Getting into Private School

Here we cover the private school admissions process from the application to the interview. Get information on how admissions works, when and how to apply, and tips on preparing for testing and interviewing. Learn what you should look for on a school visit and questions you should ask during the interview.
View the most popular articles in Getting into Private School:
Updated |
International Students: The New Visa Regulations And You
The Department of Homeland Security recently announced that it would enforce a 2017 policy of requiring visa applicants to list their social media handles. More about this and how it impacts international students wishing to attend American K-12 private schools.

The documentation required by international or non-United States students has always been extensive.  As I have pointed out many times, if you are not an American citizen and are living outside the United States of America, and you wish to attend a boarding school in the U.S., you need to start the process at least 18 months in advance of the date of your first class.  See the College Application Timeline on International Student for a detailed timeline. While the article discusses how to apply to American universities, the process is the same for students applying to American private K-12 schools

Additional documentation

What is being adhered to more strictly is a policy which dates back to the Obama administration. This policy requires that applicants for U.S. visas furnish their social media usernames. U.S. Requiring Social Media Information From Visa Applicants in the New York Times gives an overview of the changes. An update to the Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records  was published on September 18, 2017. Specifically, it adds the following clause: "Social media handles and aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results"

This video discusses how the US Border Patrol now requires all immigrants to provide social media logins and passwords, phone records going back 5 years, and other details. 

How does this impact your child's student visa application? It means that your child will have to furnish the handles or names which he uses on his Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp,

. . .read more
Updated |
2019-20 Best SSAT Prep Courses Reviewed
The SSAT’s questions are different than questions on other standardized tests. Make sure you learn about the best SSAT test prep programs out there.

The SSAT is probably unlike any test your student has ever taken. That’s because it’s designed to find the best students in a large pool of excellent students. The SSAT’s questions are significantly different—in their difficulty and their content—from questions on other standardized tests, to the point that your student isn’t even expected to know everything that’s on the test! This means that, in order for your student to have the best chance at getting a score that’ll help them get admitted to their school of choice, they’ll need to prepare for the test.

There are a lot of test prep options out there, from tutoring, to books, to online services. We’ve compiled a list of 5 of the best test prep options we’ve found. But first, here are some things to consider before choosing a prep solution:

  • How does your student learn best? Some students learn best in a self-paced program where they are in control, while others may benefit from the more rigid prep plan that a tutor or a class can provide.
  • Where are you now, and where do you want to go? It’s important to have an idea of your student’s score goals, and to know where they stand at the beginning of the preparation process. That means taking a full-length test that provides scores and quality feedback, and comparing that performance to where they need to be. If you don’t know what score your student needs to aim for, check out the target scoring information that
. . .read more
Updated |
A Parent’s Guide to Private School Entrance Exams
As you’ve been doing your boarding school research, you’ve likely seen ISEE/SSAT score submission requirements for your target schools, and understand how important scores are to the admissions process. Unfortunately, tremendous candidates can get bypassed because they were not able to demonstrate what they knew on test day.

There are many reasons why a private, independent, or boarding school could be the best option for your student. They typically offer thrilling academic challenges, extensive STEM or arts programs, or other remarkable resources. Their student-teacher ratios are excellent, and faculty may have advanced academic degrees and strong professional reputations. While only about 10 percent of students attend private schools nationwide, private school admissions is selective and competitive.

To help distinguish applicants, private schools use standardized testing. The admissions process, especially for those migrating from public to private, can be an eye-opening experience. The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) and Secondary School Admissions Exam (SSAT) are the most commonly used admissions tests for private, independent, and boarding schools. The High School Placement Test (HSPT) is often used by Catholic schools for entrance into grade 9.

The ISEE and SSAT are long multiple-choice tests lasting 2-3 hours and potentially covering above-grade-level content. For the 4th grader applying to private middle school, this might the first time they have undergone two hours of solid testing with only one or two short breaks. The best starting point is always to have your student take a full-length diagnostic test. It’s important to know where your child is starting from so that you can help them get to where they need to be.

