School to accept more sophomore applicants

Patrick Ryan

The Office of Admission will accept as many as 20 new sophomores into the class of 2017 for next year, Director of Admission Elizabeth Gregory said Friday.

The school has enrolled 29 new students into the 10th grade class the past three years. This year’s ninth grade class is smaller than past years’, and the school tries to maintain the same overall enrollment at the upper school, which is 866 students this year. There is no maximum capacity for students at the upper school.

“When we can take more in for 10th grade, it really gives us a chance to increase the diversity of the upper school, which we love. The kids that we get for 10th grade are usually really wonderful,” Gregory said. “They are older, they are more mature [and] they know what they are getting themselves into by coming to a rigorous college prep school like Harvard-Westlake.”

The applicants are usually academically or athletically oriented students looking for more competitive sports programs or a greater challenge in academics than they are receiving at their current schools, she said.

The school typically receives 100 to 150 applicants for 10th grade, but Gregory said she hopes that number will increase. The school will host a coffee for students who have expressed interest in the school in January, where Gregory hopes to increase awareness that the school will be accepting more incoming sophomores. Gregory believes that applicants in the past have decided not to apply to the school since so few a number usually get into the school for 10th grade. The school tries to distribute financial aid evenly among the grades and last year’s applicant pool for ninth grade had a large number of applicants seeking financial aid. She hopes to give large amounts of financial aid to the new sophomore applicants.

The sophomore applicants will be notified of their admission decision starting in March, with a rolling admission following that.

“With 10th graders, sometimes they don’t know if they want to leave their schools until April or May. So we will probably still be taking kids until June 1,” Gregory said.