The book offers a comprehensive look at college preparatory boarding schools in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom through the eyes of recent graduates who are now attending prestigious colleges and universities such as Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale, Oxford, and Cambridge.
The approach is distinctive, giving readers the opportunity to get the real "inside story" from their peers and learn more about what the schools are like than the youngsters and their parents could learn in a campus visit or standard guidebook.
The book does a great job presenting a wealth of information in a diverse array of voices. Student readers will no doubt feel that the reviewers quoted in the book shared many of their questions and concerns as students, and parents are likely to appreciate the frankness of the reviewers' comments as well. Excerpts from the book:
- "My college counselor also had good relationships with college admissions officers and was able to update me on how they'd reacted to my applications. In the end, I applied to Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Harvey Mudd, and Caltech (California Institute of Technology), and I got into all of them, so I was happy with my college counselor's efforts (and the efforts of the CCO as a whole) in promoting my application, as well as in helping me decide where I wanted to go."
- MIT student
- "Students at Groton tend to be either very smart, very rich, or both (because some people just seem to have it all). Many kids have attended private schools their whole lives. The school favors well-rounded individuals. Athletic recruits also have to be intelligent. In my time at Groton, the kids who were not motivated enough to get through the school's rigors ended up leaving. The admissions process requires an interview, during which I recommend candidates dress conservatively while showing themselves to be original thinkers."
- Harvard student
- "The British exam system is, for the most part, based on assessment objectives: tick the boxes and you're guaranteed a great result. At Eton, while you are taught to tick the boxes, this is merely a preliminary measure: the emphasis in on going beyond the exam and enjoying the subject in all its depth"
- Oxford student
- "Gaining admission to St. Albans can prove quite difficult, because it is arguably the most selective school in the Washington, D.C., area. However, distinguishing oneself above other applicants is no mystery. Performing well on the SSATs and the ISEEs certainly helps the admissions officers look at an applicant more favorably. However, the dynamic applicant that St. Albans seeks extends far beyond standardized tests."
- University of Pennsylvania student
Boarding schools in the United States: Cate School Choate Rosemary Hall Cranbrook Schools Deerfield Academy Groton School Hotchkiss School Kent School Lawrenceville School Loomis Chaffee School Mercersburg Academy Middlesex School Milton School Nobles and Greenough School Northfield Mount Hermon School Peddie School Phillips Exeter Academy Phillips Academy Andover St. Albans School St. George's School St. Paul's School Tabor Academy Thacher School Webb Schools
Boarding schools in the United Kingdom: Benenden School Cheltenham Ladies' College Downe House School Eton College Fettes College King's School, Canterbury Oundle School Radley College Rugby School Sevenoaks School Shrewsbury School St. Paul's School, London St. Swithun's School Tonbridge School Westminster School, London Winchester College
Boarding schools in Canada: Bishop Strachan School St. Michaels University School St. George's School, Vancouver
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