• Poly Prep

Congratulations to the Class of 2019 on Their College Acceptances

As we head toward Commencement, the 2019 graduating class has a lot to celebrate. In a few months, they will depart to 71 different colleges far and wide, from NYU to St. Andrews in Scotland, with four headed to the University of Chicago alone. Nationally, it’s becoming harder to get into college; the acceptance rates at elite schools have dropped to record lows. At Poly, we’re breaking records too. This is the second year of our new Dean system and for the second year in a row, Poly students were admitted to Top 25 Colleges at our highest rates on record.* This is also the second year in a row that the highest number of Poly students were admitted to their top choice colleges.†

Shania Smith ’19 applied Early Decision and will be leaving for New Hampshire to attend Dartmouth. She and Kristen Palmer ’19, who plans to study computer science at MIT, shared some thoughts and advice about the college process.

“I hope to carry the interests I've developed at Poly over to Dartmouth,” Shania said. “I plan to be a member in their jazz ensemble and complete a minor in music, take classes in sustainable sciences, participate in a travel abroad program to tailor my Mandarin skills, and take a few writing courses.”

Kristen Palmer, who entered Poly in fifth grade, is a champion fencer, club leader of Girls Who Code, and an inaugural member of Lemonade, an affinity group for black girls at Poly. In addition to staying on top of her own rigorous academic schedule, she also tutored students at Poly and at A Better Chance.

Kristen encourages students to visit all the schools they are considering. About MIT, she said, “I met so many awesome people and could see myself thriving in that environment. If you can stay overnight with a friend or current student at the schools you're interested in, I'd definitely recommend doing that.”

Shania credits her Dean, Jamie Nestor, for her “great assistance during this daunting college process. While she was certainly helpful in relaying the logistics of my college options to me and my parents, she was also great at generating positive energy. It was this energy that helped to make the college process a little less daunting.”

Kristen said her Dean, Nat Smitobol P’33, “provided letters of recommendations for all of my applications and scholarships and was always more than willing to help when I had problems with my forms not being processed by the colleges I was applying for. He also helped me out a lot by connecting me with the tutoring service offered by Poly so that I could prepare for standardized tests such as the SAT and subject tests.”  
Shania hopes rising seniors take this one piece of advice to heart: “You must not let the college process tear you apart. The truth is, there are many students who get rejected from schools that they are well-qualified for because there are simply not enough seats available at those institutions.”

Kristen said she was advised to apply to fewer schools, “which definitely would have been a good idea in hindsight.” She said, “I spent a lot of time writing essays for schools I didn't really want to go to. As a result, I was extremely stressed before early and regular decision deadlines. I'd definitely tell others to take this advice, as it'll probably save you money, time, and energy.”  

We wish the entire Class of 2019 success in college and beyond as they head out to the following schools this fall:

Babson College
Barnard College (2)
Baruch College of the CUNY
Bates College (2)
Bennington College (2)
Boston College
Bowdoin College
Brandeis University
Brown University (3)
Bryn Mawr College
Case Western Reserve University
Chapman University
Colby College (2)
Colgate University (2)
Columbia University
Connecticut College
Cornell University (3)
Dartmouth College
Drexel University
Duke University
Emory University
Fairfield University
Fordham University (3)
Goucher College
Grinnell College
Howard University (2)
Hult International Business School - London
Kenyon College (3)
King's College London
The King's College
Lafayette College
Lehigh University
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola University New Orleans
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Middlebury College (2)
Muhlenberg College
New York University (3)
Northeastern University (2)
Pennsylvania State University (3)
Pomona College
Reed College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2)
Rice University
San Diego State University
Savannah College of Art and Design
Skidmore College (3)
Smith College (2)
St. Lawrence University
Stanford University
SUNY Albany (2)
Swarthmore College
Syracuse University
Tulane University
Union College
United States Naval Academy
University of California, Berkeley
University of Chicago (4)
University of Colorado at Boulder (2)
The University of Kansas
University of Miami (2)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Pennsylvania
University of Richmond (2)
University of St. Andrews (2)
University of Wisconsin, Madison (2)
Villanova University (2)
Wake Forest University
Washington University in St. Louis (2)
Wesleyan University
West Virginia University
Williams College

*The Top 25 Colleges as reported by The U.S. News & World Report
†via Early Decision
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