I’ve been debating this question a lot recently and have yet to come to a conclusion. This past year I applied to Phillips Andover Academy and was waitlisted. This was devastating seeing as it had been my dream school since I was in the fifth grade, but I ended up getting into another school that I had also set my heart on. Despite this, I still feel that maybe I should apply to Andover yet again for the 2021-2022 school year but also don’t want to put myself through the same pain I felt when I got waitlisted after submitting an application I felt was my best work. Any thoughts?
I actually went through a similar experience. Lawrenceville is my absolute dream school since 6th grade, I have a legacy within the family, and I was waitlisted. However don’t let this failure discourage you. Schools rarely waitlist students because of who they are, and more because of which spots they specifically are looking for that year (which can be very subjective and arbitrary). So the waitlist most likely has absolutely nothing to do with you as an applicant and person. However, you basically have three choices. Firstly, if you got into another school that you also really liked, maybe you should go! Schools aren’t always what you think they will be, and maybe this is a blessing in disguise! You could end up absolutely loving that school if you go, and wont be risking getting rejected by andover again. However, if you know that andover is the only school you want to go to, then reapply for next year. No matter how amazing your application was this past year, you will have more life experiences, better writing skills, better interview skills, more extracurriculars, more difficult classes, and maybe even better SSAT scores. So you always have room for improvement! And if you want to have all 4 years at Andover, you could always apply as a repeat freshman, and get the whole experience! Whatever choice you make, dont let your fear of being rejected keep you from applying because youll regret not trying more then you will regret being rejected. good luck! Btw im reapplying to LV as a repeat sophmore next year (I applied as a sophmore this year)!
The only thing that troubles me is the fact that you must state whether or not you have previously applied to the school should you decide to reapply. I’m not sure of this but I feel as though this information alone could ruin your chances of being accepted seeing as they didn’t view you as a proper candidate before, so why would they change their minds?
Each year the schools have a different applicant pool, similar in many respects but not the same in others. Depending on the particular mix of what you have to offer, you might have a better chance in a different year. However, though I’m just a Dad with no experience in boarding schools (on these boards because one of my kids might want to apply), I think you should dive into your new school, become super involved, make friends, etc. and forget about applying to other schools unless you don’t like where you are in a few months. Love the one you’re with, and you might end up having a better experience than you would at Andover.
Andover will know that you are a re-applicant whether or not you check that box. You were waitlisted. They reviewed your application carefully. They remember you. Many re-apply, and some are accepted on the next try. Nothing unusual, nothing to worry about.
I am confused. Are you enrolled starting September at the other school that you say you also had your heart set on? If so, aren’t you excited to be attending this other school?
While I did see myself going to the school that I am set to attend this coming fall, Andover was my dream school. This was just another option that was less selective and that I would be indifferent to should I had to have attended.
@Aherries06 You say “should I had to have attended”? I am still unclear. Have you paid the tuition and signed all the enrollment forms? Or have you decided not to attend this other school?
It is relatively rare for one to transfer from one boarding school to another. The occasional times I’ve seen it occur it has involved a recruited athlete unhappy at the original school and a coach at the new school working with admissions to help the student go through admissions/transfer.
To clarify, I have enrolled at “this other school” for the upcoming school year. In addition, the school that I will be attending is not a boarding school but rather a day school.
If you had been Rejected, I would say don’t bother, but normally a Waitlist decision means your application was well received by Admissions (unless you were a Legacy, in which case, this is sometimes merely a polite rejection). If your heart is set on PA, then why not try and re-apply? Applying to one school and not getting in should not be devastating, just consider the rejection rates of qualified applicants at any elite boarding school. What is hard is applying to a number of boarding schools and not getting in anywhere.
I assume you are applying to PA as a day student? If you are applying as a boarder, it really behooves you to also consider other BSs.
I echo that your chances don’t seem to be ruined by re-applying, especially from a (non-legacy) waitlist status.
If you were my kiddo, I would be talking with you about two things.
- Keep in mind that now you will be going into a new school with a foot already out the door. That's going to change your personal experience of it. Plus, it's going make it harder to get great recommendations. If you are applying to PA as a day student, that makes it all that much harder to justify why you would hop from one day school to another. You would really need a more compelling reason than "it's my dream school" because that can translate into just being impressed with a big name. Going from day school to boarding might make the decision seem more justified in the eyes of both schools.
- I applaud you for having a big dream. I'll invite you to consider a question that you can just answer in your own head -- is this a fantasy or is it a dream? Do you fantasize about the fancy name and some magical world that comes with joining Andover? Or -- Do you truly dream of heading out to Andover to partake in its rich offerings and community? Because if so, I would suggest that Andover isn't the only place to achieve this dream. If you truly believe that only Andover can uniquely fulfill this boarding school dream, then I do wonder if there is more research to be done. So dream big! And yes -- persistence in going for your dreams is amazing!! But -- Don't let chasing a fantasy distract you from living your dream. Does that make sense?
The last thing I will say is that I am a big dreamer, and big dreams have some true in my own life because of some crazy ideas I haven’t let go. So, if you can honestly say to yourself that truly Andover is the dream for solid reasons, then life is too short not to go for it. If I were your mom, though, I would absolutely suggest falling in love with some other boarding schools too.
You might find out that the school you end up attending this year is the one for you!
@Happytimes2001 - totally agree and that’s usually how it works.