My Story

<p>I think I was incorrect in affirming Andover as the only need blind boarding school. IIRC, our Andover interviewer noted that the Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania and a school in Hawaii are also need blind in their admissions. (However, don't rush to find and apply to the Hawaii school unless you're a native Hawaiian!)</p>

<p>Also, not to be overlooked is a point made by littleivy - i.e., that student commitments to some "community service" activities probably help a lot at some top schools.</p>

<p>Ok, I guess I should maybe retract part of that statement, sure there are some applicants who are complete slackers, around 20-30 % the numbers that I've found regarding "unqualified" students vary, these applicants doesn't deserve to go to the school as much as someone with straight A's perfect SSAT and a ton of EC's but these students are in a minority. </p>

<p>I'm gonna be blunt and plain: Everyone doesn't have the same opportunities and in a non-socialist country that's how it will always be. Sure it's not fair but it's something that just something that has to be dealt with. These kids may not have earned their fame and/or fortune but maybe their parents/grandparents did and what gives anyone the right to say that their children should not be able to ripe the fruit of their labor? If it gives them a slight advantage in the boarding school admissions circus so be it, because hard labor and skill should and does result in that a persons gain advantages over some other people, (it should mostly if not ONLY be a material advantage, but a material advantage helps in a hell lot of other cases too)</p>

<p>And a small note, it may not be fair that a child of wealthy parents are given an advantage if the parents made a large donation. But if the school did not give these kids that advantage the institutions wouldn't be half as good as they are today (trust me I live in Sweden and our best private schools are a JOKE compared to the best in the US) there would be no FA since there wouldn't be any endowment funds, there wouldn't be as fine facilities (Think the Koch Center at Deerfield) and the teachers wouldn't be as great, again it's unfair but it's necessary, while these kids in particular may not "deserve" a spot at X Academy their donations will help many kids who truly does "deserve" to attend but otherwise would not be able to attend X Academy also large donations are for the common good since they make the school better both for wealthy FP students and FA students, they are necessary too because they provide a better environment for everyone to enjoy. If there wouldn't have been any large donations BS would be a privilige only for the very wealthiest individuals of society.</p>

<p>PS: What bothered me was the sense of entitlement, the thought that somebody deserves to attend a school, no one "deserves" a school but the school may feel that they deserve you.</p>

<p>DeerfieldSwede, I never said Applicant 1 in my scenario was me. Actually, it was a friend of mine. I did get straight As in all five subjects.</p>

<p>LLVILLE, I agree, schools like Exeter and Milton may have waitlisted me for other reasons, but Brooks explicitly said that the reason was FA.</p>

<p>Maybe I didn't ace all my interviews, but what I'm saying is, at the time, I thought I did really well, and my secondary schools advisor said the same during our practice interviews.</p>

<p>Not all rich kids are stupid. Obviously. I have many friends that are rich and incredibly intelligent. Really, none of the people in my grade were stupid. Some were of average intelligence, but none were stupid.</p>

<p>I agree with everything you said, DeerfieldSwede. </p>

<p>csi = love, good luck at your school in September! I really hope everything works out. Who knows? Maybe you'll absolutely love it! Perhaps getting rejected from the other schools was a blessing in disguise.</p>

<p>I just read the posts on this page, so these are my responses...</p>

<p>Pulsar, exactly. I'm not complaining that I didn't get in. Actually, it ended up to be somewhat of a blessing. I'm happy that I'm staying at home, that I'm not packing up all of my belongings and leaving my family. I'm excited for school to start. I think the school that accepted me is the right one.</p>

<p>This is not a post complaining about rich kids and the schools that didn't accept me. Think of it more as a survival guide. I'm saying what happened to me, and how people can get through it if it happens to them.</p>

<p>Say I'm whiny, say I'm over-entitled. Go ahead. I'm just posting how I felt during that time. This is not an argument about how the system needs to change, etc. This is a STORY of how it was for me. I'm not looking to fight. I'm not looking to get my revenge. I just want kids to understand that it's NOT as simple as you people seem to think I think it is. It is a crapshoot for EVERYONE. Financial aid kids just seem to have it worse.</p>

<p>Also, some of you are saying that my case is an aberration because when you applied in 2009 blah blah blah...
I actually talked to my secondary schools advisor about this, and she said 2009 applicants had it much easier. Schools' endowments hadn't suffered that much yet, so FA was easier to obtain, and there weren't as many applicants who needed financial aid. In the 2010-2011 school year, more kids than ever would be in need, even current students, and schools had decided to take care of them first before new applicants. Therefore, there was less money to go around.</p>

