Phillips Exeter Academy

5.00 5 1 (14 reviews)
20 Main Street
Exeter, NH 03833
  • Phillips Exeter Academy has a tradition of academic excellence, a distinguished faculty, and a long history of educating young people to find their place in the world. The heart of Exeter is its signature Harkness method of instruction.
  • The Harkness philosophy, developed at Exeter over 80 years ago, is centered on a way of thinking and engaging with others that requires preparation and provides a sense of readiness for learning, for college, for life. Exeter is a school for teenagers who want to be surrounded by peers who share their intellectual curiosity and raw excitement about learning.
  • The school is alive with learning: spirited conversations spill out of classrooms and make their way to the playing fields, theater stages, laboratories, the dining halls and the dorms.
  • Students are given the freedom to explore and know their intellect, to challenge themselves in new ways, and enjoy the richness of human interaction. Hear more from the students on our admissions blog.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Carnegie Mellon University
    Exeter offers an incredible level of academic rigor coupled with amazing and diverse students. With small classes held around a Harkness Table, the wonderful students Exeter aggregates create a fantastic learning environment. . .
  • NYU
    The most unique, and in my opinion best, thing about Exeter is the Harkness method. You won't be lectured by teachers all day but will instead be expected to learn and help to teach others. . .
  • Cornell University
    The Harkness table was one of the best things that ever happened to me. As a low income student coming from a very reserved community, and a school where talking was discouraged, Exeter quickly became. . .
  • Show more reviews (11 reviews)

Top 20 Placements

Phillips Exeter Academy is listed among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 329 schools) for:

Definition of Terms 
2018 School Data
Phillips ExeterBoarding School Avg.
School FocusCollege PrepCollege Preparatory
Grades Offered9-12, PG9-12
School TypeCo-edCo-ed
Religious AffiliationNon-denominationalNon-denominational
Year Founded17811910
Campus Size619 acres106 acres

Student Body

Enrollment1084 students313 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding
Average SAT Score1430* National Avg. »View
Average ACT score31*National Avg. » View
Offers Post-Grad YearYesNo

Academics and Faculty

Saturday ClassesYesNo
Frequency of Saturday ClassesWeeklyWeekly
Classroom Dress CodeCasualCasual
Average Class Size12 students12
*National School Avg. » 20
Teacher : Student Ratio1:51:7
ESL Courses OfferedNoYes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program OfferedYesYes


Endowment Size$1150 million$19 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
% Students on Financial Aid
Avg. Financial Aid Grant$44,923
(Day student average grant: )
Merit Scholarships OfferedNoNo


Application DeadlineJan. 15Jan. 15
Accepts Standardized ApplicationNoNo
SSAT RequiredYesYes
Average Percentile SSAT94%-
Acceptance Rate
Director of AdmissionsJohn M. Hutchins


# Interscholastic Sports Offered2815
SportsBallet, Baseball, Basketball, Crew, Cross Country, Cross Country Running, Cycling, Dance, Diving, Fencing, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track, Track and Field, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball, Water Polo, Winter Track, Wrestling


Total Extracurricular Organizations15924
ExtracurricularsAdult Education, Afro-Latino Exonian Society, Afterburners Club (rocketry), Amnesty International Club, Angels, Animation Club, Archery Club, Asia Connection, Asian Society, Asian Students Association, Attitude, Broadside, Building With Books, Business Club, Catholic, Chess Club, Chinese Students Association, Christian Fellowship Club, CompSci, Cum Laude, Debate Club, Dialogue Society, Diversity Club, Dramatics, Eastern European Exonians, Economics Club, Environment Club, EPIIC (Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship), Exeter Association of Rock (E.A.R.), Exeter Club Against Landmines, Exeter Fantasy Sports, Exeter Historians, Exeter Jewish Community, Exonians Partnering with Incarcarcerated Teens, Film Society, French Club, Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), German Club, Gospel, Got That Swing, Harold Ryan Society, Hindu Society, Hong Kong Students Association, Imani, Indian Culture Club, International Society, Irish Exonians, Islamic Society, Japan-America Society, Jazz Club, Junior State of America, Kirtland Society, Korean Society, La Alianza Latina, Les Pieds (People Interesting in Exeter Dance), Los Salseros, Martial Arts Club, Math/Science Tutoring, Mathematics Discussion Group/PEA Math Team, Middle Eastern Students Alliance, Mind Games, Model UN, Modern Entertainment Round Table, Modern Physics Club, MoneySmart, Multi-Racial Exonian Society, Music and Moves, Ongaku!, Outing Club, Outkast, Pagan/Wiccan Alliance, Patriotic Club, Pendulum, Photo Exeter, PIP (People Interested in Poetry), Pirate Club, Political Union, PRECISION Step Team, Quiz Club, Radio Station, Republican Club, Rhythmics, Rugby Club, Russian Society, Sailing Club, Science and Engineering Society, Scuba Exeter, Ski and Snowboard Club, Spanish Club/Spanish Table, Spiral, SSC Exeter (Shredders, Songwriters, and Composers), START, Stockmarket Club, Student Activities Steering Committee, Student Art Club, Student Health Advisory Board, Student Listeners, Students for A Free Tibet, Students for Smart Decisions, Table-Tennis Club, Taiwanese-American Society, Ultimate Frisbee Club, Women in Science and Engineering, World Equity Society

