Private schools are looking for well-rounded students who are interested in activities outside the classroom, such as music classes, sports, drama classes, and more. The admissions process can be long and exhausting, but it is worth it in the end. Each school has different criteria, but they all look for many of the same qualities and application components in a successful candidate for admission. These components include teacher recommendations, student's own essay, and standardized tests.
These components help the admissions committee determine a student's academic strengths and if the student needs additional help. The personal interview is also a valuable tool to help the admissions committee make its decision. Brainstorm some possible questions with your student to prepare them for the interview. The answer isn't as important as your student's genuine interest in learning, both inside and outside the classroom.
It may surprise you, but parents have an impact on student application and acceptance in private schools. Many schools interview parents as well as the student. They will question your ability to participate in your child's education and partner with the school. In the interview, you will be asked questions about your family's dynamics and your willingness to support the school's expectations. Parents who are too involved, entitled, or unsupported can have a negative impact on a student's application.
It's up to you to communicate a positive and supportive image of parents. Schools are looking for students who will be positive members of the private school community - open-minded, curious, and caring. Like universities, most private schools use some form of standardized test scores to evaluate their applicants. The most common tests are ISEE (for elementary school) and SSAT (for high school). These standardized tests are another reason to start early, as doing so will give your child time to prepare through self-study or tutoring. The federal government allows parents to save for K-12 private school tuition using tax-preferred 529 savings accounts.
In treasury terms, private schools value financial support from parents to provide them with the best possible resources and learning environment. For private high school admissions committees, quality of participation is much more important than quantity. It's also OK to not be sure what the student wants to try, as a private school is a great way to get involved in new activities and sports. Academics are central to the private school experience - their unique and challenging curricula are often what attract prospective students and families to these schools in the first place. Private and non-public schools offer a unique learning environment that can include a smaller class size, convey a specific religious tradition, or provide a different curriculum than that available at your district school. Once you've done some initial research on the right schools for your family, you'll want to consider these tips and guidance as you approach the private school admissions process.