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.
View the most popular articles in How Admissions Works:
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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,

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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
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Admissions 101
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.

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
  • testing
  • 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

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Too Long To Read?
TLTR? There are a couple of private school documents which you need to read.
TLTR? Too long to read? Many parents don't take time to read the contract and other documents which the school sends you once your child has been accepted. It is time-consuming. The contract language is often confusing because it is written in legal language.

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, read every word. Or better yet, have your attorney review the contract and supporting documents for you. 

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.

Contracts
 
Start with that contract which the school sends you after it has accepted your child. Remember that it was written by the school's attorney, not yours. Since that is the case, you need to have your attorney view the contract before you sign. She will explain any of the legalese which is not clear. She will also explain your obligations as well
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 Admissions Checklist
Keep yourself on track as you work through the private school admissions process.
Selecting schools which fit your needs and requirements takes a lot of time and effort just by itself. But once that part of the process of choosing a school is finished, you need to focus on the admissions processes for the three to five schools which you have selected. Use this admissions checklist to keep you and your child on track. There is much detail, plenty of forms to fill out and a standardized admissions test to prepare for.
 
Testing
 
I have put admissions testing at the top of my checklist simply because it needs as much advance preparation as your child can give it. While standardized admissions tests are just one of several tools which the admissions professionals at each school will use to assess your child, they are an important part of the assessment process. Most schools use the SSAT and ISEE. But there are other tests out there as well. Once you have narrowed your choice of schools to the magic three to five number, review the admissions requirements carefully. With luck you will dsicover that all the schools on your list use the same test. That will simplify matters enormously for both you and your child.
If, on the other hand, you end up with two or possibly three different tests, you will have those additional test registrations to schedule, register and pay for. Scheduling works best when you start as far in advance as you possibly can. The SSAT opens
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Recent Articles
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.
We parents are responsible for expanding our children's horizons. We are responsible for showing and explaining things, concepts, and places they have never thought of. This article contains my roadmap for enriching your child's education.
This hub page lists over three dozen articles dealing with issues in high school such as academics and discipline.