Lawrenceville School review by Columbia University student. Academics are outstanding. The quality of teachers easily rivals that of top universities. In particular, nearly every History and English teacher is phenomenal, though standouts exist in all departments and outright "bad" teachers are very rare. The math and science departments do, however, seem to have some noticeably weaker staff at the lower level courses. Teaching positions are very sought after, so those ultimately chosen for the job do tend to be incredibly qualified and enthusiastic about teaching. The Harkness Table system really encourages participation and creates a very distinct and lasting educational experience. It allows much closer connections Other aspects of the school: Little research opportunities (but this is improving recently, especially in chemistry), many famous visiting lecturers, very small class sizes (nearly all <14), incredible campus and top notch facilities.
Housing is generally quite good, though some students (particularly freshmen and sophomore) will get shafted with the smallest rooms on campus. Lawrenceville uses a very well developed housing system where freshmen and seniors live in their own houses and juniors and sophomores are divided into 6 "circle" (boys) or 4(soon to be 5) "crescent" houses for girls. Rooms are in great condition and improve in size with seniority. Dining is good - much better in retrospect after having been through college dining halls. Sometimes eating at the halls will be tedious, but the food is never inedible. Three dining halls are divided in the same way as housing, with seniors having significantly nicer lunches than the other years. It's a very safe campus - I never noticed any crime while I was there. Public safety constantly patrols the grounds and monitors the entrances to the large (700+) acre campus. Facilities are top notch across the board - for sports, housing and classrooms, all are new and well equipped. Dances are held every 3-4 weeks, as are regular trips to nearby Princeton and occasionally canoing/hiking day trips. New Jersey is a very boring state, so it can get boring on weekends, but having other students there living with you (or day students with cars) helps alleviate the problem. An aspect which can be annoying is the check in time every night (ranging from 8pm for freshmen, I believe, to 10/11pm for seniors) and the need to sign out when leaving campus.
Sports are required every term, but are very fun. Many clubs exist, and new ones can be formed easily to accommodate any uncovered needs. Some "official clubs", however, seem to have ceased to exist and others serve only to pad college applications. The clubs that DO meet and accomplish things, however, are fulfilling and worthwhile. Music lessons are also available on campus, and many opportunities for leadership development are available through clubs and activities. Community Service opportunities are very available; all students are required to perform 40 hours before graduation and programs are available through the year to help meet this need.