After the Admissions Office made an effort to give more personal attention to the interests of prospective students during the 2010-2011 school year, Marlborough saw a 10% increase in applicants from last year, with the largest rise in applications for 9th Grade, and a 20% increase in yield over last year, indicating that more accepted students are choosing to matriculate, with 26 new girls enrolling in the Class of 2015 from an applicant pool of approximately 150.
According to Director of Admissions Jeanette Woo Chitjian, a combination of factors led to this year’s success.
“We changed our Open House program, allowing students a choice in the activities in which they participated. Also, we did school-based and neighborhood coffees for parents of 7th Grade applicants,” Woo Chitjian said. “However, more than anything, I think our students and parents are really proud to be associated with Marlborough and that word-of-mouth marketing is so valuable to any admissions effort.”
With such a sizable and capable pool of applicants, Woo Chitjian said that in addition to reviewing each prospective student’s Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) score and academic transcript, the Admissions Office must look at a student’s commitments, talents and personal interests.
“The girls that come to Marlborough in 7th Grade are strong academically and are exceptionally talented. Also, transfer students tend to be strong in both academics and extracurriculars. However, given the small number of openings for transfer students, the pool is exceptionally competitive, making the process more competitive and challenging for us admissions counselors,” Woo Chitjian said.
Because more accepted students than expected are choosing to attend Marlborough, the Class of 2014 and the Class of 2015 will both have over 100 students, stretching the recommended limit of 530 students under Marlborough’s Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and causing some scheduling issues as the administration struggles to maintain small class sizes.
According to Director of Finance and Operations Nick Hernandez, this influx of students is not currently a cause for concern, but if the pattern continues, it could threaten the CUP limit.
“We’ll have to make some adjustments in the future,” Hernandez said.
In an effort to ensure that English class sizes remain relatively small, the English Department recently hired Iyko Day at Mount Holyoke College to teach two additional sections of English this fall.
According to English instructor Chris Brinsley, having an English class with fewer students allows every student to participate in class discussion and fosters a more productive and intimate learning environment.
“[Having an additional English instructor] is great. It means there will still be enough individual attention given to each student,” Brinsley said.
While faculty and administrators tinker with logistics, students anticipate the arrival of new girls and reflect on their own transitions to Marlborough.
Elise ’14 attended Mayfield Junior School in Pasadena until 8th Grade. Though she applied to two other high schools, Burton said that she chose Marlborough for its strong academics and reputation.
“Once I got my Marlborough acceptance, I automatically knew that I was going to attend,” she said. However, Burton said that making the initial transition to Marlborough proved to be more challenging than deciding to attend.
“I knew no one in my grade, so I was constantly trying to make new friends and remember everyone’s name,” Elise said. “But after about the third week of school, I felt that I had adjusted both socially and academically to Marlborough.”
CeCe ’15 said that she is looking forward to meeting the new Violets and exposing them to what she called the “secret rule book” of Marlborough.
“We want to teach the new kids the things that teachers cannot tell them, like how to avoid the long lines at Café M, where to find the quiet places to study in the ARC, and where to put your bag so your books don’t get crushed,” CeCe said. “Basically, we want to teach them everything that we wish we would’ve known when we entered Marlborough.”
Julia ’15, the newly elected Middle School President, said that she will make a constant effort to integrate her new classmates into the social composition of the grade once she assumes her position this fall.
“Although my grade is very close to each other, we were all new girls once and know what it’s like to transition to a new school,” Julia said. “During the first week of school, I want to take a class trip to Larchmont or organize some games on the field to make sure that our new classmates feel at home.”