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
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
- 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 financial aid
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
Your husband has just called to say that he got the promotion. The increase in responsibilities and 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 district. 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.
This video discusses dealing with missed deadlines.
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
As you begin the process of selecting a boarding school for your child, keep the following ten items in mind.
1. Submit your application before the deadline.
Waiting until the last minute to submit an application is never a good idea. Make sure your child's admissions folder is completed well before the admissions deadline. Admissions staff are intrinsically well-organized and detailed-oriented. They will appreciate the care and concern which you have shown to complete the file as soon as you can. After all, they can only begin their review process once the file is complete. If a school does not have a fixed admissions deadline but instead uses rolling admissions, the same rules of the road apply. Submit your application and all the supporting materials as soon as possible.
2. Give recommendation forms to your child's teachers early.
Don't hand the teacher recommendation forms to the teachers the week before they are due. That's discourteous, to say the least. Don't forget to put a stamp on all the return envelopes. Teachers will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Recommendation forms take time and care to complete. Give your child's teachers as much time as you possibly can to accomplish this task.
While this video pertains to the college admissions process, the information it contains is relevant to private school admissions.
3. Schedule testing a month or more before the deadlines.
While you can schedule testing at the last minute and