Ask about Lawrenceville

I figured since we have a few Lawrenceville acceptances on this board, it might be worth creating a thread here.

A bit about myself: I’m currently a junior day student, and I started here before Covid. Despite being a day student, I’m pretty engaged on campus (the earliest I return on any given day is 8:00 PM); I really appreciate how much effort the School puts into integrating us into campus life.

Aside from me, cityran’s child is a current sophomore, and sgopal2’s child graduated a few years back; they might have some alternative perspectives.


My son was a 4 year boarder, graduated in 2018. Happy to answer questions.

Hi my son was accepted into Lawrenceville and we are trying to decide if life as a day student makes it more stressful. We live 30 mins away. Do day students regularly need to be picked up at 10 - could they study at home instead of study hall? I am also wondering about the friends/student body etc. We are coming from a public middle school and I am just wondering how inclusive etc it is. It is important to us that our son stays grounded above all.

Yes. Check-in is at 8:00 for freshmen-juniors, so pretty much all clubs stop their meetings by then. There’s no reason to stay for study hall; the rules are fairly strict, and it’s just generally a lot more pleasant to work at home. I’d say that the main exception is if you do theater, where during tech weeks (there’s 4 stage productions and 3 dance productions a year), you’ll regularly be there until 9:00 PM.

On Saturdays, the typical pick-up is 11:00 PM, though, as people like to participate in the Saturday night activity, hang out with friends, and eat the feed.

The great thing about Lawrenceville social life is that with the House system, you pretty much end up getting really close to everyone in your grade freshman year, then even closer to those who end up in your Circle/Crescent House. I hang out with a lot of people who I never thought I’d be friends with because the House system brings us together. There’s lots of variety in people, and everyone will always find a group to hang out with.

My son boarded all 4 years. But some of his closest friends were day students. Each of the day students get assigned to one of the houses during Form 3 and 4. In first year they all are assigned to Boys/Girls Lower. And in senior year Upper. But the students form close bonds with their Housemates. Parents also get involved with the Housemasters. We always volunteered for several “feeds” per year, and we dropped by his House several times per term. They were always welcoming of parents.

I never had to deal with the dropoff/pickup, but several of my kids friends were day students. They do stay quite late. For some weekends they do allow the day students to sleep over.

Can you share experience of applying Hutchins scholar and some other scholars? Can 2nd and 3rd form student apply? How competitive is it? Like how many students apply and how many get in each year? Thank you!

I was involved in the early stages of the Hutchins application process, but I intentionally withdrew partway through.

Only third formers are invited to apply for Hutchins. Around 75 students express interest; they must then get one of their science teachers to nominate them for the program. After that comes two rounds of written applications (with blind reads), then an interview. Ultimately around 15 students are selected.

For Heely Scholars (archival U.S. history research), you, in your fourth form year, are nominated by your U.S. history teacher, whom you cannot ask for a nomination. Only students in either of the honors U.S. history classes (Survey/Cases) are eligible. There is one round of written applications. I believe something like 25 people are nominated, of whom ~8 are accepted.

Merrill Scholars (literary research) has open applications from all fourth form students. I’m not sure of the process or selectivity.

Leopold Scholars (sustainability) is open to all third and fourth formers. I don’t know much more.

Hutchins Social Justice Scholars is a new program, but at the moment, it is only open to fourth formers.


Thank you so much! all the scholar selections seem to be very competitive!

Is it also competitive to participate clubs?
I am a little worried about the math placement test in May. What if I find math class is either too easy or too difficult in September, in case I mess up the placement test. Do I get a chance to switch? When is the deadline to drop and switch a class? Thanks again!

Joining clubs is not at all competitive; anyone who is interested can participate in a club whenever they want, regardless of experience or form (grade).

Getting board positions, on the other hand, can be really difficult and competitive, but the nice thing is that by junior year, pretty much everyone has found a niche where they have one or two good leadership positions (or if you’re like last year’s valedictorian, seven).

