For many families, exploring boarding school options comes into play during the spring semester.
Maybe the family is moving. Maybe the school year hasn’t gone as well as expected. Or, maybe, the additional evidence of the spring semester has persuaded mom and dad that the current school isn’t the best fit and they ought to look for a better school fit for the coming fall.
Often though, all this good thinking about a school change- a school that might better fit/work with the student- is often met by panic in the form of ”but it’s after the admission and financial aid deadline? They’re probably aren’t any openings. Will the school entertain our application? What should we do?”
The quick answer is that many great WBSA schools work with families on applications- accepting and enrolling students- during the spring and summer (also know as rolling admissions).
Many WBSA schools have openings into the spring and summer, and, yes, they will be glad to talk with a family about applying.
Don’t panic. WBSA schools offer some excellent school options. Take a deep breath and begin planning and thinking methodically.
The most important thing to do is to begin getting a handle on your student.
- Who is she?
- In what kind of environment does he learn best?
- What kind of school is most conducive to his growth?
- What kind of school environment is most likely to help your child grow the furthest the fastest?
With a concept of who your student is and what he needs in a school, begin researching and learning about the kinds of students with which each school works well.
Remember, a particular school is not necessarily the best school for a particular child. The goal of the admission process is to find the best fit between each individual child and school.
WBSA schools each have unique missions and each works best with different kinds of students. If you’re reading this post you might have already, if you haven’t, click over to http://www.wbsa.net/find-a-school/ to begin researching WBSA member schools.
Is applying late different or special?
In a few ways, yes. In most ways, no. The process itself will have all the same requirements and steps as traditional deadline application. You’ll just execute process faster and in a tighter timeframe. You’ll still need to arrange any testing, your recommendations, complete your application and all essays and writing samples and, in most cases, visit campus for an interview.
What’s different about a late spring/summer application?
Your application process will be more informed by, and through, conversations with the admission officer working with you at each school. Financial aid availability is, also, very limited in the late spring and summer of the admission cycle.
Talking/Communicating with the Admission Office: the foundation of arriving late to the admission process
In these conversations, you’ll ask about admission openings and school fit. Is my student a good fit for the kinds of students with whom the school works well? If the admission officer sees a potential fit, you’ll move on to the nuts and bolts of applying.
If the admission officer doesn’t see a good school fit, ask him/her to recommend a school. These officers want to see well-served successful kids and they’re glad to help. “Our school might not be a good match for your son. But our colleagues at X school might be. Why don’t you give them a call?”
From Fit to Application Process
Once you establish a possible fit and make the decision to apply, let the admission officer guide you through the nuts and bolts of the application timeline, how quickly certain steps must be completed, financial aid and anything special you need to do in this timeline (such as perhaps taking the SSAT Flex Test).
Put together a calendar, or plan, so that you can see and keep track of deadlines and things you need you need to do.
Arriving late to the admission process in no way hinders a family’s ability to find the best school fit.
A successful spring/summer application requires a certain degree of flexibility and willingness to follow the direction of admission officers. Stay organized. Sketch a plan. A successful process is most likely to yield a positive result.
**Financial Aid and The Late Application
Keep in mind that openings are far more plentiful in these late stages of the admission cycle than is financial aid. Schools award the bulk of their financial aid- to incoming and returning students- under the traditional admission calendar/deadlines. Any available financial aid will be on a school by school basis.