Exeter has carried its worldwide renown across the centuries because it pursues excellence, doesn't settle for second best, and produces graduates in demand by the world's finest colleges and universities. It is not going too far to say it is the finest secondary school in the world. Phillips Exeter is a tough school that challenges the top students in the country every day. If you are not clearly lapping the field at the school you're coming from, you're unlikely to be admitted. If you secure admission, you're in for one of the most enriching, demanding, interesting years of your life. Exeter's brand is recognizable across the nation. The Exeter alumni network crawls with worldwide leaders across all fields of human endeavor.
I totally agree with 2 reviews in year 2012. It's a great school with mostly great teachers and students. But college office isn't helpful at all, maybe hurtful. You dont know what's in play. My child enjoyed the school very much till college application, which ruined out impression about the school
Postscript to previous review: I rated the school four stars because it IS a great school. We loved it, as did my child. The ONLY distasteful and very disappointing part was the College Office. My child ended up at a very good school, but ONLY because we wised up and got involved with helping our child directly WITHOUT the involvement of the college office. If we had not, our child would have ended up at a second rate school, as they seemed to keep saying it was "ok" (to fail). Clearly, our child was, in fact, capable of getting into the school of choice, but only once we disconnected from their destructive negativity. One important example of their failings: Around the time our child was at PEA, a class VALEDICTORIAN failed to get into either Harvard or Yale. He ended up at a smaller, less selective Ivy. Not his first choice, and clearly NOT a reflection of his capabilities. He had a perfect GPA. The talk around campus? That the College Office destroyed him. Enough said. My hope is that PEA reads this and finally, acts in a way to protect the aspirations and dreams of ALL of their students.
Parents should think carefully before sending their child to PEA. The school has an excellent reputation but it is unclear to me as a parent that PEA does a better job of preparing kids for college or for helping them in the process of applying to college. Most of the kids in my child' graduating class were not happy with their college choices and would have had better choices coming from their local schools. PEA does not help with the college process and may hinder your child's options. The academic environment is very rigorous and that appeals to parents (including me) but may be excessive for most 14-18 year olds. Though my child has done well since PEA, he did so despite PEA and I regret sending my child there. I can only hope that potential parents will pause longer than i did before committing their child to the school. You will loose these years with your child and it is not clear that they or you will benefit.
Exeter was the best school experience I could have ever asked for. It was extremely challenging yet equally rewarding.
Exeter is the finest secondary school in the United States by almost every measure. I would not recommend it for every student however. It is not a "touchy feely" academic environment. Be prepared to work very hard as it is widely considered to have the most rigorous core curriculum of any secondary school. As previous reviewers have mentioned, college work will be quite easy by comparison. I attended the University of Chicago after graduating from PEA and was grossly over prepared for undergrad. My eldest children graduated from the academy in recent years and are both very proud Exonians. It is worth noting that if you are not VERY socially liberal you will find few likeminded individuals at the Academy. Cultural relativity is preached with fanaticism and any deviation from that is strictly verboten. The advisor for the Republican club (a libertarian) was recently banned from Exeter's campus for extremely fallacious reasons so be prepared to battle an extremely liberal faculty and administration. If your family/children have moderate views or deviate in any way from leftist ideology be prepared to be a "Harkness Warrior" if fortunate enough to be accepted.
Exeter provided me a great foundation for my undergraduate, graduate and business pursuits. Since joining the working world, I often find myself referencing back to lessons learned at Exeter around the Harkness table.
I consider Exeter to be the greatest decision I have ever made. I graduated in 2007 after 4 years and have missed it ever since. The academics are certainly rigorous, as is the 6 day schedule, but it really brings everyone together and creates a community that is unbeatable. I felt as though I matured not only academically, but as a person as well. The Harkness method forces all students to be engaged, and to be confident and articulate in expressing their point of view. While faculty and advisors are always caring and available, they are not overbearing, leaving the student to manage his own time and priorities. The confidence and maturity built at Exeter are qualities which will carry you through life. I cannot stress enough how amazing the Exeter experience was overall, and how much I would recommend it to any gifted student!
