Chance me: Top boarding schools: Deerfield, Lawrenceville, Choate

I’m a current 7th grade student, as of the 2020-2021 academic year. I’m planning on applying to some (top?) boarding schools soon.
The list includes elite schools such as Deerfield, Lawrenceville, and Choate, along with “less” competitive ones like Kent. I’ve always had a passion for boarding school – especially because of its diverse activities and rigorous classes compared to my current school.
My grades are generally high (IB standards: 7-8/8), and I come from a well-reputed private school. I was not able to take the SSAT due to Covid-19, but I’m placed on the 95-98% percent in standardized, national tests.
I am the founder of a school mental health organization – this connects with my dream as a psychiatrist. I have helped improve students’ mental well being, and am planning fundraisers for those who do not have access to proper mental health care.
I am also finalizing the planning to create an in-school newspaper club, where I will be the leader/editor in chair.
In addition, I am in various club activities such as honor choir, Round Square, and more.
Throughout the summer, I will be cultivating my academic skills, and will participate in competitions and MUN conferences.
I am also interested in the arts, especially performing.
I have been part of the school plays for 2 years. I have been participating in athletic teams, mainly cheerleading and badminton. I can also play tennis.
I plan to stress my desire to become a psychiatrist in the future, helping others in a mental crisis, especially those lacking support.
What hinders me from applying is that I am an international student. I will be able to pay tuition, but I don’t know whether being an international student decreases my chances of acceptance or not. I really want to go to the 6-7 schools I have selected, but I don’t know if I may get in.

Welcome @elasksk to the thread.

There are many international students at the schools you mentioned in your post. Admissions officers like to see interesting students who do interesting things, not just strong stats. Keep doing what you’re doing.
Bon Chance!

Do you need aid? What other schools are you applying to? Even applying to a few hidden gems might not guarantee an acceptance. Rooting for you! I applied this last app cycle and will be attending BS as a 10th grader this fall. If you have any questions I am here to help. I went through this completely on my own.

Good Luck!

@lilyesh OP is full pay according to the last paragraph.

Check out the hidden gems thread since I’d recommend casting a wider net. I barely casted my net wide enough this cycle by adding Kent. Turns out, Kent was the only school I got into.

Your ECs look great so don’t stress there.

Will you be able to take the SSAT in the fall? Or even the ISEE? I’m not sure if there will be an at home option for either of these tests. I’m pretty sure you can take the ISEE at home internationally if they do at home again.

You have amazing stats! Just cast a wider net to be safe. The next admissions cycle will really be unpredictable.

@prepschool2021 the SSAT website has announced that the at home option is permanent, but only for domestic + canadian students… hopefully international test centers open up.

I don’t need aid. Other schools I am also applying to include Emma Willard, Middlesex, and (maybe) Loomis Chaffee.

I’d still recommend casting a wider net. This doesn’t mean adding just any school. Add a few higher admissions rate schools. I attached the link to the hidden gems thread. Loomis and EW aren’t really safety schools. EW is getting closer to where you want. But Loomis isn’t. Someone can correct me here, but their acceptance rate was in the low teens this year.

Would schools like Lawrence Academy be decent safety schools? The school/campus life there seems fun, and it looks academically challenging too!

I don’t know much about Lawrence, so I can’t speak for that. These are some options to check out:


Those are the only ones I have at the top of my head. I hope more people will add to that list later today.

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Mercersberg, George School, Hill School, and Miss Porter’s. Check out those as well.

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Thank you for the recommendations! I think Westover and The Frederick Gunn School would be decent safeties – their academics and student life section seems decent.

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Re: being an international student…you didn’t mention where you’re from. That’s ok, but from an admissions standpoint there are definitely nations/regions that are either over or under represented at BS (relatively speaking).

Oh, I come from South Korea, so I’d presume it won’t be a significant benefit as many applicants come from S. Korea…

Definitely not under-represented…

The lack of uniqueness is one of my greatest concerns. I want to stand out as an applicant, but I don’t know how to…

At a glance it seems that your interest in mental health, becoming a psychiatrist, and helping others - especially those lacking support - is an area that may help you stand out. I’d really dig deep to ponder why those things interest you, and make sure to convey that in your essays and interviews.

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I’d add Kent and George to your list as well as a few more. Many of the names suggested are good. I’d make sure you have standardized testing to submit. 98% on other standardized testing does not necessarily translate as the same score on the SSAT. It is a very competitive pool.

I would use your essays to stand out. Why are you interested in mental health? Who do you hope to help?

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Thanks for the reply! My passion on mental health stems out from the time I was part of the school’s wellness committee. The school I am currently attending is a highly competitive private international school, and many students face academic stress, and many suffer from certain “disorders” like depression. Looking at the ignorance and apathy such students face shocked me. That’s when I started taking action – being the leader of the wellness club, and organizing events to boost students’ wellness. I’ve also organized some assemblies, stressing the importance of good mental well being. I hope to help the large number of people facing mental health “issues” that are either shunned/not subjected to proper health care. In addition, as a student in South Korea, I’ve noticed that mental health isn’t an important thing here. Some adults would laugh at students when they talk about mental health issues they seem to be having, rather than wholeheartedly helping them…
This summer, I’m planning to raise fundraisers to help those who don’t have access to mental health care, and will also enter competitions with statistics on teen mental health, along with feasible solutions to mitigate the severity of the issue.

Also, would not submitting my SSAT/ISEE scores significantly damage my chances of getting into these schools?

Not every school will be TO next year, so yes.

I would encourage you to submit scores. It seems everyone that submitted scores last year, even if they weren’t great such as mine, did much better in admissions. A lot of schools will be requiring the SSAT or another test- so you should try to take it.