Chinese Parents Seek Top U.S. Boarding Schools For Their Children

China continues to be the top country of origin for international students studying in the US, and Chinese students are coming to the US at a younger age, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE).  Around 2 in 5 international students enrolled in US high schools are from China, and the number of Chinese students studying in US high schools has skyrocketed by 48 percent since 2013, according to the IIE’s report Globally Mobile Youth: Trends in International Secondary Students in the US, 2013-2016.

The growing trend among younger Chinese students to study at US elementary and secondary private schools is a result of the growing middle class in China.  Chinese parents want their children to receive high-quality education at the best boarding schools to increase their chances of being accepted to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities.

“Our Pinnacle affiliates, Private School Admissions Advisors and Boarding School Admissions Consultants, focus on the private school entry to K-8 grades and transfer students in the 9th and 10th grades,” said Dr. Paul Lowe, CEO and co-founder of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, a Connecticut-headquartered admission-advisory firm with offices in Manhattan, Greenwich, White Plains, Fort Lee and Princeton, NJ.  “Our approach highlights the potential for future opportunities in that special niche, especially for Chinese parents.”

“There is hyper-competition amongst Chinese parents seeking admissions to top boarding schools for their children, for example in schools like Choate, Exeter, Andover, Peddie, Deerfield, Lawrenceville, Taft, St. Paul’s, Loomis, Blair, Hotchkiss and Hun.  That’s where we come in,” said Dr. Lowe.   “As a result of our research, analysis, insider-knowledge and continual school visits, I am fluent in the language of admissions and understand the politics, psychology, culture, rhythm and diplomacy for acceptance into at top boarding schools.  I also know what key admissions decision makers and key players at these schools are looking for.”

Dr. Lowe’s Private School Visits: Other independent educational consultants may depend on telephonic interviews, group speed meetings in central locations, or simply read literature and review websites and repeat it to families.  I physically visit schools and actively interact with school admissions personnel, senior administrators and students. My clients are, therefore, placed in the most appropriate school for their (and their parents’) happiness.  My approach ensures that your child will be placed in the best and most appropriate top-choice school.  By understanding, analyzing and researching a specific school’s atmosphere, vibe, rhythm, tone, color, experience, culture diversity and mission, my team and I can clearly articulate what differentiates one school from another to consumers/families.

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe.

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants.  and affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and private schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

Dr Lowe Visits Canterbury School

Tucked away on the hilltop of New Milford Connecticut you will find a treasure that some have already discovered.  It is what I call one of hidden gems of boarding schools – Canterbury School.  I recently visited Canterbury, my second time, this year.  Canterbury is located in the northeastern portion of Connecticut – Litchfield County 150 miles from Boston, 85 miles from New York City, 45 miles from Hartford, and 35 miles from New Haven.  Offering admissions for grades 9-12 and a post-grad program, the average class size is 12.

Each administrator in the Admissions Office was extremely welcoming and friendly.  The office was abuzz with activity.  Students stopping by would have a warm Hi!  As we passed students on the tour, they were equally happy and cordial.  We visited its new Robotics Lab; its Robotics Team has placed in competitions.  We visited several classes, including a class taught by Kim Tester, Fine Arts Chair and observed her class as students creatively and enthusiastically engaged in their art works.

Canterbury definitely has a positive and welcoming vibe.  It has a cooperative and collaborative learning atmosphere.  From the tour and observation of classrooms and its student center there is conspicuous ethnic diversity and a true sense of community among students.

Matt_Mulhern_Dir_Admissions_Dr_Lowe_Canterbury_School_

I had a chance to talk with Matt Mulhern (Class of 1995), Canterbury’s Director of Admissions.  His enthusiasm about Canterbury was evident.  He stated that students at Canterbury are encouraged – and have the support – to do it all – academically and extracurricularly (athletics, arts etc.) and that it offers students the opportunity to become their best and most dynamic selves.  Under the direction of Sarah Ferland, Director of College Counseling, Canterbury has placed graduates at top colleges and universities including but not limited to: Amherst College, Boston College, Bowdoin College, Bucknell University, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard College, Princeton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, Wesleyan University and Yale University.

Canterbury’s future plans: Building a new 20,000 square foot Student Commons building, creating a Campus Square and Streetscape and renovating the Hume Hall the central academic building at the heart of the campus.  This treasure keeps getting better and better!

