When people think about applying to US boarding schools, they often start preparing for the application process in the Fall of the preceding year. When the new school year starts, it serves as a reminder that the student will be going away to school the following year and creates some urgency to begin applying. The reality is that the process should start much earlier.
Here are 5 reasons to start early.
- Application deadlines: Applications are usually due in the mid-January timeframe. Therefore, the months of October, November and December are usually extremely busy months working on the application (interviews, essays, SSAT, TOEFL) in addition to homework, activities, tutorials, etc., which creates an overloaded schedule and a stressful period for most students. Starting the application early can help make the process less stressful.
- SSAT Preparation: Students typically take the SSAT exam during the October-January time period. Most kids take a preparation course before the test to maximize their score. With the fall season being so busy, taking a prep course beforehand (Spring or Summer) can help alleviate some of the time constraints.
- School visits in HK: Many schools travel to major cities in Asia to host informational receptions and conduct interviews from October through December. To prepare for these visits, students need to first identify schools where they would like to apply and then properly prepare for interviews, which is best done over a longer period of time.
- Summer activities: It is important to plan in advance for summer activities. Many students use this time to prepare for the SSAT or attend summer programs. Summer programs are a great way for students to get a taste of boarding school life and also show the boarding schools that the student has some exposure to the American school system and culture.
- Visiting schools in the US: Some families plan visits to prospective boarding schools. This gives the students a chance to see what life at the schools will be like and allows them to visualize themselves there, which can motivate students during the application process.
Many students successfully get admitted to schools of their choice when they start the application process in the fall, but by getting a head start, students can certainly improve their chances of admission. So if your child is considering applying to boarding school for the 2016 year, start researching and preparing for the process now.
Apply Ivy offers a free initial consultation to help you get a head start on successfully applying to boarding schools.