The Official M10 2021 Freakout Thread

I know this is super early, and applications aren’t even open yet! Maybe starting the thread way earlier than all those previous threads might give us an advantage in terms of helping each other out. The freakout thread is a cc tradition every year, and it may be quite helpful for some that want advice ?
Anyone can join and rant about the application process (once the time comes), meet new applicants, ask for advice, anything!

Have fun!

The Freakout Thread for 2020:
https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/prep-school-cafe/2154610-the-official-m10-2020-freakout-thread-p1.html

Parental advice: use the Flex Test option to take the SSAT before the school year begins.

Why? Fall semester is already jam-packed as it is. Kids are under pressure to get good grades, participate in sports and other ECs, etc. because that will be the most recent snapshot of your child sent to BS. Weekends will be spent doing school visits and interviews. And then there are the applications themselves including of course all of the essays and shorts answers. It’s a LOT.

Now imagine layering on top of all this having to prep for the SSAT with some test date looming all the while.

Instead, have your kid do some prep over the summer and schedule a Flex Test date. We had our kids take it a couple of days prior to the start of school in early September. We figured that if they scored high enough, they’d have it off their plate. If not, they could always take it again on one of the official test dates. Our kids fortunately did well enough that they didn’t need to take it again. It made Fall semester that much easier on them, and they definitely commented on how stressed out their classmates were about the looming SSAT date.

Here’s info:
“Flex Test Dates
If a student would like to take the SSAT on a date that is not a national test date, he or she may register for the SSAT flex test. Flex tests are individual or small group administrations of the SSAT offered by approved schools and educational consultants. Students should schedule the test administration with an approved school or educational consultant prior to registering for the flex test. Students can only take a flex test ONCE a year (note that the SSAT year runs from August 1st through July 31st). For more information about the flex test option, visit the SSAT website.”

hey guys! i’m applying to exeter, andover, and choate, any tips on the application process and interview stuff in general? any information is appreciated!

@soh3ee best wishes to you. Congratulations for already having found your way here :slight_smile: I would say two things - and I’d say these things to anyone in your shoes regardless of qualifications on paper:

  1. Expand your list of schools to at least a few that are less selective. You’re basically applying to HYP. If you don’t get into any of them, are you happy with your local public or independent schools as fall backs?

  2. Be interesting! Whatever it is about you that makes you “you” - make sure the AOs know all about it via your interviews and essays (and teacher recommendations to the extent your teachers ask…)

Good luck!

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If you need to go to BS or just really want to go and you have only three schools on your list , please save yourself now and add SEVEN more schools if you’re full pay and add TEN more schools if you need any amount of financial aid. Full ride applicants should shoot for fifteen .

If you’re applying for FA - all schools will waive the application fee ( if you qualify and request it ) and you can easily set up more interviews ( now or as you go ) with schools via Skype or schedule an alum interview when available.

That said - lets imagine we’re in a normal admissions cycle for a minute because I think the fundamentals for a strategic list are still very much the same - even with all the uncertainty and Covid. Example : If you would like to add more schools because you have only highly selective schools like Exeter, Andover and Choate on your list, please do NOT compound the problem further or guarantee future ( M10 ) misery by adding more schools like Groton, Deerfield, SPS, Taft or Hotchkiss.

Instead- I strongly suggest that you do more research and look at all the wonderful schools ( coed and single sex ) in the Top 35 with acceptance rates in the 20%- 35% range - even if you’re a star student/ athlete FP or FA or legacy with a stellar SSAT score and amazing EC’s - I’m looking at you .

New Goal : Your list should be unique and tailored to you and your needs without being ridiculously short and “top” heavy. Make sense? If not - checkout the CC Hidden Gems threads for positive reinforcement and inspiration from past HG students/parents and see what you’re missing.

If you would like to see what usually happens when people only apply to very selective schools or too few schools - please read the very long and bloody Waitlist Thread from start to finish sometime - and that’s just a very small sampling because the brave kids and parents on that thread are the ones who stuck around M10 and were willing to post WL/ Rejection results and ask for help. Trust me - the vast majority of kids/ parents who post all year leading up to M10 usually disappear after decisions- so if we can- let’s try to avoid some common mistakes.

Some important things to consider :

1 ) There are no safety schools in the Top 35 for anyone so only apply to schools that you will be excited to attend if you’re accepted.

2 ) Very selective schools with big endowments are highly selective largely because people think they’re the only game in town for FA. They’re not. And TBH- these schools also get swamped with a lot of unholy prestige- seeking traffic, too, and that kind of traffic or a very low acceptance rate doesn’t always = better or best.

In other words- don’t ever let perceived prestige for a select group of big schools or their endowments dictate or shape your entire list.

Of course you should apply to some big box cattle call schools ( I’m a former “Top Five” big box cattle call school mom twice ! Go for it!! ) , but before you do you should know what every school in the Top 35 offers and include some of those schools on your list, too.

3 )Finally - and this speaks to the importance of achieving depth and putting together a smart and strategic list :

The number of apps you submit will become irrelevant very fast unless every single app you submit is heartfelt, realistic and makes sense.

