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Advice for Applicants & Families

The admissions process is designed to assist families with finding the best school environment for their family. Please refer to The Admissions Process for specifics to the admissions process. Here are a few comments:


  1. Apply only to as many schools as you and your child can comfortably fit into your schedules
  2. Schools with birthday cutoffs tend to be pretty hard and fast about these dates. Don’t expect them to make any exceptions.
  3. Observe all deadlines for applications and financial aid applications
  4. Arrive promptly for all interviews and tours.


  1. Ask about the financial aid policies at schools. What percentage of children receive financial aid? Is there a maximum award? Are there merit scholarships? How is need defined?
  2. Ask for help in filling out financial aid forms if you need assistance.


  1. For the ISEE and SSAT tests for older children some preparation may be helpful.
  2. Make sure to list each school to which you have applied to receive reports directly from ERB. The parent copy will not be accepted.
  3. Remember the ERB test is just one day in your child’s life.
  4. If you have questions about your child’s ERB results, feel free to discuss it withyour child’s current school.


  1. Turn off your cell phone while you are visiting. If you must receive a phone call, please let the admissions officer know and do it discreetly. Do not answer the phone when you are visiting a classroom.
  2. Many schools offer you your choice of interview dates. Please do not ask them to change them once you have booked a date, unless your request is due to an unexpected emergency.
  3. Some schools have limited slots for interviews and do not offer you a choice of date. Try to fit them in before calling to ask for a change.
  4. Do ask questions, but don’t ask questions that show that you haven’t read the admissions literature or looked at the school’s website.
  5. Do look around the school when you visit. Do you like what you see? Do you find the staff and teachers friendly?
  6. Do not ask antagonistic questions.


  1. Do ask what your child can expect at his or her visit and how long it will last.
  2. Do not call the visit a “playdate” – most children have a very different definition of “playdate.”
  3. Admissions officers don’t mind if your child talks about other schools.
  4. Arrive promptly for all interviews and tours.
  5. For younger children, do not go out to do errands while your child is having an interview unless the admissions officer tells you exactly when to return. Admissions officers are not babysitters and it distresses children when they do not know where their parent or caregiver is when they are finished with their interview.
  6. Have your child well rested and fed.
  7. If your child is sick, call to reschedule.
  8. If your child visit requires separation from the parent or caregiver and your child is unable to separate, allow admissions officers to reschedule your child for another day.


  • Try to relax during this process and enjoy the prospect of learning about different schools.