Worcester Academy is a private school serving students in sixth grade through senior year.
Established in 1834, Worcester Academy is the oldest education institution in its city, as well as one of the oldest boarding schools in the entire United States.
The school’s campus stretches across 71 acres of Worcester, MA, the second largest city in the New England region. Because of the school’s scenic location at the top of a hill, students have come to be known as “Hilltoppers.”
As of the most recent academic year, the school has a total enrollment of 594 students, including middle and upper school students.
The Worcester student body includes students from a total of 18 countries across the globe, with about 20% of students being a part of a historically underrepresented minority group.
Although lower school students do not have the option to live at the school, both five- and seven-day boarding are options for students at the upper school. The majority of students, however, are day students, with just around 35% opting to board.
Here, we have gathered all the essential things prospective students should know about Worcester Academy.
If you are interested in learning more about what this strong school has to offer, read on to find out about acceptance rates, famous alumni, extracurriculars, and much more.
Worcester Academy Acceptance Rate
Worcester Academy has an acceptance rate of about 65%.
For comparison, the average acceptance rate for all boarding schools in the United States is 60%.
For further comparison, other sources cite the average acceptance rates for private schools in Worcester County as high as 82%.
Looking at these other statistics, one can see that Worcester Academy is much more selective of a school than many schools in the surrounding area. As a result, admission to the elite school is highly sought after.
To apply to Worcester Academy, students first need to complete the inquiry form, which is available online.
Shortly after doing so, students will receive printed informational materials in the mail, as well as access to the account they will use to access the application.
The next step in Worcester’s application process is a tour and an admission interview, which students can schedule through their accounts.
Then, students can begin the process of filling out the application, requesting letters of recommendation, and submitting academic transcripts.
The school prioritizes all completed application bundles submitted before January 15th each year, although they are accepted on a rolling basis after the priority deadline.
For students who apply before January 15th, admissions decisions are released by March 10 each year. Students who apply after the priority deadline can expect notification sometime after April 1st.
Worcester Academy Alumni
With a history containing more than 175 years of excellence, Worcester Academy has been the alma mater of numerous celebrated public figures in many different regards, from dominating the world of sports, to climbing to top positions at major companies, and so much more.
At 18 — shortly after graduating from Worcester — Grala became the youngest driver to make it to the NASCAR playoffs in the organization’s history.
Another one of Worcester’s famous alumni athletes is Jarrett Jack, class of 2002, who was a professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA.
Two professional coaches — Rick Carlisle of the NBA and Joe Philbin of the NFL — also count themselves among Worcester Academy’s alumni.
Kara E. McMahon, an Emmy award-winning television producer, is also a Worcester alum, graduating from the school in 1993. McMahon is most widely known for her contributions to 60 Minutes.
In the media, there is Naomi S. Riley, a 1994 Worcester graduate, author, and editor for the Wall Street Journal.
In the world of politics, there is Jim McGovern, Worcester class of 1977, who is currently a congressman for the state of Massachusetts’ 2nd District.
Worcester Academy Tuition
The cost of tuition for one year of study at Worcester Academy varies according to whether students opt to live on campus or at home.
Grade level is another factor, with upper school tuition being a few thousand dollars higher than lower school tuition.
To be more precise, tuition for the lower school — meaning sixth through eighth grade — is $37,800 per year for day students.
For upper school day students, on the other hand, annual tuition comes to $40,900.
The cost of tuition for boarding students — an option open only to those in ninth grade or higher — is $56,000, all meals included.
There are some additional fees that all students are required to pay, regardless of grade level or residence. For one, there is a technology fee of $745, and books cost an estimated additional $700.
Payment plans are available for students and families who cannot pay tuition in full upfront. It is important to note, however, that Worcester charges a fee of 1.7% of the cost of tuition for this convenience.
Additional need-based financial aid is also available to alleviate the financial burden of attending the school. Worcester does not award merit-based scholarships or grants.
Worcester Academy Ranking
According to Niche, Worcester Academy is the #4 private high school in Worcester County. The school also ranks fourth in the county in terms of the best college preparation offered by a private school.
The high quality of Worcester’s college prep offerings are evidenced by their nearly perfect college enrollment rates.
An impressive 98% of students who graduate from Worcester Academy attend a four-year college or university immediately after earning their diplomas.
Worcester’s excellence concerning how well they prepare students for college extends to the state level, as well. In fact, Worcester Academy is currently ranked #34 out of the 108 Massachusetts private schools considered in Niche’s analysis.
Other areas in which Worcester is highly ranked in the county include overall diversity within the school community and their academic offerings relating to STEM fields, with the school ranking fifth and seventh, respectively.
The above rankings suggest that although Worcester may not be one of the top boarding high schools in the country, it is a very strong private school within the local area.
What Extra-Curriculars and Athletics Are Offered at Worcester Academy?
At Worcester Academy, students have an abundance of options for extracurricular activities to choose from.
The more than 40 different student organizations at the school include the American Sign Language club, Mandarin Chinese tutoring, the poetry and prose club, and the Dungeons and Dragons club. There is additionally the dance club, film club, photography club, and several others for students interested in the arts.
In addition, more than 200 student leadership positions are available at Worcester, allowing students to get involved in the campus community and simultaneously develop crucial skills.
At the upper school, fall sports offerings are cross country, field hockey, football, soccer, and volleyball. The winter season consists of just four sports: basketball, ice hockey, skiing, and swimming.
In the spring, Worcester has a total of seven different active athletic teams. These are lacrosse, golf, crew, baseball, softball, tennis, and track.
Should You Apply to Worcester Academy?
If you are a student or parent searching for an excellent secondary school, there are many different factors that you should consider to ensure that the school you choose is a great fit.
In addition, it is crucial to keep in mind that no two students are the same, and as a result, there is no single set of defining characteristics of a good school.
That being said, many pieces of information suggest that Worcester Academy is an all-around solid school to go to.
For one, Worcester boasts an impressive student-to-teacher ratio of just 7:1.
The benefit of small class sizes like Worcester’s is that students can rest assured that they will receive all the academic support they need. Additionally, smaller classes create a learning environment that allows students to develop strong relationships with their instructors and peers.
Another part of what makes Worcester a great school is their teaching philosophy. The school takes an approach to secondary education that emphasizes the importance of developing a strong work ethic, a sense of meaning, and critical thinking skills.
This is achieved through a combination of academic coursework — with several honors and AP offerings — and experiences outside of the classroom, from clubs, sports, service opportunities, and much more.
All in all, Worcester Academy is truly an excellent choice for high school.