It’s January, what you need to know.
Happy 2020! The holidays are over and application deadlines for boarding schools are quickly approaching. Many schools have deadlines of January 15th or February 1st. Make sure you know which school has which deadline. As you finalize the essays, collect all necessary teacher recommendations, testing, and financial aid paperwork, please remember, the admissions offices are there to help. Do not hesitate to reach out to the admissions offices and ask questions. We also hope this breakdown, reviewing the coming months, will help you breathe……
Application Deadlines: Most boarding schools have deadlines of January 15th or February 1st, though junior boarding schools may differ. By now you have asked teachers to submit letters and have spent time during the winter holidays to complete the application (general information) and the student and parent essays. The application, essay, and interview are the most important pieces to submit as close to the deadline as possible. Schools offer grace period for other elements, such as teacher recommendations and admission offices are very understanding as well as helpful. If you have questions or a piece of the process will be late, communicate with the main admissions email or email the person who did the interview.
The Quiet Period: With applications in hand, admission offices are reading files throughout the months of January and February. Committees discuss each candidate and review every piece of an application. Each school may weigh different parts of the application differently. Some schools look closely at SSAT scores while others use the scores as only a small piece of the puzzle, choosing to focus on transcripts, teacher recommendations, and extra curriculars, whether athletics, arts, community service (to name a few). If something new and wonderful has happened in your child’s life, do have your child update the admissions representative who interview him or her. Even though it is past the deadline, admissions committees enjoyed learning as much as they can about each student.
Notification Day: Most boarding schools announce acceptances on March 10th though depending on the day the 10th falls on, the decisions may come via email a day before. Many schools email decisions, while other schools require families to log onto their admission accounts and some do still mail the news. If you are unsure, reach out to the person who did the interviewed. This person will share the instructions as well as the timing the news will be sent. This means some schools send right after midnight while others send later in the day.
If the news is a waitlist, applicants will be asked to let the school know if they would like to remain on the waitlist. Please let schools know immediately, especially if this is the “first choice” school. Letting a school know of the student will enroll if accepted is also important at this time.
Revisit Days: Accepted students are invited to revisit campuses either for an individual day of classes or a more formal event called Revisit Day. The more formal days are wonderful experiences for not only the student but the families as well. Parents and guardians will have the opportunity to meet present parents as well as hear from administration. The difference, classes will be hosting many guests and what is normally a class of 10-14 students, may have 20 or more on the actual Revisit Day. The individual day of classes may give a student a better sense of a “real” day. Either way, a revisit can help a student decide which environment and culture feels like a place they can call “home” for the next few years. Either type of revisit will enable students to meet students, observe classes, speak with teachers and coaches, and people watch in the dining hall or student center .
Enrollment Decisions: Families should communicate with schools by April 10th. If a student has been accepted to a school they know they will not be attending, it is best to let that school know as soon as possible. This way, a school can accept another deserving student. When students have trouble deciding, encourage them to research, speak with students, revisit, etc… Some students just feel one school is the better fit than other and may struggle to explain why.
No matter what, please do take the time to let the schools your child was accepted but will not be attending, know your family’s decision.
We are just beginning the process, are we too late?
Rolling admissions: The holidays are over and application deadlines for boarding schools are quickly approaching. Many have deadlines of January 15th or February 1st. However, do not panic, if you are just beginning your search, some schools have rolling admissions throughout the spring and sometimes, the summer. Visiting campuses for the interview and tour will be important as the turn-around time may be quicker than the traditional March 10th – April 10th, and families may not have the opportunity to plan a revisit.