Chance me for 2023 admission to day schools

Hello there, I am rising 8th grader applying for fall 2023 admission to 9th grade. I’m an African-American (domestic applicant) male, neither overwhelmingly wealthy nor low-income. I am only applying to private day high schools in the Greater Boston area.

Schools (no particular order):
Noble & Greenough
Xaverian Brothers

Academic History:

SSAT: While I have not yet taken the SSAT, I was offered (2x) an “accelerated” English course, where I’m learning deep comprehension of literary works, creative writing, debate, and research writing.

Grades: My grades in the most previous school year consisted mostly of As with two Bs.


  • Environment Club - Founding Member. Our work in the spring of 2022 included revitalizing neglected school garden; it now has six newly constructed raised beds (produce donated to school food service) and a flower bed with 20+ flowers working to restore butterfly and bee (pollinator) populations.
  • Student Council - Student Representative, elected to represent class of 300+ middle school students. Coordinating a wide range of school-related events, activities, programs, policies, and initiatives.
  • Debate Team - Team Member. Received 1st place Speaker Award in the regional competition after earning distinguished speaker points in multiple successive debate rounds.
  • Community Service - Organizes nationwide phone-banks with other youth activists to elect proponents of social justice-based policy to political office.
  • Volunteer - Outreach Intern with local road safety organization during the summer of 2022.

Brief Question

  • Will a poor letter grade during the pandemic hurt my application or may it be excused as a result of no in-person instruction during the spring of 2022? (already-existing achievement and opportunity gaps in education were increased during this time)

Please let me know if there is any chance I might get accepted, especially to Milton, which is my top choice. The early quarter-life crisis I’m currently having over PS admittance will be lessened by your response. Bee well. :honeybee: (see what I did there?!)

Here’s the best piece of advice I can offer you as a parent who has had two kids go through the process: a son apply to day schools (for 7th) and then who applied out to BS last year for 10th; step-daughter applied for day school for 6th and BS for 9th.
There is no hard and fast rule for any of these schools- we live in Boston too. You have put together a great list of accomplishments and stats. Good grades, extracurricular stuff is always a solid foundation. Do the prep work for SSATs and do the best you can. What will matter just as much is who you are as a whole person: how you interview, your essays and letters of recommendation. You are joining a competitive applicant pool so strong grades, SSAT scores and some extracurricular are baseline… Distinguish yourself by putting thought into the interviews and essays- not boilerplate. Make sure you do your research for tours, as thoughtful questions, try to connect with current students, really figure out what it is about each of these schools that speak to you and how you would see yourself as a part of the school.

Good luck! Believe in yourself and you got this.


Thanks for the helpful advice! Hearing from parents who understand the admissions process makes me happy every time.