Location: Concord, Massachusetts
Students: 363 girls and boys (152 boarding; 211 day) in grades 9-12
Diversity: 24% students of color; 10% international students
Tuition: $48,050 for boarding; $38,850 for day
Financial Aid: 25% students receive aid; the average grant is $36,113
About Concord Academy
Concord Academy is located in the beautiful and historic town of Concord, Massachusetts, home to major American literary figures such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Louisa May Alcott. The school is located in the center of this classic New England town on a 39-acre campus that contains many historic houses in traditional white with green trim and the Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel, a nineteenth-century meetinghouse.
The school was founded as a girls’ school for grades 1-12 in 1922. Over the years, it developed a reputation for fine scholarship and a communal spirit; for example, prizes have been disallowed at commencement since the 1940s. In the years after World War II, the school became an independent high school, and the number of boarding school students began to exceed the number of day students. The school became co-educational in 1971.
Academics at the school are strong, and the school admits students with top scores on the SSAT, or Secondary School Admissions Test. Graduates of the school also tend to score well on the SAT, a college admissions test.
About 10% of the students are international. While the school does not offer English as a Second Language class, it does offer English Support through tutors. Students are required to take Freshman and Sophomore English classes, which include studying such titles as Oedipus Rex, Macbeth, The Great Gatsby, and The Interpreter of Maladies. Juniors and seniors can take English electives such as “The Literature of Transgression” (with readings by Tim O’Brien, Richard Rodriguez, and others) and “London Calling: The Literature of A City” (with readings by Ben Jonson, Daniel Defoe, and Zadie Smith, among others). The modern and classic language department offers classes in French, Latin, Spanish, and Mandarin. Seniors can apply to pursue an independent study known as a Senior Project, and these projects involve experiential or interdisciplinary components. The school does not teach to AP or Advanced Placement classes , but Concord Academy states that its classes are of similar or greater rigor and prepare students to take these tests and do well on them.
Students at Concord Academy are paired with an advisor, who works with the student and his or her family throughout the student’s education. Class sizes at the school are small and average about 12 students, so that students receive a great deal of attention. The school has a community and equity commission to enhance the school’s diversity, and 24% of students represent diversity, in addition to the 10% of the student body that is international. The school fields 28 teams in 23 sports, and about 75% of students play on an athletic team. The school’s mission statement reads in part as follows: “Concord Academy engages its students in a community animated by a love of learning, enriched by a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, and guided by a covenant of common trust.” The school has had a chameleon as its mascot since its early days, and the literary magazine is called The Chameleon,while the school newspaper is called The Centipede.
Concord Academy’s famous alumnae and alumni include Caroline Kennedy, Drew Gilpin Faust, a Civil War historian who is the first woman President of Harvard University, Sebastian Junger, the author of the best-selling book The Perfect Storm, and Queen Noor of Jordan.