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Preparing Your Application

When you apply to an independent school, the admission officer who reads your file and interviews you will be assessing not only your academic ability, but also the things that make you unique. A school is a community made up of many parts, and it's the admission officer's job to put together a compatible, interesting, diverse, and dynamic group of students to represent the school and its mission.

Making Applying Easier - All About the Standard Application Online

Do you want to apply to several schools, but don't want to spend days filling out the applications? There is an easier way! Click here to learn all about using the SAO.

About applications:

  • Applications usually contain a student information form, which includes basic information: your age, current school, information about your family, and your interests. You and your parents will complete the form and submit it with the school's application fee.
  • Most applications include a few short essay questions. This is a great opportunity to showcase your personality and to talk about topics you care about and what interests you.
  • Some schools ask parents or guardians to answer questions and provide a parent's statement to better understand you and your family.
  • Most independent schools request that your current English or math teacher and/or the principal or head of your school provides some information about you. Some independent schools provide forms for these recommendations; others may request a letter from teachers. It's up to you and your parents to make sure these documents are submitted on time to the school(s) to which you're applying. Keep in mind that the Standard Application Online (SAO) uses just one set of electronically submitted recommendations, no matter how many schools you apply to.
  • Most schools require an official school transcript (the history of your school coursework and grades), which comes from the registrar/administration office at your current school.

Can anyone help with this process?

Yes! If you and your family are not sure how to choose the right school, or need help navigating the application and financial aid process, you might consider working with an educational consultant. These paid professionals can offer significant help; they make it their job to know all about independent schools. Visit the Independent Educational Consultants Association website for more information, or use our Member Search to find a member consultant.