What are my chances of getting into a good boarding school?

I’m applying for grade 9. SSAT is 98th percentile (highest is 99th, lowest is 93rd). My grades are mostly A’s and A+'s, I did get one A- in gym. I’m in the math club and chess club (3rd in the tri-school competition) and started the GSA (gay-straight alliance) in grade 7 (mostly so I could stay inside for recess so I didn’t talk about this much in my application).
I do volleyball, I’m on the team at school (not very competitive but we do play against other schools). I do math contests too, got a 23 on the AMC 8 last year. I go to a public (catholic, but I’m not religious) school in western Canada (I’ll be an international student), nothing special.

I’m a half-chinese, half-indian girl. I’m applying for financial aid. My parents make 100,000 a year but my dad doesn’t work. I have a sister, she’s 2 so she doesn’t go to school. I’ll be an international student (from Canada)

I haven’t applied yet, I’ll be applying for the school year after next (2021-2022). Is it worth it to apply? I’m worried because I don’t do a lot of extracurriculars and sports so should I try to do more in the upcoming school year?

I won’t be able to read teacher reccomendations but I think they’ll be good. Essays will probably be good too.

Financial aid will be an issue. Most of the boarding schools are struggling financially after COVID19. Apply to lots of schools.

Unfortunately due to the fact you need financial aid, you will be competing in a much stronger pool. The good news is that your test scores are good. Being able to play at the varsity level at more than one sport is always valued. Good luck.

@popcornmusic I am sending you a PM (private message) regarding your question(s).

@popcornmusic You seem to have a strong application. But a few questions – you referred to the application in the past tense. How have you already filled the application out since they aren’t released yet? Also – same question for the SSATs. Isn’t the SSAT year starting in august? And lastly, what are considering to be a “strong” boarding school? Do you have specific schools in mind? It might be helpful to know which schools you are considering in order to get a better sense.

@popcornmusic It is nice to see you are considering boarding school and good luck with your journey.

You are obviously very motivated and have a strong academic record. Bear in mind that Canadians who are admitted to the most well-known US boarding schools are typically impact athletes or are exceptional in the arts or speech and debate. These students are typically full-pay, as financial aid is extremely limited for Canadian applicants. If you are focused on US schools, I suggest you look at “top 20 to 50” schools, and narrow your search from there, since even though their endowments may be smaller they can still be generous with financial aid.

I would really recommend you take a look at Brentwood College School on Vancouver Island - we know Canadian families who have been thrilled sending their kids to board there, and it has good college placement. It will be much easier to be admitted, afford, and receive financial aid, plus your travel will be easier.

Consider looking at Shawnigan Lake School and St. MIchael’s School as well, two fine boarding schools near Victoria, BC.

OP: If eligible for financial aid at US boarding schools, remember that an income of $100,000 Canadian is equal to less than $75,000 US. Some US boarding schools require little to no family contribution for students from families with an annual household income below $75,000 US. St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire awards full room, board, & tuition to qualifying students from households earning $125,000 US per year or less.

OP: Your SSAT score is outstanding as are your grades.

I think it’s safe to say that your stats will not in any way preclude you from getting into any particular school. Great scores and grades. Check. Applying for FA makes the odds longer. It’d be interesting to see how many kids from Manitoba apply or go to US BS. My guess is not many. It could help marginally. But only marginally.

Most importantly: cast a wide® net for your list. I’d ask why you chose the schools you did as they are very different in many ways. Whatever attracted you to them, I guarantee exists at other schools in the top, say, 30 schools.

Beyond that, think about what makes you interesting. What makes you stand out from the many, many other kids with similar scores, grades, and ECs? When the AOs are gathered around the table discussing candidates, how might they refer to you in shorthand (e.g. the Eagle Scout tuba player)?

Prowl the Parent and Cafe subs. LOTS of great threads there with many experienced BS parents and students posting very, very helpful info.

Good luck!

I’m going into grade 8 in the fall and I’m thinking of applying to these boarding schools:
St. Paul’s
Concord Academy
Emma Willard School

My grades are good, I get A+'s most of the time with a few As. Last year I took the SSAT and was in the 96th percentile overall, I think I will take it again this year. I do volleyball, I’m on the school team. I also swim. I’m not good at sports though. I’m on the math team, and co-president of the GSA. I’m in the chess club too. ***These are just tiny school clubs with no recognition whatsoever. I’m good at math contests, got a 23 on the AMC 8 last year.
I’m applying for financial aid, my parents make 100,000 a year. I have a brother in grade 1, he’s in public school.
I go to a public school in Manitoba, Canada. It’s not special, most people won’t have heard of it.
I think my teachers like me so the recommendation letters will be good. What are my overall chances of getting into the schools I wrote?

@popcornmusic I agree with a few points above. Basically you are missing (as written) a “hook” beyond general academics and potential SSAT scores. “Everyone” applying to the schools listed also has those boxes checked and FA is an issue.

Now NONE of that excludes you, you are in a good position, and your bio has a few interesting points that stand out. Maybe it is the GSA effort, maybe something about your family or personal story. So ahead of the interviews and essays really consider what you will add to the applicant pool/future freshman cohort beyond grades and SSATs.

I am an incoming ninth grader at St.Paul’s School, and I have to say your stats and extracurriculars/achievemenst are not anything short of exceptional. Just make sure you really work on the essays. Essays, in my opinion, are the most important part of the application as that’s the main way the admission officers know if you have a great fit with the school. Talk about your interests and who you are as a person. Best of luck to you:)

I’m also interested in Midland School, (in California) because I think I’ll get in, but I’m not sure how much financial aid I’ll get. I’m hoping for 50,000+ (parents make around 90,000 USD I think). If anyone here went there, how much do you think I’ll get?

Also can I get advice on interviews? I’ve read that I should send a thank-you note (handwritten). Does this actually help and how does this work? Do I pre-write it and give it to them? Or do I mail the school?

Thanks everyone :slight_smile:

Well for the interview, the first thing I would suggest to do is to do a little bit of research on the school. Ask yourself:“Why do I think I am a great fit for this school?” In the interview, talk a lot about your interests, what attracted you to the school, and why you would make a great fit. Also, bring a paper full of questions about the school environment. It shows the interviewer you are interested. Lastly, don’t be nervous. I hope this helps.