Record Breaking Admission Seasons


This year’s admission season has proven Groton’s adaptability once again. The admissions office had to host the campus tours, interviews, admissions fairs, and revisit days on online platforms. These efforts brought the number of applicants to an unprecedented level, with an acceptance rate of 9%. 

To enable applicants to virtually “visit” campus before their interviews, various students filmed and explained different parts of the campus. All put together, these short clips formed a comprehensive video tour of the school which “helped with imagining what the school could look like,” says Emilia Werkun ’26, a newly admitted student. In addition, Student-led Information Sessions (SLIS) were developed in which an admissions prefect along with admission tour guides engaged live with applicants about their experiences at Groton. Students were advised to watch the tour and attend one of the ten weekly SLIS before their Zoom interviews. 

Apart from being over Zoom, interviews were quite similar to other years’. Although “[s]omething is lost in not being together… interviews felt very natural for the most part,” James Funnell, director of admissions, said. Time zones were not a problem and the admissions team was flexible to all conditions.

Application requirements were also adapted. Standardized tests like the SSAT and ISEE were made optional due to the low availability of test centers. Only about half of applicants  submitted their results. To counter the loss of standardized test scores, both a math and writing sample were required in order to assess academic fit. 

Groton’s efforts to move smoothly to online platforms proved to attract many applicants. The number of applications submitted increased 20%, with an unprecedented 1500 applicants compared to the last six years, which averaged 1255 applicants. “We suspect that the increased interest was due to dissatisfaction with how many schools were managing the pandemic and that candidates and their families appreciated Groton’s efforts to maximize in-person learning opportunities,” explains Mr. Funnell. 

As for the current revisit season, drive-through tours took place over spring break. A series of QR codes were put up on buildings for families to explore the campus. Each QR code led to a short clip about the function and activities hosted in each building. This way, students could visit campus while complying to Covid-19 regulations. 

Ms. Chica also coordinated many Zoom sessions and Webinars. “Meet the Prefects” meetings paired newly enrolled students with admission prefects. “Students were then invited to a series of events including a virtual dance party, SAC game night, as well as sessions highlighting athletics, arts, academics, and other campus programs,” reports  Mr. Funnell. 

All these digital efforts will contribute to Groton’s admissions success in the long run. “I suspect that some elements of this year’s process will remain: the increased video content on our website, the virtual tour and remote interview option for those who find it difficult to travel, for example,” said Mr. Funnell.