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Germantown Friends School

Student rating 4/ 5 by Stanford University student
31 West Coulter Street Philadephia PA 19144 United States

Academic

Germantown Friends Schoolreview by Stanford University student. I felt that the language and advanced science programs prepared me especially well for my university classes. The classics professors at my university recognized my GFS classics professors' names and there are very few schools that still offer the languages available at GFS. I think that the modern languages, which are taught through immersion, are also quite strong-many of my university peers had to start with first year, despite years of high school language courses, but I think that all of my friends from GFS were able to place higher. However, while the mathematics classes were incredibly well taught, I was still surprised by the difficulty of my university class, where some students had already studied linear algebra or multivariable calculus. I also feel as though my US History course left me with gaps in my knowledge-while I feel that I have a strong conceptual understanding of certain events, this came at the expense of covering everything. I loved the small class sizes and the community I found within certain classes, such as the Accelerated math program. Even though I never considered math to be a subject that appealed to me, it was one of my favorite classes because of the teacher's energy and the students' excitement to learn. The teachers were absolutely amazing. I still value their mentorship immensely. I felt, and still feel, as though they care about my development, both academic and personal. They are incredible people and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to really get to know them. I feel as though most of my university peers barely had the chance to talk to their teachers outside of class, let alone go to their houses for tea and extra Latin reading.

College Counseling

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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

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Sample insights on admissions
  • "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 transfered from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard's were two of the larger feeder schools…"
  • "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. Don't ask their questions for them because their evaluation will be affected by the fact that the guides didn't hear a thing from the kid…"

School Life

For a school that emphasized diversity, there was an unfortunate lack of diversity. There were really only two ethnicities represented and the majority came from similar socio-economic backgrounds. I would definitely say that the school emphasized collaboration-I think the lack of school rankings and the fact that you do not know your GPA until you apply to college helped lower competitiveness a lot. I was shocked when I came to college and encountered curves and competitive pre-meds. The students are quite willing to contribute to the community, but our neighborhood community was not always the most fond of us; there were a couple of dangerous incidents at bus stops.

All students are required to participate in sports or take physical education classes. I was able to waive this because I did ballet seriously outside the school. There are numerous clubs, which people usually participate in during lunch times. I would say that students are not quite as engaged in their extracurricular activities at GFS as they are at other schools which my university peers have attended. Athletics are usually the main form of extra-curricular activity. I danced about fourteen hours a week and played piano about ten. Although students might not be very involved in extra-curricular activities, I do not think this sets them back in college.