Ask anything about Taft!

Hi everyone, I’m a rising senior at the Taft School in Watertown! I came in my freshman year. Ask me any questions you may have about Taft or boarding school in general. I’m also in the college process, so I can speak on college counseling and where a lot of people go, if that would benefit you.
FYI: I also applied to Loomis, Choate and Cheshire

Hello! I am considering having my child apply to Taft next year for entry into 9th grade. We live in the area, and my son could be a boarding or a day student. How integrated are the day students with the boarding students? Do you know of students who technically could be day students but have chosen to board? Thanks!

Hi! I live about an hour away from the school and applied as a day student, but the school made me change to boarding before accepting me. Obviously, living in a dorm is a big part of bonding, but other than that, there are very little differences. Your son will make lots of friends in his classes, during orientation, and with teams or extracurricular groups. The main difference is really where you sleep at night. Day students can arrive as early as they want and only have to be out of the dorms at 8pm (they can stay in the library until 10). It may say something on the website about day students being able to eat dinner on campus, but they are more than welcome for breakfast as well (which starts at 7). Also, he would be assigned a dorm to keep his belongings in, and a lot of day students hang out in common rooms or in the rooms of boarder friends.
There are quite a few students who choose to board after a year or two of being day students, and the school will 100% let you. I also know a few people who started as boarders but only live 30-45 minutes away. I have really enjoyed being a boarder from Connecticut because I get to go home and see my family often. My parents definitely enjoy living close enough to watch all of my sports games as well.


I’m an international student who’s going to taft next year…So I have a handful of questions if you don’t mind answering….
The questions are below:

How does it feel to have school on a Saturday? Like does it feel strenuous or does it feel like the 5 day school week?

Does taft support athletes when it comes to academic work , like study halls etc… consultation’s…?

For international students do they get the same privileges as domestic students?… like leaving the campus or simply going into town?

How’s the food? It’s there diversification in the food or is it bland?

What’s hotchkiss day like?

And regarding dress does taft have any strict rules… like the typical private schools?

Hi! Sorry for the late response! School on Saturday is nothing more than slightly annoying. It’s only a half day, and the half day on Wednesday makes up for it. It would definitely be nice to have a full weekend sometimes, but it’s definitely bearable.
As a dual-varsity athlete, I don’t find myself missing too much. You won’t have to miss class or study hall often, but if you do, teachers and dorm parents are always flexible and helpful (ie: giving you the class plan/homework in advance, letting you stay up to do work later).
International students have exactly the same privileges as domestic students. There is absolutely no difference.
The food isn’t bad. People complain a lot, and I admit that there are days where I don’t feel like eating in the dining hall, but it is still good food and there are plenty of options.
Hotchkiss day is my favorite event. I’ve never been a spectator, only an athlete, but it’s the best! I have not met a single person who hasn’t attended Hotchkiss day. Every single student gets on a fan bus (this year it will be held at Taft, though) to watch all of the games. It is school spirit at its best. The night before, there is a rally in the auditorium and there’s music and chanting.
Dress code is very lenient. It’s on the website, but generally hoodies are permitted, and sometimes jeans. The main rules are no athletic wear or sweatpants.
Feel free to PM me if you have more questions!

Hello! My son, a strong athlete, is thinking about a PG year at Taft next year. He has sent video to the coaches and gotten a good response but my concern is the academics. My son has been at a public high school and he has never worked very hard or had what I’d consider to be great teachers (I went to Deerfield and believe my teachers there were far better and certainly more experienced)

As a student with all Bs, but I believe capable of better, will he find Taft too difficult if he’s accepted and decides to attend? And is the academic environment any easier or less of a pressure cooker for PGs? Please share your thoughts. Thx!

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Love to hear your thoughts pros and cons re: Taft. Thank you

Thank you! Would love to know if you know middle class families who have received financial aid. It sounds crazy but to afford these schools with more than one child and save for college as well you need to be above $500k a year. Is it possible for families between $200 - 400k to receive aid at Taft?

Yes, we are one such family with two kids at Taft and we receive partial FA.

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Thank you so much! That is great to hear.

I fall into that category! My family income is in that range and I have received a very large amount of financial aid, much more than we need. The catch is, most Taft students don’t need aid and so they will give families who need it as much as they want, really. The tuition my parents pay is $10,000 below what was offered by Loomis, Cheshire and Choate.

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That’s amazing to hear! We really want to consider boarding school but the price is so daunting. Its good to know that there are families receiving aid who are in the middle range for incomes.

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