Why should they admit your child? Admissions to a private school is not a beauty contest. Neither is it a foregone conclusion that just because she offers most if not all of the things the school is looking for that your child will get in. With that in mind let's examine some of the things a private school admissions director will be reviewing and considering when he reviews your child's admissions folder.
1. Your child's file is complete.
While you would think this is simply common sense, there are many parents who leave things to the very last minute. If we have a deadline posted for the submission of applications, we have it posted for a reason. Yes, we are aware that some of the schools to which you are applying do not have admissions deadlines. They have rolling admissions. Each private school sets its own admissions requirements and deadlines. It is your responsibility to keep track of those requirements and deadlines.
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. All applicants are treated in the same way.
2. We met you and your child.
Whenever it is practical, we expect you and your child to visit the school. We want to meet you. We want you to experience our school and its community. We want to know that our school is a good fit for your child both from your perspective and ours. Peter Baron of AdmissionsQuest explains how to prepare for your interview.
In this video, Admissions Expert Peter Barron outlines how the admissions process works.
The interview is the most important part of our application process. It is the time when we get to ask you questions about you and your expectations of the school. It is 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. A good fit is critical for your child's happiness and well-being during her time at our school.
In the case of international students, when you cannot visit our school, we often are able to arrange for the admissions staff to visit your country. Or we can make arrangements to facilitate the interview process via Skype.
3. Your child's test scores and teacher recommendations met or surpass our expectations.
One of our concerns as we review each application is whether an applicant can do the academic work at our school. We know what standard of academic preparation and experience is necessary to succeed here. Academic preparation varies widely among applicants depending on the schools which they have attended. Now, that is not us being elitist. Not at all. We are merely concerned that your child's past and current academic work be to a certain standard so that he won't have trouble keeping up with the fast pace at our school. Our students are expected to work hard academically. We stretch our students. And we expect them to play hard as well.
This video offers some tips on preparing for the SSAT.
Your child's standardized test scores were within the range which we know ensures academic success at our school. Her solid teacher recommendations corroborated those test scores. We are always encouraged when a teacher describes a student as having a superior intellect and great potential. Concomitant with the test scores and teacher recommendations were excellent academic transcripts. All of these facts support your application in a meaningful way from our point of view.
4. Your child seems like he would be a good fit in our community.
We want your child to be happy at our school just as much as you want him to be happy. Over the years we have interviewed thousands of young people and their parents. We have a pretty good idea of the kind of personality which will fit into our school community. That's very important to us because our community is small and close-knit. Your child cannot hide or escape notice at our school. That is usually a good thing for all concerned as we both want only the best for your child. A happy child generally is a successful member of our school community.
5. Your child offered advanced competence in sports or the arts.
Assuming that the academics are in order, it never hurts to have something special in your child's file. If she has been studying violin since she was three or is passionate about riding, those accomplishments and passions will definitely be taken into consideration. We also realize that you are considering our school because we offer the sort of programs in her interest area which will take her to the next level.
6. Your older sister goes to this school.
If you have an older sister at the school, that is a plus, assuming of course, that your sister is doing well academically and enjoys a nice reputation. The fact that your parents help out at school events and support the school financially speaks well for you and your application. Here are some more admission tips for you to consider.
This video from AdmissionsQuest offers tips for the private school admissions process.
You will notice that we review applications to our school on a need-blind basis. In other words, if you will need financial aid in order for your child to attend our school, that request will be considered once the decision has been made to admit her. The two parts of the process are separate.
We review each complete application carefully. Our process is fair and impartial. Unfortunately, when we have 125 places and receive 500 applications for those 125 places, we have to scrutinize the applicants much more closely. Not everybody can be offered a place. When you are applying to a competitive or highly selective school, make sure that you include at least one school on your short-list that you can be fairly certain you will get into.
One last point: we decide who we will admit and who we will not admit. Our decision is final. If we decide that our school is a good fit for you, we will send you an acceptance letter in March. You will need to act quickly to secure your place by returning a deposit by a specified date.
Questions? Contact us on Facebook. @privateschoolreview