COMPONENTS OF AN APPLICATION: The “Tangibles”
A school application comprises many parts. Below are the basic components of what we call the “tangible” application. Obviously different schools may handle any one aspect of an application differently from others, but these factors are certainly considered carefully by any school.
- The application itself
Provides basic data on an applicant. Usually requires payment of the application fee. Required by some schools to schedule visits and interviews.
- Student application essays
Often required of students in middle school or above. Schools may not be looking for what you think they’re looking for.
- Parent application questionnaires/essays
Almost always required of parents. Schools may not be looking for what you think they’re looking for.
A student’s school record. In upper grades, the transcript usually includes only letter grades, but in younger grades it may also comprise narrative reports. Ask your current school.
- Standardized testing
Official results of tests published by various organizations, such as SSAT or ERB. May also include standardized tests administered at school, such as PARC, SOL, or other state standards, or the CTP tests published by ERB.
- Teacher recommendations
Forms are usually completed by English and math teachers, but some schools offer more choice. Schools usually require two. Many applicants submit more than two.
- Admission testing
Used almost exclusively in lower grades. An amalgam of a few specific tests, such as the WISC or WPPSI, conducted by a licensed therapist qualified to do so.
- School visit
Varies depending on age and school. May be as short as a couple of hours or as long as two full days. Usually comprises multiple assessments and reports.
- Student interview
In upper grades, admission officers may interview students, either with parents or separately.
- Parent interview
Near-universal. Schools may not be looking for what you think they’re looking for.
- Neuro-psych or psycho-educational testing results
Many schools strongly suggest submitting results of outside testing performed within the past three years. Parents cannot be compelled to do so.
Obviously the notes above don’t capture what the process feels like. That’s unique to each family. But done right, it’s not just an opportunity to find a new school — it’s also a chance for applicants to see new ways of doing things, and to learn about themselves.
To read about the “intangible” parts of an application, please visit this page.
To see what others say about how Peter works with families during the search process, visit the Reviews page.