AMA about Exeter + resources for accepted students

Hello and congratulations to all students and parents of students accepted to Exeter!! :tada: I’m a current student here and would be happy to answer any questions about student + campus life as best as I can.

If you’re an accepted student and would like to gain more knowledge about campus life and connect with other Exonians, absolutely check out @exieblog on Instagram. It’s a blogging + vlogging group run by students that is specifically geared towards showing what Exeter is like to admitted students and giving advice to those who enroll.

Congrats once again!!


Ty so much!!! I was very surprised when i got in.

I had a question about the culture at Exeter. I’m not really smart and I’m worried that I won’t be able to match the academics that Exeter has to offer. As a student there how do you manage to keep up with the academics while also pursuing your interests?

Every student goes at their own pace, and while I don’t know your exact situation, there’s always a lot of students in the same boat as you are.

There’s a really great support network here. Whenever I have any trouble with classes, I always call or text my advisor to schedule a meeting, and we go over problems and solutions together. Students are encouraged to schedule office hours meetings with teachers, and there is also nightly tutoring help in the English building where there are students and teachers available to help you with English, math, science, and foreign language homework. That is an especially great resource, and I’ve seen people frequently do their homework at those tutoring places.

If you’re a boarder, your dorm community is also a super great resource, especially if you need homework help when it’s past check-in. Whether it’s fellow classmates, student listeners, faculty on duty, or upperclassmen who have already taken your class, there are always people to help emotionally and academically!

In regards to pursuing your interests, there are many times and spaces to do that – through sports or theater for example, and through the many clubs and affinity spaces there are.

Hope this helps! :smiling_face:


Thank you so much!! I really appreciate your answer
I’m stuck between Exeter and another school really good school. This information has really helped lean more towards Exeter to attend next fall as a boarder!! I’ve heard a lot about Exeter community and I’m really keen on taking harder courses there that my lps doesn’t offer so I am grateful that Exeter has plenty of resources like office hours and nightly tutoring to help me achieve this goal !! I’m so sorry to ask another question but before I come to Exeter should I prepare myself in any way?
Thank you so much, you do not understand how much I really appreciate your help!!
Have an amazing day!!! :two_hearts:

So happy to hear that!! :smiling_face: If you do enroll, there’ll be more information coming out later in the spring/summer about accessing your Exeter email, online Exeter resources, placement tests (for math and foreign language), course selections, packing, and other stuff like that. There isn’t much preparation to do on your part immediately – look forward to your acceptance package though! When I got accepted, I got a water bottle, a campus map, and a courses of instruction book :grin:

I do highly recommend deep-reading the courses of instruction book online and writing down/planning out the courses you want to take next year and in future years. When the time comes to select courses, definitely email faculty/advisors with any questions you may have about the course description – and this advice this kind of applies to any school. Sometimes, students select a lower-level elective without realizing they could have gone straight to the higher-level one. For example, one of my dormmates ended up taking a computer science course that was too easy for them, and one of my classmates found that they aren’t able to take astronomy because they didn’t take physics. So it’s something to keep in mind! :+1:

Wishing a great day to you too!

Hi! I’m wondering about Exeter’s dress code, because I heard it was ‘stricter’ than some other schools. Also, is there a system they use to pair up roommates?

Hmmm? I get doing this for the year immediately coming up, but I’d never do this for anything beyond that; my interests changed so much between my eighth grade year (i.e. when I began obsessively reading course catalogs) and around a month ago (when I finalized my schedule for my senior year) that it would have been a pretty bad idea to get set into a certain schedule so early on.

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Thanks for sharing, I totally get that! For me, the planning for future years is mostly for high-level electives that some students want to take as upperclassmen, which require specific prerequisites. Some of my interests have changed pretty widely too.

From my experience, Exeter’s dress code overall is pretty lenient! Though in a lot of classes, it depends on the teacher – I’ve heard that some Latin teachers tend to enforce stricter dress codes, and on the other side of the spectrum, some teachers are fine with sweatshirts + sweatpants in class. Jeans, including ripped jeans, are allowed for everyone, and people wear cropped tops and spaghetti straps in warm weather. I’ve noticed that guys tend to dress more formally overall (dress shirts, dress pants, some wear ties).

