Residential Life

Exeter is truly and completely a residential school. Being a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week place where students live, learn and create their own community, being a diverse and even international community, and being able to educate in a way that is real and complete gives life to our mission.


At Exeter, we welcome 'youth from every quarter" – students from farms, suburbs and cities, from five continents and every state, the children of bankers, teachers, and migrant workers, young people of every religion and ethnicity – to be here, to live here, to learn here, and to be connected to each other as part of a unique community that seeks knowledge and goodness together.

Here are some frequently asked questions:

What are the dorms like?

Exeter has 29 dorms housing 815 students: 20 dorms of 18-60 students from all and nine houses that are home to 10-16 uppers and seniors. Most people stay in the same dorm until they graduate, so dorms become very tight and develop unique dorm traditions, which may involve extended periods of laughter, costumes, and/or pizza. When you're new, dorms give you an instant pack of friends.

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What's the food like?
It's great and tremendously varied. Check out the dining hall menus to see... And, if there's something you really want to eat, you can fill out a suggestion form.

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Will I have a roommate?
Perhaps. Many, but not all, new students are assigned a roommate. Some dorms have only single rooms. Your roommate and your dorm mates will be the first people you come to know well. Early on you learn how to get along, respect, and compromise. You'll find that each student is different. it's those very differences that help you discover what you have in common – a love for learning, an interest in other people and ideas, and a passion for doing things well.

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Do teachers live in the dorms?

Every dormitory has resident and affiliated dorm faculty. Resident faculty members live with their families in the dorms in private apartments. Dorm faculty also serve as academic advisers to the students in their dorms, which means advisers are always close by. Dorm faculty know if you stay up too late, if you make it to sports, and if you are adjusting quickly to life at Exeter. 

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What are the rooms like?
You start with a room that is simple and equipped with the basics. Bring your collection of books or baseball caps. Put up pictures from home. It's your room, after all. Dorms also have common rooms, laundry facilities, bike racks, casual dining areas, and game rooms.

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What's it like being part of a dorm?

Your dorm isn't only for sleeping or storing your books. A dorm acquires it own life. Dorms host their own parties and movie nights, organize trips and community service events.

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Is it hard to be a new student?

Each year, about 350 Exeter students are new. While many are ninth graders, Exeter enrolls new students in every grade. Almost everyone feels like a fish out of water at the beginning. You're meeting new people every hour, it seems – how are you going to remember all their names? But soon enough things will be going swimmingly, and Exeter will start to feel like home.  Find out what it's like to be a new student…

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Will I have a social life?

Yes. A very full one. And not only that, you'll come to have a larger and more nuanced idea of what a social life can be. You live here at Exeter – fully and in multiple dimensions. Education here is not just about mind, body, and ethics – sometimes it's also about just having fun. Find out about upcoming social events ….

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