Stand Out in Stevenson Admissions: An Expert’s Guide

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Stevenson School is a prestigious independent co-educational boarding and day school. The Carmel Campus supports the local community children in PK-8. They then move on to the Pebble Beach Campus for Grades 9-12 where they join new students from other states and over 20 countries across the globe. Both campuses are surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Monterey Peninsula. 

The Stevenson curriculum is designed to ensure that students leave high school with a solid foundation in the full range of academic and intellectual abilities, a command of complex material across all subject areas, and a clear understanding of how to conduct themselves in a scholarly manner. They are also taught to develop the self-assurance, curiosity, and experience they need to assume even greater responsibility once they are enrolled in college.

Is it Hard to Get Into Stevenson School? 

Due to its reputation as one of the best boarding schools in California, many families are looking forward to getting their children into Steven School Pebble Beach. Earning a spot is challenging because admissions officers are very selective. Prospective students have to effectively differentiate themselves from other applicants. Many deciding factors will be considered in the selection process and some will have to take a long time to build.

Cardinal Education offers individualized and holistic private school admissions consulting. Our expert educational consultants and tutors guide students toward a strong and remarkable student profile and equip them with essential skills to overcome academic challenges.

Stevenson School Admissions

To get into Steveson, all applicants must create an account in the admissions portal and use the Standard Application Online (SAO). Once you have created an account, you will be able to upload multimedia links and required documents, as well as recommendations and transcript requests. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Fill out the Inquiry Form
  2. Schedule an interview
  3. Complete the Application Form
  4. Request transcripts
  5. Delegate letters of recommendation
  6. Complete the parent and student statements
  7. Take an English proficiency exam – TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo (for non-native English speakers)

Complete a Vericant interview (for applicants residing in or attending school in mainland China)

Stevenson School Application

Recommendation Letters

Upper school applicants must submit letters of recommendation from the current teachers in math and English, as well as from the principal or guidance counselor. Personal recommendations are optional, but may also be asked from a coach, mentor, supervisor, or any significant adult. 

Recommendation letters are one way to provide insight into your child’s academic and personal qualities that cannot be determined from transcripts and test scores alone. Admissions officers consider teachers as reliable sources of information because they have observed and worked with your child over an extended period. Our admissions consultants have developed strategies to make sure your child stands and is noticed by teachers, so when they write recommendation letters, they will have something positive to write about.


Applicants are required to submit transcripts from the previous academic years and the current first semester. Along with the grades, all scores from completed standardized tests should also be provided by the registrar.

If your child doesn’t have good grades, our tutors can help. We offer a wide range of one-on-one tutoring services, both in-person and online across different subjects. We also offer academic coaching that teaches students organizational skills, study skills, test-taking skills, time management, and note-taking skills.

Admissions Interview

The interview takes place during the campus visit which happens during the weekdays when classes are in session. Off-campus interviews and Skype interviews may also be arranged for students who are unable to visit the Stevenson campus. You may contact the admissions office to schedule. 

Admissions officers will assess if you are a great fit for the Stevenson community. Make sure you excel! If you cannot articulate your answers well or do not know how to answer the questions, our admissions consultants can guide you through the interview preparation. We know the interview questions and practice with you through mock interviews.

Personal Statement/Essay

To get into Stevenson School, all applicants must submit an admissions essay that adheres to a word limit. The content should be authentic, compelling, and personal. If your child is not a strong writer, we suggest that you check our Program in Writing and Reading. Our writing tutors are experts in essay writing and will teach your child writing techniques that will be useful not only during the admissions process but also throughout their academic careers.

Stevenson School Notable Alumni

Stevenson graduates pursued different careers and became successful in their own respective fields. Some of its notable alumni include

  • Andrew Rosen – co-founder and CEO of fashion firm Theory, Inc. in New York
  • Bobby Clampett – television golf analyst and former professional golfer 
  • Andrew Firestone – TV personality, businessman, and great-grandson of Harvey S. Firestone of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
  • Paul Dini – screenwriter and comic creator for Warner Bros. and DC Comics
  • Heather Pease –  Olympic gold medalist in synchronized swimming
  • Adam Kokesh – served in the Iraq War in 2004 and became a libertarian political activist
  • Alexander Wang – prominent fashion designer known for his urban designs
  • Marie Mutsuki Mockett – novelist and memoirist known for her novel, Picking Bones, and memoir, Where the Dead Pause
  • Rachel Luba – sports agent and owner of Luba Sports, a sports agency based in Washington
  • Kristoffer Polaha – actor and author known for his roles in North Shore, Wonder Woman, and Jurassic World Dominion

Life at Stevenson

Beyond the four corners of its classrooms, Stevenson provides students with robust opportunities to form lifelong connections and lasting memories. As students explore their areas of interest, students at Stevenson are empowered to work collaboratively and lead to making a positive difference in the world around them. There are several co-curricular programs to foster the development of students in an authentic and empowering environment. This includes seasonal community events, retreats for grade 9 students, Sophomore Wilderness Expedition, and many others.

Stevenson Academics

A Stevenson education is known for its balance of tradition and innovation. The upper-division students are offered challenging academic programs in World Languages, Mathematics, History, Science, English, and the Visual and Performing Arts. There are a variety of year-long courses, unique one-semester electives, Honors, and Advanced Placement courses as well. With an average class size of 10 and more than 500 students, Stevenson has a student-to-teacher ratio of 10:1. 

Stevenson Athletics

Stevenson’s athletics traditions are defined by dedication, hard work, and success. The experience is structured and top-quality, from which students cultivate a sense of integrity and responsibility to work collaboratively. The school views athletics as a pleasure and, at the same time, a discipline. Through this approach, Stevenson competes for league titles and advances in postseason play. This summer, students interested in boys and girls basketball, diving, tennis, boys and girls lacrosse, water polo, field hockey, girls volleyball, and coed soccer are encouraged to join the Summer Sports Camps.

Stevenson Activities

Students at Stevenson Upper School get to enjoy a variety of co-curricular programs where they can make lifelong friends, cultivate collaboration and leadership skills, and contribute to the dynamic and fun Stevenson community. Aside from athletics, there are student-run publications such as The Tusitala—the school newspaper, Vailima—a literary magazine, and The Spyglass—the school yearbook. Students are also encouraged to get involved in student government, clubs, affinity groups, performing arts, KSPB 91.9 FM, and a lot more. The school also allows students to create groups, clubs, or organizations if they would like to.

Stevenson Arts

Stevenson Upper School fosters a values-driven community influenced by the exquisite natural beauty, ecological biodiversity, and reflective culture of the Central Coast of California. The school’s performing artists are provided with numerous opportunities to showcase their talents in Keck Auditorium, the Little Theater, the Treasure Room, and on Rosen Stage. Every year, Stevenson mounts three main stage theater productions, one of which is a musical, a spring dance recital, two music concerts, coffee houses or open mic events, and Keckstock—the famous student music festival.

Did You Know?

There are six dormitories for boarding students from 23 different countries.

Client Testimonial

“As a foreign student, I am glad to be part of the Stevenson School community and Cardinal Education has made it possible. The consultants were very patient and motivated me throughout the admissions process.”

Grade 9 student