In terms of the math placement test, don’t sweat it too much; initial math placement can be quite confusing at first. There is an add-drop period for the first two weeks of the term, and even after that, you can move into a lower/higher class after the first term—I even know of students who took two terms of Precalc AB then moved into Precalculus BC and then Calculus BC the following year, as well as vice versa. The registrar is super nice and accomodating.

Our daughter is a day student at Lville - 25 mnts away. We make it a point to pick up right after dinner (6pm) except for couple of days when there is club activities. This allows time in the evening for homework and freshening up (which they need after participating in pre-dinner sports). There is also a Saturday feed (11pm!!) which we find to be too late and mostly avoid. There is lot of time between classes, lunch hour and sports to socialize - in our opinion. Thanks!

Your child seems to be the opposite of mine; I usually do my homework during free periods/lunch/consult so that I can socialize in the evening without any worries :).

And most day students, from what I noticed, don’t show up to feeds because it’s just so late; I’m lucky to live close enough that it’s not too much for my parents.

How are tryouts for sports like if you haven’t played that sport before?

And what does the course selection look like for freshmen? Do freshmen take 6 requirement courses; English, History, Math, Science, Language and Performing or Visual Art?


Tryouts: if you’re trying out for a sport with varsity status and you’ve never played it before, it will difficult to make the team. But they also have JV teams. I think they even have House teams for some sports.

Freshman courses: my son took 5 courses first term, followed by 6 in winter and spring.

Regarding course selection: after the placement do they let you know of math/language placement immediately?
By junior year(prior to college apps) how many AP exams are you able to take (understand that some independent study is required). Any suggestions on good ways to utilize the summer before Lville to prepare?

I am relieved to hear this.
We live 30 mins away and are worried about the long hours in school for a day scholar and would prefer the approach you have taken- not sure if it will work out that way given activities but we will plan to try.

They let you know in early August, when your schedule comes out.

Most people who take AP exams before junior year either do it in Calculus (because they took Calc sophomore year), a foreign language that they’re fluent in, or CompSci (because they already know how to code). Freshmen and sophomores can’t really take AP-level classes outside of that. Honestly, most people don’t really take many APs.

If you don’t get into Math 3x are you off the honors track then in math? How much flexibility is there in requesting math 3x in that case?

Even if the placement test puts you into Math 3, you can still request to transfer into 3X after a week or at the end of the term; I know many people who took 3 in the fall and 3X in the winter/spring.

I personally had bad experiences with 3X, so I’d honestly recommend taking 3 and then Precalc BC; I don’t know if that’s still allowed, though, since when I started out 3X was a new class.

Don’t sweat the placement tests too much, they’re not that hard from what I remember.

@confusedaboutFA Thanks for all the info. Those are really helpful.

Can you share your experience of an English class? Did three different teachers teach you per each term? Were you asked to read many books before classes?

And how did you select the 6th course for winter/spring terms? It seems students can select one course out of performing or visual art courses.

Thanks in advance.

I’ll chime in with what I know…for sure Kiddo1 has had different English teachers for each term as a sophomore, and I believe she had 2 different teachers freshman year. They try to keep the Freshman humanities classes as one group, so both of your humanities classes (English & History/Cultural studies) will be the same group of students, even if the teacher isn’t the same. It’s one of many great ways that the school tries to make a large community feel smaller!

Like @confusedaboutFA , Kiddo1 took Math3X as a freshman and had a miserable experience. She is now taking Precalc AB and having a much better time with it. But from what I understand, they have revamped Math 3x, so hopefully it’s not as torturous.

For the 6th course for winter/spring, I believe you have to choose between foundations of art, foundations of music or foundations of performing art (it’s possible music & performing arts are lumped together). Whichever you choose paves the way for your second art credit as a sophomore (ie, if you take foundations of visual art, the art class you pick as a sophomore must also be in the visual arts category). For example, Kiddo1 took foundations of visual art as a freshman, and then 2D design as a sophomore.

Hopefully that helps!