Independent School Admission Cycle
August (of the year before you’d like to enroll your child)
- Determine what you’re looking for in a school.
- Begin researching schools that meet your child’s needs.
- Develop a list of schools that you’d like to learn more about.
- Request admissions and financial aid material.
- Note pertinent deadlines for admission and financial aid.
- Register for any standardized tests required for admission (each school lists specific admission criteria on its application).
- If testing is required, review the test website to learn about procedures and test dates; consider purchasing a test-preparation book.
- Call schools to schedule individual tours, interviews, class visits, and “shadow days.”
- Visit open houses, attend information sessions, and take tours.
- Finalize a list of schools to which you will apply.
- Take standardized admission tests, if applicable.
- Watch for open houses you may want to attend.
- Start lining up teacher recommendations from your child’s current school.
- Start working on applications, financial aid forms, and student questionnaires.
- Continue to watch for any open houses or school events of interest.
- Request transcripts at the end of your child’s first semester.
- Complete any remaining applications.
- Pay attention to deadlines: Most schools’ applications—along with tests scores, references, transcripts, and financial aid forms—are due in January or February.
- Don’t miss the deadlines!
- Visit schools or have your child participate in a student shadow day if you haven’t already.
- Watch for school decisions starting in mid‑March.
- Watch for financial aid decisions about this same time.
- If you’ve applied to and have been accepted by multiple schools, decide which school is the right fit for your child.
- Sign and return enrollment contracts and deposits.
- Attend events and activities for new parents and students during spring and summer.
© 2017, National Association of Independent Schools. Reprinted with permission.
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