Private School Admission Guide: What you need to know


Time to apply for the 2023-24 school year!

Kids are back in school! That means private school application season for NEXT YEAR is already in full swing. K-12 private school applications usually become available by early September and are due between November and January. More parents than ever are considering private education for their children.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about private school for your child:

Private school application checklist:

Choosing a private school: Parents need to be just as vigilant about private schools as they are about public schools. So, it’s important to do your research. Word of mouth, recent articles about the school, and the school’s website are great places to start.

Five questions to ask:

  1. What was the school’s Covid response? It can provide insight into the mindset of school leaders.
  2. Does the school have a “diversity, equity, and inclusion” DEI department or administrator? That’s often a sign of politics and ideology in the classroom, a lack of academic seriousness, and mission drift (especially away from religious principles if the school is faith-based).
  3. Has the school made changes to policies, curriculum, and leadership since before Covid? Recent changes could indicate DEI ideologies such as critical race theory and gender ideology are in the curriculum.
  4. How does the school use technology and library resources? Here’s an example of what a classically liberal reading list looks like.
  5. Who are the school’s influences? A school’s membership association (such as NAIS), DEI consultant, crisis management co., and search firm can be red flags.

What private schools look for: Look at a school’s website for clues about what type of student a school is looking for. What is celebrated on the school’s website? Academic talent? Sports prowess? Faith? Diversity? Your child’s essay and interview are opportunities to show how they will contribute to what the school community values.

Get to know the school’s admissions director, stay mindful of deadlines, and enjoy the process. Remember, parents have the primary responsibility for educating their children!

Download our private school admission guide: