Wrapping Up the Admissions Cycle: Three Rs to Remember
Months of research, school visits, application prep, and interviews have come to an end: it’s time to wrap up the admissions cycle. Schools are working diligently to review application materials and build grades, and within weeks thousands of New York families will have a clearer picture of the next step in their education journey.
After waiting for results, it’s now time to spring into action again and make your final school selection. As you’re planning for the next several weeks of decision-making, remember these three Rs for wrapping up the admissions cycle.
Schools that are a member of the Independent School Admission Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY) adhere to a standard set of notification deadlines. All of ISAAGNY’s notification and reply dates can be found here. For quick reference:
If you applied to a school that is not a member of ISAAGNY, check the school’s website for notification dates and/or any updates.
Remember that when you hear back from a school, you’ll get one of three answers: a letter of regret, an offer for a waitlist spot, or an offer of admission. If you receive a letter of regret, there isn’t anything to be done: allow yourself to feel sad or frustrated about the outcome, but try to move on and focus on other acceptances or paths forward. If you receive an offer of admission, read on about getting started on the next two Rs.
A waitlist offer is often the most confusing outcome for parents and students. The most important first step is to decide whether or not you like the school enough to stay on the waitlist (typically you’ll make this decision after evaluating any acceptances from other schools). If you would like to keep your spot on the waitlist, you need to confirm your spot immediately by contacting the school using the method of communication specified in their waitlist notification. If you would like to let go of a waitlist spot, do so as soon as possible so that your spot can be offered to another deserving family anxious to match with the school.
If you applied to kindergarten and received multiple acceptances (congratulations!), note that some schools will host optional parent events in the evenings to help those trying to make a decision. As you evaluate each school, you can use many of the same principles as your initial school research in the fall – refresh your memory with this article (focused on nursery school research, but the principles are the same) covering things to look out for.
If you applied to middle or high school and received multiple acceptances (congratulations to you, too!), you can expect that most schools will provide students with the opportunity to re-visit. These re-visits typically take place during the weeks following admission notifications. Now that your student has been accepted to the school, they can really immerse themself in the school’s environment and imagine whether they want it to be their pick.
After re-visits are complete, schools expect to hear back from families as soon as possible. While you want to take time to carefully consider all of your options, do plan to respond to schools in a timely fashion.
Note that it is very important to carefully read each contract before accepting or denying an offer. Schools often ask families to put down a monetary deposit alongside a signed contract to hold their spot for next year. However, some schools hold families accountable for a full year’s tuition if they pull out of a contract, so we highly recommend reading the fine print.
If you’ve accepted an offer after confirming waitlist spots at other schools, don’t forget to notify those schools to release your waitlist spots.
Once you’ve completed the three Rs, you can get started on your fourth R: relaxing. Your kid is signed up for school next year! Remember to take a moment to celebrate all of the effort that you and your family put into this process, and look forward to the exciting next steps to come in your student’s development.
However, if the school decision process is becoming as stressful as the application process and you would like support in weighing your options, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for tips and guidance on choosing the best school for your student. Best of luck making your final decision!