Independent School Admission Timeline

(of the year before you’d like to enroll your child)

Determine what you’re looking for in a school.
Begin researching schools that meet your child’s needs.
Develop a list of schools that you’d like to find out more about.


Request admissions and financial aid material.
Note pertinent deadlines for admission and financial aid.
Register for any standardized tests required for admission (each school lists specific admission criteria on its application or website).
If testing is required, review the test website to learn about procedures and test dates; consider purchasing a test-preparation book.
Call schools to schedule individual tours, interviews, class visits, and “shadow days.”


Visit open houses, attend information sessions, and take tours.
Finalize a list of schools to which you will apply.
Take standardized admission tests, if applicable.


Watch for open houses you may want to attend.
Start lining up teacher recommendations from your child’s current school.
Start working on applications, financial aid forms, and student questionnaires.


Continue to watch for any open houses or school events of interest.
Request transcripts at the end of your child’s first semester.
Complete any remaining applications.


Pay attention to deadlines: Most schools’ applications— along with tests scores, references, transcripts, and financial aid forms—are due in January or February.


Don’t miss the deadlines!
Visit schools or have your child participate in a student shadow day if you haven’t already.


Watch for school decisions starting in mid-March.
Watch for financial aid decisions about this same time.


If you’ve applied to and have been accepted by multiple schools, decide which school is the right fit for your child.
Sign and return enrollment contracts and deposits.


Attend events and activities for new parents and students during spring and summer.

© 2017, National Association of Independent Schools. Reprinted with permission.