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Northfield Mount Hermon School

School rating 4 / 5 by

One Lamplighter Way Mount Hermon MA 01354 United States
9th to PG
9th to PG


Northfield Mount Hermon School review by .

NMH's teaching philosophy was definitely based on peer discussion. Even in science and math classes we were constantly told to talk over homework answers with the people sitting next to us, work on group projects, collaborate with students outside class, etc. This enabled me to not depend on my teachers for help, and learn more from my peers and myself. It's not that we were discouraged to go to our teachers [they always were on dorm duty, or would come early/late to class] but they always asked us first: how long did you spend trying to figure this out on your own or did you ask any of your classmates. It was very rare to have a lecture based class, which was a strength I believe of NMH. What wasn't, was the near constant interaction between classmates and teachers. I am not the most outspoken in class, and for a few of my classes it felt like the teachers had little control over their students. The emphasis on teacher-student engagement I think gave some teachers the excuse to digress from the days lesson. This was usually good; I wanted to go to a school where the teacher didn't just lecture/give the lesson & I usually learned a lot from these digressions. But still, I believe a more distinct line between students/faculty would be beneficial. In college, there is this distinct line of respect. The teaching environment was really conducive to learning. I enjoyed all my classes and teachers and appreciated the individualized attention. Class size was always reasonable, the biggest being in the high teens. Teachers were always available; every night there was teacher supervised math, writing, and science help available during study hall for any students. The average weekly workload was heavy, and got heavier from freshman to senior year, but I would never felt so overwhelmed I missed out on a social event or anything. I'm not sure about extra help for advanced students, but I know there was for people with ADD/ADHD or other learning disabilities. It wasn't as competitive as I know other boarding schools were - of course some peers wanted to know what you got on a test, but I never felt like the teachers/overall environment encouraged academic competition. We were always told to work together on things, and I learned that working together with others on problems was how you learn/cement the learning in your brain. NMH favored the humanities [freshman must take a religion and english class that is a combined program called humanities 1, sophomores must take humanities 2, a religion and history class program]. Even in my spanish classes, we would not just do grammar we would learn about the culture of spanish speaking countries - this emphasis on global perspectives is great I think, and adds to the overall accepting attitude of NMH.

College Counseling

I first made a list of colleges sophomore year. I met with my advisor probably....

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

Most students enter freshman year. 100 students the first year then 60 the next year....

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

Student life overall was good. I think the multitude of traditions NMH has like hogger cup, hoggalympics, rope pull, mountain, etc. really create a great environment. Traditions combined with the isolation of the campus made for a close knit community. That being said, there wasn't a whole lot to do every weekend. I'm not sure what the school could do to change this, as they offer mall trips, trips into town, trips into Boston almost every weekend. Still there were a lot of nights we'd just hang out in the student center/dorms. A lot of times this was how kids....

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