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Harvard-Westlake School

School rating 4 / 5 by

3700 Coldwater Canyon North Hollywood CA 91604 United States
7th to 12th


Harvard-Westlake School review by .

Harvard-Westlake School has exceptional math, science, and performing arts programs. As 250 students (out of an eventual class of 300) enter the school in seventh grade with strong math backgrounds, Harvard-Westlake offers rigorous math course loads that enable students to take high level Calculus classes and gives students the opportunity to take classes such as Linear Algebra and self-directed classes. The science program tailors The performing arts department has a host of courses that let students learn skills such as stage management, costume design, in addition to more standard offerings such as acting classes. Classes are kept under 20 in all subject areas. Faculty are very accessible and have weekly office hours where they encourage students to come and meet with them. The workload is intense, with each class requiring approximately four hours of homework a week. While exams are a major part of determining grades, students are given a lot of liberty in deciding what they want to write about in their term papers in the humanities and social sciences, and motivated to individualize their academic experiences.

College Counseling

The college counseling program at Harvard-Westlake is the biggest draw of the school. At the....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

The admissions test for Harvard-Westlake is the ISEEE. Typically, students at Harvard-Westlake perform very well....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

Students at Harvard-Westlake tend to be happy, however, constantly feel overwhelmed by the amount of school work they need to do. There is a need for students to balance their rigorous course load with athletic and extracurricular commitments. At the same time, there is the pretty explicit pressure to get into a top-tier college or university. There are no dorms/housing options for Harvard-Westlake students. There are school cafeterias at both campuses (7th to 9th grade and 10th to 12th grade). Students usually buy their lunches at the cafeteria. Food is reasonably priced, but, the menu is dominated by greasy, unhealthy....

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