Chances of getting into 10th grade top boarding schools?

I’m a 9th grade girl, and I’m applying to 10th grade for most of the HADES schools and a couple more. I got a 99th percentile on my SSAT’s and I do figure skating (regional finalist) and am a part of dance ensemble at school (the highest level of dance). I also do drawing, community service, and singing. What are my chances of getting into these top schools? What should I work on to increase these chances? I already had interview with a few of the schools, and I’m not sure what would be considered a “good interview”. Thanks!

Also, I’m Chinese American, and I currently take Accel Algebra 2 and Chemistry at school. I will take the AP Physics I test this coming spring. I took the AMC 8 last year and got 22/25, and I was also on my middle school’s MathCounts team of 10 people. I’m planning to take the AMC 10 in February. I am also currently involved with Science Olympiad as a leader of a sub-division at my school.

In my experience, I would not highlight the figure skating. My DD was a competitive figure skater and many schools see it as a negative beciause of the amount of time it takes out of your schedule and the fact that none of the schools you mention offer it as a sport. Are you planning on continuing if you were accepted at a boarding school? If you are, it is near impossible to do so.

I am planning to quit figure skating and join the schools’ hockey teams instead.

My DD did the same…if you can start training for hockey now, it will definitely help

Sorry, you cannot just start training for hockey or any sport now for the purposes of impressing the school. You can certainly let coaches know you are interested in pursuing a particular sport but it probably won’t be of much help at this point. Let you activities thus far speak for themselves

Center - I have no training for hockey, but I told some of my admission interviewers that I am planning to join the hockey team at school since I have a background in skating already. I’m also writing that on my applications.

dreamcatcher3 - Which schools did your daughter get accepted to? Is she still skating?

I understand: Thats great and I am sure they are all happy to hear that but it will not help you get in. It is simply an activity in which you plant to participate. I.e you will be on Freshman or JV.

You do many different activities, but make sure you highlight the 1 or 2 that really matter to you. This can be done in your essays or by leaving out a few in your activities list.

For example, when I was applying to high schools, I had won a few in-school drawing awards but my main time-sucker was the viola (I was in a very prestigious youth orchestra as well). I didn’t even list drawing as one of my activities, but made sure to talk about the lessons I learned from playing viola, etc.

I would actually advise you to put figure-skating down as an extracurricular since you were a regional finalist. Since the rigor of middle schools varies unpredictably across different states and countries, regionally or nationally recognized competitions weigh more. If you are geographically close to some of these schools, you should definitely meet up with coaches, etc. I visited and played for all the orchestra and viola teachers at the schools I was applying to, and while some schools didn’t really care, one school (I think it was St.Paul’s), was low on violists, and they talked directly to the admissions committee for me. You never know which spots the schools need someone to fill in, but it’s definitely worth poking at a position if you’re really good at something.


However, your application may look a bit stereotypical, aside from the figure skating (which is very impressive!). Can you write creatively? Can you add something that is not traditionally “Asian” in your ECs and/or essays? Perhaps another type of “Hook?”

I am beginning to dislike that word. Lol, my daughter probably has no hook at all. . .

juniormint2017: Thanks for your advice! The thing is, I like all of these activities and have passion for all of them…I live in California, but I am going to visit the schools soon, and I will try to meet up with the coaches. Thanks!

itcannotbetrue: I’m decent at writing essays, but nothing like winning awards or publishing a book or anything. I dance and draw besides figure skating and math…is that too Asian?

Anything artistic and less math/science will be helpful! Incorporate these aspects into your essays to differentiate yourself. Good luck!

@itcannotbetrue :Thank you! I wish your daughter the best as well. I’m going to try to do a couple dance competitions this year along with dance ensemble.

I finished the interviews for all the schools, and I think my best bet is Choate right now. I really enjoyed seeing the school in person, have kept in touch with an admission officer, and a friend of mine recommended me (not just because I’m his friend, he knows a fair amount of people applying) to an associate director of admissions. I hope everyone gets a dream offer on March 10th!


So the Jan. 15th deadline has passed! A huge sigh of relief on my part. The only application I have yet to finish is the one for Andover. My best friend is applying to Andover and Exeter as well (only these two), and I’m really hoping that we can both get into the same school. Good luck to everyone!