ISEE & SSAT Similarities and Differences

Start by looking at the websites of your target schools or giving the admissions offices a quick call to

. . .read more
Updated |
Applications 101
Use this hub to keep track of the steps in the private schools' admission process.
Admissions to a private school is a process with many components to it. Both the process and its many components can be confusing to parents dealing with private school admissions for the first time. So, I devised this article as a hub which includes all my articles describing the private school admissions process.
 
The Overview
 
Admissions to Private School: A-Z puts all the information you need to navigate the private school admissions process in one convenient place. Whether you are just beginning or have been through this before, you will find help and advice to guide you. Admissions 101 offers an overview of the private school admissions process, as well as the steps needed to find the right private school for your child. Admissions Checklist will keep you on track as you work through the private school admissions process. Essentially it takes the points covered in the previous two articles and formats them into an easy-to-follow checklist. 5 Challenges To Getting Your Child Into Private School If you are good at organizing projects, the challenges involved in getting your child into private school will not seem especially daunting. Bear in mind that this project will stretch over eighteen months or more. Play the Hand You Have Been Dealt suggests that you need to be objective as you decide which schools will be on your short list. Card games such as bridge and solitaire with multiple decks of cards fascinate me. I have learned to
. . .read more
Updated |
Admissions Matters: The Essay
The admissions essay is an important part of your child's admissions profile. Noodle Pros essay expert Kate Fisher offers some valuable tips about writing the admissions essay.

Editor's Note: I am most grateful to Kate Fisher, who is an expert in admissions essays with Noodle Pros, for explaining how to handle the inevitable essay portion of your child's private school admissions application. ~Rob

If your child is applying to a private middle school or high school, he or she will likely have to write an admissions essay. It is important to remember that this is not a college admissions essay, which means that the standards used to assess your child’s writing ability are lower. However, this also means that it’s much easier for admissions officers to quickly identify essays that a parent, teacher, or tutor has had too heavy a hand in. 

It is extremely difficult to disguise adult involvement in an essay that is supposed to be written by a child applying to middle school or high school. You may feel uncomfortable allowing your child to submit his or her essay without reading it over. If you choose to help him or her by proofreading or editing it, remember to make sure the language, syntax, and sentence structure remain age-appropriate. No private school admissions officer expects a rising sixth grader to write as well as an award-winning novelist, let alone a college-educated adult.

The best way to ensure the success of your child’s admissions essay is to show how to choose the right essay. Most private schools ask applicants to choose one prompt from a list of several. Helping your child brainstorm which topic to write about

. . .read more
View Pages:<<Prev  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Next>>
Recent Articles
Sometimes a regular school is not the right fit for a child. Perhaps she needs an alternative school.
A parent and I chat about finding the best school for her daughter. While the parent may be fictitious, her questions are quite typical of the kind of questions and concerns parents have when thinking about sending their children to private school.
We look at several ways you can use to search for private schools. Whether you are beginning the search process for a school for your child or just want to find out more about particular schools, we offer some tips and tricks to make searching more efficient.
Getting into Private School

How Admissions Works

The private school admissions process can be competitive. Explore the process, compile your profile and submit your application with help from our tips and tools. Explore the challenges of getting into private school and the most common mistakes made during the admission process.

Applications

An in depth look at the private school application process. From teacher recommendations to the acceptance letter, we'll explore some of the most crucial aspects of applying to private school. Learn more about when and how to apply, why the deadlines are important and what to do when your child is accepted.

Test Preparation

Standardized tests are a large part of the admission process at many private schools. Here you'll find information on the most commonly used exams and how to prepare for them. Explore the tests, what the scores mean, and how the schools will use them.

School Visits and Interviews

School visits and interviews are an integral part of applying to private school. Learn why it's important to visit and what to do if that is not possible. Explore school visit options like open houses and shadowing. Get valuable tips on a successful interview and learn what questions you should be asking.