Other independent educational consultants may depend on telephonic interviews, group speed meetings in central locations, or simply read literature and review websites and repeat it to families.  I physically visit schools and actively interact with school admissions personnel, senior administrators and students. My clients are, therefore, placed in the most appropriate school for their (and their parents’) happiness.  My approach ensures that your child will be placed in the best and most appropriate top-choice school.  By understanding and analyzing a specific school’s atmosphere, vibe, rhythm, tone, color, experience, culture and mission, I can clearly articulate what differentiates one school from another to consumers/families.

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe.

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants.  and affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and private schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

Dr Lowe Visits Phillips Exeter Academy

In April, I had the great opportunity to visit Phillips Exeter Academy, one of the top U.S. boarding schools.  I also had the opportunity to visit it again during the summer to observe its summer camp.   When I visit schools, I make the time to see admissions officers, enrollment managers and heads of schools to keep abreast of their admissions policies, school changes and trends.  In this way, we obtain knowledge to help our clients.

Dr_Lowe_Eleanor_Downs_Phillips_Exeter_May_2018
Eleanor Jean Down, Assistant Director of Admissions with Dr. Lowe at Phillips Exeter
Exeter_Admissions_Nahin_Jorgge_Dr_Paul_Lowe
Nahin Ignacio Jorgge, Assoc Dir/Coord of Multicultural and Diversity Recruitment Exeter with Dr. Lowe

Exeter is just a fabulous school!  The class sizes are small.  I visited several classes and the average class size was 10 students.  The students were intellectually engaged and motivated.  There was much collaborative and cooperative learning in each of the classrooms I visited.  As I toured the campus and visited classrooms, I also saw diversity in culture and race.  I had several discussions with international students and they all had such praises about the Exeter experience and its exciting community.

Each year, we place several U.S. and international clients at Exeter and they all talk about the Extraordinary Exeter Experience!  Many of our clients from China have attended Exeter and have moved on to the Ivies.  One Chinese client who graduated now attends Harvard.  Another attends Yale and another attends Brown.  All stated and agreed that the Exeter experience prepared them well for their perspective universities.

What makes Exeter great:

  • Harkness method: – Developed by Exeter
  • Abundance of student clubs and organizations: Over 150 ranging from Academy Belly Dancing Society to Zumba Club.  Exeter also encourages students to start their own club.
  • College counseling and placement:  Year after year students are accepted into the Ivy League and high selective colleges
  • The Extraordinary Exeter Experience:  Life-changing experience in the Exeter community and interaction with of students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 30 foreign countries.
  • Happy students:  The students were approachable, helpful and happy.

Other consultants may depend on telephonic interviews, group speed meetings in central locations, or simply read literature and review websites and repeat it to families.  I physically visit schools and actively interact with school admissions personnel, senior administrators and students. My clients are, therefore, placed in the most appropriate school for their (and their parents’) happiness.  My approach ensures that your child will be placed in the best and most appropriate top-choice school.

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe.

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants , an affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and private schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

What Admissions Officers Look for On Private School Applications

Private School Application Dr Paul Lowe

A typical private day or boarding school application consists of:

  • Student statement
  • Student questionnaire
  • Parent questionnaire
  • Student interview
  • Parent interview
  • Standardized test scores
  • Teacher recommendations (English and Math)
  • Two-years of school transcripts
  • Family information sheet
  • Portfolio of extracurricular activities.

Do they really read and review everything? Yes, they do!  Admissions officers are well practiced at reviewing details in applications as well as observing non-verbal cues that communicate a student and family’s character.  Especially, the very selective private schools where the acceptance rates can be as low as 13%.

The private school admission process is not formulaic.  Many parents make the mistake of assuming that admissions is based on formula.  By continually visiting private schools, we have observed that each admissions officer has their own way of evaluating applications and understand the unique individual admissions policies and nuances of each school.

In addition to the above criteria, especially at the top private schools, admissions committees also consider a student’s character, family dynamics and how all the above components are interrelated to display a comprehensive view a student’s entire admissions profile. They are also looking for students who are going to be positive, active and engaged members of their unique community.  They want to accept students who will do well and thrive in their school community and culture.

Get_Expert Private-School-Advice_Dr_Paul_Lowe

We are admissions advisors who visit colleges and therefore who know what admissions officers and committees at different schools expect and don’t want to see in your applications and essays!  Our insider-knowledge gives you and edge and helps you avoid mistakes on your application and essays BEFORE you press submit.

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe.

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants , an affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and private schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

2018 Top Boarding Schools in New Jersey

Many parents who reside in New Jersey call our New Jersey offices in Fort Lee or Princeton seeking top boarding schools in New Jersey as an alternative educational environment to public schools and private day schools.

