Rank Boston Area Prep Schools: Hardest to Get Into?

How would you wank the following Greater Boston area prep schools from hardest to get in to to easiest:

Roxbury Latin
Buckingham Brown & Nichols (BN&N)
Milton Academy
Belmont Hill
Noble and Greenough
Beaver Country Day
Brimmer and May

Would you say there’s much of a drop off from RL to BBN, or BBN to Milton, or Milton to Groton and Nobles, etc.

Pretty sure the websites of each of these schools provide data on their acceptance rates. Always go to the source unless you are just looking for random opinions.

1 Like

Most of these schools do not publish and admit rate, including:

  • Roxbury Latin
  • BB&N
  • Belmont Hill
  • Rivers
  • Beaver
  • Brimmer

Opinion based on recent experiences works.

Statistically, Groton has the lowest admit rate of those schools because it’s the smallest.

Nobles, Milton, Deerfield would be next.



Beaver and Brimmer

However, you as a candidate may have a better chance at some vs others so the basic admit stat may not be that informative.

Groton has the lowest acceptance rate but I wonder if that’s truly the case as it admits 8th graders and fills about 20-30% of the class that way. So those applying for 9th grade have very few spots. Still a difficult admit in any case. No question.

Roxbury Latin is also a tough one to get into ( don’t know rates). BB&N has kids who come from lower grades so less spots for incoming Freshmen ( this can alter the rates). Rates vary from year to year and also check how things are counted. We were surprised in a few cases how they counted admit rates. There are crazy tricks in college admissions too, like accepting kids second semester to alter the admit rate. For example, does the school count upper class admits in the rate?
Does the school count all completed applications? Is the school large or small? Larger schools have less chance to alter the %.

I’d worry less about the admit rate than the fit for you/your kid.

^This. Your list is a bit all over the place. Boarding, day, big, small, traditional, progressive, single sex, coed. For instance, if you’re interested in ISL schools, why not Lawrence Academy as a safer school? It’s in the same town as Groton and is on the sportier side like Nobles or BB&N. If you’re interested in a progressive school like Beaver or Brimmer, why not Concord Academy as more of a reach?

I can’t see the same kid being happy at both Deerfield (large, preppy, rural, boarding) and Brimmer (small, progressive, urban, with kids who have been there since kindergarten).

I agree with @Sue22 . The kids we know who are at schools on your lists had groups of like minded schools. Those schools listed above are a hodge podge.

Completely agree with @Sue22 and @Happytimes2001 - that list of schools does not make sense in any way. Maybe they all fall into a certain radius from someone’s house?

Hi guys, I’m applying to Concord academy which i believe is in the Boston area? Does anyone know the admissions difficulty/reputation of the school around boston? (Coming from a californian, ahaha.)
I’ll tag you all too i guess :slight_smile:

(I’ve seen the stats on things like boardingschoolreview and testinnovators, just looking for a public consensus ahah.)

I went back and looked at your chance me. You seem like a perfect CA kid. My one note of caution is that financial aid is going to be a sticking point here. CA doesn’t have the financial aid budget that other schools have and have a much smaller % of kids on aid. Hopefully, this will work out - as others have pointed out on cc frequently, it’s not always the richest school that gives the most FA. Certainly easier to get into for a full pay applicant than many in the area with around a 20/25% acceptance rate.

We know several kids at CA (and we toured and interviewed). They all love it. I know some staff members. They love it too. It’s in concord, MA, 45 west of Boston. There’s a good chunk of kids who take the train to CA from Boston.

It is definitely a step down in the crazy rigor department, by which I mean you won’t cry every night cause you have so much homework and you’re sick. Great education though. Super supportive environment. This is a place where it really seemed that kids could be themselves.

Concord is cute as a button. Literally a quintessential NE town. Lots of snow :wink:

Do you have specific questions?

I heard its a liberal arts school but do you know if the STEM curriculum is as rigorous?

I think you are conflating the vibe of the school with the curriculum of the school. CA has a very robust stem offering, perhaps even more so than some of the nearby schools.

It is a very liberal school, eg, students are on a first name basis with faculty and staff. It is artsy in the sense that sports are not a big part of the school’s vibe. They have sports and kids have to play some team sports while there but the teams are not good and they are not recruiting athletes. In fact, if you are a serious athlete, this may not be the school for you. (depending on the sport, I think they have a good ski team maybe?). So the vibe of the school is liberal and artsy but it is not an art school in the sense that Walnut Hill is an art school. CA is very much a rigorous, all around BS.

@one1ofeach hit the nail on the head when it comes to Concord Academy.

@one1ofeach ahh that is so helpful! I absolutely love CA. And, luckily, the sports thing isn’t an issue for me at all because my athletic abilities are in no way prodigious. The artsy vibe of the school is actually one of the reasons I like it so much!
Who knows, an admission rate in the 20s is not super high, so we’ll see if i make it in, right? gotta hope for the best

CA is not as rigorous as other schools in the area. The low acceptance rates is based on a number of factors among them, a 50/50 split between boarders and day. There is a big of demand for private schools in the area and not everyone can get into some of the big names. So many day students who aren’t accepted at Middlesex, BBN, and others will attend. Check carefully esp. the rigor. We know a couple of kids who went there, both were average students nothing special but nice kids. We also know one kid who is very strong.
The boarders are stronger than the day students. Also, they have a lot of kids who go into engineering. So STEM must be decent.
I agree with one1oneofeach that it’s a step down in the rigor department but is that a plus for BS? I wouldn’t ever compare it to Walnut Hill which is a performing arts school and where kids have super high level talent in that area ( many become professional actors, musicans etc). CA did sell themselves as artsy. We found many schools exceeded their programs esp. in fine arts and music. Look carefully it might be just the place for you or it might not be. Seemed to be stronger in theater than anything else. They had very few scholastic art/writing awards and compared to other schools in the area, public and private very few national merit scholars. This may fluctuate from year to year. But bears checking into.

I think it is a plus. IMO BSs are getting out of control with the “our freshman classes are harder than any college class you can take” attitude. There seems to be a race towards rigor that has topped out and needs to be settled down a bit. As my posts in the homework thread indicate it seems a bit much to me. I appreciate that there is a place where excellent students can have the rigor they seek but not the enormous strain placed on kids at some of the other schools.

I agree that CA is a step down in rigor from the immediately adjacent schools, Middlesex, Groton, Andover, but not from NE BSs in general. Thayer, Tabor, St. Marks - CA is certainly in line with them.

Although for some kids, mine included, CA is not the place for them. Mine would be frustrated and seems to like the extreme rigor. It comes at a price though. Sick twice this winter, not a day missed of school, barely missed any sports. Illnesses are taking twice as long to clear up because no rest is allowed (by kid).

People need to know their own kid and take personality into account!

Do you guys think CA and St. Mark’s are still challenging though? Compared to public/charter schools, that is.

Take a look at the college matriculation lists for both and I think you’ll find your question answered. (Yes, they’re quite challenging)

@mondaydevil Depends on the public charter school. CA is located in Concord MA which has a school that is likely better ( in terms of academics, and sports) than CA. But different in so many ways. You really have to compare specific school.
You gave to look at each school very closely. And don’t ficus solely on stats. Many of these schools are filled with legacy kids. So the matriculation lists can be slanted.