Need-blind admissions

Need-blind admissions

Dear Exeter community,

We are excited to share the news that from this day forward all admissions decisions at Exeter will be made without regard for any family’s ability to pay tuition or other associated costs of attending the Academy. Beginning with students who will enter the Academy in the coming academic year, our admissions process will be “need-blind.” Cost will no longer be a barrier to any qualified students who dream of attending Phillips Exeter Academy. 

When Exeter was founded 240 years ago, John and Elizabeth Phillips made a commitment that continues to serve as one of our core values:

“And it [the Academy] shall ever be equally open to youth of requisite

qualifications from every quarter.”

Expanding access to an Exeter education is central to our mission. The commitment expressed in our Deed of Gift ensures that all our students, regardless of economic circumstances, are not only able to attend but also know they belong at Exeter. Financial aid makes it possible for students from “every quarter” to join the Academy community and learn, lead and thrive here.

Today, we renew our commitment to youth from every quarter. Over the last two years, alumni, parents and friends have committed over $90 million in new endowment for financial aid. With this new support, building on support for financial aid provided over many generations, the Academy Trustees have voted unanimously to make this commitment to “need-blind” admissions.

The Trustees have made this commitment with the understanding that additional support will be needed to sustain our commitment into the future. Fundraising for financial aid will continue to be an important priority for our school, and will remain so always. Today almost half our students receive financial aid yet we must expand our reach if we are to ensure that economic circumstances will not be a barrier to any deserving students who wish to receive an Exeter education.  

As we approach the 250th anniversary of the founding of our school, we take inspiration from the ambition of our founders. It is humbling to consider the generations of Exonians who have come forward over the years to support the school, often inspired by the gratitude they felt for the assistance they received themselves. It is equally humbling to contemplate the generosity that will support our school and our commitment to youth from every quarter in years to come.

We are deeply grateful for the many ways alumni, parents and friends support our school. Whether it is through your philanthropy, your volunteer service, or both, we thank you for your generosity, and for your goodness.  

Best regards,  

William K. Rawson ’71, Principal

Morgan C. W. Sze ’83, President of the Trustees