Navigating the Phillips Academy Admissions: Tips from the Experts

Nobody knows the Phillips Academy Andover admissions process more than Cardinal Education.

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Phillips Academy Andover is a coeducational, independent school in Andover, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1778 and is regarded as one of the oldest and most prestigious high schools in the United States and is ranked among the best boarding schools in the country. It boasts a beautiful campus with 700 acres of land. Over time, it has undergone many developments to cater to the contemporary needs of students but it has managed to preserve its historic character. 

The school strives to foster education that is geared toward its mission statement, “Non Sibi” meaning “not for self”. Students are encouraged to develop into their best selves to become active and responsible members of society. It has been home to many famous alumni who later on became leaders of the country and in their own respective fields.

Phillips Andover Admissions

Applying to Andover requires meticulous and strategic planning. Our private school admissions consultants can walk you through the admissions process to make sure everything is in place. Here are the steps to follow:  

  1. Create an account on Gateway to Prep Schools and complete the candidate profile
  2. Schedule an interview
  3. Submit test scores (optional)
  4. Complete the Graded Writing Sample
  5. Submit the essay, short answers, and parent/guardian statement
  6. Request transcripts
  7. Delegate letters of recommendation to
    1. Principal or counselor
    2. English teacher
    3. Math teacher
  8. Take the Character Skills Snapshot

Phillips Academy Andover requirements

Admissions Interview

After 24 hours of submitting the  Candidate Profile on the Gateway to Prep Schools, you will get an email with your login information for the application portal. You may then schedule a campus visit and interview. Virtual interviews are also available for those who cannot visit the school. The interview usually lasts for 25 minutes. On-campus and virtual interviews have limited availability, but you can submit a personal video instead. 

Although the admissions interview is optional, our admissions consultants advise that you take it because this will be a good opportunity for the admissions officers to know your child beyond grades and test scores. Admissions interviews are challenging because the interviewer will create an impression of your child’s character and personality within a limited time. Cardinal Education offers interview preparation and teaches students and their families skills on how best to present themselves during the interview.

Standardized Testing

Submitting standardized tests is optional but we advise that you submit test scores because it may give you an edge and make you stand out among other applicants who might have the same grades and achievements as you. Phillips Academy accepts SSAT or ISEE scores for 9th and 10th-grade applicants and SAT or ACT for 11th and 12th-grade applicants. 

Our excellent test prep program has helped many students achieve the best scores that have helped them gain admission to their dream schools. Our SSAT and ISEE tutors are very effective when it comes to teaching concepts, strategies, and techniques in taking standardized tests. We provide SSAT practice tests and ISEE practice tests that your child can take until we achieve favorable scores. For applicants to grades 11 and 12, we also offer SAT practice tests and ACT practice tests

Graded Writing Sample

The graded writing sample should be an assignment, preferably from the current English class in school. Once you have chosen which assignment to submit, your child should write a description in no more than 500 characters. Admissions officers will be looking into your child’s writing skills and the ability to express in writing. 

If you prepare and work with us early, our English tutors and writing tutors in the exclusive Program in Writing and Reading (PWR) will make sure that your child develops the necessary writing skills and submits outstanding assignments in class. When the time comes to complete your application requirements to Andover, you are sure to have a graded writing sample that admissions officers will definitely love.


Applicants are required to submit a 500-word essay in response to a chosen prompt and provide  150-word short answers to a chosen question. The questions delve deep into your child’s character and personality and should tell of life experiences and state the reasons why they have chosen to apply to Phillips Andover. 

It may seem easy to answer the questions, but without proper guidance, your child might give the wrong answers or provide incorrect anecdotes that could totally ruin your chance of getting in. Our boarding school admissions consultants know what admissions officers at Andover are looking for and they can guide you to choose which life story is worthy of mentioning. They can help craft an honest and authentic essay or personal statement that could give the differentiation your child needs.

Parent Statement

Parents of applicants are required to answer a questionnaire with a maximum of 2000 characters for each question. The questions revolve around how well you know your child and how your family could be a good addition to the school community.  If parents are not able to write the essay, the legal guardian may do so. 

