Representing Boston’s Rich Tapestry
Since 1645, The Roxbury Latin School has been committed to helping prepare talented boys in the Greater Boston area to live meaningful lives of purpose. Drawing from the rich and diverse heritage of communities in the area, we strive to bring together a community of boys with a broad array of interests and talents—young people who have made a positive impact on the communities from which they come to us. We aim to find boys who will thrive in this diverse, supportive, and challenging environment, and who will also eagerly take advantage of everything that RL has to offer.
Because our admission process is completely need-blind (meaning during no part of the admission process do we consider a family’s ability to pay the school’s tuition), RL is among the most democratically assembled and socioeconomically diverse independent schools anywhere in the country. We are interested in a boy’s character, in his ability and willingness to work hard, and in the ways in which he will contribute meaningfully to our community.
What We Consider
RL’s admission process enables each boy to provide the Admission Committee with a comprehensive picture of himself. Consequently, our admission process doesn’t rely on a single aspect, such as a test score, but rather on a broad range of factors that allow us to identify the boys we choose to admit.
We value passionate learners willing to engage broadly and deeply across our program, as well as boys who exhibit an interest in and concern for others. Demonstrated performance inside and outside of the classroom is important, as is a boy’s positive contributions to the communities of which he is a part. Talent alone is not sufficient: We seek boys who also have personal qualities such as humility, selflessness, and kindness, in order to build the most inclusive and supportive community possible.
Our admission process is designed to identify and select a highly talented, diverse group of students—boys with high aspirations who want to do something meaningful with their lives. Roxbury Latin students come from different backgrounds with an equally wide range of opportunities. Your academic record is the most meaningful indication of your motivation and abilities. We pay close attention to the grades you’ve earned and how you’ve challenged yourself within your current school environment. Your graded essay also helps us contextualize your writing abilities and creativity. Boys who have demonstrated a keen interest in learning and challenging themselves are most likely to have a successful experience at Roxbury Latin.
We closely review your school counselor’s evaluation and your teachers’ recommendations. These recommendations are a window into your day-to-day performance in the classroom. Not only do they provide insight into your academic achievement, but they also help us learn important information about your drive, growth mindset, creativity, and passion for learning. We also want to learn how you collaborate with your peers and how you conduct yourself in the classroom.
When deciding who to ask to write your personal or supplemental recommendation, be sure to choose someone who can speak to your personal characteristics more broadly. It doesn’t have to be a teacher or someone from your school; rather, it should be someone who knows you well; can provide insight into your interests outside of the classroom and the depth to which you pursue them; and can speak to your personal qualities and character.
Standardized test scores add to our knowledge of your ability, but we don’t make decisions based simply on test scores alone. A standardized test result helps provide us with a sense of your academic preparation, rather than your long term academic success and potential. Each year we admit boys with a wide range of test scores, as our dedicated group of faculty are committed to working with every boy to help him meet his potential. Other factors, such as a boy’s perseverance and drive, are taken into consideration when evaluating the context of a set of test scores.
We ask boys applying to Grade 7 and Grade 8 to take the ISEE, and boys applying to Grades 9, 10, and 11 to take the SSAT. In addition, all boys will take a short aptitude test during their official campus visit.
Activities and Passions
Your interests outside of the classroom—including extracurricular accomplishments, community engagement, and other passions or hobbies—also play a very important role in the admission process. In addition to your contributions and talents in these areas, we consider leadership, motivation, passion, and perseverance, as well as concern and advocacy for others when making admission decisions.
Following a student-led campus tour, every boy and his parents/guardians meet with a member of our Admission Committee, which comprises nearly all of our teaching faculty. During this time together, we want to learn about your academic and extracurricular interests, as well who you are: Are you an extrovert or introvert? What is your sense of humor like? How do you collaborate or lead? These are a few things we want to learn about directly from you.
Parent and Student Questionnaires
The required admission questionnaires provide us not only with a comprehensive picture of your family, but also with a sense of your hopes and aspirations for your next school, as well as your family’s values and educational philosophy. Sharing an important life experience illustrates the growth you’ve experienced so far, along with your capacity for dealing with adversity.