When should you start applying to private schools? When is the best time to visit campus? Does it matter when you hit “submit” on your application? In this year-long private school admissions timeline, we will walk you through everything you need to do and when you need to do it, from finding the right school to enroll.
Admission to private schools is a lengthy process that includes tours, interviews, essays, and more. Families can, however, make sense of the process by planning ahead and using the admissions timeline provided below. By August of the year prior to matriculation, you should begin your search for a private school and begin the admissions process. You will have plenty of time to research the private schools that catch your eye, as well as ample opportunity to submit applications that reflect your best efforts.
If you are looking for a private school for your child, this monthly schedule can help you keep track of the admissions process. Consult directly with the schools you are considering to ensure that your application is complete and sent in on schedule.
Let’s take a look at what applicants need to do month by month. The table below shows the Timeline preview for applying to Private Schools.
|August||Start researching schools|
|October||Attend school fairs|
|November||Fill out application forms|
|January||Check deadlines again|
|March||Prepare for admissions|
|April||Decide which school is right for you|
|May-June||Complete course registration|
Some students are already starting to think about the private school admissions process, and we wanted to update our readers on the timeline so they can be prepared.
Whether you’re a student, or the parent of a student who is beginning to consider private schools, it’s important to know what kinds of deadlines you will be facing as you apply for admission.
At Groza, we’ve been working with families for years on everything from writing essays to building their resumes and filling out applications, and we have learned that being informed about the process from the very beginning is one of the best ways to ensure success in admissions.
To help you understand this process better, we have provided more detailed timeline information below.
AUGUST (the year prior to enrolling)
Begin by making a list of your preferences for a private school, such as the type of music or athletics you prefer, or whether you prefer a day or boarding school. It is important to keep an open mind at this stage of your search, even if you have some definite preferences so that you can get a feel for what is out there for you.
Start looking into colleges and universities. A simple Google search can yield some unexpected results. Private School Review and Niche could also serve as good starting points. Talk to people in your social circle who have attended or worked in a private school: current parents or students, those who have worked in a private school, and even friends of friends!
Determine which schools you would like to learn more about by requesting information from them. Learn about what it is like to attend a private school. You can get a feel for a school’s culture through videos, social media, student publications, and blogs.
Examine your options, including the SSAT (Secondary School Admissions Test) or ISEE (Independent School Entrance Examination). Groza Learning Center offers an award-winning SSAT and ISEE test prep program. While the pandemic led some private schools to temporarily waive tests, it is still a good idea to take one if you are applying to one of your preferred schools. If you want, you can also choose which schools can see your test results.
Do not miss a deadline or step in the application process by keeping track of everything. Consider the fact that most private school application deadlines fall in January or February of the year you intend to enroll.
As you get to know each private school a little better, keep a journal of your observations. If you are faced with a decision between two or more acceptances later in the admissions process, these notes will come in handy. Make a spreadsheet to keep track of all the deadlines, admissions points of contact, and other application requirements for each school you are interested in.
To get the most out of your time at college fairs and admissions events in your area, go to them!
Attend as many open houses and information sessions as possible at the schools you have narrowed your search to. There may be panels with current students and teachers; samples of classes; and Q&A sessions at these events. Virtual events have made it easier than ever to attend at least one event for every school of interest.
It is worth searching for admissions fairs. You can find a list of fairs on websites like Private School Review, as well as through regional organizations and simple online search.
You can get a feel for what it is like to be a student at a private school by taking a virtual tour. They may not be able to convey the full personality of an institution, even in 360-degree tours. The only downside is that they are low-impact, low-stress, and low-cost.
Tours in person Focus on your top choices and know that schools have rethought the visit experience to make it more secure and enjoyable for everyone.
Take any standardized tests that may be required by your school. Registering for the SSAT or ISEE gives you the option of specifying which schools will receive your scores, and you can also choose to send additional scores at a later time. You may retake either test as many times as you like. If you test in October or November, you will have plenty of time to decide if retesting in December or January makes sense. You can avoid late fees by registering at least three weeks in advance of your preferred test date.
