Tips for Students Accepted at a Private School

Once you receive admission decisions from schools, begin to formulate a plan based on the acceptances and financial aid packages before you. You may know exactly which prep school you’ll attend in the fall. Many of you will face choices and options to weigh- followed by final decisions.

Declining politely and gracefully- if you do not want to attend a particular school let them know immediately so the school can offer the opening to someone on its waiting list. Call and let them know of your intentions following up with a written note thanking the admission office for your acceptance.

The Post-Acceptance Notification Plan

We recommend this basic framework to help you think about your choices and to lead you to a final choice about which school provides the best fit.

Visit the schools on your acceptance list. Many schools offer accepted student visitation weekends/days or you can schedule a visit on your own. When you visit schools, take notes and write your thoughts about your time on campus.

Even if you cannot return for second visits, commit your thoughts to pen and paper.

Consider the programs and how you fit into each part of the school:

  • Academics
  • Academic Support
  • Financial aid award
  • Athletics
  • Dormitory and Social Life
  • Fine Arts/Performing Arts
  • Location- close to a city, rural, rural with limited city access
  • What do students say about their school and how do they say it?
  • What do students say about their faculty and teachers?
  • How is the food?
  • Are the students friendly and helpful?
  • Does the school appear, act, and feel like a healthy community?

From your notes, make a list of pros and cons for each school. Know which parts of a school mean the most for you- academics, arts, athletics, location, etc. Organize your page so that you can easily make comparisons across schools.

After visiting, writing your thoughts, and weighing the various strengths of each school in relation to your educational pursuits, the best school fit usually rises to the top of the list.

This is just an initial framework. Modify it to fit your own approach. The goal is the same for everyone- the best decision possible.

Call to inform schools of your decision. Of course, you'll call your new school; remember to also call the school(s) that you will not be attending so they can offer the space to students who might be waiting. As above, it's good practice to follow your telephone decline with a note thanking the admission office for their offer.

Be sure to return your paper work to your new school by their deadline (for many schools it's April 10th).

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