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Cranbrook Schools

School rating 4 / 5 by

39221 Woodward Avenue Bloomfield Hills MI 48303 United States
9th to 12th
PK to 12th


Cranbrook Schools review by .

Since Cranbrook is a college preparatory private school, the school focuses upon providing a well-rounded education for its students. Students are required to take at least 5 courses per semester. During freshman/sophomore years and then junior/senior years, students must complete at least 1 credit of art courses, so the student must graduate with 2 art credits. Students must take at least 2 consecutive years of a foreign language. In addition, they must take a religion course during either junior or senior year. Generally, students take at least 3 years of math, 3 years of science (students must take at least one biology, chemistry, and physics class), 2 years of foreign language, 4 years of English, and 3 years of history. Cranbrook offers AP courses, but students are limited to 3 per year. Cranbrook is unique in that it does not offer AP English. However, many students still take the AP exams and pass with top scores. Another unique aspect of the Cranbrook education is the single-sex English and history classes freshman and sophomore years to encourage productive discussion and growth. The student body has an atmosphere that is both competitive and collegial. Each student wants to succeed, and in classes that have a curve on tests, students tend to be competitive, because they want to ensure that they are ahead of the curve. However, most classes are collegial. Science classes have labs that prompt students to problem solve together. In math, students help each other to prove theorems. English and history classes are often discussion based, so students help each other by challenging each others' opinions and providing information that helps them establish a more full picture of that which they are studying. The school's teaching philosophy provided me with a well-rounded education. Since math, science, history, and foreign language classes are mostly lecture-oriented, I had to learn how to listen to my teachers and take good notes. However, many of these classes still had group projects or labs, so I was also challenged to interact with others in my class and lead effective discussions. English was almost exclusively discussion-based, so I learned to listen to opinions and speak up about my own. The way to success in English is to listen to others and evaluate their interpretations. This helped me hone my analyzation skills, since I learned how to look at passages from every possible angle. The teaching environment is one that is both comfortable and challenging. Students learn to be confident while voicing their thoughts and questions, but are also challenged to succeed and develop skills that are essential in college and beyond. Classes are small. They have between 8 and 20 students. In addition, teachers are very available to students. They are always willing to answer questions in class. If a student needs additional help, teachers talk to students before class, after class, during free periods, and in the dormitories during their dorm duties (if the teacher lives on campus). Although the workload is large, it is manageable. I spent about 2-4 hours every night on homework, which sums up to be about 10-20 hours of work per week. There is always help available to academically challenged and advanced students. Department heads, deans, and teachers have a system in place to help every student succeed.

College Counseling

The college counseling department at Cranbrook was most likely the least helpful department during my....

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

To be considered for admission to Cranbrook, students must submit an application, a student questionnaire,....

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

Student life is generally very welcoming and comfortable. Although I did not live on campus, my boarding friends liked their dorms and their RA group mates. The food is delicious, and the dining hall facility is gorgeous. Dining is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, many seniors choose to dine off campus during their lunch periods. The science facilities are equipped with the best materials and technology. The library has thousands of books that cover every topic a student might like to investigate. The athletic facilities are state of the art. The art facilities are expansive (the weaving studio....

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