Chances for Bay Area Private Schools


I have already applied to some privy’s here in the Bay:
-Menlo School (Atherton Resident)
-Nueva School
-Crystal Springs Uplands School (have a connection there)
-Stanford OHS

I am a current 9th grader, attending Palo Alto High School (Paly, have two houses rn). I am applying for 9th grade (even though I already am a 9th grader) because chances of getting in are much better than 10th. I talked with the admission teams at all the schools and they were fine with it.

I am Asian-American, as both parents are Indian. So ORM…

Took the SSAT-At-Home this December:
Overall: 99th percentile (2355)
Math: Perfect Score (800/99th)
Verbal: Perfect Score (800/99th)
Reading Comp.: 755 (96th percentile)

All A’s throughout this HS semester and middle school. A couple A+'s here and there, but never an A-. I skipped one year of math and am taking 10th grade honors math atm.

-Academic (In-School): Basically none. I have never been recognized for any school achievement, though I did skip one year in math.
-Piano: I have been playing piano for six/seven years. Currently, I am level 9 in the Certificate of Merit program (highest level is level 10). Every level, I got both branch and state honors. I organized a series of concerts with a few of my studio’s friends for elderly homes in the area, and have been recognized by the SF Chronicle. We have done 8 concerts so far. I also have got medals in many piano competitions, such as US Open, Steinway, etc… I also got an “excellent” rating in my branch’s Autmn Festival this year.
-Clarinet: I have been playing clarinet for four years. I am concertmaster for my school band (basically meaningless) and am first clarinetist in California Youth Symphony. I qualified for All-County Band 2x and All-State band this year.
-Tennis: Qualified for All-NorCal 2x and am planning to be on the team this year (tryouts in Feb/March).
-Coding: Started doing competitive coding recently, and I have qualified for USACO Gold level. I was a top scorer in Bronze and Silver, but never got a perfect score.
-TEAMS and SciOly: Qualified for TSA Teams National competition last year (cancelled because of COVID). Probably will qualify again, but not in time for providing and update. I did SciOly from 6th to 8th grade. I got a few medals, but, more importantly, I have made many new friends through it and gained lots of experience and knowledge.
-Clubs: High position in Science Fair club during MS, and I am part of two coding clubs.
-There are some other things I have done, but I decided not to include them for privacy reasons.
-Plan to continue all of these over the course of my HS career

I am really good at writing essays, as I have had an English tutor since elementary school. I did procrastinate a bit, so they aren’t as good as I would have liked them to be. I am talking about my concerts for the elderly and the digital divide. Idk about the parent essays; I assume they are pretty good as they spent a lot of time on them. When asking for talent, I usually responded with music/piano/clarinet. Short answer question answers were pretty good.

I got a recommendation from my current English and Math teachers, and also my 8th grade English and Math teachers. I am expecting a very strong rec from my 8th grade math teacher, and pretty good ones from my 8th English and current math. I also had to get a letter of rec from my advisory teacher, who I have a pretty good relationship with. No personal recs :(.

Thanks for reading (I know this is rly short, but I hope it gives a decent overview of my application)!

Since no one has responded yet, have I put this in the wrong forum/section? Does everyone here not know these schools? Something else? TIA.

From the looks of it, you seem to have a competitive chance. I don’t know much about the Bay Area Private school admissions, but your resume does look outstanding for a freshman.

I thought you applied to all MA schools? That would have been far from CA.

You seem very qualified. I can’t really speak to the admisssions process of most of those, but I can speak to Nueva’s. A lot of it will come down to fit, from what I know, and how you do on the evaluation days. I think passion for something matters, as well. A lot of kids have deep and unique interests. Yes strong grades and scores help, and there’s a lot of musical talent so it seems like you’d fit in well there. There is no athletic recruiting so that wouldn’t be a factor, but you certainly could compete. Good luck!


Yeah that is what is seems to be. There was a “fit” question in the application, but I don’t think that will help my case much. It just comes down to the admissions committee/offices thinking of how well I will fit at their school and the interview.

@michaeluwill I applied to East Coast boarding schools (Exeter, Andover, etc…) last year, but after getting rejected, I decided to apply to local schools. Though some of these schools have an equally low acceptance rate, I know the area and how to portray myself as a unique person in my application. Or maybe you are referring to some other MA?

yes, you said you applied to schools on the east coast (the thread), some of which are day schools and 5 day boarding schools - so my guess is you did not apply to those schools.

but i guess your point is you feel all competitive east coast schools work the same way and that there was no harm saying you applied to the ones on the thread, even though you did not. cool with me. sounds like you learned a lot through your process. there has just been a lot of talk on CC about exaggerating and whether it matters much on these postings.

As a repeat 9th grader, you seem like a strong applicant. I would expect you to get admitted to one or more of the schools you submitted applications to. Word on the street - waitlists will be longer than average this year because there is less certainty whether the admitted applicants will move forward. Best of luck!

@michaeluwill I don’t really understand what you are saying here. Maybe I am being stupid. Last year, I applied to boarding schools in the East Coast, such as PEA and PA. These school are as competitive as the ones applied to this year. I submitted some pretty low SSAT scores to the schools, leading to my eventual rejection. All of the schools that I listed here, I applied to this admissions cycle, for 2021/2022 9th grade. I did not apply to these schools last year. They are all day schools here in the Bay Area, only a few minutes away from me. Please let me know if I am bringing up contradictory information or am not being clear. Thanks!

What were your SSAT scores from last year if you don’t mind?

Just to add - it’s not just the ad com who decides fit at Nueva. I don’t know what the evaluation process was like this year with virtual stuff, but the Nueva teachers are quite involved with the evaluations and weigh in to the decisions. There were quotes from the teachers in the acceptance letter.

I was referring to your other post in the other thread about test scores. You implied you applied to the same schools as the original poster but you did not. “I sent a similar set of scores when I applied last year and got rejected.” That person was not applying to Exeter or Andover. As I stated, there is lots of chatter about exaggerating on CC. My opinion is that your previous post would fall into that bucket. On the other hand, that has nothing to do with your post here.

Please refer to my comment that starts “As a repeat 9th grader…” I hope I am correct and you get in where you want to go.