About roommates: sometime in the spring, enrolled students get a form where they can enter their roommate preferences (roommate, no roommate, no preference), dorm size preference (large dorm, mid-size dorm, house), and also their hobbies and interests. You can also specify if you would like to be in a boy’s dorm, girl’s dorm, or all-gender dorm. Not all students get their preferred roommate/dorm size choice, but people with roommates are paired up by complementary hobbies and interests.

Thank you so much for your response! I was pretty worried about those two things.
In that case, I’m even more excited to enroll this fall!

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Thank you for making yourself available to answer questions. My DD was admitted to Exeter and another highly ranked school, so we’re torn. However, we do love Exeter’s campus, the breadth of its courses, and the opportunity to try so many different things. Any thoughts on what makes Exeter unique besides Harkness? Considering how big Exeter is relative to many BSs, can kids find their own way?

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I find that besides Harkness, one major thing unique to Exeter is its “vertical housing” system. Instead of students being housed by their grade levels, students in all four grades are housed together–from freshmen to seniors. This makes the dorm community an incredibly valuable resource for underclassmen who are finding their way through their new school and social lives.

Many juniors and seniors–especially student listeners and dorm proctors–make a point to be available if someone has a homework or extracurricular question late at night, or if someone needs a shoulder to cry or vent on. My first fall, when I was feeling overwhelmed past midnight, two seniors sat me in their room and comforted me. On another occasion, juniors and seniors were painting their nails in the common room, and invited me to join them. I find that this makes girls’ dorms especially supportive and home-like.

I came from a relatively small school, where I knew the names of every person in my grade, so Exeter’s size was a particularly big adjustment for me. Despite the change, I found that it can be easy to get to know and get close to “pockets” of people based on similar environments. I met many of my friends through sports and through my dorm, who have introduced me to many other people. After a couple months, it becomes quite easy to navigate. There are also many ways for a person to shine and gain exposure in a large class–for example, running for positions in the Student Council, starting a club, or becoming the president of an existing one.

Hope this answers your questions!

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My daughter was accepted for 10th, and I’m wondering how common that is: Will she be among many incoming 10th graders . . . or will she feel like the odd one out?

Also, I’ve heard that the structure and strictness of rules varies from dorm to dorm. As a worried mom, I’m thinking it would be best if my daughter were in a dorm in which the house parents did enforce lights out! I’d love her to be placed in a dorm or house where there is a bit more structure. Do you have any suggestions for what to check off on the housing questionnaire? (Like, is a house or medium-sized dorm less likely to be late-night party central?)

Thank you so much for any and all advice.

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What time do classes end on Saturdays, or are they like normal school days?

I was actually also a new 10th grader, and before coming to school, I had the same concern of being the odd one out! During the summer, I had the opportunity to meet other new 10th graders on Zoom and ask questions about Exeter. In the Zoom chat, I asked for everyone’s phone numbers to start an iMessage group chat, which ended up being very lively all the way through the end of summer and the start of the school year. We shared jokes, hobbies and interests, and advice for packing and studying. There were dozens of people in the chat, and at Exeter, I met other new 10th graders as well as accomplished upperclassmen who came in 10th grade. Among the group, we joke that new lowers (what 10th graders are called) are ‘elite.’ It’s definitely quite common!

About lights out: from what I’ve seen, larger girls dorms tend to enforce stricter lights out than smaller girls dorms. For example, I’ve heard from some girls in Dunbar, the largest girls dorm, that dorm faculty frequently check on them in their rooms. I’m in a mid-sized dorm, and faculty only check in our rooms once a week, to see if we are keeping tidy. Although not all dorms enforce lights out, every dorm has a “study hours” period from 8 pm to 10 pm where the hallways and common areas are expected to be quiet, so there is not much noise at those later hours.

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Saturday classes are a bit unpredictable, and wholly depend on each term’s schedule. (One term may have many Saturday classes, while another term may have little to none at all!) When there are Saturday classes, they’re only for the morning, and end before lunch.

Great stuff! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer those questions. Glad to hear about the Zooms over the summer — I’m sure my daughter will love that. She’s very social.

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Sorry for an unrelated question and congratulations to everyone who got in.
Any advice about a waitlist?

Unfortunately there isn’t much to be done about a waitlist as there is generally very little movement. Wishing you the best!

Can you pls share any information about GPA distribution at Exeter, e.g. quintiles or % students getting GPA above B+, A-, etc. Thanks