Some Facts about TJ Education & Its Effects on Your College Prospects- TJ has a few phenomenal teachers- teachers who can have life-long impact on you. Unfortunately, TJ has some teachers who don't really teach; these teachers may give you videos to watch and homework/handouts and expect you to learn yourself. This is less of a teaching than I personally received at Stanford as a graduate student. It is not necessarily bad but something you should know ahead of time. You should also know that the presence of such teachers is not unique to TJ. You should be aware that even with straight A with many AP courses at TJ, it may not be possible for you to get accepted to Ivy League schools. The college acceptance outcome with the same academic performance will be quite different if you were in your home high school or a mediocre or a top notch private school. Over the years, I have seen 20-30% students graduating from TJ to go on to UVA or William & Mary (excellent schools, indeed), however, not Ivy Leagues. The point I wish to make is getting into TJ is just the beginning. To make the best of TJ education, your goal should be to try to do your best in everything you do- academic and extracurricular (sports, math teams, Intel STS, science fairs, etc.). Your goal should be to distinguish yourself by being the among the best in your class. If you are committed to this goal, without a doubt, TJ will provide you an excellent opportunity to make the best of your high school years.
Each year since 2002, I have seen one or two very bright students (with straight A's and 95th percentile or higher TJ test scores) rejected. The reasons for rejection included: "The essay did not show an interest in math and science," or "The personal statement was not strong enough," etc. It is important to remember that these explanations are unquantifiable and subjective.
Next, I would like you to know that a handful of these students who were turned down by TJ go on to attend TJ as transfer students.
I can also think of many students who, despite being rejected from TJ, did well at other high schools and went on to attend colleges such as William & Mary, Princeton, the University of Virginia, and Caltech.
Advantages of a TJ Education
A key benefit of attending TJ is the fact that nearly all of your peers will be diligent and motivated to excel. Another advantage of a TJ education is its excellent technological labs and facilities.
If you apply yourself diligently, take challenging courses, participate in extracurricular activities, and maintain a relatively high GPA, then you will be able to convey to any college that you made good use of the resources and facilities TJ provided you.