K-12 Case Studies for Private School and Boarding School Applicants

We are proud to have helped hundreds of K-12 students apply to and be admitted at some of the best private schools and boarding schools in the United States. Solomon Admissions has deep experience advising students on the complex K-12 admissions process. Below we have presented some Case Studies of K-12 students who worked with our consultants. The Case Studies provide information on these students and what we did to help them gain admission to the best private school or boarding school for them.

Case Study No. 1

Client Profile: 9th grade, bicultural female student of East African descent attending competitive public high school. 4.0 GPA. Courseload competitive. Novice level extracurricular engagement in track and field, piano, and clarinet. Passionate about fine art and art history. Several academic programs including NSBE Summer Program and Girls Who Code. Founded “Little Girl Book Club” for 6th-7th graders and engaged in service learning as COVID outreach intern. The student applied to the same three boarding schools on her own the previous year, Andover, Choate and Exeter, and was waitlisted at all three.

Changes made through consulting: Since the student started working with Solomon very late in the admission cycle, her consultant moved quickly to develop a consistent application narrative. During a meeting, the student shared her experience overcoming a debilitating foot issue that required surgery and how she avoided letting the experience negatively influence her academic performance. Solomon advised the student to share this experience in her essays and interviews to highlight her resilience and high emotional intelligence. Solomon explained the purpose of the interview to better prepare the student to navigate the interview process. This new knowledge helped the student to improve her responses in the interviews and draft congruent essays. The consultant also advised the student to be prepared to discuss what she learned from the past admission process and how she has grown since that time.

Outcome: Accepted at Phillips Academy Andover, Phillips Exeter Academy and Choate Rosemary Hall (all three schools had waitlisted her the previous cycle applying on her own).

Case Study No. 2

Client Profile: 8th grade South Asian female student at public middle school applying to boarding schools. Straight-A student throughout education history with ISEE scores in the 98th percentile. Exceptional, high-level extracurricular and academic engagement. Activities included STEM coursework at MIT; cancer treatment research; classes through Art of Problem Solving, extensive volunteering experience in the U.S. and India; Science Olympiad; piano, guitar, and voice lessons; a 2nd degree black belt in martial arts; and a national (USTA) ranking in tennis.

Changes made through consulting: Consultant advised student to highlight her tennis ability by reaching out to tennis coaches to let them know she was nationally ranked and interested in competing for their schools. Consultant also provided several rounds of interview preparation, coaching student to adopt a more confident persona and speak directly to her achievements. Prior to consultant’s intervention, the student’s essays tended to be long and repetitive. Consultant provided the student with editing suggestions to add dimensionality and sophistication to her writing.

Outcome: Accepted at Phillips Exeter Academy.

Case Study No. 3

Client Profile: 8th grade female student of Greek descent attending private Greek Orthodox school. Straight-A student since 6th grade. November ISEE scores 9-6-6-6; January ISEE scores 8-7-7-7. Some demonstrated leadership amidst high extracurricular engagement including volleyball, soccer, softball, chorus/children’s chorus, lead roles in musicals, school quiz bowl, community service including National Charity League, and school service as an admissions ambassador.

Changes made through consulting: Consultant advised student on whether to submit her scores to the boarding schools. Consultant further advised the family on who should write the recommendation letters to present her as a well-rounded and desirable candidate. The student presented herself as a mature, verbal and thoughtful person, which likely aided her during the interviews. Student wrote thoughtful essays highlighting her as a curious learner and an empathetic person.

Outcome: Accepted at St. Paul’s School (Concord, NH).

Case Study No. 4

Client Profile: Female applicant at local pre-school. Extracurricular engagement in soccer and dance. Student was waitlisted when she applied to junior kindergarten the previous year.

Changes made through consulting: The student had difficulty sitting through an interview, so Solomon advised the parents on practicing how to navigate answering questions in a formal interview format and setting. Student had been in a car accident that caused an injury to a hand that required partial finger amputation and extensive physical therapy. Solomon assisted parents in highlighting student’s resilience in overcoming the trauma, her high emotional intelligence, and intellectual curiosity. Solomon also assisted parents in focusing on community and socioemotional support versus outcomes, in order to strike the appropriate tone during the application process.

Outcome: Accepted at Francis Parker School.

Case Study No. 5

Client Profile: 8th Grade Latina female at local Christian private 7th-12th school applying to boarding schools. 4.0 GPA. Courseload as competitive as the school can offer. Novice level extracurricular engagement in volleyball, basketball, swimming, choir, theater, and band.

Changes made through consulting: Student was a late applicant (applied after the application deadline for boarding schools). Student shared she was not being challenged in her classes, so Solomon identified a boarding school that still had available 9th grade slots and was willing to accept the late application. Solomon worked with the student to enhance her comfort navigating the interview and improve her knowledge about life at boarding school. Consultant encouraged student to share her experience having an older sibling with special needs to demonstrate her empathy, maturity, and responsibility. Consultant also advised student to highlight her desire to be academically challenged in her classes to emphasize her intellectual curiosity.

Outcome: Accepted at The Fay School.

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