Founded in 1922, Concord Academy houses approximately 400 high school students on its 39-acre campus in Concord, Massachusetts.
Originally functioning as the first independent secondary school for girls in the United States, Concord Academy only embraced coeducation nearly 50 years after its founding.
The majority of Concord Academy students – 60% – board from out-of-state. With an average class size of 12, students receive highly individualized attention from expert faculty members.
It is common for all graduates to matriculate to four-year institutions, with the most popular being Tufts, Wesleyan, Brown, and NYU.
With over 200 courses available to students, Concord Academy offers a rigorous and stimulating curriculum. Students can take classes like Macromolecules, which integrate a passion for culinary arts with interest in science.
Students learn the principles of food science by applying culinary techniques in kitchen laboratories!
Concord Academy is conveniently located merely 20 miles from Boston, so students have plenty of options for social and recreational activities in the evenings and on weekends.
Ahead, we’re sharing Concord Academy’s acceptance rate, tuition and financial aid information, and application instructions.
We’ll also fill you in on the successes of some of Concord’s most acclaimed alumni. After discussing the available athletics and extracurricular programs on campus, we hope you’ll have a good idea of whether or not Concord Academy is the right place for you.
Concord Academy Acceptance Rate
Concord Academy’s acceptance rate for 2020-2021 was 16%, significantly lower than the national average of 71%.
More than 1,000 candidates applied to Concord Academy, one of the most competitive among Massachusetts private schools and ranked the #10 best boarding school in the United States by Niche.
Students admitted to Concord bring in top standardized test scores. That being said, the school does not rank admitted students or offer AP courses.
Instead, Concord Academy has tasked its exceptional teaching faculty with creating rigorous and intriguing cross-disciplinary courses. Students can still take AP exams, and 80% of students taking AP exams pass with a 4 or 5.
One interesting fact about Concord Academy is that it did not always accept male students. Originally conceived as an all-girls boarding school, it transitioned into a co-educational school in 1971.
The school does not stipulate any minimum GPA or standardized test score requirements, and they approach the admissions process holistically; in fact, the admissions committee is composed of faculty, guidance counselors, and senior students.
When holistically reviewing each candidate’s application materials, Concord Academy admissions officers consider traditional indicators like academic performance, community investment, talents, and extracurriculars. Additionally, the school is curious about the student’s character, interpersonal relationships, growth potential, and maturity.
Concord Academy Alumni
Stay in your lane? That’s easy for a Concord Academy alum – all lanes are their lanes! Concord Academy graduates innovate and experience success across a broad range of disciplines.
New York Times Best-Selling Author Sebastian Junger, from the class of 1980, penned the popular novels The Perfect Storm and A Death in Belmont, among several other works.
He has also dabbled in documentary filmmaking, even securing an Academy Award nomination for his debut work Restrepo.
Within the same field of creative writing, class of 1986 alumna Sarah Koenig has garnered acclaim for her role as a public radio show host and executive producer of the podcast Serial, which ranks as the most popular podcast in the history of the medium.
In film, class of 1996 cinematographer Rachel Morrison became the first woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography, while ‘93 alumna Danielle Lee has pioneered digital marketing for profitable companies like Showtime, Spotify, and AT&T.
Many Concord Academy alumni proceed to college and graduate school.
Class of 1990 graduate Imani Perry is an eminent scholar of African American culture and the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University.
A Concord Academy education can equip ambitious students with the skills to transfer to an unlimited number of career environments!
Concord Academy Tuition
For the 2022-2023 academic year, tuition expenses totaled $68,840 for boarding students and $55,130 for day students. Books and other costs usually add an extra thousand dollars on top of that sum.
Fortunately, Concord Academy devotes approximately 17% of its budget to its financial aid program, reserving over $5 million for eligible families needing assistance. Concord Academy has committed to supplanting 100% of a student’s determined financial need.
Concord Academy now extends financial aid in the form of grants ranging from $1,000 to full tuition coverage. Over a quarter of the student population takes advantage of these opportunities, which are accompanied by useful resources.
For example, students can obtain a bookstore/activities account grant of $1,150 (for day learners) or $1,550 (for boarding learners) to counter additional expenses stemming from textbooks and activity-related costs.
