Lawrenceville School review by Princeton University student. I had a wonderful experience at Lawrenceville. It was not without any difficulty but it was still amazing. Overall, the school's strength is the harkness learning, which is used in almost all classroom settings. They recently began implementing Harkness more than they used to in math classes which I thought was a huge success. As a humanities student, I thought the English department was the best department on campus. Spanish was a close second. My STEM friends felt like the science department was strong, especially with programs like Hutchins Scholars. However, the school did lack a computer science program. After I left, the administration moved to fill that void but the program is still being built. In general, I think that the competitive/ collegial atmosphere was definitely based on who you surrounded yourself with. Personally, I felt like it was competitive, especially when it came to extracurricular activities. There were a limited number of leadership positions with established clubs that people felt anything, and it tended to be the same group of thirty- forty kids who fought for those positions while others made up clubs at the last minute to have leadership on their college applications. Overall, I think Lawrenceville prepared me well for college- both academically and emotionally. At Princeton, I think a lot of people feel lost because they've never really had failure before but Lawrenceville gave me a healthy dose of it. I was fortunate to have a number of leadership positions, but I know I applied for more. In total, I had four presidencies/ positions on editorial boards and I applied (and was rejected from) Student Council, the prefect program and the Hutchins Scholars Program. The faculty made sure that, even though I wanted to, I didn't overextend myself. My relationships with my teachers was the best part of my high school experience, and I still email and visit them often.
The best advice I can give to someone about the college process at Lawrenceville is to research each college counselor. Ask around and see what the grade above you thinks of them... I had a counselor who was a perfect fit for me. Other people weren't as lucky but I think it is their fault... You have the option to request your counselor, so take advantage of it. My counselor helped me formulate a solid list but I wish I had been told more about rolling admission schools. However, she introduced me to some safety schools/ midlevels that I did not really think of as options. She took into account my life plans and current extracurriculars to find a "perfect fit" for me. When she ran out of ideas, she asked other college counselors to see if they had other options. I believe that she did call university admissions officers to help me but I am unsure. The most important take away is to realize that you can't expect the college counseling office to do everything for you... you need to work with them in order to have a successful outcome.
I loved Lawrenceville, particularly dorm life. To this day, I'm still close with my housemasters and I know that if I ever need anything, they are just a phone call/ email away. No matter the problem, I know that my housemasters/ former teachers will always be there. Years later, I still visit and keep in touch. I think that the faculty definitely lean liberal but there are some who are conservative. My grade had more liberals than conservatives... to a certain degree, I think that it is hard to be conservative at Lawrenceville but there is definitely a niche for people who are. As a whole, Lawrenceville is pretty diverse- both in terms of race/ ethnicity and socioeconomic background. The school tries to mitigate any discrepancies by giving those on financial an allowance of sorts (I wasn't on aid, so I don't really know the details). Lawrenceville is in a decent area... only concern would be that 206 is right there so there's a lot of traffic on Main Street.
I loved my extracurricular activities.... they were easily the best part of my high school career. Junior year, when I applied for basically everything, the advisors made sure that I wouldn't have too much on my plate and my college counselor worked with me to formulate a plan to tackle everything. That being said, like I mentioned early, leadership (meaning prefecting, editorial boards, student council, house council, arts councils) tended to go to a pocket of kids.