Gael Winds


College Admissions 2021 – January Update

Kennedy Catholic Prep continues to see elite acceptances amidst skyrocketing college applications.

SOMERS, N.Y. — Highly selective universities across the nation experienced droves of applications and plummeting acceptance rates. While the increased competitiveness in college admissions spelled trouble for many accomplished students, Kennedy Catholic seniors are once again reigning supreme.

The surge of applications can be traced to “test-optional” policies implemented in light of nationwide SAT and ACT cancellations. Hundreds of colleges waived their standardized testing requirements, allowing students to hide low scores or skip the tests altogether. Hoping to gain an advantage, thousands of students across the country applied without standardized testing. But when the college admissions dust settled, it became clear that scores were crucial: admit rates were generally 3-5% higher for students with testing. In many cases, over three-quarters of early acceptees submitted scores. Nevertheless, Kennedy Catholic Prep was prepared to seize the opportunity. 

Kennedy has consistently championed standardized testing initiatives, implementing a full-year PSAT program and guaranteeing SAT sittings for all current seniors––even during widespread cancellations. President Father Vaillancourt’s leadership on standardized testing truly allowed students to shine in front of admissions with stellar scores. Canceled out of testing during the summer, I was more than thankful to take Kennedy’s fall in-house SAT and score within the top 1% of nationwide SAT takers with a perfect score in math. Given the hard work our students put in during the school’s rigorous standardized testing preparation, it comes as no surprise that the school ranks among Horace Greeley and Scarsdale for the highest mean SAT score in Westchester County.

As for Kennedy’s admissions results, the seniors passed with flying colors. Kennedy Catholic Prep maintained its record-breaking 10-year streak of acceptances to the University of Notre Dame, with myself included in the honored legacy. Lynn Mendez’s full-scholarship to Vassar College and John McInerney’s scholarships to 7 schools were Kennedy Catholic Prep’s first signs of striking gold. Since then, students have been accepted to Fordham University, Indiana University, Manhattan College, Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Cortland, Siena College, St. John’s University, and the University of Miami. This year’s success is proving to be the most diverse collection of college acceptances in years, and one of the largest sums of scholarship dollars awarded in Kennedy Catholic Prep history.  

The Gael Winds Reporting Team will continue to provide updates as results are released.

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