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Asheville School

School rating 4.7 / 5 by

360 Ashville School Road Asheville NC 28806 United States
Boarding
9th to 12th
Day
9th to 12th
Gender
Coed

Academic

Asheville School review by .

Asheville School's academic program places a very strong emphasis on the Humanities. They just instituted an integrated Humanities program that combines History and English. Not only do the classes try to follow the same chronological line of human existence, but they also meet together multiple times a week. The integrated classes include fairly in depth looks at and music from the period as well. The integration helps students gain a more rounded, fuller understanding of the past and allows them to help answer the fundamental theory proposed during the four years: What does it mean to be human? Freshmen study ancient history (i.e. from the beginning of the world through the fall of the Roman Empire) with a couple literature classics thrown in for good measure; sophomore year includes a comparative religion study of the major world religions and a look at Eastern history and the Middle Ages; juniors take European history and literature; finally, seniors study American history and literature. The school also has a great science program. The teachers are all VERY interested in their subject matter and are great about transferring the interest to their students. The students end up very prepared for AP tests and/or more advanced college courses. However, the teachers do not strictly "teach to the test." Generally, they teach the information that is most interesting to them, so the focus is on learning and developing an intellectual curiosity. The final graduation requirement for seniors is the Senior Demonstration, where each senior chooses a topic along with at least 3 accredited books on the topic. Then through close work with a faculty sponsor, the student writes a paper based entirely on his or her conclusions from the readings; then he or she writes a second paper based on secondary research; and the Demo concludes with a 20 minute Oral Defense in front of a board of Humanities teachers. Projects such as these thoroughly prepare Asheville School students for the sort of writing that is such a challenge for many college students. Asheville School (with a 4:1 student to faculty ratio) has very small classes (the average class size is around 11 or 12 people). Humanities classes tend to be discussion based (sometimes with an extra lecture for AP students), and they are generally larger than the science and math classes. Students are required to take at least three years of a foreign language (Chinese, Spanish, French, and Latin are all offered). The teachers are incredibly accessible. 80% live on campus; more importantly, almost all of them make themselves available nearly 24/7. Almost all of my teachers gave out their phone number, and I was always comfortable emailing, calling, or visiting them whenever I had questions. All students also choose an advisor (who has no more than 5 advisees). While I changed advisors all four years, I developed very close relationships with all of them, and to this day go out to eat with them whenever I am in town. The work load depends on the classes you choose and tends to be heavy, but manageable. As a freshman most students have between 1 and 2 hours of nightly work, increasing each year. At the middle and end of the year, all classes have exams, so students leave knowing how to study for real cumulative examinations.

College Counseling

College counseling at Asheville School is a very personal process. First, there are multiple....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

The SSAT is required as part of the application process, but is not weighted heavily....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

The quality of life at Asheville School is very high. While the dorms are fairly old, the rooms are larger than my current room at college. Like I said before, the gym is in fantastic shape with some of the best equipment around (during the summer, it is populated by alumni that cannot find a better gym in Asheville). The dining hall serves a variety of food that is usually very good. There are always a salad bar and a sandwich bar in case you don't like the entree. The school is also very safe.....

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