Comprehensive Guide to Boarding School Applications

  • Research different independent boarding schools as you try to find the right fit.
  • Register for and take the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT). This test assesses an applicant on their verbal, math, and reading skills. Additionally, a non-scored writing sample is included to assess the applicant’s writing ability. Online practice tests can be taken in advance. (As a result of the challenges of tesing due to COVID-19, the SSAT has become an optional aspect of the admissions process for many schools.)
  • Non-native English speakers should register for and take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Duolingo English Test. These are standardized tests used to measure one's English language ability.
  • Complete the online inquiry form located on the websites of interested schools.
  • Attend Open Houses, Admissions Fairs, and/or School Gatherings/Events.
  • Schedule a visit to the school for a campus tour and admissions interview. (If you are unable to visit in person, most schools are quite accommodating as they offer virtual admissions interviews via online video platforms.)
  • Determine which schools you will be applying to.
  • Complete the admissions online application. Most independent boarding schools accept a common application (see the two links below) which allows admissions applicants to conveniently apply to multiple schools. Be sure to complete this process by the schools’ individual required deadlines. While some schools operate off of rolling admissions, often the admissions deadlines fall between January 15th and February 1st. Be sure to check with each of the schools you are applying to.
  • For those families seeking financial aid, be sure to complete the required financial aid application by the schools’ individual required deadlines.