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...
March 11, 2012
As I have mentioned several times in other articles about choosing and evaluating private schools, you really must set foot on the campus. Those professionally produced videos on the schools' web sites are great. The students' YouTube videos reveal a bit of what life is like at their school. But these presentations are all carefully edited - and rightly so - and designed to encourage you to learn more about their school. After you do your in-depth reading of all the schools' materials, it's time for you to decide which schools to visit.read more
For example, let's say you had 6 schools which really appear to be a good match for your requirements and your child's needs. Then you must eliminate 2, preferably 3 schools from that larger list. Especially if you have selected schools located at a distance from where you live. Visiting 6 schools away from home will be both time-consuming and expensive. So, make that short list of 3 schools to actually visit.
The visits will take one of these forms:
The way an open house works is that the school advertises that it will be open on a specified date and time. For anybody who wants to look around. The admissions staff will be on hand to answer questions. It's a wonderful way to walk around and see the facilities. The downside is that you won't necessarily get to see any classes. Those kind of logistics can
become a bit complicated during an open house. Having 50 parents crowding...
May 15, 2013
Here are a dozen or so boys' schools' public thoughts about themselves and their missions.
Choosing a Private School,
Getting into Private School,
Jobs in Private Schools,
Getting into Private School:
How Admissions Works
A guide to the private school admissions process.
The applications process consists of several parts.
Standardized admissions tests require thorough preparation and practice. You will find test prep texts and other materials here.
The Writing Sample
At some point in the admissions' process, your child is going to have to write an essay sometimes referred to as The Writing Sample. Here's how to cope with that challenge.
SSAT and ISSE
Most private schools use standardized tests as part of their admissions process. The SSAT and ISEE are the common tests you will encounter at independent schools.
Preparing for Admissions Tests
Don't leave admissions test preparation to the last minute. Adequate test preparation will give you the confidence to take the test and do as well as you can.
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School Visits and Interviews
After exploring schools on the web, you need to explore the ones which you are considering applying to in person.
Note: Data has been gathered from the Dept. of Education, schools, and commercial data sources.