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.
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Boarding School Visits 101
Visiting schools on your short list is very important. During your visit observe and ask questions.
Many parents feel that they know a boarding school because they have spent time on its web site. They 'liked' the school's Facebook page and are following it on Twitter. They also have watched all the YouTube videos the school has posted on its YouTube channel. They and their child are convinced that the school is a good fit for them and their requirements. So why bother actually hopping on a plane, renting a car, booking accommodation and taking all that time to go and visit the school? It goes without saying that you need to visit any school to which you are thinking of sending your child. The school will insist on it because they want to meet you in person whenever possible.
 
Your educational consultant may have given the schools glowing reports. Your great uncle has always spoken about his years at one of the schools on your short list with great fondness. In fact he has given generously to his alma mater. One of your colleagues in the Boston office has a daughter at another school on your short list. She apparently loves her school's equestrian program. But that's their opinion. You and your child need to set foot on each campus on your short list, scope each one out and use your own judgement about whether your child will be happy there for three or four years. Here is a list of things to look for and questions to ask.
 
Things To Look For and Check Out
 
The
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Using the Boarding Schools Admission Application Form
The Association of Boarding Schools has a common admissions application form which simplifies the admissions application process.
If you are thinking about a boarding school for your child, you will probably end up exploring the TABS site. The site has many useful features among them the Admission Application Form.
 

What's involved?
he Boarding Schools Admission Application aims to simplify the applications process. Back in the 90s, each member of TABS had its own application process and forms. As a result, if you applied to three schools, you had three completely different sets of applications to complete and submit. TABS identified the forms which most boarding schools commonly used. Thus was the Boarding Schools Admission Application Form created.

The manner in which individual boarding schools use the admission application package is up to them. The application package consists of the following forms:
  •     General Information
  •     Applicant Questionnaire
  •     English Teacher Recommendation Form
  •     Math Teacher Recommendation Form
  •     Head/Principal/Counselor Recommendation Form
Some boarding schools will use the entire set of forms. Others will just use the Recommendation Forms. And so on. Check with each school's admissions office to find out how they want their application prepared.

Whats next?
  • Download the forms. You can also view the forms online. They are all in Acrobat's PDF format which is viewable using the free Acrobat Reader.
  • Determine the forms for each school to which you are applying by contacting the admissions offices.
  • Determine the additional forms individual schools may require as part of their admissions application package.
  • Make a list of admissions applications deadlines.
  • Make a list of
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The Boarding School Application Process
Applying to boarding school requires completing a sheaf of forms. We look at how to accomplish this important task.

Back in the 80s when our daughters applied to boarding schools, the process was entirely paper driven. The schools sent us thick envelopes full of forms which we had to complete. Then we mailed the completed applications to the schools. Thirty-five years later, I am very pleased to report that most schools applications processes have gone digital. That makes things so much easier. These days there are essentially four ways to apply to boarding schools:

1. Complete the application forms which the school has on its website. 
2. Complete the common application which you can find on the SSAT website. 
3. Complete the common application which you can find on the TABS website.
4. Complete the paper application forms which you have either downloaded or received from the school.

Applications on Individual School Web Sites

If you are applying to just one or two schools, then it might make the most sense to simply go to those schools' websites and complete the applications right there. Many schools allow you to complete the main application form online. You will still have to download teacher recommendation forms and requests for school transcripts, as well as addressing and putting stamps on the envelopes required.

You can also pay the application fee online with your credit or debit card. But, if you choose to use the school's application forms, just remember that those forms are specific to that school. They cannot be used for applications to other schools. That's the basic difference between applying on a school

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Interview FAQs
Learn frequently asked questions about the boarding school interview process together with tips on how to make the most of your interview.
I wish that during the 15 years I worked in boarding school admissions,I had kept track of how many students I interviewed.  I imagine it’s a greater number than I would even guess.  I loved to interview students and have that time to really get to know them -- who they are, what they hope to do, what they are looking for, how they might fit in at my school, what they bring with them.  Sometimes, it was very clear to me that a student was nervous -- perhaps it was their first time in an interview situation.  So I would start with “Are you nervous?”  It’s amazing how identifying that fear could somehow easily dissipate it as well.  From there we were able to talk comfortably with one another and explore what we wanted to explore.Many of the students I work with in boarding school guidance have not interviewed before this point, which makes sense given their age.  I like to guide them beforehand with how they might be more prepared -- both in terms of what they might be asked in an interview and what they might ask, as well as how to make a good impression. What should I wear?

 I’m glad you asked!  This is one of the first things I ask my students who are planning their visits!  My general rule of thumb is to look neat and clean, and be comfortable.  I suggest not wearing jeans, but also not wearing a coat
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Is It Too Late?
Can you get your children into private school well after the admissions deadlines have passed? The answer is a guarded "Yes!"

Your husband has just called to say that he got the promotion. The increase in responsibilities and the money make the move exciting. But it's July. And you will be relocating across the country. What are you going to do about the children's schooling? They have just finished 8th and 10th grade in the local public schools which happen to be in a really fine disctrict. It's too late to apply to a private school, isn't it?

This scenario gets played out in thousands of households all over the globe. If your spouse works for a multi-national firm, chances are that he will have to spend some time abroad. It's also pretty certain that your children will have to move in the middle of an academic year. Business never seems to pay heed to school calendars. Business is business and has a mind of its own.

So, is it too late to get your children into a private school? Absolutely not. And, frankly, if you have any idea that future moves may be in the offing, you need to consider seriously settling your children into boarding school. The stability of boarding school will help insulate your children from the stress and strain of moving.

Admissions After the Deadlines

Truthfully you will probably not be able to get your children into one of the very selective, highly competitive boarding schools UNLESS you or your spouse went to one of those schools. It would certainly be a long

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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