How to Apply

Content from TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools)

Once you’ve narrowed your school choices to a handful of options, it’s time to begin the application process. Some families prefer to visit a number of schools before applying while others apply first and then schedule visits. It’s entirely up to your family, but visiting a number of schools is the best way to get the feel for each campus and figure out which school is the best fit for you. The application process typically has three steps:

1) Complete applications and send to your desired schools
2) Take the required entrance exams
3) Complete financial aid or scholarship applications

1. Complete Applications and Send to Schools

The first step is contacting a school’s Admissions Office directly and asking them for their application requirements and deadlines. Some schools have their own application to complete in addition to one of the Applications mentioned below - SAO or Gateway To Prep. As for deadlines, many schools have a fixed admission calendar with set dates for applying and admission notification while other schools offer rolling admission (which means they will accept applications on a space available basis throughout the year or after published application deadlines).

Boarding schools usually accept one or more of the following applications:

The Standard Application Online (SAO)
Gateway To Prep

Visit their online school profile or call the school to determine which they use.

2. Take the Required Entrance Exams

each school about the required tests for student applications. Arrange to take the required tests, which generally include one or more of the following:

SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test)

ISEE (Secondary School Admission Test)

3. Complete Financial Aid or Scholarship Applications

See our financial aid section for more information. Helpful Tips:

  • Has your preferred school’s admission deadline passed? Check out AdmissionQuest’s free eBook: Applying to Private Schools After the Deadline.
  • Make photocopies of all the completed forms for your files.
  • Provide your teachers with the Recommendation Forms with addressed and stamped envelopes for each school to which you are applying. Let them know the deadlines for these forms. It's also a nice gesture to send your teachers thank-you notes for helping you.