What are my chances for boarding school? (Reapplying to 9th grade)

Hello Guys; I’m a 9th grader in a public school in MA reclassing as a 9th grader (Applying to 9th grade as a 9th grader). I’m writing this to see what your guys’ opinions on my chances for boarding schools.

I am applying to these schools:
-St. Paul

(I’ve been waitlisted from Exeter, Deerfield, and Milton last year. I only applied to 5 schools last year and I’m opening the amount of schools I’m applying to)

SSAT: I’m currently studying and doing work for it and I am constantly getting 95 percentile for them so I expect myself to get at least a 90 percentile when I actually take the test.

I am planning on running for Student Council in the beginning of the year of 9th grade, I am also planning on joining Debate/Model UN. I also got 2nd place in my science olympiad team in a highly competitive school area (t20 schools in NY). I’m also planning on joining my school varsity swim team (I was a former top 5 swimmer and when I was beginning to stop swimming I was a top 20 swimmer in NY state. I still swim recreationally and I’m still better than most other kids who swim club).

My grades are all ok except one F in Spanish in my 7th grade year (The teacher messed up grading and put the assignments I submitted as missing, my old school also never turned in my old grades to my current school and messed up a lot of my grades. I talked to the associate director of admissions in Exeter and she told me I’m fine as long as I explain the F in my interviews) otherwise I have As and once in a while a B+. But all final grades were A-A+.

I would like to believe I excel at Science and Math (Top 1% of all the test takers in the AMC 8 and ofc science olympiad). I’m ok at writing (no awards or anything like that). I play the violin which is a major thing for me (I won lots of awards and I am in one of the BEST youth orchestras in NE which mostly only accepts College Students from Harvard, MIT, NEC, etc.) I also speak Korean fluently.

Here are all the stuff I’ve done and the awards I’ve gotten over the past 2-3 years of my life:

Academic Awards:
-AMC 8 (22/25) Top 1% of all the test takers nationally and top 3 student in my school district, and planning on taking the AMC 10 this year.
-2nd Place For Rocks and Minerals for Science Olympiad (This helped my team qualify for states)
-Outstanding Achievement In Strings Orchestra (School)
-Outstanding Contribution To the 2022-2023 Math Team (Highest scorer for my Math Team)
-Honor Roll (All my middle school years)

Important (I’ve only been playing violin for 5 years in total)
I also am planning to play the Viola for my school orchestra and I’m already better than most kids who play viola at music schools. Not like Julliard level but at least Manhattan School Of Music level. Its important since these schools need more Viola players

-Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (The BEST Youth Orchestra in NE, Mostly college students from Harvard, NEC, MIT, colleges in the Boston area) I’m also one of the YOUNGEST members
-Invited to have a masterclass with Midori (Who only has masterclasses with College students and never has masterclasses with kids my age EVER)
-Vivaldi Extravaganza (Played with the American Chamber Orchestra, most kids NEVER play with a orchestra as a soloist even at college levels)
-Winner of the Sempre Musick Competition (Played with a full Orchestra, same goes for this)
-1st Prize for the International Music Competition “Brussels and London” Grand Prize Virtuoso (Invited to play at the Centre of Fine Arts In Brussels and the Royal Albert Hall in London)
-Honorable mention in the Euterpe Music Awards (Berlin, Germany)
-1st Place for the American Protégé International Concerto Competition (Carnegie Hall)
-2nd place in the Young Maestro International Competition (Carnegie Hall,2x)
-Winner Of The National Artists Competition 2x
-Assistant Concertmaster For The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Of New York (Strings and Concert Orchestra) 2-3 years
-1st Place in New York Artists International Competition
-2nd Place In New York Virtuoso International Competition
Theres more but these are the ones I could fit into my application

-Top 20 swimmer in NY state
-Top 5 swimmer in NY state for some time
-Top swimmer in a Gold Medal Swim Club (15th ranked swim team in the country)
-Stopped swimming competitively but swimming recreationally (Swim Instructor Volunteer at a local YMCA for ages 3-12)

These are the relevant ones.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope to receive a response from you!

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Forgot to mention I need a decent amount of FA.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Thanks for your concern, but I assure you that my ecs are real. I’ve spent hours upon hours on them for most of my life and I’ve applied last year too and I got waitlisted so I think I have a chance to get in.

Could anyone else reply to this thread? I really want to know others thoughts about my chances for the boarding schools I’m applying to since last year I didn’t get accepted to many places and got waitlisted to the places I wanted to attend. I would much appreciate it :grin:. Thank in advanced.

Closing duplicate account/sock puppet.

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Reopening after PM’ing with the OP but one poster suspended.

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Hello, Visual1. As a parent of a boarding school student at one of the schools you mentioned, not an admissions officer of any kind, I would say a few things: one, I believe the degree to which violin will help you would depend much more on the video you’d submit than any awards you’ve won; and two, your past rankings in swimming matter much less than if a varsity coach of a boarding school’s swim team thinks you can be a contributing member of his or her team. (For the latter, you’d need to submit very recent times you’ve produced in actual events.)

I also believe that how you describe your achievements matters. Namely, you should be more circumspect about how you describe things as “top” or “best.” It sounds arrogant to be so definitive about subjective things, or even objective things that may have narrow and/or debatable criteria. Remember that these schools like to admit likeable students.

Remember as well that lots of people talk about what they are planning on doing. Though you are young, these schools like to see some evidence of real interest, not just a stated intent. For example, if you want them to consider you as a violist, get good at viola and submit a really good video playing an advanced viola concerto.

