. Second of all, boarding schools have lots of resources. There are amazing facilities, faculty (resources?), and just opportunities in general. By going to a prestigious school, students have the chance to do things they have never done before, allowing them to build onto themselves as students and as people. Lastly, my school doesn't challenge me at all. People slack off, and that creates an overall atmosphere that isn't good. I want to go to a school where other people want to succeed like me and aren't afraid of challenges. I want to be surrounded by people who understand me.

Hope all of you people browsing through this website take a few minutes of your time to read through this mess and reply (anything is appreciated). Have a good day :).

5 replies
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Replies to: What are my chances for boarding school?

  • KellyJoeKellyJoe 16 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @ DaNielRiver07 I don’t know about your chances as my daughter has not started this process yet but I have read enough of these boards to have some good insight.

    I think your swimming if you’re as good as you’ve stated, is a great hook. I also think full pay is quite helpful. Your SSAT scores of course will be the clincher.

    Overall, your ECs look good.

    Why are you only interested in those 3 schools and no other?
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  • ameridadameridad 21 replies3 threads Junior Member
    While I have no personal experience whatsoever (my oldest is at the same stage as you), from all I've read I'd say you have a strong chance if you do well on the qualitative stuff (essays, interviews). To some extent it's about luck, though. If you are the only academically wonderful topnotch swimmer who applies, you've got a much better chance than if many such athletes apply. In other words, it's about the applicant "pool," not just you!
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  • DaNielRiver07DaNielRiver07 1 replies1 threads New Member
    edited August 3
    @KellyJoe The schools I'm applying to have the strongest swim teams compared to other schools, so there is that. Also, with other factors such as dress code and location, I narrowed it down to only these three. I don't HAVE to go to boarding school. Yes, I bet I could get in to one if I applied to twenty, but that isn't the goal. If I am going to go to boarding school, I want to attend a school that will be the best for the student I am.
    edited August 3
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  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 144 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @DaNielRiver07 My DS was in a similar position as you including the target schools and a limited reach. I would strongly recommend you reach out to the swim coaches NOW as a brief introduction. Basically your highlights above with some links to prove your claims to the national rankings. Coaches at Exeter, Andover, and L'Ville (IMO) don't have direct pull in admissions BUT it is nice to have someone on the inside pulling for you and the schools are likely to be interested in your overall stats and ECs. My DS sent brief emails about every 6 months as updates before the application. Full pay is big and study up on your SSATs even though you are looking good there.

    One coach was not interested in chatting prior to the application, the other two were great....encouraging but realistic.

    Next summer practice interviewing with an adult (just Google admission questions). It is not to memorize answers but to adjust to talking about yourself in that type of setting. If you have 5 highlights you want to put across in a conversation, it is good practice. If it is super awkward the first time that is a good thing.

    PM anytime you have specific Qs as my DS was ultimately successful on a similar path (and we had NO family BS history).
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  • dancingpianistdancingpianist 11 replies2 threads New Member
    Hey! I will be a 9th grade boarder at Andover this fall. I got into Exeter and Andover and was waitlisted at Lawrenceville. I'm a semi-professional dancer and pianist, and am also involved in a lot of community service. I think you are a great candidate! Being a strong swimmer is definitely a plus, so you should mention that a lot throughout your application. Your grades and test scores are great, so if I was you I wouldn't stress about it.

    - Don't underestimate the importance of your essays! Make sure to convey your passion and personality.
    - Reach out to swim coaches early. When I visited schools for my interviews, I met some of the dance teachers and introduced myself. It really helps!
    - Try to establish a strong relationship with your math/english teachers because they are required to write a recommendation letter for you.
    - Interviews were my favourite part of the whole application experience! All the admission officers are really friendly so don't be nervous. Prepare to answer questions like "why do you want to come to boarding school?" "what are your passions and interests?" "what can you bring to the school community?"
    - At the end of EVERY interview (I know because I interviewed at 11 schools), the admission officer will always ask "do you have any questions for me?" Make sure you do have a few questions prepared! I asked questions about the dance program, the school community etc...

    Good luck!
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