Club or Organization:
Anthropology Club, Astronomy Club, Branch-Soule Debate Society, Bridge Club, Culinary Club, Current Events Club, Daniel Webster Debate Society, Democrats Club, Exeter Independents, Exeter Politic Union, Exeter Social Service Organization (ESSO), Exeter Surf Club, Exonian (Newspaper), Fencing Club, Indoor Sports, Interfaith Club, Italian Club, Juggling and Unicycling Club, LEAD (Leaders at Exeter Abstaining from Drugs), Muslim Student Association, Opera Appreciation Club, PEAN (Yearbook), Peer Tutoring, Piano Ensemble Club, Random Acts of Kindness Club, Student Council, Varsity Writing, WPEA 90.5

Arts and Music Programs:
Chamber, Concert Club, Exeter Symphonia, Glee Club, Percussion Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Theatre Mainstage Production, Voices of Praise (Gospel Choir), West African Drumming, Women's Chorus

Recreational Athletic Programs:
American Red Cross Lifeguarding, Aquatics, Club Basketball, Club Fencing, Club Golf, Club Hockey, Club Running, Club Soccer, Club Squash, Club Tennis, Club Volleyball, Dance Club, Fitness Club, Outdoor Challenge, Pilates, Ultimate Frisbee, Yoga

College Matriculation

Year: 2011 - 201310 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
Columbia University34
New York University34
Harvard College33
Yale University33
Massachusetts Institute of Technology27
Tufts University26
Princeton University25
Dartmouth College24
Brown University23
University of Pennsylvania22

School Notes

  • Phillips Exeter Academy seeks students who combine proven academic ability, intellectual curiosity, and tenacity with decency and good character.  True to its mission defined more than two centuries ago, Exeter continues the commitment to unite knowledge and goodness.  `Goodness without knowledge is weak and feeble, yet knowledge without goodness is dangerous, and that both united form the noblest character, and lay the surest foundation of usefulness to mankind.`
  • Since its founding, Exeter has provided need-based financial aid that has made it possible for talented students to receive an Exeter education.  An Exeter education is free to any accepted or current student whose family income is $75,000 or less.  This initiative, in conjunction with our strong middle income financial aid initiative, means that 95% of families in the US are at income levels that, depending on their circumstances, make them eligible for financial aid at Exeter.  We encourage all interested students to apply to Exeter -- regardless of their ability to pay.
  • Follow our admissions blog to learn more!
  • Phillips Exeter Academy accreditations: NAIS, TABS
  • Sample of notable school alumni/alumnae:
    • Mark Zuckerberg - Founder and CEO, Facebook
    • Dan Brown - Bestselling Author, The Da Vinci Code
    • Pauline Chiou - Award-winning Anchor and Correspondent, CNN Hong Kong
    • Win Butler - Lead Vocalist and Songwriter of Grammy Award-winning band Arcade Fire
    • John Knowles - Author, A Separate Peace
    • John Irving - Bestselling Author and Academy Award-winning Screenwriter, The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules
    • Suzy Welch - Bestselling Author, Television Commentator and Noted Business Journalist
    • Pierre S. Du Pont - President, Du Pont; Chair and President, General Motors Corporation
    • Robert Todd Lincoln - Son of President Abraham Lincoln, US Secretary of War
    • Daniel Webster - US Senator from Massachusetts
Show me:
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