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:
Updated |
Admissions Matters: Common Questions
Are you wondering about last minute admissions? Why do you have to visit schools? Answers to these and several more questions here.

We parents are always full of questions about boarding schools. We are aware of residential schools, but we are not familiar with how they operate. We also want to find out how to apply to boarding school and whether we are eligible for financial aid. Here then are my thoughts about some of the more common questions I receive.

Should I read my child's admissions essay?
 
Like a good attorney would answer, "It depends." I am a firm believer in not writing your child's admissions essay. Reading it is another matter. By the way, the admissions essay is the exercise which appears as part of the application. Typically you will see an instruction requiring the candidate to write answers in her hand. The essay must also be her original work. Madeira's essay form gives you a good idea of what is required.


 
Take time to explain to your child that what she writes and how she presents her ideas add up to a very powerful impression on the school's admissions' staff. Unlike a test or examination, there are no time limits when she writes her essay. She can even do a rough draft if she likes and then make a fair copy, as the English say. That way the content not only represents her best effort but the presentation shows her at her best. She wouldn't turn up for the interview wearing grungy clothes, would she? Therefore, she shouldn't submit an

. . .read more
Updated |
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 shortlist 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 shortlist. 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 shortlist, scope each one out and use your own judgment 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 dorm rooms
 
Given that
. . .read more
Updated |
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
. . .read more
Updated |
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

. . .read more
Updated |
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 and  tie or
. . .read more
View Pages:<<Prev  1 2 3  Next>>
Recent Articles
Do you like large schools or small schools? Are you most comfortable in a city, small town or countryside? Are you interested in attending a school that has a religious or military orientation? Would you like to attend a school that is only for boys or girls? These are some questions you must ask yourself before you begin your search for the right U.S. boarding school for you.
Financing a boarding school education can be very confusing for many parents. Here are some strategies to help you understand your options.
Sending our children off to boarding school in the fall of 2020 raises questions about their safety and other corona virus issues. We address some of your concerns here.
Featured Schools
Featured Schools
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