Repeating 11th Grade for Boarding School

Hi everyone! I’m a incoming 11th grader looking to go to a competitive university in the US.

For context, I’m an international student ( I’m neither American nor do I live in America), however I’ve always attended American (high) schools. I’m a straight-A student, and have lived in three countries before (in West Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America).

I’m actually Latino, and just moved back home, the second semester of 10th grade after Covid hit and forced us to move. Unfortunately, there aren’t many American schools, and none that offer the IB program as well which my previous schools did. Suddenly, I find myself in a position with no APs because I was planning to take the IB program, and my school doesn’t offer many. I have to take courses online which are pretty expensive.

Again, for context, I will take the following APs/Adv. math courses next year:

  • AP Statistics
  • AP Physics C
  • AP English Lang
  • Multivariable Calculus
  • Linear Algebra
  • (Maybe Differential Equations, if I have any brainpower left I’ll take it the second semester of 11th).

I’m currently taking studying AP Calc BC with the help of the AoPS (online) course, and plan to take the exam as well next year. In 12th grade I’ll try to take AP Bio/Chem/Lit and Real/Complex Analysis, but nothing’s fixed.

Ok, so now onto boarding school.
My main problem is that as a Latino living in a country in Latin America, though I may be attending an American high school, I’m afraid colleges will have doubts about my abilities. I’m going to take the SAT this October/December (aiming for a 1530+) to help remedy this, but I’m afraid there will still be doubts. For this reason, I am considering applying to repeat 11th grade in a reputated BS. This would give me more credibility and also more time to take AP/adv. courses. This would also fix the problem of cost, since the boarding schools I am considering have good FA and I don’t think my parents can afford almost any of the APs I want to take. Keep in mind, I haven’t taken these courses yet, so I still don’t have APs in my pocket. Also, in terms of losing an entire year, I’ve skipped a grade so it would balance out. Do you guys think it’s worth it to apply to boarding school? Do you think it’s possible? I fear 11th grade admissions is even more competitive, and that I might also have a better chance being valedictorian for example in my average school as opposed to a a regular/good student in a highly competive BS.

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George School will allow you to do the IB you should look at that one. There’s a lot in your background that might make that one a good fit! If you are repeating just for that, reach out to them this summer and ask if you could apply to be on a WL if a spot should open up.

11th grade admissions are tricky – you need to hit the ground running. Look at schools where you see a good fit and can make the shift easily. Make sure you do well in your current school and have a compelling argument for BS.


FA for an international BS student is much much tougher to get. During college more FA will open up.

But your courses in math look fabulous so I wouldn’t worry about American STEM college workload. Just make sure you’re solid on writing/English as well. Try the SSAT if you can.

The BS will want to know what you offer the community—sports, leadership, arts, etc. not just academics. Good luck and you look like a good candidate.

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@JustYourAverageGuy: If your screen name is your real name, you may want help from the moderators to change it as you should remain anonymous on an Internet forum.

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You might want to google “Applying sideways MIT admissions” and read the blog that this will take you to. What it describes is essentially what I did to get accepted to MIT.

As I understand it, the point is to do what is right for you. Do not worry about what MIT or Harvard or Stanford want you to do. Think about what is right for you. Then whatever you choose to do, do it very well.

The same approach has worked for other family members and friends and colleagues to get accepted to other highly ranked universities and programs in the US. However, what was right for them and what was right for me was in most cases very, very different.


I agree George is a good option. They offer IB and offer financial aid to some international students. But 11th grade admissions are rare…. Even if you receive financial aid there are many, many expenses that won’t be covered. It might be better to save that money for college. Many, many US schools do not give financial aid to foreign students. This is why there are so many foreign students finishing two years at a community college.

I wouldn’t be to concerned about your appearance as a good candidate to US schools. You are taking credible coursework, etc. and you write well in English. AOPS is very respected. There are many US online high schools that cheaper.