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Germantown Friends School

School rating 4 / 5 by

31 West Coulter Street Philadephia PA 19144 United States
K to 12th


Germantown Friends School review by .

The English department is a huge strength at GFS. I doubt there is a school in the area that better prepares you for college writing. I've excelled at college level writing with minimal effort because of how much I learned at GFS. The student body is competitive though the administration would like you to believe otherwise by doing away with academic prizes and awards. The teaching philosophy was very much discussion based especially within the History department. Malik and Jeremy Ross are two of the finest teachers I have had to date. They encourage discussion and are incredibly intelligent. They don't talk down to students. Class sizes are small and all the faculty members are very accessible. The workload is ridiculous which prepares you for college but is insane while you're there. I think I have less work now than I did at GFS. There are a couple of teachers that are very, very, very, smart people but cannot teach which is incredibly frustrating for the students.

College Counseling

My advisor had a little too much on her plate and would overbook her free....

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 admissions process was relatively painless looking back on it but at the time writing....

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

This is not a boarding school. There is one dining area which is mediocre and has very high prices. Seniors can leave campus for lunch but generally don't have time because there's nothing nearby. The ethnic background is more diverse than the socioeconomic background but neither is great. There were about 5 black people my senior year. There are very few poor people. Everyone is rich and white and liberal. And secretly pretentious. Or not so secretly. Very liberal discipline. Not as bad as AFS though....

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