Phillips Exeter Academy - Review #6

Read more details about Phillips Exeter Academy on their 2020 profile page.
Phillips Exeter Academy

About the Author:

College EnrolledCarnegie Mellon University
Home Town, State Newmarket, NH
Years Attended Boarding School3
Activities During Boarding SchoolCycling Economics Club - CoHead Investment Association - CoHead Outing Club .

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
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.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Thinking back to my time at Exeter, all of the most memorable moments were ones I spent with friends. Exeter helped me grow significantly as a person and as a citizen of the world. Academically, I also made immense progress and developed substantial critical thinking skills.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Looking back, I don't think I would do anything differently. I would suggest that kids going to boarding school make the most of relationships they form with their friends and sometimes let homework go unfinished for another hour to spend time with their friends.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Exeter offered a great deal of freedom in a guided fashion that helped me find who i want to be in life.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Living on North Side of campus will make your trips to class in the New Hampshire Winter easier but will make the daily slog to the gym more difficult. It's a tradeoff.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Exeter is hard. It pushes you to your literal breaking points but through that it fosters incredible growth. The difficulty coupled with the Harkness Method creates a very collaborative environment where students lean on each other and form incredible friendships with their classmates. In terms of course offerings, Exeter is unmatched. The school offers over 400 classes and if you reach the end of a subject's track, you can file a petition to start an exploratory class that may just be you and the teacher working on cutting edge research.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Exeter's athletics nearly match its academics. The school is very strong across nearly all sports and consistently wins in its divisions and performs well nationally. Exeter's training facilities are unmatched among other boarding schools and the school is continually making new investments to stay on top. For example, construction of a new world class field house and tennis courts has just commenced. Students are required to take a sport all but two terms while at Exeter but these can range from Varsity Crew (an immense commitment), to "Yoga as Meditation" (very little commitment).

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The visual arts program at Exeter is diverse in its offerings. The music program is equally impressive with private lessons available in nearly any instrument (I had a friend who became quite good at playing the Sitar). The theatre program has historically lagged behind Exeter's other offerings, but the school is taking a focused push to improve these programs with a massive new performing arts center.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Exeter offers a broad assortment of clubs that vary dramatically in time commitment. From discussion clubs that meet over dinner, to debate and other competitive clubs that compete and win at the national level, Exeter offers a club for all interests, and if you think it should have something else, it's easy to start something new.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I was a day student at Exeter but I always felt welcome in the dorm. It is easy to spend the night on the weekends or if there is bad weather. People at Exeter are the kindest I have ever known and often proactively offered me a spot on their floor when a snowstorm appeared in the forecast.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Exeter offered a solid dining selection. Two dining halls, both with good hours served food buffet style and an on campus convince store offered a good selection.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The town of Exeter is very quaint. There are many nice restaurants and small shops within a short walk. The school offers buses to shopping plazas, the mall, and movie theaters.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Exonians are incredibly smart and hardworking people. I also found Exonians as a group to be some of the kindest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. The community is relatively small and while you may not know everyone's name, it is easy to make friends and find a group that shares your interests.
Read more details about Phillips Exeter Academy on their 2020 profile page.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Colorado College
    Exeter is the founding place of the Harkness method, in which students gather around a round table to discuss their homework and class material as a group. The idea of this method is that. . .
  • 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. . .
  • Harvey Mudd College
    Exeter is known for the Harkness method, and for good reason. Because we use it in every class, it really permeates all other aspects of life at Exeter. Even casual conversations at the dining hall. . .
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