Phillips Academy Andover review by Columbia University student. A student goes to Andover because the individual desires a world of opportunities at his/her fingertips, academic or otherwise. Andover will never disappoint you in that regards. A class, ranging from 4-18 students, is always intimate and centered on students challenging one another as well as their teacher. Whilst the science and math classes necessitate more lecture based lessons, teachers in these departments will never shy away from asking students to come to the white board, engage students in group activities, and provide an overall interactive and reciprocal medium. The humanities classrooms at Andover are lauded - and with good reason - for their academic rigor, titillation, and diversity; classes in the history program range from American History for juniors to senior level electives American Pop Culture and Africa, Ecology, and the Global Economy. Students take standard English until senior year when they branch into honors English classes such as Rememories: Trauma and Survival in Twentieth-Century Literature. Andover entrusts classes with a structure that is still fluid. For these reasons, any student that comes out of Andover will be undoubtedly prepared for any university. School Load: 3-7 hours per day. Do not come to Andover if you expect to breeze through school. Curriculum: Allows you to emphasize to your choosing because all departments are of high academic rigor. Requirements allow you to reach proficiency in every vien: Mathematics, Arts/Music/Drama, Language, Science, English, History. Once a student reaches junior year, he/she can specialize in any and all skills to their choosing.
Campus culture is absolutely wonderful. There is a niche for everyone but the space of Andover is warm and welcoming to everyone. The community is neither too rigid or liberal and it is rare to see discrimination of any kind. Andover does its best to make sure there is open dialogue on race, gender, and all subjects related to identity. We participate in day long activities curated by teachers and students on Wellness Week, Non Sibi (not for self) Day, MLK Jr. Day, and more. Discipline is fair. For small offenses, students get a letter home and perhaps a week of restriction (signing into the dorms at 8 pm). For higher offenses, students meet with a disciplinary committee (made up of 2 peers, a teacher of their choosing, a dean, and another rotating dean). Disciplinary action, in my opinion, has always been appropriate. Students know what is expected of them on campus as outlined in the Blue Book which is sent by Andover during the summer. House counselors are wonderful; they are akin to parents. We meet with them as a dorm weekly and they are available for one-on-one meetings flexibly! Students use their house counselors as a part of Andover's complex support structure. Additionally, tutors are available for students. Tutors are all students who have taken, completed a course, and are specifically chosen by their teacher as stellar workers. Furthermore, Graham House, Andover's Counseling Center, has several different psychologists for students to meet with. They are great! Most students visit Graham House during their time at Andover just to speak with someone. Andover's network beyond its hallowed halls is another unbeatable factor of the boarding school. At most universities there is a strong Andover base to help support and guide new students. For jobs, Andover is a name that comes up time and time again in the most prestigious of businesses: it will give that resume an extra boost! My last two employeers were actually Andover alums.
Andover does an excellent job of balancing life for a student. The school cuts out mandatory time for students to spend in the classroom, for sports, and for extra curricular activities to make the juggling that much simpler. Most students are immersed in extra-curriculars with over 100 clubs to choose from on-campus specializing in everything from Amnesty International to seven singing groups to the Economics Club to the debate society to the BBQ Appreciation Society. The school also throws dances (from small ones to inter-school dances to formals and prom), fair days, etc. All of these activities create a strong bond between students whilst giving students a needed break from their studies. Community service is not mandatory at Andover, but almost every student does some kind of community service. The Community Service Office has many projects to choose from and encourages students to join programs that interact with the local community. There is also Non Sibi Day, one day of mandatory service for all students, that marries experiential learning, community service, and reflection. At Andover I participated in the Philomathean Society (debate team), Frontline (Andover's premier international affairs journal), French Club, and Out of the Blue (a book documenting identities at Andover). All of these programs were activities I love and have used as foundations at Columbia. They absolutely enhanced my personal statement and college application; I wrote my personal statement about out of the Blue.