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Class of '09 Completes Competitive College Process

6/12/2009
By virtually any objective measure, the Friends' Central School Class of 2009 enjoyed outstanding success in this year's college admissions process. They began with impressive SAT scores that averaged: 669 for Critical Reading, 649 for Math, and 666 for Writing. The Class submitted 557 applications and received acceptance letters from 64% of the schools to which they applied—a remarkably impressive number in a challenging admission cycle that has been anticipated for years. A whopping 45 students – almost half of the class – were admitted to 100% of the colleges to which they applied and 55% of the class is enrolling at schools from which they received early decision offers or at institutions they declared from the outset were their top choice.

Together, just 8 schools – the University of Pennsylvania (6), Muhlenberg College (4), Johns Hopkins (3), Haverford (3), Carnegie Mellon (3), Temple(3), Washington University in St. Louis (3), and Sarah Lawrence (3) – will enroll 30% of the senior class. 14 students will enroll at Ivy League institutions. Although the Ivies typically admit only 8-12% of their applicants, this year they accepted an impressive 30% of the applicants from Friends' Central. More than 33% of the class will matriculate at small liberal arts colleges, including some of the most selective small schools (ie: Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore, Wesleyan, Haverford) in the country. Quaker colleges were the choice of 5 students (Haverford, Swarthmore, Earlham); 1 student will enroll at an historically black college (Howard); and 2 students will enroll at women's colleges (Bryn Mawr, Barnard). 9 members of the Class of 2009 were recruited to participate in athletic programs at the institutions where they have enrolled, and at least 18 are planning to play collegiate level sports. 19% of the Class of 2009 received recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program, and 5 of the 8 students who were National Merit Finalists have been awarded $2,500 Merit Scholarships.

We tend to focus on outcomes at this time of year, but Grant Calder and Carrie Brodsky, co-directors of the college counseling office, believe that the many months preceding the arrival of decision letters constitute the most important part of the college process. "As counselors, we are committed to ensuring that the process is student-centered," they said recently. "We want students to feel empowered to make choices that reflect their individual values and personal circumstances." It is much harder to measure this type of success, but Carrie and Grant are committed to helping Friends' Central students find colleges that are the right fit for each of them, rather than simply seeking out admission to selective schools.

As the Class of 2009 prepares for Commencement, we congratulate them on their successes. "It is a highly accomplished collection of scholars, leaders, athletes, artists and activists," Carrie said. "The enthusiasm with which colleges responded to them in the admission process is a testament to both their individual talents and the superb preparation they experienced at Friends' Central School."

Click here to see a list of colleges the Class of 2009 will attend next year.