Private School Admissions Chances

Hi. I am a middle school girl who is planning on applying to private school for Fall 2024. Schools like Hotchkiss, Choate, Deerfield, Exeter, Andover, etc. I have already gotten into 4 of these schools for their summer programs, but I know that they may accept more people. I would like to know my chances of getting in for high school.

My GPA is averaged 4.1.
Average grade is 3 A to A-.
Asian if that helps.

96 Social Studies
95 Gym
94 Orchestra
100 Spanish
96 Art (Quarter 3)
97 Science
93 English
89 Pre-Algebra (one of the highest grades in this class)

I play the cello in my school orchestra
Many national awards like Doodle for Google state champion, black belt, etc.

Community Service
Yearbook Club
Cooking Club
Science Olympiad
Tennis USTA
Alpine skiing
Owning an online business
Gifted and Talented Program (not in it but I do the assignments anyways)
Art class

I have not taken SSAT yet.

Let me know, thanks.

You should research a lot of different schools and cast a wide net. Apply based off fit, not prestige. I would also recommend you take the SSAT first to see which schools will likely match your profile. Often good grades at public schools will not translate to good grades at prep school. In-state standardized test scores are also not like the SSAT. Often people who score in the 99th percentile on tests like the SAT, PSAT, and In-state testing (such as myself), do much worse on the SSAT. My best score was a 79% total, and that was my second test.


On the college threads there’s a term people use: “average excellent”. Which means the applicant is excellent, but there are so many excellent candidates, that among them, the applicant is average.

To me, you sound like an “average excellent” prep school applicant. This means you ARE excellent! But it also means that since so many kids have your profile it is very hard to know what your chances are. @lilyesh’s suggestion to take the SSAT and let that be a bit of a guide is a good one. Schools are de-emphasizing the SSAT, but if your score is in the 20th percentile, say, that would tell you that the reach schools are unlikely. If you are in the 90th percentile, it will tell you that you would be in the pool of kids considered, but it won’t tell you how likely admission is.

I also would strongly urge you to research schools outside of the most well known ones. There’s thread on “lesser known gems” that’s fairly active. But schools like Berkshire, Millbrook, Emma Willard, Mercersburg, St. Georges etc etc etc are great schools!

You are giving yourself plenty of time, so that’s excellent. I hope you enjoy learning more about more schools!


Congratulations on having great grades and lots of interests. If you aren’t enrolled in GT, drop that mention now. If you are in public school, the annual tests you are taking now don’t help to place you because they are comparing you to a broad group of students (annual exams, even the more rigorous NWEA unless you are multiple years above grade level.) Many tutoring places will offer mock ISEE or you can enroll and take SSAT to get a sample test. You just want a baseline to see how competitive your academic background. SSAT/ISEE are something that many people, most people prepare for to get top scores. You should assume you will need to prepare for it.


Being admitted into the summer program is absolutely no indication of being a candidate for the school. They are often totally separate entities. I say this only to set your expectations.

You have a great resume - you need to weed it down a little. For example if you are not in the gifted and talented program you cannot list it as an activity. You can talk about it in an interview “I wasn’t admitted to the program but I love to learn so I do the assignments anyway” type of conversation.

Take the advice here before it is too late. Take the SSAT and add schools to your list that are not the most prestigious schools in the country. You do have a strong profile but so do many of the kids applying and many of the kids who are rejected have the same strong profile. There has been a boom in BS applications post covid (maybe based more on population than covid or maybe a combination) and there are far more qualified applicants than spots.


Yes, I have already started SSAT prep with some textbooks. I am doing an SSAT prep program at Exeter too.