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Inside Areté Blog Series

Areté Insights

Hiking Unconventional

While We’re All Busy “Pivoting…”
How about pivoting away from a broken educational model?

The college admissions process has had to “pivot,” along with teachers, parents and students, to accommodate the new educational landscape under Covid. With inconsistent standardized test policies, interrupted spring transcripts, and a fall school structure still very much in question, high school juniors and seniors are understandably concerned about how to best catch the attention of admissions officers…especially if their education so far has been standardized, regimented or just kind of “meh.”

Many colleges — even those famous for their quantitative approach — are looking beyond grades and test scores to focus more on students’ “personal qualities,” the admissions committee term for whatever can’t fit in a numerical field or checkbox.     

In addition to strong quantitative measures, every Areté senior begins the college admissions process with:

  •  A transcript saturated with deep, interest-based, college-style seminars, from “The Philosophy of Technology and Human Nature” to “Time Travel and Paradoxes.”   
  • A portfolio of self-initiated, passion-based academic projects, realized through the close mentoring of our semi-annual Symposium program.
  • senior thesis topic based on a philosophical problem or an original science hypothesis, and a plan to mentor and teach this topic to younger students.
  • All of the academic courses required and/or recommended by elite universities, plus additional requirements of our own.
  • The student’s own carefully-considered positions and theories about a range of deep intellectual problems not usually tackled at high school levels…and not always addressed at the graduate school level!

All of these factors translate into uniquely personalized recommendation letters, authentic personal statements, and strong admissions interviews.

While the college admissions process remains mysterious in many ways, we are proud that 95% of our seniors are admitted to their first choice colleges, and we credit our brands of rigor and “smart” as helping get them there.

When you and your child are ready to make your own pivot away from 1900’s-style “factory” education toward something truly personalized and life-altering, we are here to show you how deep thinking and genuine passion can go hand in hand and take your child anywhere they want to go!

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