Admissions

Boarding school admissions can be competitive. Our articles provide helpful resources to give your child a leg up on the admissions process. We’ll help you discover the best ways to apply, provide tips on staying organized, and explain why school visits are so important. Should you read your child’s admissions essay? Are test prep materials helpful? Why do I need recommendations? Find the answers to these questions and more here.
View the most popular articles in Admissions:
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International Students: Offsite And Virtual Visits
International students who want to attend an American boarding school face several additional steps in the admissions process. More here.
Many students from countries outside the United States want to attend American boarding schools. International students make up about 15% of the student population in American boarding schools, according to The Association of Boarding Schools.  It is important to know that international students applying to an American boarding school deal with several additional steps in the admissions process. Because many applicants live at great distances from the schools that they would like to visit, schools have come up with a variety of ways to let parents and potential students experience the school, its community, and its programs. If you live in Asia or Europe, for example, it is not always financially or logistically possible to visit schools in person. Furthermore, while the coronavirus pandemic is active in most of the world, international travel is problematic at best. So, what alternatives exist for those situations? Actually several. Off-campus, school visits come in a couple of flavors.
 
Admissions Staff Visits Overseas
 
Many boarding schools send their admissions staff overseas to major cities in countries where they have a substantial applicant pool. Ask for details of visits in your area. While you will have to rely on school videos and web presentations of school life and activities, at least you will have a live person to whom you can pose questions. If English is not your first language, this meeting with school officials will give you a deadline to meet. After all, you are planning to attend school in a country
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Admissions Checklist For Boarding School Applicants
Applying to boarding school is a long process with many parts to it. This checklist will help you organize the process and manage your time efficiently.

Selecting boarding schools which fit your needs and requirements takes a lot of time and effort. Once you have made your shortlist of schools, then you need to focus on the admissions process. The admissions process consists of testing, recommendations, the interview, financial aid, and making sure your child's admssions file is complete. Use this admissions checklist to keep you and your child on track. There are plenty of forms to fill out and a standardized admissions test to prepare for.

 

Testing

 

I have put admissions testing at the top of my checklist simply because it needs as much advance preparation as your child can give it. While standardized admissions tests are just one of several tools which the admissions professionals at each school will use to assess your child, they remain an important part of the assessment process. Most schools use the SSAT and ISEE. But there are other tests out there as well. 

 

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Marketing Your School: Filling Your Seats
No shortcuts exist to filling the seats in your private school. It requires savvy, effective marketing. More here.

I remember the anxiety very well, as though it were yesterday Senator Elliston Rahming had hired me to be the Deputy Director of a new private school he was starting from scratch. And I do mean from scratch. The budget for our first year would come entirely from tuition income. Period. Moreover, I was charged with making sure the seats were filled by the time we opened for business in September 1995.  Now, remember that back in the 90s the Internet was in its infancy. There was no social media to trumpet the opening of our new school. We only had the local press and word of mouth. Against that backdrop, let me pose some questions to heads of boarding schools, owners of boarding schools, and anybody interested in filling seats at their school.

1. My school's enrollment is declining. I can't afford a marketing professional. What should I do?

Saying that you can't afford a marketing professional is like saying you can't afford insurance. It's a must-have.  I understand that you are thinking that marketing is a major expense. Don't think of it that way. Think of marketing as a profit center. You see, when the marketing professional does her job, you will see results. If your budget is really tight, I suggest that you interview a recent college marketing graduate. Your giving her a job where she can prove how good she is will benefit both of you. Her accomplishments will shine in her resume. Your seats will be

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Admissions: What Do Schools Want?
We take a look at what schools look for.

What do boarding schools look for as they review your child's application for admission? Everything. Well, probably not everything. But the more items on a school's admissions' checklist which you can cross off, the better. Since your child will most likely be heading off to boarding school in 10th grade, start thinking about the things boarding schools look for by the time your child is in 6th grade. Back to everything. Truthfully, acceptance at a boarding school is not based on any one thing. The school looks at each applicant's profile in depth. Decisions to admit students are made by a committee. That means your child's profile must impress several people with their varying perspectives.

Now, let's get one very common sentiment out of the way before we proceed much further. Many parents want their child to go to Exeter or Andover. Those are great schools, but they are extremely competitive, with acceptance rates of 17% and 14% respectively. Indeed, approximately 30 boarding schools have acceptance rates of less than 30%. So, apply to an extremely competitive boarding school if you must. Just take the precaution of applying to several much less competitive schools. You can choose from over three hundred boarding schools with excellent programs, amenities, and reputations.  

Incidentally, compare that choice of schools with the educational opportunities available in your town or city. The best thing about boarding school is that you can match your needs and requirements for your child's education very

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Accommodated Testing as Part of the Private School Admission Process
Important information about testing before submitting applications to boarding schools.

Is Independent School Right for Your Child?

Although independent schools are not required and receive no government funding to accommodate and provide related services to students with specialized educational needs, many excellent independent schools both routinely and enthusiastically enroll children who require these types of accommodations. When considering your child’s education, do not count out private schools, anticipating they will be uncooperative or dismissive of your child’s needs.

Not all students with an identified disability or disabilities require high levels of intervention in the academic setting, and in fact, many students are able to persevere and experience success in spite of the learning obstacles presented by their disability or disabilities.

Parents should always remember that they are their student’s #1 advocates, replaced in this role only by their student as they begin to learn and understand their own exceptionalities and educational needs. Parents should not feel as though an independent school education is something they cannot pursue for their child simply because of a disability.

Standardized Testing: Its Importance and Value in Admission

The demands of the admission process for independent schooling can vary greatly from school to school, but it is safe to assume your student will need to sit for at least one form of standardized testing as part of any school’s application process. In recent years, standardized testing has come under scrutiny. With increased emphasis on the weight it carries when measuring student academic achievement and in academic decision making, educators and parents alike have questioned the need and value

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Admissions

Interviews and Visits

Boarding school visits are an integral part of the admissions process. Despite the rave reviews of friends, family and consultants, you and your child should scope out each school and use your own judgment to determine if he/she will be happy there. This section will help you compile a checklist of things to look for and questions to ask.

Admissions Overview

This section provides a glimpse into the boarding school admissions process. From how to apply to the 10 things you must not forget, our tips and resources can be a huge benefit to successfully navigating boarding school applications. Find answers to the most common questions, learn when it’s too late to apply and get familiar with the Boarding School Admission Application