The best choice I have ever made in my short life was to come to Exeter. Faculty is college level but yet still very involved with the students. This school is not for the faint of heart though. Also I wouldn't recomend it for the perfectionists, because you can't do everything at Exeter and you will have a breakdown if you try. You can't get all A's either. It actually teaches you to look at the bigger picture and make choices. Exeter will over prepare for college too, to a point where college is like a walk in the park compared to Exeter.
PEA is simply the finest private boarding school in the country. Four years at Exeter prepared me for all aspects of my future education. After Exeter, college and law school were a walk in the park (academically speaking). The campus and facilities put most colleges to shame.
Exeter is a fine institution. This being said its not for the faint of heart. Shirt and Tie dress code and Saturday classes are two examples of this. Students who know they will pursue English, Mathematics or Science in college will find themselves quite well prepared. Do not attend Exeter if you wish to pursue Computer Science or have any interest in networking. The IT department is more inept and corrupt than any outsider would think. The principal spends more of his time with alumni seeking contributions than he does worrying about the students. No one student is important to Exeter. Since they have so many kids applying they feel and act as though you can be easily replaced.
This is an excellent school with high acaedemics. Any one ready for acedemic challanges as well as in sports should apply to this school. One of the best high schools in the nation.
My son is a Lower (2nd yr) at PEA. I cannot begin to elaborate upon his experiences and the excellence of an Exeter education. Although challenging and fast paced, support is in place to get students through any bumps. This fosters confidence building and leadership. There are no limits to the opportunities at Exeter. If you want to play a particular instrument, they will find an instructor. If your child wants to start a new club (there are already 100+ clubs), advisers will help get one started. There is an opportunity for every kid to shine. Exeter is about more than superior academics, sports and activities. It's a small society where people care about each other, their community, and the world. The Exeter experience extends beyond the campus and into one's family. ~~Go Big Red!~~
My daughter graduated from PEA and my son is curently completing his prep year there. This is an outstanding school that provides a challenging, comprehensive academic program along with strong arts and athletic opportunities and a wonderful network of social/emotional support. My daughter flourished in this environment and cherishes her four years at the academy. The quality of the faculty, staff and facilities in unsurpassed.
I graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, and although this is a parent rating, I believe it is extremely important that you hear a student's perspective. I had great times along with challenging ones while I was at Exeter ('00-'04). Academically, there is no school like Exeter. All classes are discussion based and average around 13 students per class. The simple fact that students come from all areas of the world, broaden horizons more than the cliche could ever explain. I made life long friendships, both with faculty and with the students. In fact, now that I am graduated, I often think about how great it was to live there. I consider myself very fortunate. And if finances are an issue, I attended the school on financial aid that was very generous. I could write a book about the pros and cons of this school, but it is the best.
P.E.A. is by far the best school in the country. This prestigious prep/boarding school accepts only the best. Boarding students come from 43 states and over 40 countries. Phillips Exeter Academy will provide your overly talented student an education unmatched anywhere. When students graduate going to colleges like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, everyone knows that it is by far uncommon. Philips Exeter Academy is truely the Harvard University of secondary schools. Athletics are very strong and very important. You have to visit the campus. An absolute must see. Trust me, if your child is academically talented and scores in the 93rd percentile on the SSAT, ISEE, PSAT, and/or the SAT1, enroll him/her today!
Exeter is literally known as being the best school in the U.S.A. I agree to the fullest level.
Very difficult school. Faculty doesn't help very much. Lot of clubs and class offerings, but older students don't help new ones fit in easily, especially if they are uppers or seniors.
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Join GreatSchools to participate in the parent community and other discussions on our site.
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of Phillips Exeter Academy on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!