After finishing my freshman year at Holderness, I'm really disappointed. The classes weren't challenging (though some of my peers seemed challenged probably a reflection of the generally lower level of student accepted at the school compared to other boarding prep schools) and I guess that if my parents had looked more closely they might have passed. The day student population seems especially weak, at least in my class. And with five percent of students nationwide getting National Merit recognition, and only one of Holdernesses students being recognized as a Commended student with no semi-finalists, just slightly more than one percent of students,I think that really says it all about the level. Private schools that really are college prep should be striving for 20% or more. I'll say it again. I'm really disappointed.
I am a graduate of Holderness School, having attended from my sophomore through my senior year. When I applied to Holderness, I was seeking an environment characterized by rigorous academics, strong athletics, and a collaborative culture. What I experienced far exceeded my expectations. Holderness offers an opportunity to learn, grow and lead in what could one of the most beautiful settings in New England. Teachers establish an atmosphere of hard work, group collaboration and achievement. The Jobs Program enables students to become group leaders at a young age, and to develop a strong work ethic outside of the classroom. The Outback program is a unique offering that enables students to learn key teamwork and outdoor skills independent of the classroom and athletic fields. Overall, Holderness is a small and unique school. It fosters an environment where students work hard in the classroom and in athletics, give back to the school via the Jobs Program, and ultimately look to give back to the school post graduation.