Milton Admissions: A Closer Look
by Teddy Beaudoin on Friday, October 3rd, 2014
On September 6th, roughly 200 new high school students arrived on Milton Academy’s campus. To gain acceptance, students underwent an application process last year that was demanding of both the students and the Admission Department.
Although the statistics vary every year, Milton accepts around 20-25% of its high school applicants. This year, about 1,100 students applied and 25% were accepted. New high school students had a median SSAT score in the 90th percentile. Director of Admissions, Mr. Rebuck, emphasizes that although the school does not prioritize certain achievements over others, resiliency and “the ability to operate in our classroom setting” are incredibly important in an applicant.
In addition, Milton prides itself on diversity: 43% of enrollees of this year identify as students of color and 73% of boarders live out-of-state. Milton’s impressive $9.1 million financial aid allows officers to undergo the admission process relatively need-blind, but budget constrictions ultimately force the school to be more “need-aware,” as Mr. Rebuck says. Although about “15-18% of the student population has some sort of legacy… either immediate or distant,” Mr. Rebuck stresses that legacy “does not impact our decision making.”
Over the years, Milton Academy Admissions has witnessed a 50% increase in the volume of boarder applications. Mr. Rebuck comments that such a change is driven by the school’s efforts to “gain access to the families” looking into private boarding schools, through its reputation and technological prowess. “If you are a student in Russia, or Argentina, looking for a good private [boarding] school, you had to rely on word of mouth but now, you can just google it,” Rebuck adds. The amount of Day student applications has remained relatively constant as students from the New England area are well aware of Milton Academy’s reputation.
Each student’s application is read individually by three admission officers. They consist of: Mr. Rebuck, Ms. Pleasants, Mr. Bailey, Ms. Loridou, Mr. Kane, Mr. Natale, Ms. Quigley, Ms. Wooten, and Ms. Burke. First, the geographical representative admission member reads the application. Milton assigns each admission officer to one or more states within the U.S., and international countries are also grouped by geographic region. Then, a pool chair in charge of a specific grade, gender, boarding or day group of students reviews the application. Finally, Mr. Rebuck has the final read.
While reading applications, admission officers look for students who best fit the Milton community in areas such as prior academic performance, community impact, testing, and interview evaluation. Mr. Bailey, Director of Financial Aid, says, “On the whole, we really are trying to build a class one student at a time. How each student will fit and thrive at Milton is very important to us so no one aspect of an application defines a candidate’s chance of admission.”
The admissions process has received positive reviews by current students at Milton. Madeline Jordan (IV) says that “my admission process was challenging for me, but it helped me figure out which school I would thrive in most.” A new sophomore this year, Thomas Brennan (III), says “the admissions process was fair because the admission staff only accept students who will make the most of their Milton career.” Connor James (I), who came to Milton as a new junior last year states that “the admission staff made me feel at home at Milton because I was allowed to see myself at this school.”
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