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.
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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
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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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Learning about a school from its website and social media pages is useful as you decide which school to choose. So is hearing what the school's alumni say about their alma mater.
The typical three-month-long summer break gives juniors and seniors a great opportunity to explore a variety of situations and options.
Your graduates can do everything on their smartphones with one click. An alumni relations app will allow them to click a gift to their alma mater. More here.