<p>DeerfieldSwede, I'm just saying I felt like I deserved it, not that I actually did. I'm admitting that I felt more arrogant about it than I should have. That's why I'm warning kids now! I don't want them to suffer from the same delusions as I did.</p>

<p>Once again, this is not about complaints. I just want to share my experience so kids are prepared. It's true, your situation may end up different. I just want kids to be prepared for what might happen. I certainly wasn't.</p>

<p>bamagirl95 - Yes, when I revisited I did end up loving it. I realized that boarding was not for me. It did end up to be a blessing, but the 24 hours before I found out about my acceptance were hell. Really. I felt awful. Thinking about it now, it still hurts. I don't care that I wasn't accepted NOW, but for that short period of time, life sucked.</p>

<p>@ CSI, Thanks for sharing your story. It<code>s an eye opener for all of us to realize that $ is tight everywhere. I understand why (FA need) students w/ fantastic grades/stats/scores aim high to the top tier, large endowment schools. I</code>ve mentioned in my past posts that its best to find a safety school. The one thats not so famous and less selective. That safety may be the school that would love to have a great student like you, offer you FA and best of all give you an equally wonderful education.</p>

<p>madodg15 - Actually, my safety school waitlisted me too :D </p>

<p>Another point, guys. You're more likely to get FA as a day students than a boarder because the tuition is less, therefore the amount of aid you need is less. Maybe applying as day students is more competitive, I don't know, but I hear that if you get in, you're more likely to get the aid you need.</p>

<p>This post has caused quite a commotion hasn't it? haha</p>

<p>Great post. Read it all. I come from a public school where no has even heard of these amazing private school. I thought I had ok stats I applied for multiple HADES schools and a backup feeling that I would at least get accepted into one. When March 10 came, all I got was rejection letters and two waitlist ones. Very disheartening. But I'm still trying again next year.</p>

<p>i 'd just like to explain something to everyone: your family giving money to the school does NOT guarantee you a spot. it can be a "tipper", if you're on the edge it can push you over, but think of this way: if grandma gave the school lots of money, do you think she'd react better when her little angel didn't get in, or a year later when "little angel" fail out. i don't know why but it bothers me that people think it must be soo easy for the kids whose parents gave money, they only have a little leg up and only if they're already qualified. (this isn't personal, but i do have a friend in this position.)</p>

<p>whew, thats off my chest now. sorry to bother everyone!</p>

<p>I agree that all the schools are very generous with fa, even the ones with smaller endowments. These schools could take only those who can afford the tuition, but they have chosen not to and that is generous. However, I don't agree that most schools are technically need blind. I think most schools, out of necessity, have to consider a student's ability to pay. This was well documented in the case of Exeter two cycles ago. Not that I'm criticizing or picking on Exeter, I just remember they were upfront about the situation and an article was published in the school paper. Most schools state that once accepted they will meet the demonstrated need of the student, but they don't say they will not consider ability to pay in the selection process. I think ability to pay is just another factor to consider when choosing a school and how many schools to apply to. </p>

<p>I always find that on cc whenever a student or applicant or parent shares a negative experience or sentiment about the boarding school experience there are lots of folks who take issue with their position. I appreciate csi sharing her experience, I don't know if fa is the reason she was not accepted, but it reminds me that perfect stats are not always enough to gain acceptance to these schools and a rejection is not the end of the world.</p>

<p>Exeter actually posts on their website now that applying for FA "may place candidates in a slightly more competitive pool."</p>

<p>I always think of FA applicants as having to be admitted twice - once in the round where they pick the kids they want and once when they pick the kids they can afford.</p>

<p>Eh...not sure how I feel about this thread.
Schools do take FA into consideration, some more than others. But your multiple waitlists, despite your credentials (some of which I'm sure were made up, and understandably so on a site like CC) can simply be a number of factors - lack of individuality, Tuft's effect, etc.
Most important thing is to not be bitter, which I know is very, very hard. (I hated my safety school for waitlisting me for about two months!)
But was this post really necessary? Personally, I needed tons of financial aid. I can only afford to pay $300 per year, max. Had I read this thread, I would have flipped out...but everything turned out okay for me and I believe that if you are truly qualified, and truly deserving, you will wind up where you need to be, regardless of socioeconomic status.
P.S. I'd like to add a plug here for Exeter. Very, very generous with their FA, like Andover, and I will be eternally grateful to them for what they offered me (full).
P.S.S. STOP BRAGGING ABOUT YOUR "EXTRAORDINARY" STATS!!! Thousands of kids around the world are probably equally or more qualified.</p>

