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St. Paul's School

School rating 4.7 / 5 by

325 Pleasant Street Concord NH 03301 United States
Boarding
9th to 12th
Day
None to None
Gender
Coed

Academic

St. Paul's School review by .

The academics here are nothing short of outstanding. The course catalog contains many challenging and stimulating courses, in all fields, ranging from "Novels of Faulkner" to "Ethics and Literature" to "Post-Modern West". Many brilliant minds have lived and taught hundreds of SPS students throughout their lives. Classes are very small--usually less than a dozen or so--allowing for intimate conversations. The key differential between St. Paul's and any other school is its all-boarding nature. All the teachers live on-campus and are therefore both actively-involved in school life and easily-approachable when one has problems. Beyond that, the education is wonderful and the resources available to students are phenomenal too (e.g. the astronomy center holds, I believe, the largest high school-based telescope in the world). Another highlight of the SPS education is the Humanities program. Basically, instead of having English, Social Studies, History, Literature (etc.) as separate classes, all students take an integrated course called "Humanities" for their first three years. As an example, one might read and discuss the grammar in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, consider the historical backdrop of the poem, and finally write an analytical paper. I found that this provided better connections between all the different subject areas. Students here are genuinely interested in learning. There are no GPA, no class rank, and no AP courses (although there are a few courses that have AP-based curriculum). Exams are merely seen as formalities and never count for much. However, the homework load is quite strenuous and stressful, especially when one must balance a million other commitments (required and optional). Nonetheless, almost all students learn to manage their time efficiently. In the end, St. Paul's offers the best academic environment one could hope for.

College Counseling

Just by virtue of being at St. Paul's, I had a number of advantages when....

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

It's been a while since I applied, and the head of admissions has changed a....

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

The quality of life at St. Paul's is pretty phenomenal. In a sense, one is being "spoiled" by attending the school, because once you go to college, no matter where, your living situation is going to be a step down. The endowment is extremely high at almost half a billion dollars--that's nearly $1 million per enrolled student(!). The school possesses 2,000 acres of land, which contain a beautiful central campus along with nature trails and forests surrounding it. The most important part of life--and one that I miss most as a college student--was definitely chapel service, which occurred....

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