About Independent Schools

Why choose an ISAAGNY school? 

Applying to independent schools is both complicated and high-stakes: not only are there countless pedagogical, geographical, and financial factors to consider, but your child's educational trajectory is also on the line. ISAAGNY was founded in 1965 to facilitate the experience, and we continue to do so today: 


  • All member schools agree to adhere to our Notification & Reply Dates. Not only does this timeline allow families to coordinate the various steps of the admissions process, but it also positions them to make informed, contemporaneous decisions about their options. Our shared dates makes the process of applying to schools more orderly, and the process of deciding on schools more comprehensive.


  • Abiding by our Principles of Good Practice is another contingency of ISAAGNY membership. They ensure that schools act as colleagues, rather than competitors - and the resulting collaboration and resource-sharing improves the quality of our entire collective's programming. The principles also afford families with a means of protection as they navigate the admissions process, as schools are committed to policies that are ethical, transparent, and consistent. Our Principles of Good Practice ensure that schools are collegial and families are protected. 


  • ISAAGNY members are required to satisfy a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Mandate. The requirement stipulates that anyone working in admissions must be actively elevating their understanding of implicit bias, systemic racism, gender fluidity, and more. We also offer regular training opportunities to equip our members with the language, knowledge, and tools they need to work towards DEIA goals; they're often our most widely attended sessions. ISAAGNY members are committed to studying, understanding, and tangibly furthering equity in admissions. 



Why choose an independent school? 

Independent school programming, which ranges from preschool through high school, offers a range of benefits for students and their families. 

_ Independent schools operate without state mandates on curriculum and testing, a freedom that positions them to create personalized experiences for their students' strengths and needs. 

_ Individualized instruction is also facilitated by independent schools' small class sizes and low student-teacher ratios, which allow for deeper analyses, engagement, and connectivity. 

_ Teachers at independent schools are highly qualified, and generally teach in their respective areas of expertise. 

_ Independent schools nurture a lifelong love of academic learning, but similarly focus on the development of each student's social consciousness, leadership skills, artistic capacities, athleticism, and more. An independent education is an education for the whole child. 

_ Independent schools range in their philosophical approaches, ensuring that one will suit each and every type of student. 

NOTE: Each independent school has a unique mission, board of trustees, and self-defined admissions process. The schools are also distinct in their funding structures: they are largely dependent on tuition payments and charitable contributions, rather than government funds. Some independent schools begin in early childhood or kindergarten and continue through 8th or 12th grade, while others operate standalone programs for early childhood, elementary, or middle school programs. Some schools run co-educational programming, and some curate environments for either girls or boys. Some are affiliated with religious institutions, and others are independently secular. There are hundreds of options and opportunities for every type of student. 



Click here to learn more about the members of the ISAAGNY community. 

Visit the New York State Association of Independent Schools or the National Association of Independent Schools to learn more about independent schools.