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Advice from those already accepted into boarding schools please

salingergirlsalingergirl Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
edited January 2010 in Prep School Chances
So I'm going into 8th grade next month and am applying to the following boarding schools as a prospective freshman for the fall of 2010:

Exeter
Phillips Andover
Milton Academy
Deerfield
Millbrook
Hotchkiss
Choate

I'd like anyone with experience in prep school admissions or anyone who's been accepted to give me some advice on what I should include in my essays, what extracurricular activities I should work on, or anything at all regarding the admissions process. I am aware of how competitive these schools are and how many bright minds are out there but still I believe that I at least have a chance. I'd really appreciate any advice! :D

I've been wanting to go to boarding school since the 3rd grade but I've only really started dedicating myself to this goal since around February of this year. In terms of general academics, I had a year end average of 99.25% for 7th grade, and I believe that I will be able to maintain that average for grade 8 and perhaps surpass it. But I attend a normal, public middle school in New York City and though I am enrolled in all the honors classes that my school offers, it was only honors english and honors math for 7th grade. Recently they took honors english out of the currriculum, so the only honors/advanced classes I can take for 8th grade are the Earth Science Regents and Algebra Regents; there is no honors social studies or english. Do you think that this will, in any way, decrease my chances of acceptance into these selective prep schools?

I was born in New York, but moved to Singapore (my family's country of origin) when I was four following my parents' divorce, where I attended the private Singapore American School up until 6th grade. But due to financial hardship I had to return to the U.S. and enroll in public school about one year ago. Since I went to an international school, I suppose that I was exposed to a great deal of diversity and I am able to speak a good deal of Mandarin (though I am not fluent).

I didn't do much community service last year but I've been drawing since Kindergarden and recently got into painting after taking a summer course at Parson's School of Design. I've built up a substantial portfolio and will continue to dedicate myself to studio art. In a few weeks, I'll be starting yoga class - though I have little experience with this activity. I also have a passion for writing and keep many journals. I was pretty good at basketball in Elementary school, but quit in the 5th grade after a bad season. I tried it again in 7th grade but realized that I had gotten really rusty and wasn't as good as other players. I'm a fit, healthy person but I do not consider myself to be an athlete.

For 8th grade, I plan on doing much, much more community service and am trying to have 100 hours by the time applications are due. I'm going to be taking more classes at Parson's, too. But I'm worried that my extracurriculars aren't good enough. Although I've always thought of writing as my real talent, is that considered to be academic-related or could I could I think of it as an extracurricular? As for personal essays, I'm a little nervous. Any advice?

I ordered a few SSAT study guides and I'll be taking the test in mid- November. I'm not sure how I'll do since I've never taken it before, but I'm ready to invest a great deal of my time into studying. I've always been able to give good interviews, but does anyone have any tips?

Sorry for all the questions, but I'm just new to the whole application process and I appreciate any help!
Post edited by salingergirl on

Replies to: Advice from those already accepted into boarding schools please

  • Ccer999Ccer999 - Posts: 235 Junior Member
    First of all, you have to understand that all of those schools are extremely competitive and that you should reprehend yourself if you do not get an acceptance letter.

    Next, the application process looks a little bit like this.
    Interview-15-20%
    Essays-20-25%
    SSAT-5-10%
    ECs-20-25%
    Rec-15-20%

    Thereby, one should focus the most attention on the interview, essays, and ECs.

    Furthermore, the SSAT isn't too much of a problem if you have a solid vocabulary and can comprehend what you can read, it was pretty easy for me, out of point blank in a test prep book, I got a 2370.

    As long as you have laconic, concise answers that display that you are articulate, your interview will go greatly :).

    Recs- Based on what you said about your averages, I guess your teachers would like you so that's not a plight.

    Ecs- You're a bit lacking as you have no academic ecs, no athletics, and 1 art ec, but its good that you have community service.

    In addition, do you have any awards? Achievements? Or any of the such?

    Moreover, based on what it seems like reading this post, I infer that your passion is moreso in the arts than in academics. If you really feel that writing is your passion, explain that as clearly as you can.
  • urbanflopurbanflop Registered User Posts: 1,682 Senior Member
    I think you have a really good chance of getting in just make sure you study for your SSATs and work hard on your essays.
  • istoleyournose!istoleyournose! Registered User Posts: 607 Member
    Wow at people having the courage to put their whole life on a thread for any random stranger to judge... *claps*
  • salingergirlsalingergirl Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    thanks for all the help. I've never entered any contest or anything so I don't have awards to mention. Do u have any advice for the essays?
  • prepmomto2prepmomto2 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Both my kids attend Choate.....

    I just want to tell you that acceptance to any boarding school is tough. The admissions process is not only based on grades (although obviously they play a big part), but on the "overall" picture of each applying student. How well rounded is the student?, what does this particular student have to offer to the school community? Don't "fudge" your essays [in other words....tell them what you think they want to read]...be honest and let your personality come through (funny, serious, etc...). I highly recommend visiting any campus before applying and taking a guided tour [usually offered by a current student)...get a feel for the students, faculty, surrounding area etc.... Good luck to you!
  • muf123muf123 Registered User Posts: 790 Member
    millbrook must be your safr safty school.
  • PrincipalVPrincipalV Registered User Posts: 950 Member
    Next, the application process looks a little bit like this.
    Interview-15-20%
    Essays-20-25%
    SSAT-5-10%
    ECs-20-25%
    Rec-15-20%
    Eh? Where exactly did you get this "info"?
This discussion has been closed.