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Getting Admission for Your Child in a Private School – The Top 9 Myths Busted

Getting Admission for Your Child in a Private School – The Top 9 Myths Busted

There was a time not too long ago, when information was hard to come by. But now, we live in the Information Age and we have an information overload on just about everything. For instance, if you wanted information about admitting your child in a private school, you would have hundred-and-one opinions on this one issue alone. To separate fact from fiction, you would need expert advice from a qualified professional. This article dispels the top myths about getting admission for kids in a private school.

Myth #1 – I Cannot Afford Private School. It’s extremely expensive

It is indeed true that a private education from kindergarten to 12th grade requires a huge financial investment. But most parents wrongly assume that they would have to bear the whole financial burden all by themselves. In reality, there is need-based financial aid available for many families. Schools also provide loan options, easy payment plans and sliding scales to make it easy for parents to afford private education for their kids.

Myth #2 – Only the Wealthy and Elite Admit their Kids in Private Schools. I want my child to be exposed to a wider cross-section of Society

Private schools have begun to understand the value of diversity. Many schools now have children from different races, cultures, religious faiths, socio-economic classes and family backgrounds. Although a small minority of schools still maintains their exclusive status, most private schools encourage people from different backgrounds to admit their children in their institutions. If parents seek expert guidance, they would be able to locate the right school with the right mix of demographic diversity.

Myth #3 – I am going to apply to 25 schools or more to increase my chances of getting admission

An admission in most private schools is a time-consuming and intensive exercise involving an open house, a tour of the institution, an interview with the parents and lastly, an interview with the child. Repeating this process for 25 or more schools can be almost impossible. Rather than getting distracted with many schools, parents can pick and choose about 8 to 12 schools that meet their criteria and apply only to them. Focusing their attention on a limited number of schools can greatly increase their prospects of getting admission for their children.

Myth #4 – I want my child to go only to the “Top Tier Schools”

Thousands of parents apply to the top private schools similar to Trinity, Dalton, Collegiate, Spence and Brearley. While these schools provide top quality education, there are a number of other lesser known schools which also provide an equally high standard of education for kids. Getting admission into these lesser known institutions can often be a little easier too. Instead of going by what their neighbors or colleagues at work say, parents can seek admission in many good but less popular institutions and still have their children receive quality education.

Myth #5 – I can use my friend’s influence to get an admission for my child

Parents might know someone who claims to have a lot of influence in a particular private institution. They might be tempted to get their child admitted in the institution based on their influence or recommendation. The process can however backfire, if the individual who makes the recommendation is not really in the good books of the institution. Parents would be better off, admitting their child based on their own merit instead of relying on someone else’s credentials.

Myth #6 – My child’s high test scores guarantee an admission in a private school

While private schools do place an emphasis on good scores, it is just one of the criteria that they use to select a candidate. Schools also apply several other criteria to choose a child for admission. The family background, the financial ability of the parents, the performance of the child in the interview and a host of other factors can influence the selection process. Paying attention to all of these factors would increase the chances of getting admission in a private institution.

Myth #7 – The Director of Admissions is the sole authority on providing admission of the child

Although the Director of Admissions is the key person involved in choosing a candidate, it is often not possible for a single individual to personally interview every family that seeks admission. The admission season normally begins the day after Labor Day, and extends till the end of January. A private school may have to process numerous applications and interview a hundred families or more during this period. Handling a dozen interviews a day can be difficult for the Director of Admissions alone, as they might be handling other responsibilities as well, associated with their job. In many schools, the Director of Admissions has a team of staff members that support them in the decision-making process. Every individual staff member that the parents meet during their visit to the school can be a part of the decision-making team. Therefore, it is very important for parents to deal with everyone from the receptionist to the security guard in the school in a polite and courteous manner.

Myth #8 – The Essay Portion of the Application is Optional and can be left out

Most parents would have lost touch with writing essays. Having to write a lengthy essay on why they feel that their child is the right fit for the school could be a cumbersome process for many parents. Some of them might be tempted to skip the essay altogether since the application form says it is optional. But the truth of the matter is, a well-written essay could be one of the deciding factors in influencing the school in providing admission for the child. Parents can capture the attention of the admission authorities and get them interested in their child, by composing a good essay that expresses their aspirations for their child’s future and how the school can be the best avenue to reach that goal. As long as the essay projects a truthful representation of the family and its interests, it can go a long way in influencing the admission decision in their favor.

Myth #9 – We should not apply to private schools that are highly selective about their candidates

It is true that some schools are highly selective in the children they choose for their institution. But it is also true that most of them are looking for students from different cultural backgrounds that can bring diversity to their school. Every child has the very same probability of every other child in filling this slot. Therefore, parents should be willing to apply even to private schools that are more selective in their admission process. In fact, they might be the ones that the school is specifically looking for.

Parents should not allow these myths to stop them from securing admission for their child in a good private school. Getting the right information can greatly increase their chances of getting their child admitted in one of the best private schools in the region.