Deerfield, Andover, and Choate

<p>I revised my list due to some recent changes (FA). I'm currently in 11th grade, and I'll be going as a senior.
FA is not a concern, since all three offers are similar. I'm not concerned about EC activities either, as I think all three offer what I need/want. Any more new opinions are appreciated, especially since I won't be able to visit Choate and I never visited any of these schools.</p>

<p>But I do have a question in addition to the above: Does Choate have Saturday classes? and how often are they?</p>

<p>Well, I'll take a stab at this.</p>

<p>First, congratulations - Andover, Choate and Deerfield are all great schools.</p>

<p>Second, yes Choate does have Saturday classes, usually three or four times a term. However, you will occasionally not have classes on a weekday because the school is having some kind of special program, so it kind of evens out.</p>

<p>Third, its too bad you're not going to be able to visit all three schools because that really is the best way to which school is the right fit for you. </p>

<p>Fourth, don't know much about Andover, but I went to Choate and have a kid at Choate. My brother went to Deerfield and my son also applied, so I can try to compare the two. Deerfield is definitely more rural. It's located in a small, very pretty New England village. But you're kind of in the middle of nowhere. Choate is located in Wallingford, CT, which is a larger town, about 20 minutes outside New Haven and 2 hours from NYC. You are approximately 1.5 miles from a Wallmart, fast food restaurants, regular restaurants, etc.</p>

<p>I think Choate is stronger in the arts, theater, music, etc. and they have the Paul Mellon Arts Center, which is a pretty impressive facility. I also think that Choate is less preppy than Deerfield and has a more diverse group of kids. However, these are MY impressions and I am admittedly somewhat biased towards Choate, which I think is an outstanding school.</p>

<p>Andover has a collegiate feel similiar to that of an intellectually elite LAC with really nice, hardworking & brilliant students, in my opinion. Great location with easy train access to Boston. If athletics are of utmost importance, then I would strongly recommend that Deerfield Academy be given consideration. As an incoming grade 12 student, Andover is the clear frontrunner if all other factors are equal to you. P.S. Nothing wrong with Choate; I just cannot find a definitive reason to matriculate there as a senior as I am able to envision regarding Andover & Deerfield. Also, the library at Phillips Academy at Andover is both beautiful & inspirational. Maybe one school will offer more attractive and appropriate housing to you--such as a theme cottage/house for upperclassmen--that will tilt the scale toward that school.</p>

<p>When comparing athletics at particular schools, it's important to look at individual sports, coaches, and boys vs girls teams. For girls over the past few years, DA was not as strong as Andover or Choate in some sports - not that it's necessary to be on the "best" or "winning" team, but coaching and having a peer group (athletically) are important.</p>

<p>Academically, the breadth of Andover's curriculum might provide a one-year senior with more choice and flexibility than DA or Choate. All three schools will undoubtedly offer lots of challenging upper level courses next year.</p>

<p>You have great options, al612. Good luck!!</p>

<p>Just to remind you, Choate has a capstone program where you can take the last semester or year (i'm not sure) to study and complete a project of your choice. I'm not sure if you would like to have a normal year or the idea of a capstone program would be good for you. Just be sure to throw that in the mixing pot.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the info and advice!
Icy, could you elaborate more about why A would be the frontrunner for an entering 12th grader? I'm just curious, because right now, I'm leaning more toward A and D.</p>

<p>In my opinion, Phillips Academy at Andover offers a collegiate experience. Students to whom I recommend Andover tend to be very mature & independent for their age. This may or may not be for you. Choate Rosemary Hall, Deerfield Academy & Phillips Academy at Andover are three of the best secondary schools in the world--so we are splitting hairs when we try to select/recommend one over the others. But, as you asked for advice, Andover has a special feel that is suitable to a one year stay, while Choate & Deerfield are better suited for three and four year students. Again, we are splitting hairs here as all three will open eyes & offer opportunities rarely found elsewhere in a high school.</p>

<p>I know two young men that did PG years at Deerfield and absolutely loved their experience. One came out of our local public, the other out of a top flight BS and then PGed for athletic reasons.</p>

<p>thanks cnp55! Just to clarify though, I'm not a PG student, I'll be going as a new 12th grader...but I think the experience should be similar.</p>

<p>I knew you were going in as a new senior, not PG. PGs <em>are</em> considered members of the senior class however. </p>

<p>Seems to me that coming in to a class that's been together for 2-3 years already would be the same whether you have already graduated from a different high school, or just transferring in.</p>

<p>My personal experience (in the dark ages) was entering a prep school as a new junior. I have to say it was a wonderful experience, the girls were very very friendly and welcoming, and now (half a million years later!) no one remembers that I was one of those new kids junior year ...</p>