Early Chance me for BS

Hello Everyone. This is my first post on CC, although I’ve been lurking without an account for a while. I’d just like to know my chances for some of the top boarding schools. My list is the following:

St. George’s (RI)
Emma Willard

Some information about me:
-Applying to repeat 10th grade
-Domestic, in need of FA
-4.0 uw. My school doesn’t do weighted
-Started a nonprofit a few months ago dedicated to covid relief. Well-known in my area now.
-Play the French Horn and Oboe. Grade 5 level FH, Grade 4 level Oboe
-3 AP Classes (APWH, AP Stats, APES), 4 DE classes
-75 hours of community service by the time summer ends, probably 100 hours by 2022
-Took the SSAT last year to get into my current day school and I got a 2350 (I think). I’ll take it again this cycle.

You seem very qualified. Although this is the case, you have a lot of schools, and you may want to take out some because it’s a lot of work.

1 Like

It is a lot of schools, but they have a bit of a head start so i think it should be fine. SSAT is already very strong so studying to take that again shouldn’t be too difficult and there should be some overlap in essay topics. I’m also fairly certain that essay prompts don’t change much year to year so @cw2005 if you want to get started on those soon you probably could. Only other thing that is specific to each school is interviews, and you can probably schedule some for over the summer.

@cw2005 you seem extremely qualified and you’ve got a good mix of schools on your list. I’m not able to chance you because I have no idea how decisions are actually made but I would guess that you’ll have many positive results next M10. Good luck!


@reknihtrevo yes they do have time, I just wanted to make sure they knew what they were getting themselves into. I applied to 11 schools, 7 were on gateway and it took a lot of effort. @cw2005 Since you have time, I would start planning essays soon and edit them when you get closer to the deadlines. I also agree you’ll most likely have options, but it’s not guaranteed. I think you’ve picked a good mix of schools.

You’ll need FA and are applying for 10th- that is a difficult pool to be in. Make sure you hone in on a few ECs and make sure you bring something unique to the table.

1 Like

Acceptance rates for “10th grade with financial aid” were incredibly low this year, and will likely remain so next year. This also applies to strong candidates.

Several of the most selective schools had “10th grade with financial aid” acceptance rates of less than than 4%. The most selective ones listed above would include Andover, Cate, Choate, Deerfield, Exeter, Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville, Milton, Taft, and Thacher.

Emma WIllard, Mercersburg, NMH and St. George’s had low acceptance rates as well, and Westover seemed to have a lot of interest this year.

To increase your chances of acceptance with financial aid, suggest you shorten your list of the most selective schools and increase the number of schools with higher acceptance rates. The Hidden Gems thread pinned at the top can help you find some of these schools.

All the best of luck to you.


Thanks so much for all of the responses! I do agree that my list is top-heavy, but I go to a day school that I really enjoy and would be more than happy to stay at. My school already announced that they’ll stay online for the fall semester next year so I’ll hopefully have time for all of the essays and interviews. If not, I’ll take schools off of my list if I really can’t go. We don’t need substantial FA, just 7k per year off of tuition.

@lilyesh you mentioned that I should hone in on a few ecs. What do you mean by this? I know for my instruments, I can play a concerto well on both (usual audition music for professional programs) and for my Non-Profit, we’re raising a lot of money around my community to donate to send oxygen to India. I know this isn’t a lot, but do you have any suggestions of other things I could do?

Does a 5 on an AP exam do anything to my applications? If so, how would I show this?

My DD was accepted repeat 11th this year with Financial Aid to one of the more difficult to get into on your list. I have no idea what SSAT scores mean because mine took the SAT (98th percentile) and ACT (99th percentile) with no prep. Did her essays a bit last minute and only applied to 3 schools. Not saying I recommend this method, but if you carefully research what the school’s focus seems to be, and how you can fit in and contribute at specific schools, then I believe it greatly increases your odds. Whatever your strengths, play them up, find schools that focus on them and express how you will benefit their school. Also, I highly recommend sending in supplemental material in your area of focus. We did a video compilation.

1 Like

I mean ECs should be about quality and not quantity. 7k off for tuition: are you sure you can’t be FP? It will help you a lot, and many families apply for financial aid not knowing they can be full pay. If you already go to a day school you like, your list is probably fine.

I am not sure a 5 on an AP exam will help you. If you get a a great SSAT score, they will know you can do the work.

Ahh, I get it, thanks! My parents are only able to pay ~55k since my brother’s college tuition is 45k. Even then, it’s still more than a third of their income combining our tuitions.

If it is just $7k you need then I would agree, see if your parents can find a way to apply full pay- maybe home equity loan? It will greatly increase your chances. I am not entirely sure how the FA application process works in the grand scheme, but I hope that schools use the majority for kids who otherwise would have no way to even dream of attending than for those who think they are a few thousand short of being able to pay cash for a 60k+ tuition.

I just talked to my parents and I got the tuition wrong. They said 7k per semester is what I need, not for the year. Sorry for the confusion

Some of the schools have a calculator that can give an estimate, Deerfield shows on that same page how many families in each income bracket receive aid and on average how much.

Yes, we’ve looked at this before. It was very helpful and there are many families in our bracket.

I will advise that although we did receive an amazing aid package, our portion is about 33% higher than what the calculator shows as the “average “ for our bracket, and I have read many comments on CC that indicate those calculators can be quite different than reality.

We emailed the Financial Aid department at Hkiss a few days ago to ask if having a college tuition-paying sibling will change anything and they said it definitely plays a large factor. I’m hoping this helps our case, but I won’t know until next year.