School recommendations

I’m applying for 10th grade to these schools
I’m full pay, and since my previous thread I have raised my SSAT score to around an 80. I think I can get around the mid 80s to 90s on the actual test. Lately I’ve been hearing things from some people and I’m doubting some of my school choices(Exeter and Andover) people have been telling me it isn’t a good fit for me. Does anyone have any advice/school recommendations? I’m looking for a school that is good on mental health support, can support gifted students, good math/engineering program, co-ed, and on the east coast? any replies would be appreciated. I don’t come from a prep-school family/don’t have friends that go so it has been hard to find schools.

You are a candidate for all the schools you list, you just can’t expect to get into your first three.

Blair has put money into their stem, as has Mercersburg and Peddie. Blair is very supportive IMO. These are 3 very good schools to explore.

Have you ruled out all girls schools? There are some that are amazing and because they are “less popular” they are more likely to embrace someone with your talents and help with the mental health aspect.

I am not an expert on the girls schools since my last applicant was a boy. Maybe @Golfgr8 or @Calliemomofgirls can help with that.

An SSAT score of 80 - is that still just a practice test? I personally think that is a source of concern. Although right now aren’t a lot of those schools not requiring scores?

Thanks @one1ofeach - yes, do consider all girls schools. They have amazing cultures, academics, and financial aid. I wouldn’t worry about test scores - just wondering if your SSAT score of 80 you mentioned actually a total score represented discrepancies between scores?

My parents don’t really want me to an all girls school. But we’ll see. Thanks for the advice.

@lilyesh - Super glad you are asking! I am not an expert at the East Coast math/science angle - but just wanted to throw in my support. We didn’t know anything about bs either when we started, but there is a lot of really great info here and very wise people just waiting to help students like you find your way.

My general sense is that most bs’s you would be considering are very able to handle gifted students, and their math/science offerings will be appropriate for you. You can let that worry go, unless you are super super advanced. I would focus less on the academics and more on the culture and structure of the schools.

Size, interactions with teachers, competitive v collaborative, how they do
Meals, sports, arts, discipline, chores, free time, study hours, health education, travel, etc.

If academics were not a concern, what is your perfect school?

Describe that for us, and we can suggest options.

George School is another nurturing school. Excellent STEM.

Virtual Open House later this month. Very easy way to check them out. Also, easy transportation to NYC (train from Trenton) which may be helpful for you.

@CateCAParent my perfect school would be probably in NY or NJ. Co-Ed, good environment for Engineering, easy access to therapy, a track team, decent arts & piano program(not a priority though) pretty big school(400 at least) rigorous academics, but allows an hour of a break, casual dress code but not necessary. Also a high percent of boarding would be good.

I would suggest looking into Kent in CT. Very strong STEM, a pre-engineering track, music, and 95% boarding (600 students). Wonderful, supportive school.

Peddie fits most everything that you listed. The one exception is that they are about 65% boarding…so a little lower than the 70-80+% at other schools you listed. Our family was very impressed with Peddie.

@Hopeful0304 Kent seems like a great place, but I’m jewish so I would need to apply to non-sectarian schools.

@lilyesh FWIW, Kent has many different religious backgrounds represented on campus. Our DD has several jewish and muslim friends among others, and services for each are offered weekly (although this year they are virtual since campus is closed). It might be worth looking into if you are interested in hearing more. Hope this helps!

@Hopeful0304 I had no idea Kent had different religious backgrounds! will definitely consider.

@lilyesh I want to say that’s true of most schools, even the ones that come from a Christian tradition. (At least, it was true of all the schools we visited/considered.). That said, someone who was outside of the tradition who actually attended would be better to answer that for sure. I’m only going based on visits and tours.

Kiddo didn’t want to apply to any school that started with “St”. Totally get where you are coming from!

Turns out that the vast majority of those schools aren’t religious anymore and they truly seek out diversity. Don’t be dissuaded by a religious-sounding name or that there are “chapel” events.

What a great question though - which schools have a thriving Jewish community? I can see that making a huge difference for kids who want/need it.

Definitely look at Peddie as it fits your parameters well. I agree with with @CateCAParent that these schools are all able to correctly challenge gifted kids.
My kid is Jewish and went to Peddie. Although Peddie has “chapel” weekly, it isn’t religious in any way. It’s more of a community-wide meeting place. The school itself is diverse. There is an active Jewish Club on campus, though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a “thriving Jewish community” in part because there are Sat classes.
Also, there is absolutely easy access to on-campus therapy as mental health is part of the balance that Peddie seeks.
Goo luck with your search!
(This info is all pre-covid as my kid graduated in 2020.)