You are probably fine academically/SSAT-wise, but a majority of other applicants are as well. High academic performance is a bar to exceed, not really something that gets most kids in.

If you show you’re good at viola and convince the schools you want to continue with it while attending, you have a chance, in my opinion, especially if you get good teacher recommendations.


Hello Ameridad,
Thanks for commenting again, I really appreciate it. I’m planning on submitting violin recordings and like all the stuff thats really necessary for the application. For my swimming things I’ve swam a couple events and their official. I’m doing ok but not like insane insane like the kids at the boarding school, I’m still a bit slower than them by like 2-3 seconds so I’ll juggle around whether I’ll talk about it during my interview, etc.

Sorry for sounding a bit arrogant. Not trying to mean it that way but I’m trying to emphasize things that I’ve pretty happy that I accomplished. I’ll switch up the wording for the real application. Thanks for telling me about that.

The real reason I really want to get into these boarding schools are because I want to form meaningful bonds with the other students who attend. I’ve been moving around state after state and one time even countries. Because of that I don’t hold any meaningful relationships for over 3 years. So like basically what I’m trying to say is that I want join boarding school not only to improve academically and my other ecs but to join it to form a bond with others and make a community which I couldn’t do in my past few years.

Thanks for commenting again :slightly_smiling_face:

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You are applying all top lists of BS and chances are still hard to get in next year. you definitely have the good quality, score, ECs…
Have you considered to open yourself to private day schools?

I don’t really want to go to private day schools around my area since my public high school is better than all of them except Milton Day School. But I’m open to it maybe if I find a better one in my area.

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OP: You may have added to the # of schools to which you’re applying, but please do yourself a favor if you really want to go to BS, apply to some schools with meaningfully higher admit rates. Applying to 10 schools each with a 10% acceptance rate ≠ a 100% chance :wink:

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Agree 100%. My daughter applied to 10 schools, 5 were considered top (and on your list) and 5 were great schools, academically and otherwise, but had higher admit rates. Look at the posts on Hidden Gems and please do yourself a favor and add at least 1 or 2. While my daughter did end up at one of the schools you listed, I can tell you that I very much felt all of the schools she looked at would have been great.

Regarding the schools you are looking at, if you are selling yourself based on an EC such as violin or swimming, make sure you are not only submitting videos but reaching out to the coaches to introduce yourself and express your interest in their program.

With so many high achieving students and schools looking to fill their “institutional needs” it is important that you are making it clear how you can contribute to their school.

I also agree being humble while promoting yourself is important.

Good luck!


I might be a freshmen but I’m not a idiot :upside_down_face:. I know that adding more schools to my list doesn’t guarantee my admission into one of them. Plus I already attend a top public school in MA and its already good educational wise. My public compared to other boarding schools other than the ones I’m applying to are almost none. The only difference is more independence, taking classes you belong in, and better clubs. So in my head its either just go to one of the top boardings or just stay in my top public school. Thanks.

I don’t really see the point of applying to other schools other than this since my public school like I mentioned before is already a great school especially for a public school. In my head I’m just thinking about attending a top boarding or just attending a top public which I’m already enrolled in. Thanks

It sounds like you don’t really want to go to a boarding school per se, you just really want to go to a highly academic high school.

That’s fine - but not sure that’s a selling point to AOs at Groton, Deerfield, Hotchkiss, and SPS - schools that pride themselves on being mostly residential, and very different than a normal high school experience.


Well, the main reasons I want to go to boarding school is of course having a highly academic high school but also for some other reasons.

I want to go to boarding school to learn independence from my parents and from the people I’m close with. I feel like I cling on to them a bit too much and I feel like this would be bad for me in my later life so I would like to attend a school where I’ll learn to be independent from other people and thrive on my own. (I think this will help with college preparation and other stuff in my later life.) I think being independent will help me grow as a person and help me overcome problems that otherwise I wouldn’t be able to overcome in public school.

I also want to meet new people. I’ve been stuck with the same people for so long that I would do anything to be in classes with new people and learn about different cultures since my school area is only with a few select cultures. I feel like in boarding school we will have a closer bond with one another since we’re spending so much time with one another and basically sleeping with each other, I feel like the friendships would be more meaningful. (I’ve been moving around so much in my life that the total is like 5 times and I can never hold a true friendship for too long). The long and true friendships are also a huge reason for me to apply to these schools.

To add onto these few reasons are the programs at these boarding schools. My main focus on my extracurriculars and my hobbies are math and violin. In my public school, we have a great math team but nothing compared to the boarding schools. Our music program isn’t the best either and there are only a few kids in there who take music seriously. I’m not going just for the math and music programs though, I want to involve myself with more programs like maybe the English program and some other programs that my public school can’t offer.

My final reason is the clubs and ecs that are offered in these schools. In my school, we have a lot of clubs and we can create our own but none of them are truly meaningful except a few big clubs. But in those 5 clubs, there’s really no community and I feel like having a better future and having a better experience in the high school community is key for me.

I’m lucky enough to go to a great public high school in an amazing community but I feel like I would get a lot more in boarding school not only in academics, but in building a community and learning how to deal with problems in my future as an adult.

And of course I have specific reasons to apply to each of these schools but adding them would be like another few hundred words :no_mouth:

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Quoting to reemphasize.

Clout chasing isn’t a flex.