Process. The most important thing to keep in mind about applying for admission to a school, college or summer camp is the notion of process. Every step, and the finished product of each step requires, planning and baby steps. Doing a little bit at a time builds a better foundation, leading to smoother results, less panic, and a better application.
An application package requires the work of more than just student and family. Recommendations require teachers and counselors and you must give them time and notice so that they can plan and speak about you in a thoughtful way. And, there's also some tests to take.
Each month we break pieces of the admission process into parental, student and family responsibilities. Rome wasn't built in a day and a complete application application package isn't produced in a night, weekend or even a week.
Parents- If you're new to the private school world or simply want expert help and and advice negotiating the myriad of schools and finding the best fit for your student, you might, before anything else, consider using an educational consultant.
An educational consultant can help identify the strengths, weaknesses and interests of your child and point you toward the schools that might provide the best fit. Visit our friends at the Independent Educational Consultants Association to learn more about educational consultants.
Whether or not you choose to use an educational consultant, begin thinking about your child and the kinds of environments in which he or she does well. Every child is not a good fit for a small rural school and every student is not a good fit in a large school with access to a major city.
Knowing your child and and the traits of each school are the keys to this process.
Students- During this preparation time, you want to work as hard as you can. Consider scheduling your day so that time is set aside for homework, studying, and extracurricular activities. Stay busy, stay involved and contribute to your community.
Family- Visit web sites like AdmissionsQuest.com and others to get an idea of the types of boarding schools or private schools that are available.
Begin forming judgments about the kinds of schools that may be right for you:
- Large or small
- Academically competitive or academically supportive
- Athletic or more arts or communally oriented
- Close to a large city or rural
- A particular state or region?
Collect the names and contact information of schools that you find interesting. You might even want to call and request a catalog and admission packet to begin building you foundation or what to expect from these materials and what schools will require.
Take notes and keep good files on your contacts, thoughts and ideas.