Chances of getting into Phillips Exeter Academy (UPDATED)

I have decided to give boarding schools another shot, so I am applying again this year after my unfortunate results last year (applied to PEA, Andover and Groton, got rejected by all). I tried improving my EC’s, so here we go.

I currently attend a public school in Lakewood, Colorado (Denver suburbs) as a sophomore. This is my first year there, before I lived in Europe for over 10 years. I have attended a private British school, a private German school and now I attend a public school in the US. I am repeating my sophomore year since the educational system here is so different from Europe that I wanted time to adjust without the stress of IB’S, AP’S , and the SAT. I am applying to multiple boarding schools for 11th grade.

  • I have straight A's, I'm taking the most challenging courses I can (2 honors, 3 AP's and 1 IB). Last year in my German school I had a few B's, but I managed to improve them to A's, so this year I will have straight A's on my transcript.
  • I speak 5 languages fluently and currently learning two (English, Russian, German, Slovak, Czech fluently, learning French and Italian).
  • I played tennis for 4 years, but not professional. My old schools were so small we didn't have any sports teams, so I couldn't really participate in any sport except tennis, which I did on my own.
  • I played the piano for 8 years and finished music school.
  • Back in Europe, I was actively involved with Model UN.
  • Now in Lakewood I have joined the Mock Trial team, which has a very good reputation and even won state championships.
  • I started an organization called Youth For Politics, which is a platform for young people to express their views on politics as well as educate themselves on important issues.
  • I have also started a Hack Club chapter at my school this year.
  • I am on the Harvard Coronavirus Visualization Center advisory board where we oversee the operations of the CVC.
  • I am involved with a few projects within the CVC, like mapping testing centers, distributing vaccines or the patient discharge initiative, run by Rice University students.
  • I was temporarily involved with the International Youth Neuroscience Association, where I was on the planning committee for the IYNA 2021 conference and I was also a Social Media Manager for their instagram for a while.
  • I love volunteering, I have walked dogs at the local animal shelter, helped out on Habitat for Humanity construction sites, taught a man with schizophrenia maths, volunteered at a nursing home and tutored for a while.
  • I have written for a few Gen Z STEM oriented online magazines like Girl Genius, Allgirlithm, GenZHER and others.
  • I got certificates from university online programs like Harvard Medical School, Stanford Medical School and John Hopkins University.
  • I don't know if this is relevant, but I got accepted to LaunchX online program and the Summer STEM Institute run by Harvard and MIT students. I did not attend either, but I got into both.
  • I don't know which test I'm taking yet, most likely the SSAT again since the PSAT for sophomores is only available in spring here.

What are my overall chances? I am also applying to schools with 30 + and 50 + acceptance rates, but my dream school is PEA.

You have a lot going on! I would counsel you to narrow this down because what it looks like from the outside is that you are desperately trying to do everything in an attempt to look like the best candidate. EG: If you played tennis for 4 years and no longer play it is totally irrelevant to your BS application. If you one time, for one hour, walked dogs for a shelter that shouldn’t be on your list. Try to think about things that you spend a considerable amount of time on and narrow your list that way.

I hope this makes sense - if an AO looks and your list and doubts that any human could fit all those activitvies into a day/week/month they are going to assume you are padding your resume or that your school is academically very easy so you don’t need to spend time on school work.

In general you seem like a great candidate - you just need a little tweak on how you are presenting your activities. Good luck!

I went back and looked up your old chance me thread. You need to make sure your SSAT is within the range for these schools. I strongly suspect that it may have gotten you disqualified as an international candidate. I know some schools are going SSAT optional this application year - have you checked?

I think you need to dig deeper, and cast a wider net.

You weren’t wait listed last spring, you were rejected from all three schools that you applied to.

It might have been the SSATs, but there might have been other red flags in your application.

There is working hard, and there is working smart. You’ve been scrambling to add ECs - not a bad thing, but hard work. What you need to do is some self analysis: who you are and what works best for you. What about PEA makes it your dream school?

Make a list.
Determine at what schools satisfy half the items on your list.
(Include some all girls schools.)
Apply to some schools that are ranked lower but meet some of the high priority items on your list.