Hey everyone! I know this is very early on in the process, and I haven’t even made up my mind about the schools I am applying to or have all my info, but this is just to get some more insight on where/if I should I apply!
Background Info: I am a white man who is going into 10th grade at a private day school. My school is considered by many to be the best in my state academically, but I haven’t really felt challenged at my 7 years going here. I had never thought about leaving until 8th grade when I had some very bad experiences and applied to Exeter. I started very late in the process (late November) and I got waitlisted. My application was very bad though, I had almost no EC’s, I applied test-optional because my SSAT score was not great (75th percentile I think), and my essays were pretty weak. I am now applying to these schools because ever since then my school hasn’t felt like a safe space as someone in the LGBTQ+ community and I am looking for stronger academics, sports, and a fresh start! I would be applying to Exeter as a day student and the rest of the schools (barring Andover) as a boarding student. I have a question about Andover later that would decide whether I would apply as a day student or boarding student. I also have a question later about which grade I should apply for.
Grades and Academics:
8th: I don’t really know my GPA right now because I don’t have my transcript but it was somewhere in the mid 90s
Ancient World History: 94
String Orchestra: 97
Next year I am going to be the only person skipping a level of language (Mandarin 2 to Mandarin 4) and I won a 9th grade departmental award for language! I will also be taking the most rigorous schedule possible for a 10th grader. The only grade in the 80s was in my 8th grade year when I got an 85 in art. Also, my school sends lots of kids to Exeter after middle school.
My EC’s are kind of weak but I am working on strengthening them!
Tennis: I play USTA tournaments, go to college recruitment camps, I have played on my school’s varsity team since 8th grade, last season for varsity I was the only regular starter who was not a senior on a team who got our best result in a long time, on varsity I am projected to be the #1 player this year, I have played u14s and u18s USTA Junior Team Tennis since I was 12, and other stuff. I am looking for a stronger tennis team and I will be reaching out to all the coaches!
Music: I have played the double bass in my school orchestra for 5 years! I have done recitals and work with a private teacher! The issue is that I’m definitely not good enough to play in one of these schools’ orchestra. I am working to improve though!
I am a passionate activist about all social issues. I am a co-leader of the Diversity club at my school. I am also working with some other students to create an activism coalition within my school. I have attended NAIS SDLC, and SJLI at Governor’s Academy where there were students from a lot of these schools. I am planning to start a social justice based non-profit. I have applied for a spot on the USTA New England Youth Player Council (which involves tennis, diversity, and inclusion.) I have also reached out to local organizations to volunteer. The reason I put social justice as a question mark is because I don’t want the schools to think I am putting this on my application as something to brag about rather than something that I deeply value and want to continue at one of these schools.
I don’t know my math and English teachers for next year yet. I have a good relationship with my counselor. I also have a good special interest recommendation in mind! I have a unique situation though because my English teacher is teaching at Exeter this year and we had a great relationship! Do you think this would be a good personal recommendation?
What are some other EC’s that you think I could do?
I live about 50 minutes from Andover’s campus. I want to apply as a day student but my town isn’t on the list of towns that have a choice. Does this mean I have to apply as a boarder or can I still apply as a day student?
(At all schools) Is the acceptance rate for 11th graders really low? Should I apply as a repeat 10th grader?
What else can I do to get in?
And obviously, what are my chances?
Sorry if this was long. Thanks!