<p>5SchoolApplicant - Okay, think what you want. My stats weren't made up. What would be the point of that? I have nothing to hide. How am I bragging? I'm just telling the truth! I'm not like, "Wow, I am so amazing, all of you should worship me." I'm just saying that I thought I had a good chance of getting into these places! It's not all about the stats, obviously. I didn't think I'd get in just because I was smart, athletic, etc. There were other factors. You're missing the point of my story. You're attacking me for feeling 'entitled', when really, I'm just trying to tell people that no matter how confident you feel, there is a possibility that FA can affect your chances.</p>

<p>@5SchoolApplicant You got a full ride to Exeter, and you hated your safety school for waitlisting you? Are you serious?</p>

<p>@csi = love: I didn't read any post other than the 1st one (tired of the drama on CC I guess). Just some personal thoughts here. I was in almost the SAME situation as you. I was waitlisted at around 12 out of 16 schools that I applied (plus some rejections). I got lucky at a last minute and got a happy ending. But still, I was shocked because I had been so confident about my application. All schools said FA is the main factor that led to their decision, in my case. </p>

<p>And I'm sure we're not the only ones! There are many qualified applicants who got rejected similarly. </p>

<p>What I learned is - this is such an age of optimism. On CC, people talk like all the top schools are within your reach, some even act like they're entitled for FA. So it creates a false impression and maybe unrealistic expectation for some people. Especially in terms of $.</p>

<p>But tell you what, you got something wrong --> "I can't help but think about how my life would be different if I had gotten into..." I really believe that you'll end up at a great college if you're a great student, no matter where you go to school. I do consider not being able to get in my dream boarding school a failure, but at the same time, it's just a small part of your life. You just need to get over it and move on!</p>

<p>Prep schools receive many, many applicants with perfect/near-perfect stats. They are building a class. They do not want a "cookie-cutter" class. At my son's school there are "named scholarships" for students who need large grants. In the letter announcing that your student has received such a grant, it states that they go to students who are outstanding not just academically, but who also bring exceptional talent in other areas (recruited athlete, for example) to the school. Straight-A students with high ssat's are a dime a dozen at many of these schools. The school is looking to build a class and does not just admit everyone with perfect stats, no matter what the fa situation is.</p>

<p>FA or not, there are many qualified applicants with outstanding stats who get rejected or waitlisted at the most competitive schools. There are far more qualified applicants than places for them. The hurdle is steeper for fa candidates, but believing that all it takes is to be full pay is a fallacy.</p>

<p>The lucky applicants who get accepted stay on this board; the ones who do not leave the board or change their user name. In general, people do not like to post about their rejections. If they do, they might post once, not repeatedly which is what the accepted applicants do. This creates a false sense of how easy it is to get accepted by the incoming applicants. For those of you who post and got accepted into very competitive schools, you would do current applicants a great favor if you encourage them to apply to a range of schools. Also, avoid discussions of tiers because it encourages applicants to only apply to the top, a recipe for disappointment for many.</p>

<p>You would all be wise to include schools that place you in the top 25% of applicants if you want to go to boarding school next year, but be certain that you would be happy to attend these schools.</p>

<p>I'd like to repeat a previous post of mine:</p>

<p>Boarding School is not a right but a privilege, nor is it an entitlement for the privileged, but a privilege for those deserving as much. Unfortunately, there are so many more willing and able students than there are well known boarding schools. The same holds true for faculty. The endowments are still larger than 35 years ago and the facilities coupled with seasoned faculty have made the less prominently known schools extremely appealing to those that have truly taken the time and energy to investigate. So many tangible schools are available than what are commonly mentioned here on CC. Before one partakes in this extremely competitive and expensive endeavor, it is essential that they fully comprehend the economics or their lack of. There are plenty of those that obtain 4 years of full or partial financial aid and rightfully earned as there are those whose parent(s) pay the entire tuition. There are others just as deserving but for one reason or another and usually unbeknownst to them, who don't get that opportunity but don't have the right to hold in contempt those who have been fortunate enough to obtain admission with or without financial aid. The percentage of aid available and given is enormous, the pool of students requesting financial aid even higher. So assuming your going to get in the race, don't be surprised that there are those paying the full boat and can only expect others to understand the freight as well. The full tuition of some boarding schools does not even cover the full expense of one student, it in fact takes on average an additional 5-10k more per student. It is partially obtained from the Annual Fund, which revenue is acquired from the unsparing full paying parents, the unstinting financial aided parents, the struggling young alumni and the enormously generous friends and senior alumni.</p>