Phillips Andover Academy- HELP!

<p>Hi I'm 14, just graduated 8th grade and I am really concerned and confused. I'm an A/B student. Was in Student Council but not much else. I like to dance but my school has a VERY limited team for 3 grades. about 15 out of 100 girls are accepted(-not me.) I'm already past the enrollment date (Jan 15th?) and so I'd have to apply after first semester freshman year. The thing is I'm most likely the least athletic person out there. I can thank my mom for that. I want to take photography classes but I'm already missing out on history freshman year since my class schedule couldn't fit it-aka no photography. I've looked into other classes and all are for adults in my area. My schools (high school and middle school) both ranked around 25-40 ( Don't wanna tell my school) on the official list of the top 50 schools in IL. If Chicago schools were taken out of the list both my schools would be number 1 on the list. The classes are above average though and have anywhere from 20 to 30+ kids in them and the teachers are only okay. I hate how the teachers are more concerned on gossip than teaching and the huge classes make it hard to have a discussion because it gets to rout-y. I could be a straight A student easily if I tried harder but I sort of slacked off this year. I had 4 A's, 3 B+'s. I'm interested in joining a community service club, snowball ( life without drugs/alcohol in H.S.- don't mind drugs/alchol but looks good on APPs), photography (if there is one) and maybe one or two more. Those are my only E.C.'s. I also played violin for 2 years in grade school and was in Chorus for a year in sixth grade- doubt it helps but tell me if it does! If I managed to maintain a 4.0 or straight A's first semester do you think I could get in Andover? Even with my bad eighth grade year? I love it and would apply elsewhere too but I have my heart set on Andover. I would NEED financial aid but it would be hard to get since my family is only middle class. My dads a lawyer who makes $200,00-300,00 a year ( usually $250,000) and my mom just started a job that is payed by hour ($11). I have a brother too so there is only enough money left over after the bills are paid for a vaca. or two a year. I can only manage to pay $10,000 yearly give or take a bit. I'd be applying for my sophmore year unless you guys think I'd be better off repeating a grade since my school is good but absolutely no Andover for freshman year. Also are acceptance rates higher if i do this? Will colleges look down on this?? I scored exceeding average on ISATs in math and a few other subjects and was in the high above average group for the rest. (ISATS are IL ssats I think..) I do well on those test but not as well on classroom tests. I was doing bad in math ( my best subject) first quarter of 8th grade so i joined a study group that basically used the Harkness method and I went from C+ to an A+ within two weeks and maintained it after that. That is another reason why I think Andover would work well. I've heard they use classroom and Harkness methods when teaching and this would be PERFECT for me!
So now that I've completely bored you with my life story here are my main questions:
1.-Could I get in?
2.-Would my eighth grade year effect anything??
3. -Should I consider repeating a grade to catch up in my studies and fit in?
4. Would they understand I couldn't fit history into my schedule first semester?
5. If I learned quitar or piano woudl it in the next couple months would that help??
** The rest are questions based on if I got into Andover.**
5. Whats a good dorm? ( based on if you think I should repeat or not^^)
6. Whats the clothing like?
7. How did you convince your parents ( if you did)? ( I plan on the 30% go to Ivy schools and the Harkness method example )
8. Advice?????
9. Definite classes to take!</p>

<p>Thank you in advance and I'm sorry its so confusing. Believe it or not I tried not to make it so bad!!

<p>sorry i meant to put "don't mind alchol/drugs they're just not for me" I was on facebook and this at the same time. not good!:)</p>

<p>Advice: use the return button. Spaces ARE your friend! lol
but seriously, I think you just do photo out of school so its 'extra' curricular.</p>

<p>Your family income is too high for financial aid. Mine has been shut out
of aid on less money than that.
Only enough money left over for one or two vacations per year? Aw.</p>

<p>My family's income is about the same or more and we got alot of financial aid to Exeter.</p>

<p>To be honest, it's not likely. I'm not an admissions officer or anything, but schools like Andover are searching for unique, accomplished students. You're just kind of.... for lack of a better word, average. It's not a bad thing at all, and it's possible for you to get accepted. But you might want to widen your search.</p>

<p>greenblue- Your a jerk. My family income varies each year and when i said only i meant we didn't have 40,000 lying around at the end of the year just a couple thousand. geez you seem bitter.
@bamagirl95, I know im average thats why I asked if there was a chance so no hard feelings.:) Do you know of any E.C.'s or things I could do to stand out more?</p>

<p>Right now I'm just going to apply to Exeter and Andover. If I don't get in I guess I'll just stick with school. thanks all:)</p>

<p>Also @ bamagirl95, I do really well on test like isat and so im sure i could get a really good ssat score at least in the low 90s. Would this help? Sorry for the questions I just found these schools and fell in love.:)</p>

<p>Do you actually [REALLY] want to go to a school, or are you doing it just for the heck of it?</p>

<p>If you really want to get in I suggest applying to some different schools. Those two are really selective. PLus when you get in its realllly hard. I say you expand your search if you want to go.</p>

<p>If this is just more of a 'Hey, I think I'll apply and see what happens!" thing then best of luck :]</p>

