Walking around campus with their hosts on Wednesday, 20 prospective students from the Prep 9 program had the chance to experience a day in the life of an Andover student. Prep 9, a program under the Prep for Prep umbrella, prepares students for placement and future success at independent schools, according to the Prep for Prep website. The program targets students coming from public schools or low socioeconomic backgrounds who wish to attend a boarding school, according to Terrell Ivory, Assistant Dean of Admission. “The main reason why we have had a great relationship with Prep is [because] they are interested in recruiting the best and brightest students… which is similar to what Andover is looking for,” said Emilyn Sosa, Assistant Dean of Admission and Coordinator of Diversity Outreach. When the students visit campus, they partake in a two-day program organized by Andover. During the visit, Prep 9 students are assigned a host student and get the chance to stay overnight in their host student’s dorm. The students participate in classes with their host and have the opportunity to meet faculty members, as well as go on tours of the campus and have an interview, according to Sosa. Starting in the sixth and seventh grades, students who want to apply to boarding schools must complete a 14-month course to prepare them for success at independent schools, according to the Prep for Prep website. “While [the] program’s goal is placing high-achieving leaders in boarding school, arriving at the decision to go away to boarding schools is many times a process. Students and families buy into the program at different times, and Prep will work with them to understand boarding as an option,” wrote Sosa in an email to The Phillipian. Last year, 15 prospective students visited campus, and seven were accepted to Andover. “Not every student is the best fit for Andover. [Prep 9] does a good job of looking at their pool of students and helping us recruit the ones they think would fit in our community,” said Sosa. Nicole Rodriguez ’17, member of Prep 9 Contingent XXVI, visited campus for the first time in November 2012 to decide if Andover was the right fit for her. “My favorite part of my visit was going to the library with my brother during study hours. It all felt so natural to me, and I could see myself doing that for the next couple of years,” said Rodriguez. When students are accepted to Andover, they are assigned a coordinator from Prep 9 that works to support the students by checking in with them regularly to make sure they are enjoying their experience and doing well academically, Sosa said. “In the past, Prep students have performed very well and we want to continue our relationship with the program because we believe students [who come] through our doors are students who deserve to be here and have taken full advantage of the opportunity,” said Sosa. Along with Andover, Prep 9 is affiliated with Choate, Deerfield, Phillips Exeter Academy, Hill, Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville, Loomis Chaffee, Middlesex, Milton, St. Andrew’s, Taft, Groton and Tabor.