For growing teens, it’s often difficult enough to find a pair of jeans that fit just right without growing out of them in a few months. As parents, you can run into a similar problem when searching for a boarding school for your adolescent. Before you invest too deeply in any one application for high school admission to those potential boarding schools on your list, consider these essential steps to help you through the admissions process, and to ensure that you are truly finding the right fit for your child.
If you are reading this, then you’re already on the right track. It’s important to start researching schools before the regular admissions window opens so that you can have a tentative list of what options you are seriously considering. Considering academic options, extra-curricular activities, and physical location can all help you narrow down your search. Also, there are a few components that you’ll need for the application that it’s better to track down now than later, such as teacher recommendations and any required performance testing—especially for ELL students. Also, if your child is particularly interested in a particulars port or extracurricular activity, from basketball, to skiing, to robotics, it’s important to speak with coaches or specializing teachers well enough in advance to get familiar with their specific program and what they can offer that most apply to you.
Prioritize Campus Visits
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few key players, it’s time to pay them a visit. Nothing is going to give you a more realistic and authentic sense of campus culture, student life, academic opportunities, faculty, and distinct programs like seeing things first hand. You and your child should schedule a visit to meet with admissions, tour the campus, and potentially speak with an academic advisor or faculty members, depending on the specific things that you and your child see as most important in their boarding school experience. A visit will clarify what you can truly expect from different schools, and help you decide on the best route to take moving forward.
You Can Apply Before You Decide
It’s alright to wait until you tour the campus, but if you’re already confident about a couple of schools,it doesn’t hurt to apply early. A pre-tour application can provide the boarding school and admissions office insight into where your child’s interests lie, helping make your campus tour more meaningful. Also, an early application may improve your chances for schools when they have a limited number of available openings regarding how many new students they accept to their school each year.
Know Your Essentials
Your child and you both know what aspects of the boarding school educational experience are most important. Of course, the quality of the academic experience is essential— but does your student have dyslexia and in need of a different kind of attention in their academic growth? Or perhaps your son is a rodeo star, and he’s set on getting a rodeo scholarship for college? Determine what programs are the most important, and look for a boarding school opportunity that provides the best balance of everything that your child needs.
When a boarding school is equipped with what you want, be it an exceptional high school rodeo program, or highly targeting ELL tutoring, then that’s a recipe for good things. Touring campus and asking questions of the admissions office can help you clarify your child’s unique goals and needs, and help you understand the ways in which a school can cater to those objectives and needs.
The Wasatch Way
The application for high school admission process can be lengthy, but it’s worth it in the end. If you are looking for a school that provides the perfect balance of a vibrant and welcoming student culture, individualized academic attention, and matchless outdoor adventure, then Wasatch Academy may be just what you’re looking for. Tucked away in a valley surrounded by the breathtaking Wasatch Mountains of Utah, Wasatch Academy is a private boarding school that caters to a wide variety of skills, interests, and passions, all with a central focus of bringing out every student’s full potential. As you consider your options for Utah high school admissions and beyond, look and see if Wasatch Academy has the balance and fit of what you’re looking for.