Every student goes through the admissions process at one point in their academic career. Whether you’re applying for a private school, college preparatory school, boarding school, or college, it’s important to know how the admissions process works and what admissions officers will be looking for.
Starting the application process early is the key to ensuring that all requirements and documents are completed before the deadline. Early preparation also allows for a cohesive strategy to be put in place from school selection, test preparation, project cultivation, extracurricular guidance, and interview preparation to streamline the best options that are fit for the student.
The goal of admissions is to be the competitive applicant that your target school is looking for. During the entire process, motivation, confidence, and work ethic are developed to make the applicant stand out from the rest.
Independent admissions consultants act as mentors to bring about success in the application process.
Each school has its own list of admissions requirements and deadlines but in general, here are the most common steps that applicants should take:
Schedule a School Visit
Make a list of your school choices and set an appointment for a school visit to give you a chance to see the campus and its facilities as well as experience the atmosphere and culture that exists among the staff and other students. Make a checklist of features you consider important and then compare it with all the schools you visit. Doing so will help you narrow your choices.
Request, Complete and Submit the Application
Once you have finally decided which school is right for you, request an application form from the admissions office and fill in the specified information. Secure a copy of the list of required documents that you need to submit as well as the timeline. Make sure to submit the application form before the deadline.
Take the Tests and Submit the Scores
Although most private schools are test-optional, you may still benefit from submitting ISEE, SSAT, or HSPT scores for private school admissions, and SAT or ACT for college to give more leverage to your application. Some selected schools require a Proctored Writing Sample which is an online writing session proctored by an admissions officer.
Submit Transcripts, Recommendation Letters, Essays, and Parent Statements
The transcript will be sent directly to the admissions office from your current school. Make sure to give enough time to the teachers who will be writing your recommendation letters so they can give thoughtful responses. Essays and parent statements should be written strongly and reflect your wonderful personality and how you would be a great fit for their school.
Schedule for an Interview
Just like the essay, the interview will give the admissions committee a glimpse into your personality. You should make yourself stand out and be different from the other applicants. Come prepared and make sure you have done enough interview preparation
It is never too early to start preparing for admissions. The more time you have to organize your applications, the better it is for you.
An elementary student thinking of transferring to a private middle school should come up with a school list as early as the 4th grade to have enough time to gather and prepare necessary documents for the application.
For students in middle school wanting to gain admission to private high schools, boarding schools, or college preparatory schools, the best time to start preparing would be during the 7th grade. More time should be given to do practice tests for the SSAT, ISEE, and HSPT. Writing exercises are also necessary for you to make strong essays that demonstrate your character and display your writing skills.
The most challenging admissions process is college admissions. Beginning junior year, college applicants are advised to start identifying their target schools and deciding their major. The next year would be spent planning extracurricular activities, taking practice tests, doing practice interviews, and writing main essays, supplemental essays, and other writing samples.
Admissions consultants are experts in private school admissions and college admissions. They help students with their applications to private schools and colleges by providing them with the necessary guidance to gain leverage and eventually get admitted to the school that is fit for them. They inspire students to make the right choices and reach for their dreams.
Private school admissions consulting and college consulting cover all the bases needed for a successful school application. It starts with goal setting where families make a list of their target schools. Once identified, admissions consultants assess the applicant’s grades, skills, family support, and character and start planning strategies that will take advantage of all these. Weaknesses are also identified, and enrichment programs are put into place like tutoring, regular consultations to monitor progress, test prep, and interview preparation. Extracurricular activities are carefully thought of and implemented to gain relevant experience that the admissions officers may be looking for. Right before the application season, students begin writing their common essays, personal statements, and other writing samples. To come up with impressive written work, a lot of time is spent with admissions consultants who give advice and make sure that the output represents and differentiates the applicant from the rest. Parents also need to complete parent statements, and current teachers are also asked to submit recommendation letters.
It is best for families to start preparing for admissions early. Independent consultants are credible and highly qualified in the field of private school admissions and college consulting. Their years of experience have allowed them to build relationships and give them opportunities to obtain information on the current trends in the field of education so they can give invaluable advice. Bespoke packages are designed keeping in mind the needs of the applicant.
Private schools and colleges have different criteria for admissions. Most give the highest priority to GPAs, grades, AP classes for college applicants, test scores for those that require them, and other academic qualifications. Next, they look into relevant extracurricular activities that show community involvement. All of these should be reflected and expressed cohesively and interestingly in the student essays, parent statements, recommendation forms, and interviews while showing off great communication skills both in written and verbal outputs.
Admissions officers always look for candidates that will be a good fit for their institution not just to maintain their high standards, but to make sure that the students will succeed in their academic careers.
There is no need to be intimidated even when applying to elite private schools and universities. The key is to set your goals and start preparing early. By putting in place strategies and carefully mapping out a step-by-step process, you are not far away from achieving your dream of getting into the school that is the best fit for you!