New Jersey is home to many amazing schools, which is why its public schools are consistently ranked among the top in the country for quality and safety. Recently, one Bergen County school was ranked as number one in the country by Niche.com: Bergen County Academies in Hackensack. Receiving an A+ grading in each category, including academic, diversity, teachers, college prep, clubs/activities, and health/safety, it’s no wonder BCA is also one of the hardest to get into, accepting around 15 percent of applicants.
Bergen County Academies offers academics plus professional courses for a well-rounded experience. It provides students with the chance to hone their skills and passions through their seven Academies, whether they be science and technology, business and finance, culinary arts and hospitality administration, engineering and design technology, medical science technology, computer science, or visual and performing arts. This focus, in addition to other electives, offers a diverse experience for students. The ultimate goal is helping students get accepted into top colleges and universities, and preparing students for overall success in college and beyond.
If you’re looking for this unique educational experience for your child, there are certain steps you can take during the application process, which opens in mid-October for two months, to give your child an advantage. Be sure to start the application process early in order to meet the December deadline, as there are a number of documents necessary for the application process.
Ann Ahn, Head Counselor at private learning academy MEK Review, formed a BCA test prep boot camp to prepare students for testing and interviews. “If you have a real interest in STEM, this is a great journey,” said Ahn. There are a number of things which the admissions department looks at during the application process, including the district size and number of applicants, a student’s 6th and 7th grade report card, standardized test scores and accolades.
For students who make it to the BCA interview process, which typically takes place in February, Ahn stresses that parents help students prepare their interview technique in advance: listen well and speak clearly and confidently. Most importantly, they should have a vested interest in the Academy they are applying to. “Any interview hesitations are usually overcome by interest,” says Ahn. “When they have time to talk about their interest they do well.”