College Search has Chris Lynch ’04 Seeing Brown

The following article is the first part of an annual series that follows a particular Phillips Academy Senior throughout the college admissions process. A fixture in the Phillips Academy arts community since his Freshman year, Chris Lynch ’04 has learned to face the spotlight with confidence. Applying under the Early Decision program to Brown University, Lynch hopes that this attitude will deliver a thick envelope to him in December. By applying ED to Brown, Lynch will know his admission status by the end of the Fall trimester, months before the school announces regular admission decisions in March or April. If he “gets in,” he will commit himself to attending Brown and be prevented from applying to other schools. At first, Lynch struggled with this idea. Although he knew that Brown was his first choice, he was also attracted to the non-binding Early Action program available at other colleges, such as the University of Chicago. In the end, though, Lynch decided that the atmosphere at Brown would prove most compatible with his needs. “Brown seemed similar to Andover,” he said. “It’s a great school with great students and many opportunities.” Brown also appealed to Lynch because unlike most other Ivy League colleges, it does not require students to take classes in a core curriculum outside of their field of concentration. In addition, Lynch was also impressed by Brown’s 140-acre campus and its location in a self-contained, yet centrally located neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island. Lynch admits that applying to Brown is a bit of a stretch. Only 17 percent of applicants are accepted to the prestigious Ivy League institution–a statistic that places Brown among the most selective schools in the nation. Last year, a total of 19 PA students were accepted, with five of them receiving offers of admission through the ED program. “It’s definitely a stretch,” Lynch said. “But it’s a stretch I’m willing to strive for.” During his four years at the Academy, Lynch has maintained a 4.5 GPA and describes his SAT scores as “a little better than average.” Lynch has also played active roles in theater and music. He is a four-year member of the Symphony Orchestra and Amadeus as a viola player and has sung in the Cantata Choir for three years. He also founded The Yorkies, an all-male a capella group that practices in the men’s bathroom in GW, this year. First delving into Andover’s theater program as a Lower, Lynch has since held leading roles in several productions, including Boy Meets Girl, Shadow Box, and most recently, Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet). Lynch is also serving as a prefect in Draper for his second year in a row and hopes this role will give him an edge in the admissions process. “I think that being a prefect will help to set me apart from other applicants, but I didn’t become a prefect just for college,” he said. Good vibes from Lynch’s college counselor, Meagan Harlan, have encouraged Lynch about his chances at Brown, but if deferred or denied, he says that he would apply to a number of other colleges, including Wesleyan, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Chicago, and Tufts. Despite the anxiety that comes with applying to colleges, Lynch remains confident that he will find another school that meets his expectations even if he is not accepted to Brown. “No matter what, you’re going to get into college,” he said. “Anyone from this school will go to a good college.”