How to Get Into St. Stephen’s Episcopal School | A Look Inside Admissions

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St. Stephen’s Episcopal School is a coeducational, college preparatory day and boarding school located in Austin, Texas for students in grades 6-12. The campus sits on a vast 370 acres of land with an elevation of 370 feet surrounded by picturesque topography and ecological diversity. The rustic feel of the surroundings is perfect for outdoor activities where students can explore or simply spend time for quiet meditation. It is a member of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas but is open to diverse religious practices and spiritual needs. Students from different religious denominations are accepted and their traditions and beliefs are honored and respected.  Its mission is to graduate students who are well-rounded and responsible citizens who are prepared to take on the challenges of the world.

What are admissions officers looking for? 

The application process for St. Stephen’s Episcopal, the top boarding school in Texas, is quite difficult. Admissions officers are seeking candidates who exhibit a solid academic record, are capable of taking on leadership roles, and will make positive contributions to the community. All aspects of the application, such as test results, interviews, letters of recommendation, and essays, are taken into consideration when making a decision. A student’s distinctive interests, abilities, personality, and character are also evaluated to see if they are a good fit for the school, in addition to other quantitative requirements. Overall, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School only accepts the best students, who they perceive will be successful in navigating its rigorous curriculum.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal School Admissions 

Applicants have the option to apply either from the school application portal, Gateway, or SSAT’s Standard Application (SAO). There will be instructions on how to create an account, receive communication, request and send application requirements, and access admission decisions. 

Here are the following steps to apply:

  1. Fill out the biographical information on the application.
  2. Answer the student questionnaire. 
  3. Write a 200-600 word essay in response to one of three prompts.
  4. Request recommendation letters from your current math teacher and your current English teacher.
  5. Parents should write a parent statement. 
  6. Upload copies of the final report card from the last school year and the most recent report card for the current school year. 
  7. Submit the latest SSAT or ISEE test scores.
  8. Schedule a campus visit. 
  9. Email or call the admissions office to schedule an in-person or Zoom interview. Parents and applicants are required to attend. 
  10. Keep track of the application through the online application checklist which can be found on the SchoolAdmin account.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal School Application 

Student Essay

All applicants must write an essay of between 200 and 600 words without adult supervision. Any one of the three questions or prompts that can be found on the application portal should be addressed in the essay. 

The admissions essay reveals more about your child to the admissions committee than grades and test results ever could. Your child will have the opportunity to stand out from other students with comparable academic credentials by submitting a well-written and compelling essay. Sharing interesting anecdotes that highlight your child’s uniqueness may improve your chances of admission. But how do you write an essay that has an impact? Through our Program in Writing and Reading (PWR), our educational consultants and writing tutors can assist your child in improving their reading and writing abilities so they can craft strong student essays.

Letters of Recommendation

Students need to submit the email addresses of recommenders, the current math and English teachers, and a coach or mentor. They will receive links to the recommendation forms that they have to complete and send online to the admissions office.

Recommendation letters will provide an in-depth perspective of your child’s personality in school as well as academic performance. They help put together your child’s profile and put the rest of your application in context. Teachers write dozens of recommendation letters a year, so the challenge is how to make yours stand out. As experts in private school admissions consulting, we have developed, improved, and mastered strategies that will help you gain strong letters of recommendation that will add more value to your child’s application.

Parent Statement

The parent statement is a crucial element of the admissions process since admissions officers want to know if you and your family are a good fit for St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. The content of your statement will reveal your child’s personality, attitude, habits, strengths, and areas of weakness. Additionally, they would be curious about the dynamics of your family. How helpful are you as parents in assisting your child’s success? What are the objectives of your family? Do you share the same ideals as the school? 

A well-written parent statement highlights your child’s strengths while also being engaging enough for admissions officers to read it from beginning to end. Because everyone enjoys reading stories, provide anecdotes rather than simply straight narratives when describing your child. Not sure which anecdotes to write? Let our admissions consultants help you because they know what St. Stephen’s Austin admissions officers are looking for.

Report Cards

Applicants are requested to upload a copy of their final (year-end) report card from the previous academic year as well as their most recent progress report or report card from the current academic year. At this time, copies of the report cards that were issued to the families in place of official transcripts from the school are acceptable. Uploads must be PDF files; they cannot be images or pictures of transcripts.

Admissions officers can learn about your child’s academic aptitude and potential for academic success at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School of Texas through their student transcripts or report cards. Because a student’s transcript may not always reflect their true abilities, particularly in light of the learning loss caused by COVID-19, our tutors provide one-on-one tutoring in a range of subjects to improve grades. Academic coaching is another service we provide if your child needs assistance with developing executive functioning skills. Our tutors and academic coaches support the growth of study, time management, note-taking, and test-taking abilities.