If necessary, prepare application essays in advance. Students’ motivations, backgrounds, and goals for attending a particular college or university will be explored through a variety of prompts and short-answer questions.
Fill out the application form thoroughly, paying attention to every detail. It is also a good idea to share the application form and final essay drafts with a trusted editor who can review them from a different perspective.
You also might consider to begin the process of applying for financial aid.
Reach out to teachers in your core classes, who may be able to write a recommendation letter on your behalf. Make sure to include a due date and general instructions for submitting the recommendation.
Transcripts should be requested from the current school you are attending. If the Ravenna platform is used by the schools to which you are applying, you can complete and submit one transcript request form to your current school for multiple schools. Send them to the private schools you are interested in attending.
Visit schools and interview days, if appropriate. Preparing students for their future at the university and giving admissions officers a real feel for their personality and interests is an important part of the application process.
Now it the time to apply. There are still a few days left to submit your applications and supporting materials—transcripts, recommendations, writing samples, etc.—before their deadlines, so do not delay. Do not forget to factor in the deadlines for application and financial aid forms. Other products, such as the SSAT’s Standard Application Online (SAO), may also be used by some schools. Find out what the application requirements are for each school you are considering.
If you have not already, send school officials a copy of your standardized test results. If you took the test more than once, you can send your results from both the SSAT and ISEE electronically to any school of your choice. Sending standardized test scores is easier when you use school codes.
The people who have assisted you in your college admissions process, such as recommendation writers and interviewers, should be thanked. If necessary, contact recommendation writers.
Visiting the schools on your short list for open houses and other admissions events should not end anytime soon.
When applying for financial aid, use the previous year’s tax forms if necessary.
Do not delay in submitting any applications that have February or rolling deadlines. If you have applied to multiple schools, you can check your Ravenna account to see if they have all of the information they need. If you have any additional questions about your application, feel free to contact the admissions office.
Admissions and financial aid decisions are typically made public on or around March 10 each year. Depending on the outcome of your application, do you already know where you will be going or are you relying on another visit? If you have not already, now is the time to seriously consider this issue.
Attend events that allow you to revisit the schools on your list with a new set of eyes and a new perspective. A great time to meet people who might be future classmates is during the first week of school.
If you have been placed on a waitlist, be sure to follow any instructions given to you as part of the waitlist decision. And if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the admissions office.
Using notes and research as necessary, reflect on your options.
Consider your family’s needs before making a decision about your child’s education. Take advantage of their offer of admission, complete the enrollment forms, and send in your deposit. Most private schools in New England have a decision deadline in mid-April, which is usually the case.
Complete the financial aid procedure, if any steps remain.
Registration for the course is complete. If your new school offers any courses specifically for first-year students, now is the time to refresh your memory on the academic catalog and course offerings.
Attend orientation events for new students and their families. This type of event separates itself from orientation by fostering connections with the incoming class and making you feel like a part of the school’s community. Students at Groza Learning Center are given placement tests at these events in order to determine which math and language classes they will be taking in the fall.
There are many forms and other requirements that must be completed before the start of the school year.
Students are required to attend the multi-day new student orientation to help them get ready for the upcoming school year.
START GETTING AN ADVANTAGE
Sending your kid to a private school can be a confusing process. There’s so much to do, and it all starts with taking tests.
At Groza Learning Center, we want to help you every step of the way. Here are some of the things you might be wondering about the application process for private schools.
The first step is to understand how test prep works. At Groza, we specialize in test prep like HSPT, ISEE, SSAT, and other exams that will get your kids into private schools. In fact, 97% of our students get accepted into their top three schools. We have years of experience working with students just like yours, and we know exactly what they’ll need to pass their tests, no matter where they are in their educational journey!
One thing that makes us unique is our student-centered approach. You might be wondering: what does that mean? It means that we take each child’s learning style and knowledge into account when we’re helping them prepare for their exams. Each program is unique and build specifically for YOUR child. This, allows your child to have the best shot at passing their tests with high marks and show of their knowledge to the admissions at the private school of their choice!
Contact us and allow us to open the doors for your child.