<p>I REALLY want to go to 1 of those schools. I don't get what you mean by " for the heck of it" considering these schools aren't really fun, but more academic. I want to go to an Ivy League School but my high school has maybe 10 people each year go, without scholarships. (thats out of 300 or so) I want to get into Brown, Vanderbilt, Yale or Harvard. I'm looking at being a lawyer or if my mind changes I'd like the chance to take classes I like (which andover and exeter does) and not be locked in the IB plan. I understand how selective they are and how average I am. The thing is though, I've been looking at schools for months-None seem to compare. After finding these two I can't seem to like any other top schools I would stand a better chance with, which I understand sounds crazy to anyone else. I will obviously apply ( in case I change my mind ) to other top schools but If I only get into the really uninteresting backup schools without as many college connections, I might stay where I am since I don't want to end up paying mega money to go somewhere that Isn't that great. This is by no means a "see what happens" thing for me. I've been looking since middle of march and just missed their deadlines and I'm already registered for freshman year so I'd have to repeat that or go onto sophomore (lowers?) and risk being confused.</p>

<p>by "for the heck of it" I meant lk: Oh, I'll apply but I don't really car either way. Which isn't bad but I just wanted to know which advice to give you.</p>

<p>oh okay. sorry if i sounded snippy. I hadn't meant anything mean but reading what I said it sounds a bit angry. haha. But I determinately care. :)</p>

<p>If you really want to go to boarding school, I suggest you apply to some other schools. Episcopal, Kent, etc. are very good schools but they are just easier to get in, but they are not a walk in the park. And please lay off bluegreen. Not to be offensive, but it did sound sort of ignorant. Some people out there can't afford one night in a hotel as a vacation. JUST having one or two vacations a year is in no way JUST. Do not take your financial situation for granted.</p>

<p>I would be surprised if you qualified for aid based on our personal experience at Exeter.</p>

<p>Alo1313, </p>

<p>Exeter and Andover are two outstanding and selective schools, but they are not the only outstanding and selective schools out there. Many things factor into how appealing a school is to any given applicant, so perhaps if you told us why exactly you like Andover and Exeter so much better then other schools, we can help you figure out if the qualities you like in Andover and Exeter are exclusive to those schools or not. And if they're not, we can suggest other schools which you might try looking at. </p>

<p>The only reason I think it would be good to look at other school is because, as many have already said, Andover and Exeter are two very selective schools. If you have your heart set on getting in, it would help your chances if you applied to more than two schools. Also, it would be one thing if you liked Andover and Exeter for qualities that are exclusive to these schools, but so many applicants assume qualities are exclusive to one school or another, when really they're not. For example, you said the Harkness method of teaching drew you to Andover? I could list 10-20 boarding schools right off the top of my head that implement the Harkness method besides Andover. </p>

<p>The point is, you might get into Andover or Exeter if you applied, but chances are slim (as they are with all applicants) so it would be good to expand your list of schools to include a few more, even if all the schools you add are as competitive as PEA and PAA. </p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>sound advice, luckyducky, Hotchkiss, good for you!</p>

<p>@KC- please read my post above. By JUST I wasn't refferring to the fact that I can only have 1-2 vacations. I was referring to the money left over at the end of the year after bills and etc. I was trying to give an example that we only have a couple thousand a year left over. And I know thats alot more than people have. We give to charities and I'm very well aware of my luckiness. I didn't mean it to sound ignorant but why are you guys so stuck on that? Its about schooling and finances not if you think I'm ignorant. Also please read above about how I will apply to more but I'm not sure I'll accept them if I get in. Colleges understand their less selective and I'm just not sure if I'd like to possibly make my parents broke for 3-4 years to go to a little better school.
@Pa-thank you for the opinion. I thought I read somewhere (their site?) that you can only make up to $200,000 to apply for FA which is crazy considering the fact that people who have large families and bills who make over that still work really hard to pay the bills.
@luckyducky- I like the fact that they have a large endowment (FA!:) ), beautiful campuses, harthness (sp?) teaching method, and at exeter I like the prep school feeling and at Andover I like the welcome and artsy/ casual feeling. I don't really like alot in between haha:) I'd appreciate any school references you can make!! I am very considerned about the selective-ness too so I will most likely apply elsewhere too. I forgot to mention I also like andover because its no-dress, casual, feels less judging, good dorms, amazing teachers and over-all fun meets education feel it has.
@scholwannabe- I can't find good photos of hotchkiss. I've looked all over and does it have good FA? </p>

<p>Thank You to all who have helped and stayed on topic:)</p>

<p>Well if you only want the best to apply too, St. Paul's, Hocthkiss, Deerfield, Choate, Groton, and PA, PEA. SPS had the lowest admission rate out of all of them if I am not mistaken.</p>

<p>These are very selective schools. Luckduck is right, there are other schools you should consider. A lot of great schools are out there that will help you land in a great college if you are a great student. Most advisors will recommend you apply to some reach schools, such as the ones you are interested in. Also range schools, the ones with a bit higher acceptance rates. And finally, a safety, a school with a rolling admission that you would consider if all else fails. Too many students get hung up on the GLADCHEMMS group.</p>

<p>I agree with pretty much everyone else. Don't limit yourself to Exeter and Andover. While you think they are THE schools for you, there may be other schools you'll feel that way about just with a little more research. I understand you've looked at other schools already, but maybe not the right ones. </p>

<p>If you're looking for other "top" schools, consider what KCcansps15 listed.
If you're willing to look at less selective, yet still completely amazing schools maybe check out: Peddie, Mercersburg, Blair, Northfield Mouth Hermon, Loomis Chaffee, Middlesex, Taft...Those are my favorites. All great, all have just about everything you listed you liked in Andover and Exeter. Take a look and you may be surprised.</p>