It’s that time of year again! Private day and boarding schools have opened their online applications and admissions offices across the country are eagerly awaiting their new batch of applicants for the 2017-18 school year. No doubt, it is an exciting time for students who are beginning this journey, but it also can be a little scary. There are so many forms to fill out, events to attend, tests to take, that it can feel like a never ending process, but Mrs. Mariotti, the director of admissions and enrollment management at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy has some surefire tips to make applying for high school a little more manageable, and perhaps even a little bit fun!
1. Make a List of Private Schools.
You may have one “dream” school in mind, but remember that the admissions process at private schools is highly competitive. Even if you are an awesome student, a great athlete, a talented artist, and a leader, you may not be accepted to your first choice school. There are many factors that go into admissions decisions that are beyond your control, and it is always a good idea to have some “back-up” schools in mind. Determine what is most important to you and narrow down a good list of three to five schools that match up with your passions and interests.
If it is possible before you submit your application, visit the schools in which you are interested. This shows the school that you are serious about them and it also allows you to make sure you really feel like the school is a good fit for you. Most private schools have events on campus which allow prospective students to get a glimpse of their unique offerings and programs. You will likely have a tour with current students, peek into some classes, and sometimes even get to have breakfast or lunch in the dining hall. Whether it is an open house, a visiting day designed for eighth graders, or an invitation to a performance, be sure to seek out opportunities to really get to know your list of private schools and ask lots of questions! Here are some upcoming events at FSHA.
3. Submit an Excellent Application.
Once you have visited your schools and have determined the ones to which you will apply, it is time to prepare your application. This process can take a long time, but it is often the first impression a private school will have of you so be sure to make it shine!
- Make sure to fill out the application carefully and completely. Check for spelling and grammar errors. If your application is a handwritten one be sure to write clearly and neatly.
- Be thoughtful and creative with your essays. Be sure to let the reader know who you are and why you’ll stand out at the school if offered admission.
- Be proud of your accomplishments. Don’t be shy on your application, this is the time to brag a little bit about how terrific you are!
- Collect your supplemental materials. Most schools will require additional items for your application to be complete. These will likely include teacher recommendations, transcripts, standardized test scores, etc. If you have additional items such as an online art portfolio, a personal recommendation from a camp counselor, copies of athletic awards, or significant community service hours, you may also want to include these with your supplemental packet.
4. Ace Your Interview.
Just about every private school requires an interview. Some may happen before the application is complete, some are scheduled once the application is submitted, and for some students from far away interviews may be conducted by Skype or other online platforms. Whenever it happens, however it happens, this article gives some great tips on how to shine when it is your time to interview!
Wishing you all the best in your application process this year!
Stay tuned for Installment #2: What to Expect on a Campus Visit