Boarding School Admissions Admissions


Admission to Top Boarding Schools

We work with you one-on-one to develop an admission plan and strategy for each child’s journey. We will employ every tool in our considerable experience to help your child attain a position in one of the best boarding schools.

Our years of teaching experience combined with the highest academic standards, bring the best results.


Our Private Admissions Counselors

Our private admissions counselors develop a custom plan based on our proven admissions counseling experience, assuring 100% admissions.

There are both objective and subjective ways to gain admission to boarding schools. Before we start looking at the subjective factors to acceptance, we want to establish the objective standard upon which students are evaluated when applying to boarding schools.

Tips and Ideas for Your Boarding School Applications:

It can be called the Parent’s Assessment, Personal Statement, Child’s Voice or any of a number other titles, but the essay can be your best friend. Instead of the constrictions of answering complicated questions in the rest of the application, now you can select what makes your child great and tell a winning story.

Don’t repeat any of the details from the application, but do review the tips above for any outstanding aspects of your child that you haven’t already covered.

Here are three kernels of ideas to help you get started in growing your boarding school/prep school admissions essay:

Tell a story. Give your child a topic like “Robot” or “A dog park” and let them go wild. The purpose is to show how your child will fit in the private school community. Remember that the school is not judging your child but how they fit with the current students, so you can relax and let your child express himself.

Stretch your creativity. Will the school accept a poem or a song? An mp3 or YouTube video? Of course, more traditional private schools won’t want to open the door to more complicated admissions evaluations. However, if the school is willing and your goals are based on achievement, start out by achieving something right here in the essay.

Let your child lead the way. The essay and admissions interview should be a one-two-knockout. They will work together to make your child’s acceptance an easy choice for the school. So make sure the child that appears in the essay is the same one that will show up for the interview. Start by identifying what topics gets them excited, what makes the smile, and what makes them squirm.

Obviously, different rules apply for different grade levels. Whatever age or stage your child is in right now, count on Top Test Prep to be there for you with personal attention whenever you need us, including boarding school and prep school admissions consulting to help you get into the best schools like Exeter, Andover, Choate, St. Paul’s, Milton, Loomis, Choate, and private schools like Horace Mann and Trinity.



40% SSAT Score

Yes, boarding schools value the SSAT scores differently; many instead emphasize factors such as admissions essays and interviews, but there is no doubt about the importance of your test scores. We’ve surveyed many admissions officers and found that nearly all assert that the SSAT is one of the only ways an admissions team can evaluate students and their potential success in prep school.


15% Interview

Your admissions interview is critical overall, as it’s your one opportunity to make an impact on an admissions officer. We put the value of your interview at 15% (which is greater than the other “subjective” criteria) because first-impressions in life – and in interviews- are important so that admissions teams know whether you’ll be a good fit for that campus.


10% Admissions Essay

Your admissions essay is important, but with one caveat. This caveat is that many admissions officers are well aware that a parent wrote your essay. Let’s be clear… it’s okay for a parent (and boarding school admissions counselors) to help you with your essay. However, if you get any help with these essays, you should try to write the first draft(s) and be an integral part of the process. You also should keep the essay in your voice, as much as possible.


20% GPA/Grades

You grades do matter. However, they’re not as critical as your SSAT scores because the standards across public schools and private schools, as well as state-to-state lines, are so different. You absolutely must work hard and do well in school, but grades count for about one-half of the total admissions formula.


10% Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities must not be clichéd. The typical admissions essay we’ve read include those from highly accelerated students- piano, violin, vocal prodigies – who were apparently experts since they were born. It’s great to see your son or daughter is a “prodigy,” but please remember these are only part of the equation. You have to show potential leadership and initiative, and an ability to bring something extra outside of an instrument – like personality, ambition and the ability to work on teams. These traits aren’t always exemplified with a soloist instrument.


5% Teacher Recommendations

Teacher recommendations must prove that your instructors knows three things: your ability to work on in groups, your knowledge and skill-set, and your passion for learning. Recommendations are typically positive; so don’t just get a recommendation. Go beyond by sitting down with your teacher and make it clear you’re not applying to top boarding schools for the sole purpose of getting into Ivies… that you actually want to make a difference someday.


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