Boarding School Admission Journal

As the parent of two children, a tenth grader who has gone through the admissions process twice (more on that in my next post) and an eighth grader who is in the process of applying to boarding school, and having visited 16 schools in the last two years; I was excited to be asked by AdmissionsQuest to share a parent’s view of the admissions experience. The highlights are that you meet a lot of interesting people, visit many picturesque parts of the country, and get to spend a lot of quality time with your child.

As we assessed how the qualities of a school would be a fit with our son’s strengths and weakness, we got to know him better. The downsides, as I’m sure any of you who are undergoing the process now understand, are the pain of having your child judged as “good enough” for a school, anxiety over finding the right school and how much it’s going to cost and having Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation fraught with tension as your child gathers “inspiration” for his essays by watching movies and you turn into a harridan because application deadlines are looming.

Perhaps the hardest part is feeling that your child is competing for spots against their friends. Try as you might, it’s hard not to think about how many from your school will get in where or to keep from panic when you hear a certain coveted school only has six spots for tenth grade boys. I have experienced the lowest lows and the great satisfaction of having our son find exactly the right school for him twice. Of course experience gives me some composure as we launch into the admissions cycle with our daughter, but I still feel a gnawing in my stomach as I contemplate the journey ahead of us.

To maintain privacy and confidentiality, our author writes under the pen name “Boarding School Mom” and all family, child consultant, and school names will be changed or omitted. You can reach AQ’s Boarding School Mom at

Photo Credit: bookgrl