Private School Application
Many families choose to enroll their children in private schools for various reasons but the most common of which is to better prepare them for college. Among the many benefits of private schools is the more advanced and rigorous curriculum which includes AP classes and the IB Diploma Program along with relevant extracurricular activities that will give them an advantage when it comes to college applications.
However, the private school application requires careful and strategic planning which can be daunting and confusing for some. The more prestigious and top-rated the school is, the more selective the admissions process can be. Our best advice to families who come to us is to start preparing early.
Having been in educational consultancy for nearly two decades, our admissions consultants know private school applications better than everybody else. Many families from around the world seek our help in private school admissions because of our track record of success. Our clientele has grown over the years to include even the most sophisticated families who demand the best because of their background and stature in society.
Our admissions consultants will work closely with you as you go through the private school admissions process. Here is a list of important things to keep in mind as you prepare for the application process:
- School List
Create a list of schools you are considering and research thoroughly. Learn about the curriculum, coursework, athletics, and extracurricular activities. Narrow down your list and choose only those that align with your family’s values and goals.
- Inquiry Form
Visit the school’s website and fill out the inquiry form. This is a way for you to let the school know that you are interested in applying and gather information about the application process.
- Open Houses and School Tours
Some schools offer virtual open houses and school tours due to the current pandemic but it is better to attend in-person events for you to get to know more about the school and have first-hand experience and feel of the school environment. You will also be able to observe how students and faculty behave and interact with one another.
- Admissions Interview
Almost all schools require applicants to attend admissions interviews and sometimes, family interviews as well. While this gives admissions officers the chance to know more about you, this is also a great opportunity for you to ask questions and gain a deeper understanding of what the school has to offer.
- Application Forms
Once you have decided that the school is a good fit for you, you may fill in the application form or create an account on the admissions portal to formalize your application. This is also where you will find the checklist of other requirements as well as the deadline for application.
- Student Essays \ Parent Statements
These are written responses to prompts or questions given by admissions officers. These provide insight into your child’s personality, interests, skills, and abilities. One will be from a parent’s perspective and the other a personal statement to show why your child is a good fit for the school.
Admissions officers are very interested in how well your child performed academically over the past years. You will be required to submit a transcript of records that will have a summary of grades and GPA that you need to request from the previous or current school.
- Letters of Recommendation
For middle, upper, and high school applications, letters of recommendation are required which you will have to request from teachers or other school officials. Submit requests early so they have enough time to look into your child’s records and write a meaningful letter of recommendation.
- Standardized Testing
Despite most schools going test-optional, they still accept scores of standardized tests such as ISEE, SSAT, or HSPT. We strongly suggest you enroll your child in a test prep class to achieve high scores that can make a difference in your application.
What should I look for in a private school?
When planning to enroll your child in a private school, identify your goals so you can make a shortlist of the schools that meet your criteria. Are you looking for a school that focuses more on academics or one that offers a variety of extracurricular activities? Are you looking for a robust athletics program? What location do you prefer? Are you looking for a day school or a boarding school? Our admissions consultants can help you choose the best fit school for your child. We know what it takes to get into top private schools and what admissions officers are looking for.
When should I start preparing for private school applications?
The earlier you prepare, the better your chances are of getting into the best private schools. Prepare at least one or two years before you are planning to apply to give you enough time to prepare and ensure that all requirements are complete. This time will give your child the chance to improve grades and prepare for standardized tests. We recommend tutoring for subjects that your child has difficulty with. We also have a test prep program to prepare for standardized tests like ISEE, SSAT, or HSPT. Our Program in Writing and Reading will develop reading comprehension and teach all the fundamentals of writing in preparation for the essays or Proctored Writing Sample that are required for admission. We will help you go through every step of the admissions process to lessen your stress and achieve favorable results.
How do I differentiate my child from the other applicants?
The most difficult part of the admissions process is differentiation. With many other aspiring applicants, it can be a very competitive process which is why early preparation is key. Grades and test scores will definitely add value to your application. However, admissions officers are looking for other things like extracurricular activities, leadership skills, other valuable skills and talents, and how your family can contribute to the school’s values. Our holistic approach to private school admissions will help you identify what matters most. We know how to make your child stand out among the rest because of our in-depth knowledge of the admissions process for the most prestigious schools.
Do I still need to take standardized tests if the school is test-optional?
Yes. We recommend that you still submit test scores because great scores might just be the differentiation you need to convince admissions officers that you are indeed the most eligible among the other applicants. If your child’s grades and GPA are not that good, high test scores can add more value to the application. Our ISEE practice tests, SSAT practice tests, and HSPT practice tests will equip you with the test-taking skills and techniques that you need to perform well in these standardized tests.