Sponsor Content

The Definitive Month by Month Timeline for Applying to Private Schools

Though admissions schedules differ by school, this monthly schedule can help you stay on track during your search for the perfect private school for your child. Be sure to work directly with the schools you’re most interested in to make sure that your application is complete and submitted on time.

August (the year prior to enrollment at your child’s new school)

  • Think about the type of school and location that are of the most interest to your family.
  • Begin researching schools. AISNE.org is a great resource!
  • Speak with friends, family, and neighbors about schools they know well.


  • Contact your short list of schools to request admissions and financial aid materials, and to schedule visits and tours.
  • Make note of the key application deadlines for each school.
  • Register your child for any required standardized tests.


  • Visit open houses, attend school fairs, and take tours. 
  • Finalize a list of schools to which your child will apply. 
  • Take standardized admission tests, if required.


  • Continue to visit open houses and speak with friends, family, and neighbors.
  • Check AISNE.org for open community events at schools of interest.
  • Gather teacher recommendations from your child’s current school. 
  • Start working on applications, financial aid forms, and student questionnaires.


  • Continue to check AISNE.org for open houses and school events of interest. 
  • Request current school first semester transcripts.
  • Complete applications. 


  • Pay close attention to deadlines during this time. Applications, test scores, references, transcripts, and financial aid forms for most schools are due in January or February. 


  • Participate in school visit days. 


  • Expect school decisions to begin arriving in mid-March. 
  • Watch for financial aid decisions during this same time. 


  • Decide which school is the right fit for your child. 
  • Sign and return enrollment contracts and deposits. 

May through September

  • Attend new parent and student activities in preparation for beginning the school year at your child’s new school.

For more information about independent schools in New England, visit aisne.org or search our Find It Private Schools directory.