Chance me for Exeter

I’m an 8th grade student from Russia, but I’ve been living in the U.S. for two years. I will be applying to Exeter for the 10th grade. My SSAT score is 2298(97 under the 8th grade curve), and I will be living just half an hour away from the school. I am into programming, international politics and more recent Russian history(20th century), and math. I am also curious about a lot of things like astronomy, and want to try out debate and robotics. I’d say I’m good at writing essays, and am pretty outspoken. What would my chances be looking like?

Read the following thread: Here are your chances for boarding schools.

While you have an excellent SSAT score, there are many more things that are considered in a successful application.

You’ve mentioned nothing about grades, it is unclear whether you have extracurricular activities, and you’ve given no reason why Exeter versus any other prep school, other than being close to home.

So, what do you want to get out of a prep school education?

It is really hard to chance anyone right now. This past cycle schools that were at 20-30% acceptance went down to 11%. Schools that were already at 11% - it was a slaughterhouse. Exeter wasn’t quite that low originally (11% was a dubious distinction held by Thatcher and Groton), but my guess is it was about 5-10% acceptance rate this M10. That means 95% of kids are not going to get in. Even if you say it went to 10% acceptance, 90% didn’t get in. So those are your chances. 90% chance you do not get in. Spend some time now looking for other schools you would love to go to so that you have good options next year. Good luck in your search - there is a lot, a whole lot, of information about schools on this board.


Exeter was about 10% this year, not sure about 10th grader though.

If you plan to apply to Exeter, there’s still time to build your case for this coming year. Regardless of the result, your effort won’t be wasted. Good luck.

You’re absolutely right. My mistake.

My grades are good, I don’t see any reason for finishing under 90% in any class of mine. As for extracurriculars, it’s been pretty hard to find extracurriculars, but I will definitely double down on those heading into the spring and the beginning of 9th grade.

As to why I’m choosing to apply to Exeter, I have already seen almost all the GLADCHEMMS schools from my brother applying, and I just think that I thrive the most in a very competitive and rigorous environment, and I loved the school itself. The resources and the opportunities at Exeter are incredible, and it would not be too far from my family, compared to, say, Lawrenceville. And, of course, the people. Having such a talented and hard-working group of individuals around you builds friendships

It’s great that you want to apply to Exeter, and that it’s your top choice. However, I think what others are saying is that it’s important to find schools to apply to in addition to PEA. There are many schools with competitive atmospheres, rigorous academics, and a plethora of opportunities.

One thing I will caution you about is “doubling down” on ECs. Yes, ECs are extremely important. However, remember that it’s much more about quality than quantity. Don’t sign up for 10+ clubs just because you think it will buffer your application. Schools will see through that. Sign up for things that you’re interested in and get really involved. Try to get a leadership position, start something of your own, or develop some of your other strengths. Anyone can join art club, but it only takes one person to start an art club. Schools want to see you take initiative. If it’s been hard to find ECs, use that as an opportunity to start one. Next year, figure out if your English or math teacher is proctoring any clubs at your school, and if it’s something you’re interested in, join. They’re the ones writing your recommendations. Seek out unique things to get involved with. Maybe a local charity, an internship, or something entrepreneurial will suit your interests.

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you just explained every “top” BS. Andover, Hotchkiss, Choate, Loomis, just to name a few. IMO you should widen your net. Apply to some schools with higher admission rates. Kids there are often just as smart as Exeter kids. Some people at NMH have chosen the school over Exeter. It’s going to be very hard to go to boarding school if the only school you apply to is Exeter.

also, if you don’t have US citizenship, and/or need Financial Aid, it is going to be harder to gain admission. If I were you, I would apply to at least a few more schools. Had I stuck with my original list of 7, I would’ve only gotten into one school. My list of 11 schools paid off, and I got into 4.

Everyone on this forum is going to tell you to widen your net. We can’t chance you, but the parents are giving their best advice.


Question: do you think that it’s important to factor in college matriculations when choosing schools? Why or why not?

no, boarding schools don’t feed colleges. they prepare you for them.

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btw where do u go?

No. There is not a HS in the country that can guarantee you admission to your top choice college. Like @lilyesh said, pick the school that will best prepare you for college.

But isn’t a higher matriculation rate a representation of how the school prepares you?

She applied this past application cycle and I believe has committed to Hill for next year (as an incoming 10th grader).

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No necessary. Matriculation is also dependent on athletics and alumni, and the kids admitted to top BS often already have a higher chance of getting into good colleges.

If you’re looking for a way to gauge how well a school prepares kids you can look at average admitted SSAT vs average SAT score for the upperclassmen. Even still, that’s only one metric, and doesn’t gauge any of the other things a school may have taught it’s graduates that isn’t measured by a standardized test.

Not really.

Just because some graduates went on to Harvard, it does not follow that if you go there, your odds of getting into Harvard will increase.

In fact, there are some that will argue that your odds of HYP admission might be greater if you go to a LPS.

You don’t know, looking at matriculation lists, if there were other factors: athletic recruit, legacy, faculty child, etc.

You want to see that there are a variety of good schools listed, but your chances of getting into any specific college are not guaranteed - or even increased just by going to a particular prep school.

If your interest in Exeter is primarily as a pathway to Harvard, look elsewhere.


Yes this fall I will be a 10th grader at Hill. As @stalecookies said, if you’re looking to go to Exeter as a pathway to Harvard, you aren’t looking to go to Exeter for the right reasons.

Nope. The matriculation data includes recruited athletes, legacies, donor’s kids, and at some schools, faculty brats. For the rest, colleges admit applicants, not boarding schools. Choosing a boarding school based on matriculation data is folly.


Are you saying that one has the same likelihood to be accepted into a good college from Exeter as from another top 10 school?