The Boarding School Application

The boarding school application is something that applicants should take seriously, and devote a considerable amount of time to the completion of it. For those who are curious about what goes into a boarding school application, let’s take a look …

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Applicant Information  

This section of the boarding school application is among the easiest to complete. This is where you’ll list your name, address, and contact information. Typically, this will also be where you’ll list your current grade and school, whether you are applying for boarding or day programs, and the year/term for which you are applying. There are sometimes questions about native languages and citizenship for international students applying for school in the United States.

Family Information

This is the section where you’ll share your parents’ and/or guardians’ information. This includes your parents/guardians’ contact information, where they work, and sometimes their levels of education. Most applications have room for multiple parent/guardian entries, so you can include several adults’ information if necessary. Be sure to complete all questions, including questions on employment.

General Information

Some applications will include this information within the Family Section, but schools like Cheshire Academy offer a separate section for logistical information. This includes where the applicant lives, sibling information, where admission and billing information should be sent, and information about the home. For schools like Cheshire Academy, this is also where a family would indicate if they are applying for financial aid or the Town Scholarship (a scholarship for students from Cheshire, CT applying for ninth grade). The scores from admission tests you have taken, typically the SSAT, are also part of this section for Cheshire Academy.

Education Information

There is often a section of the boarding school application that is about your current school. Typically, the applicant will ask you to share how long you’ve been at your school, the type of school it is (private school, public school, or parochial school), contact information and the name of your principal or guidance counselor. If you’ve attended more than one school in the last three years, you’ll be asked to provide information for those schools, too.

Applicant Questionnaire

Sometimes called the Student Questionnaire, this section requires more time and effort to complete, with open-ended questions to answer. You might want to write your responses out in a separate document first, so you can easily edit and spell check your work, before pasting final responses into the online application. This is where you’ll share information about your school activities and extracurricular activities, such as clubs, arts, sports, and even hobbies. Likely, you’ll be asked to reflect on why you would be a good fit for the school you’re applying to, and be able to share information about yourself that you want the school to know. Schools will often ask how you heard about them, too. The application may have a space here for you to share if any of your family members have attended that school in the past, and a spot for you to share the other schools you are applying to for admission. The final aspect of this section is typically an essay. Sometimes, schools will ask questions like, “describe a book that has had an impact on you,” or, “tell us about a person you admire.” Be sure to take your time writing a strong essay that helps the school get to know you as a person, and pay attention to essay length requests. Try to stay within their recommendations.

Parent Questionnaire

Despite being called the Parent Questionnaire, this section is really about the student; it just needs to be completed by the parents or guardians. This is an important section that needs to be answered honestly, even if you think the answer isn’t ideal. This information helps a school determine how well a student’s needs can be served, so honest responses here are crucial. This includes information on learning differences, tutoring, academic strengths and areas of improvement, as well as health issues and even disciplinary issues. Be honest about everything and share all details; as schools have a shared interest in making sure applicants can be successful students upon enrollment.

Teacher Recommendations

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 4.38.40 PMTypically, schools will ask for confidential recommendations from a principal or counselor, an English teacher, and a math teacher. Make sure you give your teachers ample time to complete the forms, and remind them of deadlines. If they need to mail a paper form to the school, provide your teachers with self-addressed, stamped envelopes to make it easy to mail. Be sure you thank your teachers for writing recommendations!

 

Transcript and Testing

You’ll be asked to give your current school a form that allows them to send your transcript to the school you’re applying to for admission. This includes any testing you may have taken at the school, including standardized tests.

Application Fee

Most boarding schools require families to pay a fee to apply, and won’t consider your application complete without it.

There’s a lot of work involved in completing the application, but the experiences you’ll have at boarding school will be well worth the effort! Good luck, and don’t forget to proofread and spell check!

 

Stacy Jagodowski

Ms. Jago joined the Cheshire Academy community in August 2013 as the director of strategic marketing and communications. Prior to coming to Cheshire Academy, she spent six years working in communications offices at both colleges and private school, as well as five years in admission at both boarding schools and day schools.

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