January 14, 2013
No, this is not an article about poker. But the reality is that getting your child into private school requires a similar mindset. You must play the hand which you have been dealt. The admissions staff will review the facts. Not the "might have beens". Or "wish they were's". As you prepare your child's applications for private school, pay attention to the area listed below. If you are just starting to think about private school as an option, then focus on these four areas of your child's profile with the goal of presenting her in the best possible light when it comes time apply to private school.
Since the school needs to know whether your child can do the academic work, it is very important that her academic transcripts and teacher recommendations address her mastery of core subjects such as English and mathematics. Transcripts, teacher recommendations and test scores ideally should indicate the same thing: that your child can handle the academic work at the school.
Deficiencies? Less than stellar test scores? A C in math? That's why the interview is so important. The admissions staff will note your explanations on the file. They will take them into consideration. For example, let's say your child missed several weeks or even months of school due to a chronic illness or some other unavoidable situation. What you did to get her back up to speed speaks volumes about the kind of parent you are. That's important to the school.
Poor test scores? Why were...read more
December 15, 2012
If you are good at organizing projects, the challenges involved in getting your child into private school will not seem especially daunting. The timeline for the process has some sections which are rather elastic. They can take a lot of time or can be foreshortened depending on your requirements. For example, if you already have a pretty good idea of what kind of school you want, you will save time. Ditto if you actually have identified a couple of specific schools.
Let's look at five of the challenges facing you.
Choosing the right school
This is probably the most time-consuming challenge. It can be as easy as cruising the Web and identifying three to five schools right out of the gate. This is most likely to happen when you have decided that your child will attend one of the local day schools in your community.
But if you are thinking about boarding school, the choices multiply almost exponentially. There are hundreds of schools to choose from. How do you narrow the field in this instance? By making a list of your requirements and systematically checking the boxes until you have a list of schools which match or come close to matching your specific requirements.
I do recommend that you consider hiring an educational consultant to help you select schools for your short list. These professionals know their schools. While they will charge for their services, they will save you valuable time. They will also protect you and your child from the disappointment which results...read more
November 15, 2012
Every application to private school goes through a thorough review process. The more competitive the school, the more exhaustive that review process becomes. So, the question we parents want answered is simply: how do we make sure our child's application gets to that final, all important "Approved" stack of folders. Put another way, how do we ensure that our child's application has legs? (Having legs is an expression which speaks to the endurance of whatever is supposed to have legs.) With respect to admissions applications the idea is to advance your child's application from one stage of the process to the next until finally you achieve a positive outcome. Here is what to do to ensure that your child's private school application has legs.
All required documentation has been submitted.
This sounds so simple, yet you would be amazed at how often an admissions application can founder right at the beginning of the review process. The staffer who reviews your child's application has a checklist of the required materials which must be in the folder. If something is missing, the folder goes into a stack for applications which have missing documents. It cannot normally advance to the next stage of the process for the reading and critical assessment of all those materials.
Note: each school has its own admissions procedures and protocols. The more competition there is for places at a given school, the less likely errors and omissions in admissions applications will be tolerated, if indeed they are tolerated at all.
April 06, 2012
In Why Should I Admit Your Child?
I looked at the admissions process from the school's perspective. Now let's turn the tables and look at the question from a parent's point of view. There are many reasons why you would want to send your child to a particular school. Let's examine the main ones.
The school offers the amount of financial aid I require.
For most of us financial aid is a top concern when it comes to selecting a private school. Whether you need everything paid for or just a bit of help to make attending private school viable for you and your family, you need to calculate the amount of aid you need. Then be very clear with the schools you have on your short list what your financial requirements are. Completing the Parents' Financial Statement
as soon as you can before the end of a calendar year will help immensely. That data is sent the the schools which you select. Each school determines the amount of financial aid they award based on their own formula, as opposed to some predetermined national or state rule or regulation. Giving them the information they require to make those decisions about financial aid awards by the deadlines means that your request will be considered in the first round of awards.
The school fits most of my requirements.
When you first began exploring your options for private school, you looked at all the schools out there - well, of...
February 06, 2011
Admissions to private school is not a beauty contest. Neither is it a forgone conclusion just because you offer most if not all of the things the school is looking for. With that in mind let's examine some of the things a private school admissions director will be looking for.read more
1. Your child's file is complete.
While you'd think this is a no-brainer, many parents leave things to the last minute. If we have a deadline posted for submission of applications, we have it for a reason. Failure to meet the application deadlines without a really good, compelling reason will generally mean that we will put your child's file in the incomplete category. In other words, we cannot make any decision until we have everything in the file. Test scores. Teacher recommendations. Academic transcripts. The complete application. The works.
2. We met you and your child.
Whenever it's practical, we expect you and your child to visit the school. We want to meet you. The interview is a most important part of our application process. It's the time when we get to ask you questions about you and your expectations of the school. It's also time for you to size us up and determine if our school is a good fit for your objectives and those of your child.
In the case of international students, we often are able to arrange for the admissions staff to visit your country. Or we can make arrangements to facilitate the interview process.
3. Your child's test scores and...
May 15, 2013
Here are a dozen or so boys' schools' public thoughts about themselves and their missions.
Choosing a Private School,
High School Issues,
Jobs in Private Schools,
Running a Private School
Getting into Private School:
How Admissions Works
A guide to the private school admissions process.
Note: Data has been gathered from the Dept. of Education, schools, and commercial data sources.