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Private School Application Process: 4 Tips Before you Choose Your School 
Jacob Guertin, Associate Director of Admissions

Congratulations! Your application is complete. You have invested so much in the application process - you edited and re-edited your essay to make it perfect, then went back and made more edits. You traveled long distances to visit schools and met so many people along the way. It has been months of research while managing your studies and extracurricular activities, and your mind and body feel like you have run a marathon. While you eagerly await decision day, here are four tips to guide your school selection. 

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#1 Be Proud of Yourself

In the independent school world, especially Junior Boarding, you are constantly working on getting to the next tier. “I want to attend Junior Boarding School to get into a good high school.” Once you get to high school, you are only thinking about getting into the Ivy League; next is working for Google and launching your tech start-up. Before we think too far into the future, I am a firm believer in living in the now, so look at your application and think of all the times you stayed late at rehearsal to get your pitch just right for the performance in last year’s drama. You have worked so hard and should be proud that your application is being considered.  


#2 Create a Pros and Cons list

The list of schools you apply to always has a wide range of offerings. No school has every attribute you are looking for; if it does and you are accepted, congratulations, you get to go to your dream school! For those who this doesn’t work out for, a pros and cons list can be a great way to rank your schools if you haven’t yet. That way, on decision day, it can make choosing school much less emotional, and you have a foundation of reasons to guide your decision.


#3 Remember Your Thank You Card

A seemingly insignificant piece of the application but an important one to remember is the thank you card. Sometimes between the application deadline and when decisions are released, it’s a perfect time to send your thank you card. It could make an admissions committee member think twice as they reflect on your visit and application. A little bit goes a long way, so I recommend handwriting and mailing it to the school. If you can’t do that, an email is another great way to stay in touch with the people you met during your visit. 


#4 Don’t Overthink It

As the clock ticks closer and closer to the decision date, trust all the time and energy you invested in this process and yourself. There is no “wrong decision” because each school creates fantastic opportunities that will lead you to incredible things in the future. Go with your gut and choose a school that makes you feel safe and at home.  

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