Boarding schools that we have listed below have 5 Things in Common that all top boarding schools have including but not limited to, college admissions placement, facilities, small classes and culture.

Here are the top boarding schools in New Jersey:

  1. The Lawrenceville School
  2. Blair Academy
  3. Peddie School
  4. Hun School at Princeton

Year after year, we have placed students in these boarding schools and they have provided positive feedback about their experiences!

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe.

Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants, an affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

Elite Boarding Schools – Feeders to the Ivy Leagues

Top U.S. Private High Schools with the Highest Percentage Graduates of Accepted To Ivy League Universities Dr Paul Lowe

Each year, my team and I visit top U.S. boarding schools.  The admissions bar is pretty high to get accepted.  For example, Phillips Academy receives 3,000 applications each year but only accepts about 13%, St. Paul’s acceptance rate is 16%, Cate School’s acceptance rate is 14%, Phillips Exeter’s acceptance rate is 18%.  The annual tuition to these schools are on average $55,000 per year.

With these low acceptance rates, the competitive admissions process and relatively high tuition why do parents continue to strive to have their children admitted to these schools?  The answer is quite simple:  Elite boarding schools are feeder schools to the Ivies!

For the past three years, more than 20 Andover students have gotten into each of the following top schools: Brown University, Columbia University, Harvard University, MIT, Princeton University, Stanford University, and Yale University.

With that type of track record, and the life-long relationships and contacts student make, its no wonder parents are more than willing to go through the competitive admissions process and invest over $225,000 in an elite boarding school education for their children.

When parents call us to retain our services for admissions to top boarding schools they often ask us what is value or return on investment of our fee.  Our response:  Your investment at minimum, admissions to top boarding schools ($225,000), the eventual increased probability of admissions to the Ivy leagues ($250,000) and the life time value of an Ivy League degree!

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe.

Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants, an affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel. 

5 Things That Top U.S. Boarding Schools Have in Common

Throughout the years, my team and I continually visit top U.S. boarding schools.  We meet and maintain longstanding relationships with admissions directors, enrollment directors, heads of schools and administrators to gather real-time information, perform research and gain insider-insight and knowledge about the admissions policies and mission of the schools.

Here are 5 things that we find that are common among top U.S. boarding schools:

  • College Admissions placement:  They send lots of students off to the Ivy League  and highly selective colleges!  Let’s just consider Andover: For the past three years, more than 20 Andover students have gotten into each of the following top schools: Brown University, Columbia University, Harvard University, MIT, Princeton University, Stanford University, and Yale University.
  • Facilities:  These schools build, renovate, and maintain facilities that by their very design encourage community, foster collaboration, and facilitate the powerful mentoring—in the dorm and across campus—characteristic of top schools
  • Academics:  These schools possess outstanding traditions of academic supremacy, and are built on educational models of diverse curricula.  The academics are designed to inspire student intellectual development through collaboration.
  • Small Classes:  These schools assign on average about 9.8 students to each teacher, thus guaranteeing the individual attention each child needs to thrive intellectually, socially and emotionally.  Small class sizes encourage meaningful interaction, as well as learning that extends beyond the classrooms in activities and sports.
  • Culture:  Each school has its own distinctive and unique culture, however, in general, all of the cultures are scholarly, resourceful and develop student character  student knowledge, confidence, and resilience in meaningful ways.  The students at these schools are encouraged to express themselves and to strive for their personal excellence intellectually, artistically, and athletically.  It’s no wonder many of these students are accepted into Ivy League and highly competitive colleges and some become future business, political, art, science, technology and entrepreneurial leaders who participate in a global network of top boarding school alumni.

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe.

Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants, an affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.

2018 Top U.S. Boarding Schools

Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools released its 2018 ranking of the best boarding schools in the U.S., specifically highlighting the best schools that prepare students for elite colleges.

My team and I have had the opportunity to visit these top boarding schools and I must agree.  These schools have not only great facilities but also excellent and engaged faculty and administrators.  Why do we visit schools?  See my blog: Why Dr. Lowe Visits Private Schools.