Standardized Testing

The SSAT or ISEE scores must be submitted by all applicants to St. Stephen’s Episcopal. Only the most recent test results from the time period prior to the application deadline will be taken into account. PSAT, SAT, or ACT scores may be submitted by applicants in grades 11 and 12. For help registering, international applicants should get in touch with the admissions office. Additionally, they could be required to submit their TOEFL or Duolingo English proficiency exam results. 

Results from standardized tests are just one of several things the admissions committee takes into account when reviewing applications. Test results show not only what your child already knows, but also how well-prepared they are to succeed in the demanding curriculum of their school. Test preparation is the secret to getting excellent marks. Our test prep covers SSAT practice tests, ISEE practice tests, SAT practice tests, and ACT practice tests.

Admissions Interview

An interview is required for both the parents and the student, with each meeting lasting about 30 minutes. Applicants may schedule an interview by sending an email to Students from Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong may visit this page for special instructions. 

 Never go to admissions interviews unprepared. No matter how good your child’s grades and test scores are, admissions officers will take an in-depth look into your child’s personality and take into consideration your family’s. They want to make sure that you are going to be a good fit for the St. Stephen’s School Austin community. Call us now to learn more about our interview preparation

St. Stephen’s Episcopal School Alumni

  • Chelsea Pezzola – professional golfer, Fox Sports host, Golf Channel personality, and founder/CEO of CLPezzola Media Group
  • Brittany Skoda – Global Head of Software Banking at Morgan Stanley
  • Janelle Coutts – Analytical Chemist at NASA
  • Ryan Roslansky – CEO of LinkedIn Corporation
  • Blake Mycoskie – entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of Tom’s Shoes
  • Ross Ohlendorf – a professional baseball pitcher, played in MLB for the NY Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals, and Texas Rangers
  • Jarrett Allen – professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA
  • Cecile Richards – President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 2006-2018, co-founder of Supermajority, a women’s political action group
  • Sarafina Nance – astrophysicist, TV show host of “Constellations on Seeker”, and author of astronomy books, “Little Leonardo’s Fascinating World of Astronomy” and “STARSTRUCK
  • Kate Lester Harrigan- Interim Rector at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

Campus Life at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

St. Stephen’s Episcopal School Academics

St. Stephen’s Episcopal School’s graduation requirements include earning all credits in English, Classical or Modern Languages, Fine Arts, History, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Science, Theology, and Fitness. Students must also complete 10 hours of Service Learning every year and have the opportunity to get involved in the Devil’s Canyon Adventure Program, where they spend the year caving, canoeing, mountain biking, and climbing while exploring the 370-acre campus.

St. Stephen’s Athletics

Cross country, field hockey, football, flag football, volleyball, basketball, soccer, swimming and diving, baseball, golf, lacrosse, tennis, track and field, cheerleading, dance, yoga, crew, and water polo are just a few of the numerous sports available at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. Varsity teams train and compete regionally. Aside from traditional sports, the Devil’s Canyon Wilderness Program offers outdoor recreation where students engage in hiking, mountain biking, caving, rock climbing, and canoeing.

St. Stephen’s Clubs and Organizations

With 50 clubs and organizations to choose from, students get to become involved in anything from Amnesty International Club to Improv Club to Quiz Bowl. St. Stephen’s Episcopal School also offered the Devil’s Canyon Adventure Program, which includes mountain biking, caving, and canoeing. Additionally, athletic students who wish to improve more are welcome to join St. Stephen’s Soccer Academy or Tennis Academy for individualized coaching and higher levels of play. 

St. Stephen’s Art-Music-Drama

St. Stephen’s Episcopal School has an extensive art department with Theater and Dance classes in advanced theater, technical theater, choreography, and dance, Music classes in the choir, guitar, jazz band, orchestra, and percussion, including the Madrigals Singers who are a chamber group of 15-20 Upper students who perform and tour in famous chapels and cathedrals in the UK, Puerto Rico, Canada, China, The Netherlands,  Germany, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Ireland, and various U.S. cities. Private lessons are also available in dance, guitar, piano, voice, strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. 

Did You Know?

St. Stephen’s was the first integrated boarding school in the South and the first coeducational Episcopal institution in the United States.

Client Testimonial

“My child worked with Cardinal Education for several months leading up to the St. Stephen’s Episcopal application deadline. The tutors and consultants provided invaluable guidance and support. Their expertise and commitment truly made the difference.”