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Admission Process

The Low-Down on the Admissions Process

The admissions process can be overwhelming, but here are a few pointers to make your child’s admission to any school a good experience.

  • BEGIN EARLY! All schools require an application form, which should be completed and returned to the appropriate Admission Office. Generally, applications are available the first week of September. If you have multiple applications or more than one child applying, it is often helpful to use a calendar specific to the admissions process. There are multiple deadlines within each application and having a calendar on which these dates are clearly marked will lower the stress level and assist in making sure all forms are returned in a timely manner.
  • Some schools have open, year round or rolling enrollment, and accept students at any time if there are openings.
  • Other forms that may be required:
    1. Immunization records
    2. Health form
    3. Emergency medical form
    4. Birth certificate
    5. Enrollment form
    6. Proof of medical insurance
    7. School records
    8. Teacher recommendations
    9. Standardized test scores (if available)
  • Many schools require both a student and parent interview. A member of the Admission Office of the respective school will call to schedule the required interviews and/or group observations. Generally, younger applicants are observed in group situations and older children have a formal interview. Remember, appearance is a factor in a school’s admission decisions as well as a child’s academic record, recommendations and extracurricular activities.
  • Most schools require an entrance test. Specific tests administered vary from school to school. The following is a broad list that may or may not reflect all tests offered by all schools.
    1. Entrance exam prepared by individual school
    2. OLSAT
    3. ISEE
    4. ERB’s
    5. Stanford Achievement Test
    6. ITBS achievement testing
    7. Gesell Developmental Readiness
    8. Diagnostic evaluations where appropriate for alternative schools
    9. Woodcock-Johnson-R
    10. Iowa Test of Basic Skills
    Test taking can be a stressful experience for the student and parent. Be sure to explain the procedure with your child to ease any concerns he or she may have. Becoming familiar with the test format is very helpful for students; knowing what to expect will relieve some of the anxiety of test taking. Remember, your child can only do his/her best. That is all anyone should expect.
  • Specific tests administered vary from school to school. Contact your school’s Admission Office for this information.
  • Some standardized tests are accepted by several schools. Therefore, your child will only be required to take the test once and the results will be forwarded to each school being applied to. Be sure to verify what test is required of each school.

Other Important Notes

  • There is usually an application fee and often a separate testing fee. The application fee varies from school to school.
  • Out of state applicants are accepted by most schools.
  • The admission process is VERY competitive. It is critical for your child’s self esteem for her/him to understand that not being accepted to a school is not a reflection on the child’s worth. Many more children are not accepted than are asked to join a school community.
  • We recommend that your child apply to more than one school to increase the odds of acceptance.

The private school industry has many acronyms that parents must understand. These acronyms describe how private schools are organized. Know this lingo; it will help you in the long run. The various accrediting organizations have specific guidelines to which each school must adhere. For more in-depth information, each accrediting organization has provided their information so please refer our glossary.