Westminster Student wants out

I’m currently a sophomore boarder at Westy, and I want out.
In my 8th grade year, I applied to Taft, Westy, Choate, Lville, DA, and Hotchkiss. Got into Westy and Taft, chose Westy, and was waitlisted at my first 2 choices, Choate and Lville, as well as Hotchkiss and straight up denied at DA. That 8th grade year, I held a crappy 80 average and was lucky to have gotten in anywhere. Here I sit, the beginning of my 10th grade year, and I don’t feel satisfied; I feel disappointed in my 8th grade choices and here I am.

No shade on Westy, I’ve made great friends and enjoy myself, but I don’t feel as academically challenged as I could, or happy really with where I am.

I need help choosing where to apply ; I want to repeat 10th grade and go to another boarding school of a higher caliber, preferably in CT. Freshman year, I held a 93 average and currently am holding a 91 while enrolled in 2 APs and 2 honors courses. Any insight on schools or recommendations would be amazing, it’s been a challenging decision, but I know what is best for myself.


A couple of thoughts…

I am not sure that any AO will understand why you want to repeat 10th. You are a strong student at a school with good academics. I realize you think it will give you better odds, but I am not sure that’s the case. Although admissions for 11th can be hard, I would-- without knowing more – recommend that you focus of transferring for 11th.

I also think you are going to need to come up with a better reason to transfer. If you want more academic challenge, you’ll need to show that Westminister can’t provide that and you’ll have to show you have taken the initiative to get as much out of your program as possible. If the culture is wrong, you might have an easier time explaining that to a school with a different culture. If there is something you want to do ,(i.e., study abroad) that you can’t do at your current school but could do at another, that could work in your favor.

In your mind, what will this higher calibre school have that your current school does not?

Culture, has been something that has influenced my thoughts. Westy’s culture has very specific reputation of being a party school to many, which is true in many respects. The lack of diversity; everyone is from Fairfield County or New York, has made me feel out of place. Westy doesn’t have a very good STEM program, which is my main focus.

If you are looking for diversity, you should focus on schools that have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion – they would buy that story. But that might mean looking beyond CT.

STEM should be easier to find.

One thought – would you consider United World College? It starts in 11th.

What is your end game? Do you believe you have a better admissions shot at a dream college if you transferred? Is two more years there unbearable?

If I understand correctly, OP doesn’t like the school culture due to party school atmosphere & lack of diversity claiming school is filled mostly with students from Fairfield County & NYC/Westchester County.

If my understanding is accurate, then I think that OP’s concern about the campus culture are reasonable.

OP: Consider applying to the schools which waitlisted you two years ago if they are still your top choices.

Agree with @Publisher - you could consider applying to the WL schools. However, consider the benefits of your current situation. You have a far greater chance of being top of the class at Westminster than at Choate/L’Ville/Hotchkiss (by top of the class I mean top 25% or top 10%), so that is a big benefit for college matriculation. The teaching quality at the schools you mention is very similar, in our experience and from we’ve heard over the years, and if you take AP and Honors classes, I find it hard to believe you can’t be challenged there.

You also state you’ve made great friends - that’s a huge plus, are you sure you want to leave that comfortable environment behind?. Entering another school in Grade 10 or 11 makes it a little harder to make steadfast friends, especially in 11th grade.

Lastly, you say you want to repeat 10th Grade - why? AOs will want to know. Your grades don’t indicate you need to repeat, and apparently you don’t mind burning another $60-$70k of your parents’ money.