Grants are available for funding a laptop or tablet, school supplies, and even study-away excursions!
Families can apply for financial aid online by completing the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) – each parent living in the household must complete a PFS.
Families are also responsible for providing a signed federal tax return from the previous tax year, supporting schedules of the prior tax year, and W2s or 1099s from the last tax year.
Concord Academy Ranking
Concord Academy has established its position as the #5 best boarding high school in Massachusetts and one of the 50 best boarding schools in the United States, according to popular school ranker Niche.
Schools like Choate Rosemary Hall, Phillips Andover, and Groton have much to boast over, so how does Concord Academy stand out from other impressive institutions on this list?
First, it’s worth mentioning Concord’s one-on-one advising system. At Concord Academy, students meet weekly with their advisor in a one-on-one setting (versus a traditional small group setting or less frequent schedule).
Advisors are genuinely invested in student progress. Unlike other schools, where encounters with advisers are forgettable or unremarkable, Concord Academy students know their advisers well and can count on them for support.
While Concord Academy’s ranking positions make it a competitive school to gain admission into, the environment itself is less intense than one might predict.
There are neither academic awards nor class ranks, and grade point averages are not made public. Much more emphasis is placed on camaraderie versus competition, as it is essential for graduates to leave Concord with the ability to collaborate effectively.
What Athletics and Extracurriculars are Offered at Concord Academy?
Concord Academy is unique in not stipulating that its students participate in some form of team sport.
Rather, Concord students have the autonomy to invest in extracurricular commitments as best fit their schedules and preferences.
While the athletics program is undoubtedly competitive, it is also conducive to “just having fun” and building healthy camaraderie among players and between teams.
Concord Academy athletes compete in the Eastern Independent League (EIL). The athletics director, Sue Johnson, is a seasoned Division I college basketball coach with over two decades of coaching experience at institutions like Princeton, Boston College, and Yale.
Under her leadership, Concord Academy has recruited and sustained winning programs in activities like sailing, ultimate frisbee, wrestling, and Alpine skiing.
The athletic facilities at Concord Academy leave little to be desired.
The school’s 13.5-acre Moriarty Athletic Campus boasts precision-cut grass fields, a field house, a baseball diamond, well-groomed cross-country trails, and six hard-surface tennis courts.
Inside the Concord Academy Student Health and Athletic Center (SHAC), students have numerous sports facilities at their disposal: basketball, squash, and volleyball courts, as well as dance studios, a weight room, and a gym.
Students interested in non-athletic pursuits have over 90 clubs to investigate – starting a club is equally encouraged!
The All-School Council gives Concord Academy students input into the governance of their community. Student representatives are tasked with solving real problems on or near campus.
Other opportunities focus on particular niches. On the one hand, there’s the Writer’s Guild, a letter-writing club for a cause where participants master the skill of argumentative writing.
DEMONS are not so deadly – the dreamers, engineers, mechanics, and overt nerds that make up this club are really into engineering. Many students participate in the Prison Justice Project, among other philanthropic or social justice-oriented pursuits.
Should You Apply to Concord Academy?
Applying to Concord Academy is an excellent idea for motivated students searching for a demanding and meaningful secondary school education.
Concord Academy is uniquely positioned to recommend interviews as part of its application process, and the school encourages all applicants to book a half-hour session with a Concord Academy interviewer.
Parents or guardians are additionally invited to conduct follow-up interviews with the interviewer. Don’t worry if you’re applying from far away – interviews are available online and in person.
If you’re applying to Concord Academy, you should plan to stand out. The personal video statement is an optional component candidates can add to their application package. You know how we feel about “optional” application materials: option means opportunity! Use the personal video statement as an avenue to showcase your talents and curiosities.
The admissions committee offers an array of questions students might attend to in their personal video statements. Some students may opt to describe themselves as learners, while others may focus on their commitments outside of the academic world.
Additional application materials include a student application, parent/guardian statement, and official copies of a candidate’s transcripts and attendance records.
Concord Academy applicants will require both an English and a math instructor to complete a letter of recommendation on their behalf.
While standardized test scores remain optional, Concord Academy differs slightly from other schools.
Those who choose not to submit standardized test scores must submit a graded writing sample. Finally, all applicants must report their current year grades and a recommendation from a guidance counselor.