Opportunities for Postgraduate Students

While Lawrenceville is a boarding school for 9th - 12th grade students, we have a long history of admitting postgraduate students each year. A postgraduate - or “PG” - is a student who graduates high school and opts to complete a fifth year before heading to college or university.

Students choose postgraduate years for a variety of reasons. Some are on the younger end of their grade and are looking for an extra year of intellectual, physical, and social maturation before college. Some have not benefited from the caliber of education Lawrenceville offers and hope a postgraduate year will prepare them for greater success in the college classroom. Some believe a postgraduate year will help them expand their athletic recruiting options by providing them with an extra year to showcase their talents and gain exposure. Some hope to improve their academic performances and seek to utilize extra time to boost grades and test scores. Some hope to expand their horizons by living in a different part of the world, meeting new people, and broadening their perspectives before making decisions about the future. The reasons for pursuing an extra year go on, but the “Lawrenceville experience” unfailingly remains a major factor in choosing to do a PG year here.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • How does the postgraduate application process work?

    A student applying for a postgraduate year can apply using one of two applications: 
    (1) The Gateway application used by applicants of all other grades.
    (2) Submitting a copy of the Common App being used for college applications. Note: if you choose this route, you will still need to submit Part One and the application fee through Gateway.

    Our application deadline is January 15, and we ask all interested students to complete applications by that date. That said, we understand that high school seniors discover and pursue postgraduate years at different times during the process, and have flexibility with this group.

    We release admissions decisions on March 10, and ask families to make enrollment decisions by April 10.
  • How do postgraduates fit into campus life at Lawrenceville?

    Postgraduates are fully integrated into our Fifth Form (12th Grade) and into the rest of campus life. They take the same courses, live in the same spaces, and compete for the same athletic teams. Postgraduates do not experience an alternative Lawrenceville. Instead, they often develop lifelong friendships with teammates, classmates, and housemates from around the U.S. and the world.
  • Where do postgraduates live?

    All postgraduate boys live in Upper House - it is our largest house on campus and houses the vast majority of our 12th grade boys - returning seniors and postgraduates alike. 

    Upper House is physically attached to Abbott Dining Room - a newly renovated, spacious dining facility for Fifth Form students only. Meals are consistent and convenient for postgraduates.

    Postgraduate girls likewise live with our other 12th grade girls, in one of two houses - McPherson and Reynolds. These houses sit next to one another, and are both conveniently situated next to Upper House and Abbott Dining Room.

    Most 12th grade students have single rooms, but there are several double rooms as well, and postgraduates may end up in either format.
  • Are postgraduates required to play sports?

    Many of the postgraduates who attend hope to create opportunities for themselves as college student-athletes, and sports factor prominently in their decision to attend Lawrenceville. That said, not all of our postgraduates are competitive athletes, and they are not required to compete in interscholastic athletics while here. We do require each student to participate in an athletic activity each season at Lawrenceville. Beyond interscholastic sports, students can choose from a host of activities that include strength and conditioning, performing arts, and other unique extracurriculars. We have had many postgraduates compete for multiple varsity sports teams and make significant impacts in multiple seasons. We encourage multi-sport athletes!
  • Since they have already graduated high school, what classes do postgraduates take at Lawrenceville?

    Like the rest of our Fifth Form (12th grade) students, our postgraduates have a college-style course catalog available to them, with many choices at their disposal. We operate on a trimester schedule at Lawrenceville, and Fifth Form students take five classes per term. Essentially, postgraduates will have about fifteen slots to fill with college-level electives. Typically, postgraduates use some of these slots to challenge themselves with “next-level”, advanced courses in disciplines they have already been pursuing - such as physics, Calculus, foreign language, etc. And, they will often use other slots on interesting subjects they have never studied - perhaps “Bioethics”, “Lincoln”, “From Freud to The Void”, or many other specialty courses. We do require them to satisfy a few subject distributions to ensure a well-rounded schedule, but offer many choices within each subject. Also, we ask them to take a Writing Seminar tailored for postgraduates, so they can shore up essay writing skills before heading to college. Postgraduates will not need to retake courses from high school, unless they have the desire to improve their performance in a certain subject.
  • How does Lawrenceville support postgraduates in the college process?

    As with every Fifth Former, we assign each postgrad a college counselor. We have a College Counseling Office with tremendous experience. Each of our counselors has experience as an admissions officer in higher education, and each will work hard to help any postgraduate student pursue their goals and make educated decisions about the best fits. Additionally, many of our athletic coaches play an active role in the college process, and serve as an added layer of support for postgraduates.
  • How many postgraduates attend Lawrenceville each year? Does the School have limitations?

    We do not set a quota for postgraduates, but typically enroll between 18 and 25 total postgraduates.

    Certain sports are subject to league regulations that cap the amount of postgraduates competing for each team. Please check with the appropriate coach for any questions about these maximums.

    Due to New Jersey and MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) rules, student-athletes who turn 19 years of age prior to September 1 cannot participate in competitions within those jurisdictions. Therefore, Lawrenceville rarely admits postgraduates who turn 19 before September 1.

Contact Information

Regretfully, we are not able to welcome visitors to campus until further notice.  If you have a specific question, please reach out to admission@lawrenceville.org or (609) 895-2030.
Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose.  Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.