I’m currently in the process of applying for the 2021-2022 school term for Phillips Exeter Academy (I’m applying for 11th grade) and I want to see my chances of getting in. I’m only applying to Exeter and I’m uncertain if I should apply to other different BS or if I should just stick with Exeter. I currently live in Staten Island, NY and I’ll give my academic background information in a current moment. Since there’s the situation with COVID, I did not include my PSAT or SSAT scores as I did not take the SSAT because it hasn’t been available in any of the schools which I’ve attended and my PSAT scores aren’t that great. (My freshman year I scored a 950 & my sophomore year which is the year I’m currently in, I scored a 940) I receive mostly A+ and As in my scores and in math is the only subject where I received a mild C/B last year during my freshman year. However, my weighted GPA for my freshman year was a 4.06 and this year, it’s currently at a 4.17 (for my first semester). For my extracurriculars/achievements, when I was in elementary school I participated in the school spelling bee but I didn’t win (I only won a certificate) and my art teacher got me involved in an event at Snug Harbor Museum where my art was framed in a gallery. I also participated in a bird-themed event for art another year around 3rd grade and in my additional media, I attached a google doc with a compilation of all my different drawings that I have done during the years (basically a portfolio). I additionally talked about how I was the top student in my history & how my professor always complimented me on my work. (I additionally included how I created a board game which was centered around a Greek myth and how my professor was really impressed with it) I also talked about how I earned a pin and a certificate for leadership during middle school because I was invited to an exclusive event for “senior awards night.” My ethnical background is I’m American (but my dad is from Mexico and my mother is from Honduras which makes me Hispanic) and I wanted to ask if location plays a role in your admission, as I live in Staten Island and I don’t really think that there will be applicants from here. ( I might be wrong but I’m not really sure as I don’t talk to anyone who is interested in applying to a BS) I’m a bit concerned whether I have a high chance of getting in because I don’t have much extracurriculars but it’s because my high school barely offers anything not because I don’t want to do them. (I also included in my candidate profile how I was involved in senior council, I just went for meetings in the mornings last year and this year virtually and how I was involved in game club which I only attended once as they lacked chess which was my main interest) So I was wondering if I still have a high probability of getting in. Also, I plan to attach some of the poetry I’ve written to the second portion of the application & wanted to additionally ask for advice on how to answer the essay questions in only 500 words because that’s technically the limit isn’t it? (On the portal it says to answer it in 500 words but the limit is 3000 so I’m not sure) My poetry is also centered around love and things like that so I don’t know if I should include it, what should I do? Thank you for reading this and please respond ASAP!
Applying to only one school, and especially one school with a very low acceptance rate means anyone’s chances are slim.
Have you looked into other schools? Why are you interested in boarding school? Do you need financial aid?
I’m aware of the fact that the chances for anyone are greatly slim, which is why I’m asking for a person to possibly chance me to see if I am a high qualifier! I’ve researched PA and am also interested however, I’m a bit uncertain if I should attempt to apply. I’m interested in boarding school because of the extensive opportunities they provide such as multiple extracurriculars and rigorous courses which I am certain I can handle. I’m also aiming for Ivy League when I apply for college, which also makes me want to apply to a BS. And I do need financial aid, I applied for it for Exeter.
I am sorry, but I do not think your chances are good. That applies to many, many applicants so you are not alone.
It is late in the application cycle but I wonder if you could find schools with higher acceptance rates. Some may have rolling admissions. Many schools with high acceptance rates don’t have big endowments, which can make getting financial aid difficult. However, I have no special knowledge, and you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Here’s a thread from a few years ago that talks about schools with high acceptance rates:
If you are a boy, I know Trinity Pawling has rolling admissions and has a 50% acceptance rate.
Just wanna add that it is going to be crazy for private school/BS applications this year. I was told today that a school with around 650 students in G9-12 has now close to 1500 applications this year. Its acceptance rate is usually 30%. Do the math.
Even though I might not have a high chance for getting into Exeter, I really appreciate your advice! I’ll check out a bit more boarding schools and see if I can qualify for others, thank you though!!
Thank you for the advice, even though I might not get into Exeter as I previously said, I appreciate your commenting on this & each response for me counts!
What type of school do you go to? That significantly impacts how they view your scores.
I will be blunt:
- No one cares what you did in elementary school when you are applying to 11th grade.
- Staten Island is part of NYC. There are plenty of applicants from NYC. I suspect that there are plenty of applicants from lower NY state.
- Things that do help: your ability to contribute to ethnic diversity and economic diversity.
- Things that don’t help: your horrible test scores and the fact that you are applying for 11th grade.
I think 4) will outweigh 3).
You’re an artist, not an athlete, and you are not ready to “hit the ground running” academically with students your age at Exeter.
Please look up boarding schools with “rolling admissions” and consider applying as a repeat 10th grader. (I know - it sounds weird, but apparently this is not uncommon.) Ask to have your application fee waived due to you financial circumstances. I think you should focus on schools that seem to be more into the arts.
Can I ask why you are focused on Exeter? There are a number of schools that are all excellent. A lot of BS give great financial aid.
I have to second that if you are applying for 11th grade your middle school accomplishments just aren’t that relevant.
I would call the person who interviewed you and ask if you’d have a better chance of admission if you repeated 10th grade. Entering in 11th for all but the most academically strong kids is quite hard. The few I know who have done it ended up with college acceptances not in line with their hopes. So if you’re aiming for Ivy I’d say entering Exeter in 11th grade from your academic background is not the best path.