Admissions Matters: Common Questions

Updated   February 18, 2016 |
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 essay on a formal application

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Updated   September 05, 2017 |
The St. Grottlesex Schools
Generous financial aid and a commitment to diversity are hallmarks of the 21st century release of St. Grottlesex. More here.
There is, of course, no such school as St. Grottlesex. The name is a conflation of the names of five prestigious private schools four of which are affiliated with the Episcopal Church.  Middlesex is non-denominational. While these schools were founded more than 100 years ago, they have all moved with the times. Generous financial aid and a commitment to diversity are hallmarks of the 21st century release of St. Grottlesex. First-rate academics, superb athletic facilities and programs and an abundance of extracurricular activities complete the picture. 

 

 

"St. Paul's School is committed to educating the whole person and preparing students to make contributions to a changing and challenging world. The philosophy of St. Paul's School defines education as all of the structured experiences in which students participate: course work, athletics, activities, and our life together as a fully residential school. These opportunities involve valuable interaction between faculty, students, and staff."
 
Founded: 1856
Religious Affiliation: Episcopal
Head of School: Michael Hirschfeld
Endowment: $433 million
Grades: 9-12
School Type: Coed
Number of Students: 536
Number of AP Courses: 12
Percentage of Students of Color: 39%
 

St. Mark's School, Southborough, Massachusetts

 

"St. Mark's School educates young people for lives of leadership and service. Founded in 1865 as an intentionally small residential community, the School challenges its students to develop their particular analytic and creative capabilities by both inspiring their academic and spiritual curiosity and kindling their passion for discovery. We value cooperation over self-interest, and we encourage each person to explore
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Updated   April 10, 2015 |
5 Challenges Parents Face
How to handle five basic challenges involved in choosing a boarding school.
As your child enters middle school, you will probably begin to think more seriously about her high school and college plans. With that in mind let's take a look at some of the challenges we parents face. I admit that the whole subject is daunting, confusing and even intimidating. However, if you approach the project just like you do any other major project/decision, you will be able to stay out front. Playing catch up is never fun, so let's start our planning early so we understand what is involved.
 
Getting your child to buy into the idea
 
The first challenge is a basic one: you must get your child to buy into the idea of going away to school. Yes, you are her parent and you can make that decision yourself. Unfortunately making this kind of decision unilaterally will do more harm than good. The trick is to get her to think that going away to school is her idea.
 
How do you accomplish that?  By starting early. Begin the process of shaping her decision at least 3 to 4 years beforehand. If a member of your family currently attends boarding school, schedule a visit to see that relative while he is in school. The more comfortable your child feels with the idea of going off to boarding school, the happier she will be.
 
As she progresses through grades 7 and 8, begin to discuss the academic game plan for high school and beyond. Sometimes special considerations will make
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Updated   August 29, 2017 |
12 Boarding Schools Costing Less Than $20,000
Here then are a dozen boarding schools which charge approximately $20,000 per year or less for tuition, room and board.
 It sounds too good to be true, right? But it really is true. I found twelve boarding schools when I searched Boarding School Review using the simple search string  "least expensive schools" Our powerful search engine sorted the 315 boarding schools listed on our site by tuition. I then filtered out three schools, two were located in Canada and the other was a summer boarding school. 
 

Here then are a dozen boarding schools which charge approximately $20,000 per year or less for tuition, room and board. What impressed me was to discover one school on the list offered 30 Advanced Placement courses and another offered the prestigious International Baccalaureate program. Explore these schools and determine whether perhaps one or more suit your requirements.

Lustre Christian High School, Lustre, MT

School Type: Co-Ed
Grades offered: 9-12
Number of students: 40
Tuition: $9,000
International students: Yes
Academics: Bible, Math, Science, English, History, Computers, Physical Education, Journalism, Drama
AP courses: None.
In the school's words:  "It is a unique educational institution because it serves as both a Christian high school for the community and as a qualified Christian boarding school."
 

Mercyhurst Preparatory School, Erie, PA

School Type: Co-Ed
Grades offered: 9-12
Number of students: 620
Tuition: $7,600
International students: Yes
Academics:  15 IB courses. International Baccalaureate program.
In the school's words: "We strive for excellence in academic and co-curricular programs, we promote service to our local and global communities, and we foster the dedication and active support of the students, parents, faculty,staff, and alumni of the Mercyhurst community."

 

School Type: Co-Ed
Grades offered: 11-12
Number of students: 100
Tuition: $9,000
International students: No
Academics:
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Updated   May 24, 2016 |
An Overview of Paying for Boarding School
This hub is designed as a guide to the financial side of things as you explore boarding schools.

One of the first questions parents ask about sending their children to boarding school is how to pay for it.  Boarding schools charge from $25,000 to $65,000 a year. That is a lot of money for most of us. Since I am not Boston Kennedy but rather a poor Scots-Canadian, I remember well confronting that reality when we were investigating schools for our daughters. With that experience very much in mind, I have created this  hub as a guide to the financial side of things as you explore boarding schools.

How Do They Pay for It? examines the answers to a question one of my young employees asked me when he discovered that many boarding schools cost significantly more than what he made in a year. He didn't realize that most private schools offer financial aid.

Financial Aid 101 explains how financial aid in private schools works. Private schools give families millions of dollars annually to help them afford a private school education. Even families who have incomes in the $150,000-$250,000 range can be eligible for financial assistance depending on their financial situation.  

Paying for Private School introduces you to the several payment options available to you. The important concept to understand here is that if you need financial assistance to send your child to boarding school, ask about it at every school on your short list. Always ask.

Making the Financial Aid Process Work for You walks you through

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