The PG Year: It’s Not Just For Boys

Did you think a PG year was just for boys? Think again!

Did you think a PG year was just for boys? Think again! More girls are taking advantage of the postgraduate opportunity offered by private schools than ever before. The postgraduate year, also known as a PG year, has only been an option for students for about 50 years, and was originally established for boys who were in the military. Today, this once male-dominated program, is becoming a popular option for girls needing that extra something to help them better succeed in college, and set their sights a little higher.

Here are 10 reasons to consider a PG year:

1. Personal Growth

For students who need another year to mature, gain more confidence, improve study skills and time management, or simply just adjust to life away from home, a postgraduate program can be the perfect stepping stone to college. Private schools, particularly boarding schools, offer PG programs similar to a college experience, but still provide structure to aid in the transition; structured independence, if you will.

Boarding schools provide rich cultural experiences for students, and can be an excellent alternative to a gap year between high school and college.

2. Cultural Experiences

Some students opt for a postgraduate year over a gap year between high school and college. A PG program offers students a chance to attend school in a new state, a new country, maybe even a new continent. One postgraduate attending Cheshire Academy starting in fall 2014 said she wanted to have a chance to explore a new culture, learn about America and perfect her English speaking skills. She studied in her home-country of Germany for high school and plans to return home for college, but wanted to experience something different for a year. The PG program at Cheshire Academy was the perfect way to enhance her educational experience.

3. Improve your English Speaking Skills (or another language)

Want to improve your English? or Italian, French, Spanish, German … you name it. The immersion experience of attending school in another country is an ideal way for you to improve your mastery of the language in a safe and supportive environment. Many schools in the USA even offer TOEFL prep to help you get ready for college applications.

4. Academic Growth

Is your GPA is too low to make it into your dream college? Maybe you have a strong 3.5 but really want to be more competitive amongst your peers and are shooting for a 3.9 or 4.0. Maybe you have a strong academic record, but never got a chance to take those arts courses and electives that you just couldn’t fit into your busy schedule. Whatever your goals are, participating in a postgraduate program can be the perfect way to diversify your transcript, increase your GPA and make your college applications even stronger.

5. Improve your SAT scores

Private schools like Cheshire Academy offer SAT prep courses to help students better understand the SAT and learn test-taking strategies that could help them improve their scores. Not to mention rigorous academics that will definitely help prepare students for the SAT.

6. Competitive athletics

Be a part of competitive athletics during a PG year at a private school. Cheshire Academy’s softball team has won the WNEPSGSA Class C Championship two years in a row!

Another year on a competitive high school athletic team, in the right high school, can help you improve your game, gain more experience on the field (or in the pool, on the track, or wherever your sport is played). Plus, it can help you get noticed by college coaches, increasing your chances of being recruited to a top college athletics program.

7. Perfect your art portfolio

Enrich your art portfolio for college by taking additional art classes during a PG year. Photo by Miura Wiley ’18, Digital Photography Class at Cheshire Academy

 Maybe you’re an accomplished pianist, an aspiring illustrator, the Ansel Adams of digital photography, or maybe you’re just curious about ceramics. Private schools offer myriad arts electives to help you improve your skills, stretch your creative muscles and build your art portfolio for college. At Cheshire Academy, PG students have the option to participate in the Arts Major program, which helps a student focus on their artistic strengths and prepare a competitive portfolio for college.

8. Gain Leadership Experience

How involved were you in high school? Were you a class officer, club president, sports team captain? No? Well, a postgraduate year can give you a second chance at taking on a leadership role in school and gives you a valuable opportunity to get involved in activities you may have missed out on during your typical four years of high school. Pick the right private school, and you just might find yourself ready to take the lead on the student newspaper, literary magazine, winter sports club or the varsity soccer team!

9. Get into a better college

Did you know that colleges like to see a postgraduate year? It shows initiative and a desire to improve and prepare for college. Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Cheshire Academy Kristen Mariotti, who used to work in college admission, said she always looked at a postgraduate year as a positive. “Often students who have completed a PG year are more prepared for college life, both academically and socially. They are ready for the level of independence that comes with attending college.”

10. Get HELP getting into a better college

One thing that private schools offer that is a huge help for high school students is a college counseling office. These dedicated professionals are here to guide students through the college admission process. Schools like Cheshire Academy boast professionals with more than 30 years experience in college counseling and college athletics recruiting, so you know you’re getting the best help possible, and it’s just part of the package!

A PG Year at Private School may be right for you
Want to learn more about the postgraduate program at 
Cheshire Academy? Visit us online for details, 
or apply online today!

Stacy Jagodowski

Ms. Jago joined the Cheshire Academy community in August 2013 as the director of strategic marketing and communications. Prior to coming to Cheshire Academy, she spent six years working in communications offices at both colleges and private school, as well as five years in admission at both boarding schools and day schools.

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