Quick Facts

The School

  • Serves 145 students in grades 9-12
  • 38 faculty members; 15 non-teaching staff members
  • 74% of teachers have an advanced degree. Highest degree held among teachers: 34% doctorate, 40% master’s, and 26% bachelor’s
  • 12 students per class on average
  • 5 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio and one-on-one advisory program

The Students

  • 50% boys and 50% girls
  • 32% students of color
  • Previous school: 54% independent, 39% public, 5% parochial, and 2% homeschool
  • Top hometowns: Boston, Newton, Cambridge, Arlington, Brookline, Sharon
  • Top colleges 2012-16: University of Chicago, Brown University, Haverford University, Tufts University, Harvard University, Brandeis University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Boston University, Carleton College, and Wesleyan University
  • Mean SAT scores for the Class of 2015 and 2016: 738 Critical Reading, 718 Writing, and 714 Math
  • National Merit Scholarship Program: in the classes of 2012-2016, 16% of students were recognized as Finalists, 20% as Semifinalists, and 43% as Commended Students.
  • Advanced Placement Scholars: since 2012, 28 students have been recognized as National Scholars, 111 as Scholars with Distinction, 42 as Scholars with Honor, and 53 as Scholars

Financial Information

  • 2016-17 tuition: $39,972 with additional fees of $1,578
  • 30% of students receive financial aid
  • Total financial aid granted: $1,148,218
  • Average financial aid package: $27,339

More About Us

Academic Honors: Commonwealth does not confer academic honors. There is no Cum Laude Society, nor are there book awards or prizes for each subject in any year.

Leadership: Commonwealth emphasizes collegiality over hierarchy. There are no department chairs, no class officers, and only a volunteer student government. The leadership in many clubs is shared or fluid.

Research: Using primary sources, students write three long research papers, one each in Ancient History, Medieval World History, and AP U.S. History.

Arts: Commonwealth has a strong commitment to the arts. Required to take one art course a year, 80% of students take two or more, even though they do not receive academic credit for these courses. Each class meets 2-3 periods a week all year long.

Projects: In each of their first three years, students design an intern experience for one week. In the spring of their senior year, students create a three-week long project. Students may instead participate in our two-week European or China exchanges.

Community Service: Students must complete 50 hours of community service; many go beyond that requirement.

Hancock: Twice a year the entire school travels to a camp in Maine. Here, leadership and collaborative opportunities abound. Some students are Day Heads, responsible for overseeing work and activities for the day. Other students serve as Head Cooks, planning a meal for 200 people and cooking and directing a crew of some dozen sous-chefs and waiters. Students also supervise and serve on clean-up crews.

Jobs: All but a few students serve once every two weeks on a crew that cleans up the kitchen and lunchroom after lunch, scrubbing pots, running sterilizers, cleaning surfaces, and mopping floors. Each year, twenty students are chosen to be head waiters. Their job is to supervise the clean-up crews. Students who don’t work on lunch crew are responsible for collecting paper throughout the school for recycling.

Sports and Fitness: Students must participate in a sport or fitness program in the fall and winter (optionally in the spring), three afternoons per week, generally for two hours (more for competitive sports). Fencing, Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, cross country, and basketball are our standard competitive sports. Yoga, running, fitness, ballroom dancing, sailing, squash, and dance are additional choices.

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