Phillips Exeter Academy - Review #8

Read more details about Phillips Exeter Academy on their 2021-22 profile page.
Phillips Exeter Academy

About the Author:

Years Attended Boarding School: 2014-2017
Sports and Activities:Wrestling team captain and the golf team.
College Enrolled:Williams College
Home Town, State: Glastonbury, CT

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
The use of the Harkness table. The discussion based, or flipped, classroom is what truly separates Exeter from all other private schools.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
The connections I made at Exeter were definitely the best thing that’s happened. I made a lot of friends that I still talk to regularly. I also enjoyed winning athletic competitions with my teammates.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would have branched out more and made more non-athlete friends. I would try and avoid that athlete non-athlete divide that appears at pretty much every boarding school. I would also stay away from my dorm room as much as possible and just be with people.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I like my classmates and the athletics.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Go and meet as many people as possible.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics are very challenging at Exeter. The teachers and your classmates push you to be the best you can be in the classroom. I, personally, liked the discussions. The classroom design allows you to here everyone’s opinions about the topic rather than just the teachers.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Exeter has some of the best athletics compared to all of New England private schools. During my 3 years at Exeter, we were 2x New England wrestling champs (1x runner-up) and 3x New England golf champs. If sports aren’t for you, there a multiple physical education and club sports programs you can participate in. A physical activity is required every trimester.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I took one stagecraft class, which I truly enjoyed. The theater productions are a huge part of Exeter, there are a large percentage of students who are involved in each show.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was mostly an athlete, but I did attend a few club meetings. Each group at Exeter makes you feel like a part of something bigger. My wrestling team was a family to me.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The dorm life was fun. There were multiple bonding experiences with my dorm mates. However, there was a check-in time every night that varied by class year.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The food was really good. Exeter had 2 dining halls on campus that gave you more options. There were also many different choices at every meal with in each dining hall.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The town of Exeter is very small and there isn’t much to do off-campus. There are some restaurants and stores you can walk to.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I really enjoyed hanging out with my teammates. I wish more people went outside when the weather was nice though.
Read more details about Phillips Exeter Academy on their 2021-22 profile page.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Harvard College
    The Harkness method is one of Exeter's unique and best aspects. Teachers have very little involvement in class — homework is either reading or problem based, and nearly every class, from Math to English. . .
  • 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. . .
  • George Washington University
    Harkness was one aspect of Exeter that is unlike any other. I loved being able to learn from and alongside my peers rather than being lectured at.. . .
  • Show more reviews (26 reviews)
Recent Articles
Thinking about making a major gift to your school? How about endowing a faculty chair? More here.
American boarding schools have always welcomed international students. Rigorous academic programs, extensive athletic programs, and a wide range of extracurricular activities attract students from all over the world.
Admissions to boarding school is a process with many components. The process can be confusing to parents dealing with boarding school admissions for the first time. We guide you through the process.