The Student Newspaper of Groton School

The Circle Voice

The Student Newspaper of Groton School

The Circle Voice

The Student Newspaper of Groton School

The Circle Voice

A New Era For Seniors: Groton 2024 College Recap

Kristin Qin ’27

This past fall, as red leaves littered the circle, Groton seniors prepared for the final leg of the college admissions process. The process of college admissions had begun long before these students entered Sixth Form, though, having experienced a whirlwind of essay writing, college tours, standardized tests, and interviews prior to the fall. Now that this extensive journey is finished, both Groton students and the College Counseling Office reflect on their experiences of the 2024 undergraduate admissions cycle. 

The 2024 admissions cycle saw a number of major changes that made it one of the most turbulent in history. The financial aid process was riddled with uncertainty amid a breakdown of the federal financial aid system (FAFSA), which meant aid would possibly not be available until after the May 1st deadline for committing to college. As a result, many colleges allowed seniors until June to make a final decision. 

With the Supreme Court decision banning affirmative action and pressure on colleges to eliminate legacy admissions, this year marked the beginning of a shift in the criteria colleges use when evaluating students’ profiles. The Groton College Counseling Office (CCO) explained that as a result, the role of academics and extracurriculars has become more pronounced in this admissions cycle. Additionally, many colleges have removed COVID-era test-optional policies, and standardized test scores have regained some of their importance in applications.

This year was also one of the most ambitious and, as a result, competitive in all of Groton history. According to the CCO, Groton’s Class of 2024 submitted a total of 1,162 applications, or an average of 13 per person. Fifty-seven early decision applications were submitted, and a third of the seniors received an early acceptance, giving them an extra layer of security going into the tumultuous regular admissions cycle. 

This year, applications to the nation’s most prestigious institutions reached an all time high, mirroring a nationwide trend. The result is one of the most selective admissions cycles in Groton’s history. Even in spite of the added challenges this cycle provided, the CCO added that the Sixth Form was largely self-sufficient in preparing their applications; when help was required, it was mainly in editing college-specific essays and preparing a list of extracurriculars.

With the college admissions process comes some of the busiest and most stressful times at Groton, but seniors embraced the process for the independence it promises. “It felt exciting to finally be in the process of college after so many years in the K-12 process,” said Arjun Ray ’24. “I found a sense of independence within it.”

Sixth Formers also drew comparisons between the college admissions process and Groton’s own application. The biggest difference was interviews and the lack of connections one can make with the admissions team of colleges during the application process. “At these colleges, there’s not always going to be a Mr. Gracey that you can connect with through your interview,” Arjun reflected.

Sixth Formers also offered words of advice to those who may be approaching the same process in the future. Alex Ma ’24 shared that the most important advice to remember is simply to focus on yourself: “There isn’t much that you can do as a Sixth Form student other than maintaining grades and writing essays. Make sure you don’t let college applications consume your life, and it’s very important to go outside and do fun things on weekends.” 

As Prize Day fast approaches, we can congratulate the Sixth Form on a successful completion of the 2023-2024 college application cycle.

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