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Frequently Asked Questions
  • How early should I start the admissions process?
    It’s never too early to start! Applications open anywhere from mid-August to early September, and we encourage our families to be ready to go as soon as applications go live. Ideally families can start in the spring so they can use the summer to research and start their parent statements. We have successfully helped families who start at all stages of the process, though, from two years in advance of their child starting school all the way through late admission applications in July for placement in September. Whatever your family timeline, we are here to support you with every step of the process.
  • Do lower, middle, or upper school students have to take standardized tests for admission?
    Yes, depending on the school and what grade you are applying. Many private schools went test optional through the pandemic and will continue to do so. Other private schools have found that the Independent Schools Entrance Exam (ISEE) or the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) help them identify those students who will best succeed at their schools, so they continue to ask that students submit test scores. For a clear breakdown of the two tests, please see our blog here. There are also tests for some Catholic schools, specifically the High School Placement Test (HSPT) and the Test for Admissions into Catholic High School (TACHS) exam. However, some Catholic schools will accept the ISEE or SSAT instead. Finally, those students applying to both private and public high schools will also need to take the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). We are happy to help you navigate testing requirements, clarify differences, recommend tutors, and assess scores as we partner with you and your child through the admissions season.
  • What is the T&E and do Kindergarten students still have to take it?
    During the pandemic, private schools were unable to host in-person playdates, so approximately two dozen schools used the Thinking and Engagement (T&E)* Assessment to help them determine Kindergarten readiness. This online test paired each child one-on-one with a teacher and, through a series of child-friendly activities, captured each child’s ability to follow directions, respond to questions, problem solve, reason, and engage with others. *Note that schools no longer used the T&E as of Summer 2022. However, another test started during the pandemic for two private schools is the First Looks Insights (FLI) exam. It assesses similar strengths as the T&E did, and is also being given virtually.
  • Do you guarantee placement?
    Any educational consultant who tells you they can guarantee placement at a certain school is not being honest with you. What we can guarantee is that we are knowledgeable and professional, and that we will work tirelessly to ensure that you are fully supported throughout the admissions process. We value our relationships with our families and with the schools, and will continue to provide top-notch service while adhering to the Independent Education Consultant Association’s (IECA) Code of Ethics.
  • Do you work with international families?
    Yes! We have helped families from Australia, Dubai, England, Italy, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Ukraine, Russia, and Tokyo. Whether relocating for family, work, or simply a change, we are happy to help you and your family settle into our city and get accepted to your top choice New York City area private schools.
  • What are typical entry points?
    The main entry points for New York City private schools are Kindergarten, 6th, and 9th grades. However, some schools start with Nursery (2-3 year olds) or Pre-Kindergarten (4 year olds), and some middle schools begin at 4th or 5th grade. We also help many families with non-entry year placements. We speak with schools about openings, facilitate the process, and support you and your child through all of the application steps.
  • How can a NYC admissions consultant support me through the process?
    Applying to private schools is a time-consuming, stressful process. Consider it your new full-time job! Working with us means you have a partner who knows the schools, the system, and the methods of success. You can trust us to give you objective advice, to offer you current information, and to support you throughout the entire season.
  • When do you apply to schools?
    Students apply to New York City private schools a year before they intend to enroll at a school. Applications open in mid-August/early September. Then, throughout the fall, applicants and their families tour, interview, and submit essays, parent statements, school reports, recommendation letters, and supplemental materials. Schools send out acceptance letters in the late winter or early spring, typically in February or March. For those students on waitlists, the season can extend all the way through August.

Work with us to create a personalized admissions plan

for the unique needs of your family.

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