Phillips Exeter Academy

5.00 5 1 (19 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
  • Northwestern University
    Phillips Exeter Academy created a wonderful atmosphere to grow and develop as a human being rather than just as a student. Its use of the Harkness method encourages students to speak up and form nuanced. . .
  • Macalester College
    The Harkness method of education was founded at Phillips Exeter, so I think this makes Exeter special. Harkness a learning method based on discussion and exchange of ideas among students, with the instructor as a. . .
  • 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. . .
  • Show more reviews (16 reviews)

Top 20 Placements

Phillips Exeter Academy is listed among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 318 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 acres104 acres

Student Body

Enrollment1084 students315 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$20 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 Organizations15324
ExtracurricularsAcademy Review, ADAAC, Adult Education, Afro-Latino Exonian Society, After-School Tutoring, Afterburners Club (rocketry), AIR (Andover International Review), Amateur Radio Club (W1SW), Amnesty International Club, Andover Ambassadors Club, Andover Cycling, Andover Latin Society, Andover Republican Club, Andover Review, Andover-Japanese Connection, Angels, Animal Rights - PETA, Animation Club, Anthropology Club, Archery Club, Asia Connection, Asian Pages, Asian Society, Asian Students Association, Astronomy, Attitude, Azure A Cappella, Backtracks, BBQ Club, Blue Key Society, Boy Scouts of America/Cub Scouts of America, Brantwood Camp, Broadside, Building With Books, Business Club, Catholic, Catholic Student Fellowship, Chess Club, Chinese Student Association, Chinese Students Association, Christian Fellowship Club, Christian Students - God Squad, CompSci, Cum Laude, Dance Club, Debate Club, Dialogue Society, Diplomacy and Stategy, Diversity Club, Dramatics, Earth Friends, F.O.C.U.S., Film Society, German Club, Get Rid of Homophobia, Gospel Choir, Green Team - Environmental, Handbell Choir, Hellenic Society, Hindu Student Union, In The Beginning, Indo-Pak Society, Instrumental Music Conservatory, Inter-Faith Student Group, International Club, International Events, Italian Club, Jewish Student Coalition, Jewish Students - Jew Crew, Juggling Club, Korean Student Association, Latin American Society, Lifeguarding, Lingua Franca, Lutheran Social Services Programs, Marlborough Boys & Girls Club, Math Team, Micro-Lending Program (Community Service), Motion Picture Club, Muslim Club, Peer Discussion Leaders, Pizza & Politics, Pockumtuck -- Yearbook, Recreational Basketball, Recreational Snowboarding, Recreational Soccer, Recreational Squash, Rifle Club, Scuba Exeter, Soccer, SPAM -- Student Activities, Special Excercise, SSC Exeter (Shredders, Songwriters, and Composers), START, Step Team, Student Council, Student Foreign Language Journal, The Lion - Yearbook, Tour Guides, Yearbook

Club or Organization:
Af-Lat-Am, Andover Korean Society, Anthropology Club, Astronomy Club, Branch-Soule Debate Society, Bridge Club, Carolina Club, Chapel Council, Coosa Junior Golf Academy, Culinary Club, Current Events Club, Daniel Webster Debate Society, Democrats Club, Eco-Action Group, Environmental Conservation Society, Frontline, In The Mix, Literary Magazine, Model United Nations, Mountaineering Club, Music Appreciation Club, Peer Tutors, Radio Station, Technology Proctors, Theater -- school play, Varsity Writing

Arts and Music Programs:
Chamber, Concert Club, Fencing Club, La Voz Latina, Lessons Academy, Peer Counselors, Recreational Tennis, Student Disciplinary Committee, Student Government - Monitors, The St. Marker - Newspaper

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, Darlington Diamonds (dance team), Gay/Straight Alliance, Outdoor Challenge, Recreational Skiing, The Vindex - Magazine

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
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