Make your prep school application planning easier by using this admission checklist.

The calendar below serves an ideal. We know that many families may not begin their private schoo or boarding school application process until later into the school year.

Private School Admission CalendarStill, this calendar can serve as a guide for condensed timelines as well- providing helpful reminders for tasks you may need to complete. Remember that completing and submitting an application isn't the conclusion of the process.

As you begin planning your application:

  • Evaluate your personality, interests and skills.
  • Take challenging courses.
  • Improve your reading and vocabulary skills.
  • Improve your math skills.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities and develop your social skills.
  • Talk with friends in private school; ask them about their schools and the different kinds of options they considered.

September

  • Prepare a list of questions to ask school admission officers.
  • Collect school catalogs and applications.
  • Register to take the SSAT.
  • Create files to keep copies of applications and correspondence.
  • Set up a calendar to track important dates and deadlines.


October–November

  • Attend private school fairs.
  • Identify characteristics you want in school.
  • Take campus tours.
  • Interview at the schools of interest.
  • Take the SSAT.
  • Ask for letters of recommendation to include with your admissions applications.
  • Begin working on admission application essays.

December

  • Narrow your school list to a reasonable number.
  • Continue completing your school applications. Check to make which schools have application deadline before the end of the month.
  • Determine which financial aid forms the the schools on your list require.
  • Collect family tax information.
  • Take the SSAT if you still need to.
  • Talk with private school friends home on break.
  • Keep your files organized and up to date.

January

  • Complete and submit your applications.
  • Submit your financial aid information as soon as you can complete it with current tax return information. Again, be mindful of each school's financial aid deadline.

February

  • Register and study for the SSAT (if you haven't taken it already).
  • Send transcripts.
  • Respond quickly to any requests from schools.

March

  • School decisions arrive around March 15th.
  • Carefully read your letters.
  • Choose whether or not you want to pursue any waitlist opportunities.

April-May

  • Attend accepted student programs if possible.
  • Make a decision, most schools request your reply by April 15th. Send your tuition deposit.
  • You will want to choose a spot even if you are pursuing a waitlist situation at another school.
  • Respectfully decline offers from schools that you will not attend.
  • Send thank you notes to individuals who contributed to your application.