The application is completed, interviews and shadow days all done—all that’s left is waiting for the acceptance letter (or email) and then the big decision. Usually, acceptance (or rejection or waitlist) notifications go out on a Friday in mid-March, and families then have seven days to decide where their child will attend. So how to make the decision?

When you learn about your child’s acceptance, you will also learn about financial assistance awards. If the grant you receive does not meet your needs, or if you are not awarded any financial assistance, contact the school’s financial assistance officer to learn about other options.

The following are tips on choosing a school from the National Association of Independent Schools.

What to Do If You’re Accepted

If you’re certain about the school, say yes—but feel free to take the full seven days to sit with the decision to make sure it feels right.

Deciding on a School

  • Discuss the options as a family.
  • Make a pro and con list for each possible school.
  • Revisit your notes from tours and open houses. Follow your heart. Revisit your wish list to make sure you’ve fulfilled your priorities. Be sure that your child will thrive in the school community you choose.

If You Are Not Sure

  • Consider a second visit to the school; have your child do a shadow day if she hasn’t already.
  • Ask to talk to some teachers.
  • Talk to graduates or current families of the school—especially any who have come from your child’s current school.
  • Encourage your child to talk to other students.

Once You Decide

  • Be sure to contact the school you choose by the reply deadline.
  • Let all schools where you were admitted know of your final decision so they can contact other families on their wait list. 
  • Return your signed enrollment contract and tuition deposit.

If  You’re Waitlisted

Call the school right away and let admissions officials know that you are very interested. Stay in touch with them throughout the summer. Sometimes children can be accepted off the waitlist just days before school begins.

If  You’re Rejected

Consider other schools.

Ask the school for feedback about what factors made the difference. Try to approach the issue in a nonjudgmental way; tell the admissions staff you want to get information that can help your child do better in the future.  

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