The Official M10 2020 Freakout Thread

March 10 - the day most schools release their acceptances/rejections.

@TheHappinessFund the source of every boarding school applicant’s nightmares, hopes, fears, and dreams

@CateCAParent @RedLioness
Oof, thanks for telling me! Kinda like ivy day then, isn’t it?
Jeez, that day’s marked in my calendar now…

Gave a tour to a prospective Lawrenceville student the other day and the kid looked so uninterested, I didn’t even get a single question from them :(. I hate it when parents try to force their kids to apply.

Side note: Near the beginning of the tour one of the other tour guides got happy birthday’d and the mother of the applicant exclaimed “Wow! Last week while we were at [other school] it was also the tour guide’s birthday!” Then, later on near the end of the tour, I myself got happy birthday’d. There was visible confusion from the parents.

I didn’t even know that parents would force their kids to apply? I wonder what the motivation behind that is, other than if the kid was a legacy.

Hey! I’m applying to a few schools this year, and I’m freaking out about the entire process, like what if I mess up in my interview, or while writing the essays. I was just wondering what the timeline of your application process looks like.

@RedLioness is there anything at all that you could tell us that would help us in any way?

(P.S. Thank you for creating this thread. I’ve been waiting for this for literally the 2 months)

Also, I never know what kind of questions to ask the interviewer. If someone could just give me a basic idea of what kind of questions we should ask, I would be eternally grateful

And, are you guys using gateway? or the ssat website to apply to the schools?

(I’m so sorry for asking these many questions, but I’m actually panicking)


  1. Easy question for an interview....Will I be assigned an Advisor and will they work with me my entire stay or rotate each year?
  2. Take you time with the app. There is absolutely no benefit to an early submission.
  3. Try to relax. Boarding schools are about the fit/need of the class. Acceptance is not predictable. Wait listed one school, denied, accepted at another. No rhyme or reason. Somewhere is your fit. If you want to go to BS, there is a place for you.

@confusedaboutFA oh, that’s unfortunate. That really sucks, I hate when parents do that

@findingschools do not panic. Try and keep the panicking to after submission. Right now, your head needs to be in the game, because the prep school application process is stressful as heck and it will not help you if you panic.

For interview questions, try to look on the site for inspiration, and try to plan out at least 3, if not 5, questions that you can use for your interview. Write them down and put them in a little notebook. Interviewers will be so pleased if you pull that out and write notes on their answers. Maybe prep one or two stock questions too, in case you don’t have enough.

Um, I guess what I can say is that you gotta give this thing your best shot over the next few months, and then sit back. Contrary to some stories, you do not have to contact anyone between submission and decisions to have a greater chance of acceptance. Learn strategies for the SSAT, because those are what’s going to get you a pretty good score and not trying to learn more actual content. After SSATs and interviews and essays, don’t give yourself extra anxiety.

Best of luck!!!

Don’t judge those parents. They may know a lot more about the local options and where they lead than a kid who really might just be focused on staying with friends. Many of those kids do come around.

Because few schools offer open houses, it can also be hard for families to assess fit before a tour. That’s tough for everyone when they are there and realizing it’s not the right place.

ahhhhhh so the TSAO had an event today where I live and I had my interview with Lville and I feel like I did okay but idkkkk but everyone there was nice and I was confident but me and the interviewer didn’t really connect, saw a few other schools I’m now considering though!

@Mercurrii wow, so excited for you! Don’t worry about your interview too much. I know a lot of people who have had awful interviews and gotten away with an acceptance, so it might not have been as bad as you thought it was. I’m sure you were awesome!

@findingschools What schools? Just curious, I’m trying to apply to a broad range of BSs and I wanted to know what others are doing.

@eekeek When are you taking your SSAT? I’m taking mine in January so starting my app then isn’t an option. If I were you I would start it, at least Part 1 of the candidate profile (on Gateway) soon. It’ll stress you out less. Plus, you can’t start writing essays until Part 1 is done and the more time, the better.

@SolarJ @soo2024 Hi, I’m applying for 9th grade at SPS, PEA, PA, Lville, Dfield, Hkiss, Loomis, Chaote, and others. (I need full FA so that’s why I’m applying to so many). Anyways, my point was we’re applying to some of the same schools and it would be really cool if we ended up going to the same place (I know how unlikely this is). Lmk where you guys end up! (:

This goes to anyone that finds this thread: tell me where your applying because I need help! Also it comforts me knowing I’m not alone in applying to the same schools. And who knows, we could end up going to the same place.

(Applying to all TSAO schools except Taft and Hill. Also applying to Williston Northampton, Peddie, NMH, and possibly others.)

I wish all of you the best during the applications process and on M10 (:

@ens2006 AHHHHHH I’m applying to TSAO schools and Peddie as well! Pennington too but thats more of a safety school. the TSAO officers are all coming back to my area tho so I’m basically grinding every weekend up until mid-Dec after the dec SSAT testing, have you taken the test yet? or interviews? I thought I did okay but I’m kind of doubting myself now,

A few tips for those of you applying.

  1. Take the SSAT multiple times if you can, many schools super score.
  2. We made this mistake of not visitings schools before going too far down the application process. It’s important to see if your DC wants to be part of a large or small school. We know that this was a huge factor in our DS decision.
  3. This is like a work interview, research and built your questions prior to the interview and try to personalize them to the school you are applying, I would suggest at least 5 questions. This demonstrates you’ve done your research and you are looking to answer specific elements before making your decision. Our DS would take out his phone and read his questions and most interviewers seems to have appreciated it.
  4. many school host alumni events in different areas. If one isn’t too far, we strongly suggest you attend them. We believe our DS was accepted at one schools based on his participation at that event.
  5. Be genuine in your essays and interviews.
  6. Remember these are schools and don’t get wowed by the buildings, focus on the students and teachers and observe their mood, body language and interactions.