Responses that reflect well on your family and your relationship with your child will definitely create a good impression on admissions officers. Our private school admissions consulting covers all facets of the application process including helping you write strong essays.


Grades from the previous year and the current semester are required to be submitted via Gateway. Transcripts play an important role in the admissions process because they act as a timeline of a student’s academic achievements.  

But what if your child does not have impressive grades? Cardinal Education offers tutoring and academic coaching to help improve grades and test scores. Our tutors and academic coaches are professionals in their own fields and have undergone extensive training to teach effectively. We offer one-on-one in-person and online tutoring for a wide range of subjects so you can be sure to get the help your child needs.

Character Skills Snapshot

If you decide to take the SSAT,  you will have the option to also take the Character Skills Snapshot. However, even if you decide to take the CSS, the results won’t be seen by the admissions committee until after the decision-making deadline. The results are not used for admission, only for student onboarding. 

Phillips Academy Andover Alumni 

  • George H. W. Bush – served as the 41st president of the United States
  • George W. Bush – served as the 43rd President of the United States, the son of George H.W. Bush
  • John F. Kennedy, Jr. (+) – son of President John F. Kennedy and was an American lawyer, journalist, and magazine publisher 
  • Humphrey Bogart –  an iconic Film and theater actor known for his films from the classical Hollywood era
  • Olivia Wilde- American actress, producer, and filmmaker known for her roles in various TV series and movies
  • Ming Tsai- American restaurateur, television personality, and celebrity chef
  • Joseph Hardy Neesima- Japanese missionary and educator
  • Bill Belichick- New England Patriots professional football coach
  • Katie Porter- California politician, law professor, and lawyer
  • Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck- Monarch of Bhutan
  • Lincoln Chafee- the former mayor of Warwick, Senator, and Governor of Rhode Island

Student Life at Phillips Academy Andover?

Phillips Academy Academics

Phillips Academy Andover offers 300 courses, including 8 world languages and 150 electives that also teach the diversity of human experience and the complexities of the natural world. Students here want to be challenged and are given the opportunity to excel among their intelligent peers. Additionally, selected seniors are provided the opportunity to participate in The Abbot Independent Scholars Program (AISP) to work independently with a faculty mentor for course credit. 

Philips Andover Athletics 

Phillips Academy Andover offers an extensive list of sports including ballet, baseball, basketball, climbing, crew, cross country, cross country running, cycling, dance, diving, fencing, field hockey, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, nordic skiing, soccer, softball, squash, swimming, tennis, track, track and field, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, water polo, winter track, wrestling. Students do not lack athletics options, and there is a sport for everyone. 

Philips Academy Activities

Clubs like 3D Printing Club, Academy Manor Nursing Home volunteers, Bread & Roses community kitchen volunteers, Catholic Student Fellowship, Chess Club, Chinese Language & Culture Club, Chinese Taiwanese Student Association, Christian Fellowship Club, EAT Club, Science Club for Girls, Se Puede After-School Tutoring Program, SIS Female Empowerment program, and Sketchy comedy writing club, among many others, are available for students to choose from. No student will be left wanting with Phillips Academy Andover’s extensive list of activities. 

Philips Academy Arts

As creative expression is an extremely important aspect of Phillips Academy Andover’s mission, they provide many artistic classes for students to explore including Andover Art Society, Andover-Lawrence String Program, Architecture Club, Art Exchange, Art for Expression, Art Music Society, Azure, blue.print, Classical Music Forum, DJ Factory-Electronic Music Production, DramaLabs, Drum Line, Footnotes Tap  Dance Group, Frisbee Club, Gospel, Handbell Choir, Hypnotiq, Music MDs, Unaccompanied Minors, Under the Bed, and Yorkies. These are just among the most unique of classes. 

Did You Know?

The student-faculty ratio at Andover is 6:1 to make sure students receive the support they need. 

Client Testimonial

We were not sure how to go about the Phillips Andover admissions process, but Cardinal Education helped us to stay calm and focused. Our admissions consultant gave my child the tools and resources he needed to succeed, and he was always there to answer our questions and give encouragement.