Getting into Private School
At Private School Review, our mission is to help you learn all you can about private schools across the U.S. In advance of the new year, we’re bringing you the Ultimate Admissions Checklist, for must-know tips on how to get into your dream school.
The checklist was compiled by paneling some of the top experts in education and admissions from across this country. This included thought leaders, administrators, authors and consultants.
Our vision is to provide this guide as a quick-hit checklist for families and students who are tackling the admissions process. Whether you’re just getting started, or are knee-deep in admissions offers. The guide is functional for pre-school, elementary, middle, high school, and even university levels.
Check out the guide here, and let us know your thoughts!
Visiting schools on your short list is one of the most important parts of finding the right private school for your child. You cannot and must not skip this part of the process. Why? Well, the videos on YouTube and the glossy catalogs are excellent introductions to the schools which you have identified as possible matches for your requirements. They give you an overview of the school and its programs. Unfortunately, the schools have positioned those videos and photos to show the best features of their schools. Think Architectural Digest. Have you ever seen any clutter in an AD photo shoot? Of course not. Everybody puts their best foot forward. Same thing with schools.
The school visit allows you to look at things which are not in the photos or mentioned in the catalog. The same rationale applies to you when you visit schools. Up to that point, you and your child are simply names on a list and a file folder. Your visiting gives the schools the opportunity to see who you are and to gauge your child's preparedness for the academic work ahead. So, when you visit schools, please don't make the following common mistakes. A little thought and preparation will help you make the best impression possible.
Being 10 minutes early for your appointment is sensible. That way you will have time to park and compose yourself and your child before entering the admissions office. Admissions staffers are busy professionals who keep a schedule of
Here is an overview of the private school admissions process, as well as the steps needed to find the right private school for your child. Depending on where you live, you will have several options from which to choose. I recommend that you look at every school objectively because you may discover that a school which you thought was not suitable, in fact, is one which you should evaluate in more detail. While private schools have missions which are fairly static and unchanging, they are constantly adding new programs, courses and activities to their mix to remain competitive. The market drives how successful private schools are. Parents have options. Private schools know that and will always try to match their offerings with what they know parents want.
An overview of the process
The school selection process has six components to it:
- discussion of your needs and requirements
- a quick review of available schools
- evaluation of a short list of schools
- visits and interviews
- the formal admissions application.
You will notice that a couple of the components on this list overlap. It is perfectly normal to be working on components in a different order from the one outlined above. This list is flexible and is merely a guide to help you work through what is a fairly lengthy eighteen-month process. You will discover that some tasks take longer to complete than others. That is to be expected.
Discuss your requirements.
First things first. Figure out what your needs and requirements in a school are. Yes, it is all well and
But you simply must take the time to read and understand those documents before you affix your signature and send off the deposit check.. Even if you happen to think that they are too long to read.
The two basic documents are the Contract and the Discipline/Honor Code. Not only should you read them carefully but make sure that your attorney reviews both documents as well. As Benjamin Franklin said so succinctly: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." It makes more sense to understand what you are agreeing to before you sign rather than to discover material information after the fact. A contract is a legal document. It is enforceable in a court of law.