Most private schools will have their application deadlines in January for the next school year, in order to give admissions officers and the schools enough time to carefully read each applicant's paperwork and to give the applying families enough time to decide which of the schools to which they have been admitted is the best fit for their child. These deadlines can seem very daunting, especially as they come right after the long winter holidays, but a few quick tips can make the application process easy for everyone involved.
- Double-check your paperwork: One of the worst ways to delay the processing of an application is to have one of your papers be missing your child's name. Double-checking for your child's name on each sheet of the application can take only a few seconds but save hours of heartache later.
- Follow up on those recommendations: Many teachers are inundated with requests for recommendations at the end of the fall semester, and they may have lost one in the piles of end-of-semester paperwork. A quick email reminder can be a great way to make sure your student's application gets labeled complete on time, and will be less intrusive on the teacher than having to come back and ask them to rush a recommendation at the last minute.
- Assign winter break homework: Many applications, especially for middle and high school students, will ask for an essay from the student. The middle of winter break, after the excitement of the Christmas holidays, can make for an easy time to get your child to work on their portion of the application without the distraction of after-school activities or academic homework. Get it out of the way now so it doesn't have to be done at the last minute!
After the paperwork of the application is complete, your job is done and you can wait for those acceptance letters to start rolling in! In the meantime, check out your prospective schools by visiting a basketball game, Spring Open House, or student play to get a better idea of student life as you try to make your decisions about which school would be best.