1. Ask Questions
The admission process should be an educational experience for both you and your daughter. Take this time to find out as much as possible about the school and to determine if it’s a good fit for her. Do your research. Attend school events. Talk to people at the school. Ask questions. And encourage your child to ask questions! No question is too big or too small. Common topics to ask about are the curriculum, educational philosophy, daily academic schedule, clubs and activities, and the makeup of the student body.
One topic that tends to be uncomfortable for parents to bring up is financial aid. It doesn't have to be! All admission officers understand that a big part of a family’s decision to enroll in a new school involves affording its annual tuition. Applying for financial aid runs parallel to applying for admission. Make sure you understand the procedures and deadlines. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions, to avoid any confusion or surprises later on in the process.
2. Explore All Your Options
Even if you immediately fall in love with a particular school and can’t imagine your daughter anywhere else, do her (and yourself) a favor and apply to more than one. This way you’ll have options in case it doesn’t work out with your favorite. Applying to more than one school will also give you the opportunity to compare and contrast what each has to offer and will give you a broader perspective of the educational landscape.
3. Take a Deep Breath and Be Organized
Applying to a new school isn’t difficult, but it does require a bit of effort and some organization. Every school has specific deadlines and procedures that applicants must follow. Many parents, worried about doing everything correctly, just want to complete all of the requirements immediately. They want to get it done. However, most admission deadlines and procedures are put in place not to create stress and worry, but instead to frame the process into a series of educational steps.
Make sure from the very minute that you decide to apply to a certain school that you’re aware of the deadlines. There should be explanations of them on each school’s admission webpage. Read them thoroughly. Organize them. Mark them on your calendar. Take the time to understand them. If you have questions about them, immediately call the Admission Office. If you plan ahead and pace yourself, you’ll feel organized and confident about when to accomplish certain tasks, such as registering your daughter to take an admission test and asking a teacher to complete a recommendation form. If you miss a deadline, you may disqualify your child. Take it step by step and soon enough, you'll find yourself crossing the finish line!
Related: Applying to Kent Place School