Middlesex vs. Deerfield: compare and contrast

<p>My daughter is very interested in Middlesex and Deerfield. We have visits scheduled for late fall. Does anyone have experience or insight that would help compare and contrast the two schools?</p>

<p>For example, is one school more liberal and the other more conservative or apolitical; is one school more nurturing to the total student and the other more sink-or-swim; are the kids happier at one school and the others more stressed? Looking for that kind of experienced-based subjective observation.</p>

<p>Sure - I looked at both schools, currently attend Middlesex, and have many friends at Deerfield.</p>

<p>If you can understand this...</p>

<p>Deerfield: Has a more "New Yorker" personality to (hard to explain). It is a bigger school with a little less community feeling (and PGs) and some students are very much in to one thing, and focus on that one thing (most are not)</p>

<p>Middlesex: Less NewYorker personality, we still have NewYorkers but my opinion, though very biased, is that Middlesex has the best family community feel of any school; where everyone knows everyone and anyone can make themselves known - but we have less students. No PGs. Lots of very well-rounded, genuinely nice kids.</p>

<p>Both Schools: Are WONDERFUL! If your daughter is awarded one of those coveted accepted letters this year to either one of these schools - send her! Both have superb academics and a superb opportunity to grow. There are stories of stressed students and "chill" students at both schools. On the political front, at 99% of ALL boarding schools, 99% of the community is liberal. On sink or swim, both schools will support your child to whatever extent they can, yet at both schools students sometimes drop out if it becomes highly apparent that the school is too challenging (very rare). The word "pressure cooker" can be easily applied to all top tier schools, but it honestly depends on how hard you make your schedule, what classes you take and if they are honors, AP, etc. Happiness at boarding school is what you make it to be, ones happiness ultimately depends upon the student, not just the school. There are happy and stressed students at both schools. However, GOOD LUCK to your daughter. Deerfield and Middlesex are amongst the most prestigious, elite prep schools in the US. I hope your visits go well.</p>

<p>aw,</p>

<p>Thanks very much for that excellent feedback. I understand all you say below, including the comments about various degrees of the newyorker element.</p>

<p>We've "heard" that Middlesex is significantly more liberal/left wing than Deerfield. I don't know if that's true or not. We can't wait to visit both schools to make our own assessment.</p>

<p>We remain very interested in any further comments or insights people may have.</p>

<p>fwiw, I know of one family that had a kid at both DA amd middlesex and the dad had attended DA. Their third child went to Middlesex. They felt Mx was less sink or swim.</p>

<p>Also, I my opinion, every boarding school is more liberal than DA.</p>

<p>I agree with the rumor or thought that Middlesex is fairly liberal, at least as prep schools go. The other main difference is that it is in a suburban setting with lots of day students, whereas Deerfield is more rural, campus based, and not as many day students. Both are great schools!</p>

<p>Deerfield and Middlesex are both liberal. They are both New England Boarding Schools. The notion that one is not as liberal as the other is fine, just remember by being a boarding school, especially in Massachusetts, its generally very liberal.</p>

<p>On the day student issue.. Middlesex does not have "alot" of day students. it has the same percentage of day students as any of the 1st tier boarding schools, 25% (same as Andover/Exeter). Deerfield is a bit different in that it retains about a 13% day population, granted it is almost in the middle of nowhere - you will find this to be true on your drive over.</p>

<p>Now that candidates have finished the latest round of campus visits and interviews, any additional thoughts on contrasting Middlesex and Deerfield?</p>

<p>Where my children went to middle school, the head of school gives a list of schools to each outgoing family that acts as a starting off point. While it is true that safeties are not safe for all and your safety may be my reach, Middlesex is listed as a second tier school and Deerfield as a first tier. For all students that apply out from our school. There are special cases that dont get that list, but those are the ones that will go to more "remedial" boarding schools.
This is not to say that Middlesex is not considered a great school. Its just academically its not considered on the par with some others.</p>

<p>I attend Middlesex so I am of course biased in that direction but I do have a couple thoughts on this subject.</p>

<p>-Middlesex's small size as andoverwarrior said makes for a close community. It does tend to be recognized as slightly lesser than HADES but it is definitely up there. The extracurriculars, breadth of classes, and college matriculation are excellent for a ~360 student community.</p>

<p>-I have a friend who transferred from Deerfield to Middlesex as a junior, and from what she said she left Deerfield because she found that the size was too big for her and that she was surrounded by jocks (she is an artsy person). Needless to say, Middlesex is not just full of artsy kids and Deerfield is not just full of jocks but this was her perspective.</p>

<p>-Another thing to think about is that Deerfield grades so that the school average is around an 88 or an 89 whereas Middlesex's school average is an 84. At Middlesex having above a 90 average essentially means that you can get into Ivies, Stanford, MIT, top LACs without needing too much else to make yourself stand out. I cannot speak to Deerfield's college matriculation or grading past what their school average is.</p>

<p>for me, middlesex seemed too small, and deerfield seemed just right. Personally I don't want a community where i can just "fall through the cracks" but I also dont want a community where every time I blow my nose the whole school knows! Deerfield seemed like the perfect balance for me, also because it offers swimming. Finally I know MX has a problem with the "local boarders" going home on the weekends and they dont want to admit as many. Seeing as I live within commuting distance of the school that is what I would be, even though it would be a long commute</p>

<p>Both schools are great. However, I agree with andoverwarrior6 when they say that deerfield as more of a "new yorker" vibe. The majority of the kids are from the CT/NY area which gives the school a more of an elitist atmosphere than MX does in fact the majority of the kids are from MA. As as student of MX I also agree with the warm atmosphere that MX but I also have many friends that attend DA and love it. It just depends on the school that works for you!</p>

<p>@ELW,
Try this link, and select Deerfield & Middlesex, to compare their stats side-by-side</p>

<p>Compare</a> Boarding Schools - Boarding School Review</p>

<p>They are both excellent schools. I would visit the schools to determine which is a better fit for your family-- there are many different dimensions to weigh.</p>

<p>Haha-- just realized I'm posting to a thread that is a year old!</p>