May 30, 2019

Looking back on admission success; looking ahead to shifting leadership

Jim Ventre ’79 and Jill Thompson will assume new interim roles beginning July 1 through the next academic year
by Tracy Sweet

Reflecting on the 2019 admission season, Jim Ventre ’79, assistant head of school for admission and financial aid, saw another year of high demand for an Andover education. He cited a number of factors, including a record 3,191 applications from 50 states and 92 countries.

“The quality of the applicant pool was among the strongest we have seen,” he said.

The admission rate held steady at 13 percent, while 83 percent of those who were admitted chose to enroll. The school’s yield has remained at 80 percent or above for eight consecutive years.

Jill Thompson, director of admission, added that Andover’s strategic outreach across the United States and abroad coupled with a need-blind admission policy and generous financial aid also contributed to a successful year. With this incoming class, the student body will represent 44 states and 49 countries. Forty-seven percent of all students will receive financial aid, while 15 percent will receive full scholarship support.

Andover is the only secondary boarding school in the country to have maintained need-blind admission since 2008. The policy removes financial need as an obstacle to admission and is based entirely on scholarships, the majority of which are funded by philanthropy.

The academic rigor, depth of talent, and diversity of experience among these students was incredibly impressive.

Jim Ventre ’79 assistant head of school for admission and financial aid

Jim Ventre

As Andover prepares to welcome approximately 1,150 new and returning students, both Ventre and Thompson will assume new interim roles beginning July 1 through the next academic year. Ventre will become interim head of school, coinciding with the search to replace John Palfrey P’21,’23, who is leaving Andover this summer to become president of the MacArthur Foundation. Thompson will become interim dean of admission and financial aid.

Both Ventre and Thompson will return to their respective roles in the Office of Admission once Palfrey’s successor is on board.

Jill Thompson

As interim dean, Thompson will draw upon her institutional knowledge and expertise in student recruitment and enrollment management. A graduate of Bowdoin College with a master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education, Thompson came to Andover in 2004 as a teaching fellow. She joined the admission office in 2005, and has served in several roles on the team, becoming director of admission in 2015. Living on campus with her family, she is also a house counselor and academic advisor.

Ventre looks forward to a smooth transition this summer, as he works to advance the school’s highest strategic priorities and support Thompson’s leadership of the admission enterprise. “Jill is an incredibly talented and versatile colleague,” he said. “I have great confidence in her ability to guide our team and prospective families through another successful year.”

Categories: Admission

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