Individual excellence takes center stage at The Pennington School, located ten miles from downtown Princeton. For 175 years this coeducational day and boarding school has demonstrated its dedication to student potential and maintains its belief today in “360 degrees of personal and academic growth” in its student body. At Pennington, every experience is an opportunity to learn and students don graduation caps with confidence in their professional, personal, and academic futures.
Students and Faculty
With a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1, classes are intimate at Pennington, averaging thirteen students per class. This, however, reflects the School’s emphasis on faculty-student relationships, which are central to the learning experience. Half of the ninety-two faculty members at Pennington live on campus and are available to assist students outside of classroom hours.
The Pennington School’s faculty “are scholars who care about integrity, critical thinking, and the pursuit of knowledge.” Indeed, half of the faculty members have advanced degrees and most have, on average, eighteen years of experience in their specific field.
Academic Life and Resources
Every student at Pennington receives an iPad, the cost of which is included in tuition. The Meckler Library boasts a collection of over 13,000 volumes, quiet study spaces, and an iMac computer lab. Students have access to numerous research resources, including LibGuides and other subscription research databases.
Students also adhere to an Honor Code, keeping in line with Pennington’s values of Honor, Humility, and Virtue.
Pennington offers numerous accommodations and resources for students of all learning ability. The Edmund V. Cervone Center for Learning provides academic support for students who have language-based learning disabilities, and helps these student “take advantage of the rigorous curriculum” at Pennington and build strengths. The Writing Center provides students with assistance in writing and communication skills within any curriculum, through workshops, drop-in hours, and individual conferences.
The two-year Global Studies Certificate Program permits students to pursue interdisciplinary interests that will synthesize “issues of global significance.” Students take six credits of Global Studies courses, and engage in a Global Experience and Global Horizon Project.
Lastly, the Senior Year Internship Horizon Program presents a unique opportunity for students to cultivate and develop a personal passion or interest. Students engineer their projects and work with mentors in their selected field; their efforts are supported by a faculty-led seminar which invites reflection on skill-sets and experience.
Arts and Athletics
Pennington adheres to a philosophy of arts that “connects students to humanity through hands-on projects that require inquiry, curiosity, correlation, response, and analysis.” Through extracurricular activities and classes, students can acquire professional skills in drama, music, and visual arts. The Center for the Arts, located in the Campus Center, houses a Black Box theater, the Silva Gallery of Art, art, set design, and video production studios, a rehearsal and practice rooms, photography darkroom, and stages.
The School encourages its students to pursue competitive athletics in basketball, ice hockey, swimming, track, cheerleading, cross country, field hockey, soccer, football, tennis, water polo, baseball, lacrosse, golf, and softball. The Acquatics Program provides students with access to a swimming pool at the Martin Aquatic Center for swimming lessons and lap-swimming. Club Sports is an after-school recreational sports program that is less competitive than team sports, and includes such sports as badminton, ultimate Frisbee, and obstacle course challenges.
In addition to arts and athletics, students have an endless supply of weekend activities, clubs, and community service and leadership opportunities to supplement their educational experience at Pennington. The School is also committed to its student body’s diversity and spiritual life, and offers pastoral care and chapel services.
At Pennington, students begin their college preparation during their freshman year; guidance becomes more tailored and focused as they proceed into their junior year. The College Guidance program assists students with their college search via seminars and information sessions, individual meetings, parent programs, college visits, and advice on interviewing and application essay writing. Pennington is offering a West Coast College Spring Break 2016 Visit for students in the classes of 2017 and 2018.
The School offers an extensive Honors and Advanced Placement curriculum, including but not limited to Pre-Calculus, Organic Chemistry, Physics, U.S. History, German III and IV, and Latin III and IV (Honors); and English Literature and Composition, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Government and Politics, European History; Statistics, Calculus AB and BC, Art Portfolio, Music Theory, Computer Science A. (Advanced Placement)
The Class of 2015 graduated with college placement at 60 institutions nationwide, most top-tier schools.
Financial Aid and Tuition
Middle School Day students pay $32,900 annually for enrollment at Pennington, while Upper School Day students pay $34,600. The supplemental fee for boarding students is $16,800.
The Pennington School also offers several learning supplements: Center for Learning Supplement ($19,250), Communication Skills Supplement ($15,300); ESL Supplement ($3,000/class); and Academic/Math Skills Tutorial Supplement ($2,200 per semester).
On its website, the School emphasizes that its financial aid budget “helps bridge the gap between what families can afford and the cost of attending The Pennington School,” and that financial burden should not stand in the way of a student’s success at Pennington. A family’s need for aid is determined through TADS computations, tax returns, and other committee guidelines.
The School also declares that “financial aid is not guaranteed to all qualified applicants” due to “limited funds.”
Students interested in committing to the unique Pennington Experience are invited to apply and schedule a tour of campus and applicant interview. Applications for middle school students differs slightly from applications for upper school students, but generally applications consist of a candidate profile, fee, parent and student questionnaire, academic and principal recommendations, and transcripts. Upper school applicants are required to submit SSAT scores.
For both middle and upper school applicants, the domestic application deadline is February 1, 2016; the international application deadline is January 15, 2016.
In 2015, the Pennington School received 583 new student applications and admitted 116 of these.
Like What You Read? Learn About the Other Private Schools in the Princeton Area
Check out the other posts in this series:
- In-depth school profile: The Lawrenceville School
- In-depth school profile: The Hun School
- In-depth school profile: The Peddie School
- In-depth school profile: The Stuart Country Day School
- In-depth school profile & Application advice: The Wilberforce School
You may also be interested in a related series about student perspectives: