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Lawrenceville School

School rating 4 / 5 by

2500 Main Street Lawrenceville NJ 08648 United States
9th to PG
9th to PG


Lawrenceville School review by .

Lawrenceville School has some of the best academics at the high school level in the country, primarily due to the quality of the faculty and class size. The school operates on the Harkness table system, in which all students sit in round tables for almost all classes (with exceptions in science and math, which are traditional seating). The result of the Harkness system is an intense focus on classroom discussion, which really leads to strong experiences in the humanities. This process also prepares you well for college seminars, and teaches you to learn how to discuss subjects intelligently, even when you may not have done all the assigned reading. The teachers at Lawrenceville are particularly strong, with many having degrees from the best colleges in the country. Because you live with your teachers, also have them as athletics coaches, etc--you really grow close to certain teachers. Most of my friends have at least one teacher they can point to from Lawrenceville who they can point to as a mentor who had a major impact on their life. The work load varies; there's definitely tracking, with AP-level classes being extremely rigorous, and certain other classes being more lax. For particularly gifted students, there's a lot of support--chances are there are teachers on your level. If you're a math genius, there's a teacher who turned down a tenure-track faculty position at an Ivy league university to teach math at Lawrenceville; there are also numerous science and math PhDs from the top schools in the nation. If you're more creatively minded, there are teachers with PhDs in the humanities as well, and some published authors, performing artists, and so on. You'll also be surrounded by other very bright students, although by and large the average Lawrentian is of the caliber of student at any other wealthy private school. There will be kids who are smarter than you ever thought possible, as well as some kids who may have never opened a book in their lives. Lawrenceville provides excellent training in writing and speaking, and in those respects has great preparation for college level work, especially in the humanities.

College Counseling

I first met with my college counselor in my junior year. There are numerous college....

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 fairly standard: take the standardized test (SSAT), write some essays, get....

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

Housing is focused around the house system, which is essentially like the Hogwarts system in the Harry Potter books. The house system has a lot of pluses--it leads to an instant community, and is the focal point of social life. The downside is that it's essentially like living in a frat/sorority in high school (the houses are single-sex), and for some students this can lead to feeling excluded and left out. The cafeteria is organized by houses as well, although lots of students eat with friends from all the houses. The houses lead to lots of house traditions, and in....

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