"Experience Exeter" Welcomes Admitted Students
April 6, 2009
Over the last 4 days, many of the students offered admission to Exeter have come to campus for "Experience Exeter," a one-day program that lets future Exonians – and their parents – learn all about Harkness, athletics, dorms, social life, and all things Exeter. This year, Exeter offered admission to 509 students – 16 percent of the total pool of 3,183 – the largest number of applicants in the school's history.
Astronomy I, taught by instructor John Blackwell. "This was the only place Rose applied," explains Ross, a professor at the University of New Hampshire. "She's already decided to come," adding, "she likes the Harkness way of learning." When Ross learned that the astronomy class had met as a group for only a few sessions, he expressed delighted surprise. "I saw the students addressing each other directly – that was most exciting. I was surprised to see that happening when they are so recently into the new semester."Ross and Jody, parents of Rose, were delighted with their morning visit to
Jody, who teaches at Brandeis, felt that the astronomy class was "very engaged. It's a really fun way to teach," she added, visibly impressed by Exeter's classes of 12 students actively discussing around the Harkness table.
Experience Exeter takes visiting parents and students on different tracks. Students "buddy up" with a student host – traveling to classes, Assembly and the dining halls. Parents attend a class and special seminars, including a welcome from Principal Tyler Tingley, and panels on Academy life with faculty and current students. Parents have the chance to meet with faculty members and parents of current students. At the end of a packed day, visiting parents and students reconnect and attend a closing session with Director of Admissions Michael Gary. Afterwards, they can stay to watch sports activities or continue touring campus.
Patricia, whose daughter Anna has been accepted as a prep, found Exeter's "facilities incredible."
For David, the day has been a great way to learn about the Academy. "My son definitely would like to come here," he said. David and his son, who likes math, writing, football and lacrosse, hoped to catch a varsity lacrosse practice at the end of the day, barring rain. David was so intrigued by the presentations and classes during "Experience Exeter" that he admitted, "I haven't even texted my son yet" to see how he's doing.
Today's student panel for parents didn't have a dull moment, with constant questions touching on topics from Harkness to dorms, health and college preparation.
Q: "Do you have any advice for our children on how to get the most from Exeter?" asked one father.
A: "Get involved in things that sound interesting, like clubs," answered one senior.
A: "Manage your time well," answered another panelist.
Q: "Where do you usually study?" asked a mom.
A: "That depends which side of campus I'm on," offered one student. "It can be the common room, my dorm, the library, the Phelps Science Center."
Q: "What is the college counseling process like?"
A: "The college counselors are very knowledgeable. If I didn't have a counselor, I would be lost in the process," said a senior girl.
A: "Having someone who knows you makes it easier," added another panelist.
Q: What do you like least about Exeter?"
A: "The weather," answered a senior girl with a smile.
Q: "How is it when you go back home for a visit?"
A: "I've kept in touch with friends at home," said one senior, who admitted that he liked the "bit of space" from his parents that boarding at Exeter offers. "I appreciate things at home more, like home-cooked meals and someone else doing my laundry."
A: "We hear consistently at these panels that distance has been a positive thing," summed up Rick Mahoney, director of financial aid, who led the student panel.
Interested in learning more?
Read about Exeter's financial aid program…
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