  1. Yep… there’s always a 4. Did I mention that there are no safety schools in the Top 35 for anyone ? Is it ingrained in everyone’s brain now ? Because if I hear one person say Taft or any Top 35 BS is their “Safety School”, I’m coming out of retirement again and it won’t be pretty . :wink:

You got this so dive in and have fun exploring. Solid and thoughtful research right now is key so you can make your best case for admission for every school on your list later on . :slight_smile: Good luck!

@PhotographerMom wow! thank you so much! I didn’t know that kids like me applying for financial aid could get the application fee waived. Anyways, thank you for all this amazing information, I will definitely look into more schools, but also remember that there is no point in applying if I don’t put my all into each and every application. Again, thank you so much!

Please take this advice very seriously. We went through the process last year, and I ignored it. We were full pay, we had legacy at two schools, my daughters SSAT scores were great, her teacher recommendations were great, her interviews went well and her ECs are impressive. She applied to only 5 schools, and we were shocked on decision day. Fortunately, she got into a great school that I’m sure she’ll love, but it wasn’t one of her favorites, so there were a lot of tears in our house. I don’t care how amazing you are, apply to a LOT of schools and find things about each one of those schools that you love even if it’s not your top choice.

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hi gang how have you guys been doing?

ive been pretty much not thinking about boarding schools. i got myself a volunteer job thing, been working on some personal projects and im starting to learn to longboard even haha

i think next year im not gonna apply to schools for the sake of getting into a boarding school which is what i tried to do last year and failed miserably lol but just choose a few that i love and i like and my cc friends are going to lol because it isnt the end of the world if you dont get into a bs, which ive come to realize (: thoughts?

@mondaydevil I like the sound of volunteer job things!

You have a great plan. Only apply to schools you’d actually want to attend. I made that mistake—I’m very lucky it panned out well, but there were schools on my list I wouldn’t have wanted to attend.

@CavsFan2003 Thank you for the amazing response. I like the sound of volunteer job things as well! It’s very gameur.

hey gang. y’all probably forgot about me lol but i go to lc now and i want yall to know that you’re what’s gonna you into these schools. I didn’t have any good EC’s (like yall can check my bio no cap) and i still got in. (this is coming from someone who didnt go to any campus and got a 69 in math-) so yeah dont stress too much. ALSO it’s literally your last year and you’ll most likely not see your middle school friends again. so like make as many memories as you can :0. okay that’s it just wanted to check in on future bording kids byeeee!! :slight_smile:

(PS y’all can dm me. imma start going on this website more now.)

Hi, I am an Asian student applying to boarding schools for grade 9. I have already posted this query on the 2020 thread. I wanted to know if the gateway fee waiver covers the application fee partially, or fully ie. you dont have to pay. If anyone has experience with the gateway fee waiver, your reply would be much appreciated.

hello! i’m applying to middlesex, deerfield, westminster, pomfret, and brooks! could someone please give me advice or anything about the process and if i have a chance of getting in or not?!

hello friends. i am currently planning on applying to a bunch of schools, but im a really average student (some might even say below average). i have an sat of 1200, and im retaking it this month. i dont even know my gpa cause we havent gotten transcripts but my guess is like a 3.6 because i slacked my freshman and sophomore year. i have no ECs aside from my job, cat fostering, and voice lessons. i really want to get in to nyu, to which im applying ed, and im wondering if anyone has advice for someone like me. im currently working on getting my essay reviewed with bullseye as well as attending multiple essay workshops bc im pretty sure my essay will be my only savior here. im really nervous for this whole thing.

Hello, This is semi-update, semi- rant, deep breathing. I just scheduled my interview for andover and exeter. I am super nervous, chose dates after mid august, but not quite near september. I am worried. I am wondering whether I have chosen a date too soon in the process. Though I really want to reduce the worry of interviews since I am applying to a lot of schools due to FA. Any tips for the interviews to Andover, Exeter. Also I hope that an interview at this time in the application will be with an AO and not an alumni, ie. if it goes well, the AO will know more about me as a person.
A panicking person here btw.

you got this! haha from someone who is like freaking out as well i think personally that interviewing early is probably somewhat better so that:
1.) it gives you more time for other aspects of the application
2.) they know ur serious
3.) you know the school more earlier so if you don’t like it!
also i would recommend applying to other schools as well since those are very competitive but whatever you want! im literally already stressing about M10 hahaha

also this is for@crazycookies haha whoops

@fiafort I plan on applying to 10 schools, but might lessen the number depending on fee waivers, I was just reading a great link I found regarding interview question, and have already planned how I am going to craft my application as a creative problem solver who wants to impact the world for the better. I will probably faint before M10 even comes.

Hey can you share the link please, freaking out here about the interview ?

@MariTheTrex Sorry for my late reply, this site doesn’t work like others on my computer. Here is a link, it’s about college admissions, however boarding school admissions seem to be quite similar.
https://veritasessays.org/college-admissions-blog/posts/acing-the-college-interview-questions-tips-advice
Another thing I noticed is that we should be know why school A is a good fit for us and why we as a person and student are a good fit for school A. If anyone has experience in answering this question or a variation of it, it would be much appreciated if we could get your help.