Applying to a private school is a process. Try to begin your private school search more than a year in advance of when you actually want to enroll.This will give you enough time to thoroughly research schools and arrive at well-informed decisions about where to apply.This also helps ensure that you have enough time to take care of all the details. Excluding the school visits you are looking at a project which will require more than 100 hours of your time.
If you're a little out-of-sync with the timeline below, not to worry! This is only a rough guideline. While application and testing deadlines are key dates you'll need to follow, families differ in how long they need to explore and evaluate schools.
If you are starting the process late in the game or need help with particular parts of the process, seek the professional advice of an educational consultant
- Begin with a self assessment.
- List the academic, athletic and extracurricular opportunities you seek.
- List any academic or athletic goals you wish to achieve in high school.
- Research a wide-range of private schools.
- Review your initial list with your educational consultant.
- Create a list of 10-20 private schools to explore further.
- Divide this list into 3 groups of schools:
- Schools where you know you can get accepted
- Schools which are competitive
- Schools which are very competitive and will be a reach for you
- Request information from these schools.
|July - August
- Narrow down your list of schools considering
- Day or boarding and the distance factor
- How competitive the school is
- Religion, sports, arts and special needs
- Schedule visits and interviews for your short-list of schools
- Wherever possible, visit schools. You need to see what it is really like.
- Avoid peak travel times and busy times at the schools.
|September - October
- Begin school visits and interviews.
- Check with schools to see what standardized testing is required.
- Register for SSAT, ISEE and TOEFL if English is your second language.
- Arrange for test preparation as necessary.
- Begin gathering teacher references
- Take standardized tests
- Wrap-up school visits and interviews
- Begin drafting essays
- Begin your applications
- Make sure teacher references have been submitted
- Complete essays
- Complete applications
- Begin financial aid forms
- Review each school's file for completeness
|January - February
- Complete financial aid forms
- Submit school applications and financial aid forms.
- Stick to the deadlines: mid-January to early February.
- Notify schools of your decision
- Send deposit check