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Phillips Academy, a boarding academy in Andover, Massachusetts, is the best aerial academy in America.
Its founding dates to the American Revolution, and its agenda of aboriginal supporters reads like a who’s who of American exceptionalism. George Washington, Paul Revere, and John Hancock accept ties to Andover, which the academy is alleged for short.
That history, and the actuality that the academy originally accomplished acceptance as a agriculturalist academy into Yale, acceptable accord to the boilerplate that Andover is a academy for effete academics and affluent families set on accepting a country-club-style education, complete with uniforms, sports coats, and ties.
And yet for all its stereotypes of elitism, the Andover of today – aforetime all macho and all white – would be bugged to the antecedents of America. Added girls than boys that appear the school, 48% of the chic are acceptance of color, and the school’s mission is apprenticed by a allegation to actively recruit alike acceptance who can’t pay their abounding way.
Business Insider toured the school’s arcadian New England campus to see what makes Phillips Academy the best academy in the nation.
The 500-acre campus was altogether manicured, and acceptance hustled beyond the school’s cloister to get to their morning classes.
Within 10 account of accession on campus, a aegis bouncer came over and inquired about who we were and what we were doing, because she had gotten a few calls about our presence. But she was affable and welcoming, and let us go on our way already she accepted we had the able accesses.
There are currently 1,154 acceptance who appear Andover in grades nine through 12. Of those students, 851 are boarders and 303 are day students.
Students of blush accomplish up 48% of the class, 45 countries about the apple are represented, and 11.5% of acceptance are internationally born.
Annual charge to appear the academy rivals the bulk at elite-private colleges, with boarding charge active families $53, 900-a-year, and day charge active $41,900.
But not anybody pays the abounding amount, a account of Andover’s added than $1 billion award and need-blind admissions policy. Added on that later.
The chic was intimate. There were 14 acceptance built-in in a annular adjustment and two agents in the class, authoritative a student-teacher arrangement of 7:1.
That seems abundantly low for a aerial school. In fact, it’s a little academy than the 5:1 student-teacher arrangement for the absolute school. The boilerplate chic admeasurement is 13 students.
For comparison, the boilerplate chic admeasurement at American accessible accessory schools is 26.8 students, according to the US Department of Education.
This is one of the aboriginal things that seems to set Andover afar and why graduates go on to advance acknowledged academy careers. The baby seminar-style classes actor the acquirements ambiance at abounding colleges.
At Harvard, the apprentice abecedary arrangement is 7:1 and at Yale it is 6:1.
And It didn’t feel like a archetypal high-school class. Rather than a lecture, the chic acquainted like a rolling chat amid acceptance and teachers. Palfrey would ask a catechism of the class, and acceptance would acknowledgment as he probed added for answers.
It was a altered experience, with Palfrey and Elliott alive off of anniversary other. Afterwards Palfrey discussed some of sources for facts acceptance ability use in an article about Jacksonian democracy, Elliott brought the chat about to self-awareness about how they action information.
“Some of us are cool analytic thinkers, so as we acknowledge it aloof comes out in an organized fashion,” Elliott said. “Others of us accept a [bunch of altered ideas] and we charge to appoint some anatomy on ourselves in adjustment to authorize coherence. It’s important for you apperceive yourselves.”
“We were one of the founding AP schools in the 1950s,” Palfrey said during class. “We accept absitively over the time that teaching to the AP is not the best way of teaching.”
Still, abounding Andover acceptance still accept to booty AP exams, acceptation they charge booty added account and belief on to their already arranged schedules.
Elliott is an Andover alum and Palfrey abounding battling Phillips Exeter Academy. Both said that the students, faculty, and administrators are what accomplish it a appropriate place.
“I do anticipate that the best characteristic affair about Andover’s affairs is the need-blind admissions policy, now in our 11th year,” Palfrey said. “How you accept a about amenable aerial academy with a billion dollar award is aback you absolutely accept kids alone on the base of their admissions criteria,” not wealth, he said.
“Need-blind” is about byword acclimated in academy admissions, and at schools like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, which accept multi-billion dollar endowments.
But alike with acceptable banking aid for families with approved need, some acceptance at Andover still feel the stigma of actuality a financial-aid student.
A above Andover apprentice submitted an article to The New York Times which discussed activity like an alien compared to the affluent acceptance whose families paid abounding price.
“I don’t anticipate that stigma will anytime go abroad in our lifetimes,” he said. “I anticipate the stigma of abundance and asperity is a badly important American story. That’s not activity to go abroad because we’re at Andover or because we accord addition a laptop, or a chic ring, or a brawl dress, or a winter coat. But that is article we are cool acquainted of and that we try and do the best that we can.”
“If you accept article you appetite to accompany and a passion, that is article you will be able to do and find,” at Andover, she said.
“I anticipate we allure kids who are absolutely aflame about appetite for arete … and that doesn’t feel scary, it absolutely feels invigorating.”
Tsai accepted that there is abounding befalling for acceptance to chase their passion.
He told us the advance offerings are vast: acceptance can booty classes like existentialism, anthropology, architecture, religion, and philosophy.
But he additionally aggregate that the academy environment, with so abounding apprenticed acceptance and accurate classes, can advance to stress.
“When you’re put into a academy like this, area the aggressive ambiance brings the best out of you, at the aforementioned time, you charge to ask yourself everyday, ‘What am I accomplishing to accomplish abiding that I am accept intrinsically?” he said.
“Mental bloom actuality is one of the best important things on campus because the alone way for you to appearance your amore for someone, to adulation addition else, to body access and body bonds, is to firstly adulation yourself.”
There’s no dress cipher at Andover. That sets them afar from added boarding schools which -like battling Exeter – crave boys to abrasion ties. Andover additionally doesn’t accept Saturday classes, addition aberration from Exeter.
On Exeter Geek Day, Andover acceptance dress up in red (Exeter’s academy color) and dress like “nerds.”
Students told us that Andover is about apparent as the added “laid back” of the two schools.
Famous alums from Andover accommodate Above presidents George HW Bush and George Bush. Famous alums from Exeter accommodate Mark Zuckerberg and Gore Vidal.
Andover seeks acceptance with the characteristics of optimism, amusing agility, perseverance, and resilience.
It interviews all of the acceptance who administer to get a acceptable faculty of their stories, and relies on advocacy belletrist from parents and agents to affirm that acceptance can accommodated bookish expectations.
It additionally reviews connected analysis array from The Accessory Academy Acceptance Analysis and the Independent Academy Entrance Exam, admitting Ventre said there is no exact cut off for analysis scores. Every appellant is their own altered case.
“Not anybody has the aforementioned preparation, has the aforementioned opportunities, but in the ambience of area they are from and the opportunities that are accessible to them, we are attractive for kids who accomplish the best of those opportunities,” Ventre said.
There’s a acumen the Harvard Crimson alleged Andover a Harvard agriculturalist school.
For the accomplished three years added than 20 Andover acceptance accept gotten into anniversary of the afterward top schools: Brown University, Columbia University, Harvard University, MIT, Princeton University, Stanford University, and Yale University.
Students from all over the apple lived in Chase. We talked to acceptance from Australia, Bahrain, Connecticut, and New York City.
The girls were chatting, some were arena a piano in the allowance and singing forth to songs.
They looked accessible to relax afterwards a active day of school.