Here is the list of 2018 top 25 U.S. boarding high schools by rank:

  1. Phillips Academy – Andover, MA
  2. Phillips Exeter Academy – Exeter, NH
  3. St. Paul’s School – Concord, NH
  4. Lawrenceville School – Lawrenceville, NJ
  5. Choate Rosemary Hall – Wallingford, CT
  6. Deerfield Academy – Deerfield, MA
  7. Groton School – Groton, MA
  8. Noble & Greenough School – Dedham, MA
  9. Cranbrook School – Bloomfield Hills, MI
  10. Hotchkiss School – Lakeville, CT
  11. Hockaday School – Dallas, TX
  12. Cate School – Carpinteria, CA
  13. Middlesex School – Concord, MA
  14. Thacher School – Ojai, CA
  15. Milton Academy – Milton, MA
  16. Lake Forest Academy – Lake Forest, IL
  17. St. Albans School – Washington, DC
  18. St. Stephen’s Episcopal School – Austin, TX
  19. Hackley School – Tarrytown, NY
  20. Peddie School – Hightstown, NJ
  21. Kent School – Kent, CT
  22. Emma Willard School – Troy, NY
  23. Taft School – Watertown, CT
  24. Concord Academy – Concord, MA
  25. Madeira School – Mclean, VA

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe.

Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s  Boarding School Admissions Consultants, an affiliate of Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. boarding schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.   

Top Boarding Schools that offer the Best Soccer Programs

Many U.S. as well as international middle school and high school students are actively involved and compete in soccer as an interscholastic sport.  As a result, many parents seek boarding schools that support soccer.   By visiting schools and conducting our research we are able to determine which top school or schools best match our client objectives. (See: Why Dr. Lowe Visits Private Schools?.

Here is a list of top U.S. boarding schools offering soccer as an interscholastic sport:

  • Blair Academy – Blairstown, NJ
  • Canterbury School – New Milford, CT
  • Cate School – Carpinteria, CA
  • Choate Rosemary Hall – Wallingford, CT
  • Deerfield Academy – Deerfield, MA
  • Groton School – Groton, MA
  • The Gunnery – Washington, CT
  • The Hotchkiss School – Lakeville, CT
  • Kent School – Kent, CT
  • Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, CT
  • Loomis Chaffee – Winsor, CT
  • Middlesex School – Concord, MA
  • Milton Academy – Milton, MA
  • Northfield Mount Hermon – Mount Hermon, MA
  • Peddie School – Hightstown, NJ
  • Phillips Academy Andover – Andover, MA
  • Phillips Exeter Academy – Exeter, NH
  • St. Paul’s School – Concord, NH
  • Taft School – Watertown, CT
  • Thacher School – Ojai, CA

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe.

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and day schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. private schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.   Dr. Lowe provides parents with the knowledge they need to decide where there children should attend and the admissions strategies they need to be admitted into their top-choice school.

Wait-listed at Top Boarding Schools (Repost)

Since the last week in March, my firm has been receiving continuous inquires (phone calls and emails) from stunned and stressed-out parents because their children are wait-listed!  We have been receiving many inquiries from parents whose children have been wait-listed from ALL schools to which they applied.

The top U.S. boarding schools have the most competitive admissions process because they actually are stepping stones to the Ivy League colleges and universities.  Therefore, their non-acceptance rates are high (even for high-achieving students).

WAIT-LISTED means that “we love your child, but we don’t have spot available today, tomorrow or perhaps never”.  Two factors are important to consider:

  • SOMETHING WASN’T RIGHT in your child’s application process.  Parents make a lot of mistakes on their child’s application.
  • In many cases, wait-listed may mean “perhaps never” or “forever”. Top schools rarely reject students outright.  They would rather state – wait-listed rather than wait-listed perhaps never!

Many parents are mistakenly drawing from their skills as corporate executives, tiger moms, financiers, etc. rather than accepting the benefits of a consultant’s professional skills and years of experience in private admissions diplomacy and understanding real-time nuances and changes needed in private school admissions to top schools.  Many parents also fail to fully appreciate and understand the human element of diplomacy in the selection process and decisions in private school admissions.

When parents call our firm to inquire about our services the first thing they ask is what is your price?  Your fees?

It’s amazing that 95% of parents who are willing to spend $240,000 or more over 4 years on private high school education for their children waste time attempting to haggle fees for an exclusive advisory service that will guarantee that education!  I have discovered that parents who are shopping for services based on price, have already made the decision to not invest in expert advice that will help their children.  They ultimately end up saving $240,000 in private high school tuition or worse pay $240,000 for a third-tier school education. Our market is specifically the 5%, parents who hire us and their children get into top schools! 

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s Private School Admissions Advisors.  Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and day schools.  Dr. Lowe helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into top U.S. private schools even after they have been wait-listed and rejected.  Dr. Lowe and his team of admissions advisors also visit prestigious and elite private schools, where they have the unique opportunity of interacting one-on-one with heads of schools, directors of admissions and senior admissions personnel.   Dr. Lowe provides parents with the knowledge they need to decide where there children should attend and the admissions strategies they need to be admitted into their top-choice school.