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Phillips Academy Andover

Student rating 4.8/5 by Stanford University student
180 Main Street Andover MA 01810 United States

Academic

Phillips Academy Andover review by Stanford University student. The language program is absolutely fantastic, with the opportunity to take nearly every major world-language. I will never forget how incredible it was to be learning Spanish from a man who had gone undercover in the C.I.A to fight against the drug trade in Colombia. The teachers have incredible life stories and many are very candid about sharing them with you. The student body is competitive but the friends you make are forever, so despite a sometimes cutthroat academic atmosphere there is a true sense of solidarity as well. On the weekends, everyone wants to relax and oftentimes you can see that classroom peers, friends or not, really care about each other, not just them selves. There's a lot of group studying and tutoring amongst students. It's awesome and I definitely dont see that as much here at college. It can be very stressful at times when you're a student at Andover if you're not one of the "genius"-es but everyone has an arena/stage/classroom in which they can shine and teachers really notice. Students too. The school truly believes in fostering a love of learning and I know that despite the heavy courseload that teachers were always available and it was never looked down upon/made fun of to enjoy reading a book. (Or doing a math problem)

College Counseling

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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

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Sample insights on admissions
  • "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 transfered from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard's were two of the larger feeder schools…"
  • "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. Don't ask their questions for them because their evaluation will be affected by the fact that the guides didn't hear a thing from the kid…"

School Life

Dorms were incredible and warm and supportive with great house counselors, the school food could get monotonous but the dining hall recently underwent a major renovation since I graduated...they have brick oven pizza! Facilities are equitable to many colleges, if not universities. There is no crime in Andover, which can be a very boring suburban atmosphere because it is really insular and not diverse. The student body is ethnically and racially diverse but what is REALLY impressive-and i think rare-is the socioeconomic diversity Many students on scholarship. Andover has a ton of traditions that deal with the rivalry with Exeter like Exeter Geek Day when we all dress up like our rivals in geeky clothes. The school is very liberal in terms of ideology and allows students to freely express their individuality in all facets of their identity expression; political views, sexual orientation, life philosophies, religious convictions etc. Academically, the school pushes each student very hard and in this way it is a bit more "rigid' but I am so grateful to look back at my time and know that it was easily the best years of my life--in part because of the mental labor and hard work

Community service is one of th emost crucial parts of the student experience, and I think it is because Andover's motto is "non-sibi" or "not for self." i had the opportunity to tutor year-round. Andover even makes it an optional replacement for your sports requirement! I think some students resented how much Andover faculty and administration stressed the importance of community service and it actually began to alienate a portion of the student body but I think it helped created more well-rounded individuals (we actually had a mandator service day in the fall in which there was no school, just a variety of different service activities--very controversial...but we actually got to discuss and debate in an organized way the pros and cons of mandatory service and its merits/flaws)