Using the Boarding Schools Admission Application Form

Using the Boarding Schools Admission Application Form
Navigate the complex path of applying to boarding schools with our comprehensive guide. From understanding each section of the Boarding Schools Admission application form to avoiding common mistakes, this article provides invaluable insights to help applicants succeed.

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?

The Boarding Schools Admission Application aims to simplify the application 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.

What's 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 you are applying to 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 application deadlines.
  • Make a list of financial aid application deadlines.
  • Schedule school visits over the summer of the year prior to planned admission. For example, if your child expects to start school in the fall of 2019, you must start the process in May or June of 2018. Don't leave school visits until November and December. Thanksgiving and Christmas are busy times at boarding schools. They are also times when the schools close for the holidays.

What about international students?

The application process is basically the same with the very important. Time-consuming addition of a U.S. Visa. Remember: you need to have an acceptance letter before you can apply for your visa. That leaves much to do in a short five-month space of time.

Don't forget admissions testing. This will be the SSAT or the ISEE. Add to that TOEFL if you live abroad and English is not your native language.

Need financial aid?

One more thing cannot be left to the last minute. Organize your paperwork and draft your PFS in the fall so you know how much financial aid you will need.

Common Mistakes

Avoid common pitfalls like:

  • Missing Deadlines: Mark your calendar with all relevant dates.
  • Incomplete Sections: Double-check that every required field is filled in.
  • Failure to Include Necessary Supporting Documents: Make a checklist of all required documents and ensure they are submitted.
  • Interview Process
  • If an interview is part of the admissions process, prepare by researching the school's values and practicing responses to common questions. Be yourself, and don’t be afraid to share what excites you about the school.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Honesty and integrity are paramount in the application process. Ensure that all information provided is accurate and complete.

Using Technology

Many schools now utilize online platforms for submission. Familiarize yourself with these platforms, and make sure to save and confirm your submission.

Accessibility and Accommodations

If you require any special accommodations in the application process, don’t hesitate to reach out to the school's admissions office to discuss your needs.


Applying to boarding school is a multifaceted process that requires careful planning, attention to detail, and authenticity. This guide provides a roadmap to help students and families navigate this important journey.

Questions? Contact us on Facebook. @boardingschoolreview

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