5 Steps to Finding the Right Independent School for Your Child

Every day our Admissions team is ready to help families from near and far to determine if St. Anne’s-Belfield School is the best fit for them. Here, our Admissions directors offer five quick tips on how to find the right independent school for your child.

1. Know Your Needs
Before you even begin to consider schools, hone in on what your student or family needs from a new institution. Does your student have a particular interest or ability that you’d like to nurture? Is there a maximum range for a daily commute that you must take into account? Do you have a preference in terms of school size and/or the number of grades offered? Are you drawn to innovation, tradition, or both? All of these factors can help you with step two – creating your short list.

2. Make A Shortlist
Once you know what is important to your family, it’s time to let the research commence! Identify schools that have values and priorities that match your family’s. Take a look at if a school offers a single sex or coeducational experience. Decide if you are looking for a certain type of school, for example parochial or military. While it may be tempting to use review sites to help you narrow down your options, using schools’ websites will likely give you the most and best information to begin step three – school tours.

3. Tour, Tour, Tour
When you have your shortlist of schools in hand, don’t be shy about booking a tour. We are always delighted to hear from interested families, and we love to introduce them to our faculty and staff, students, spaces, and programs. A tour is truly the best way to get a feel for a school, and we’ve offered a few tour tips in our post 3 Tips for Your Independent School Tour. If you like what you see, you might consider step four – talking to our parents.

4. Talk to Parents
At St. Anne’s-Belfield School we have Parent Ambassadors who are specifically interested in volunteering their time to speak with prospective families. We can put you in touch should you be interested in a parent point-of-view or have questions you feel are best suited to asking a parent. Not only are we not offended if you’d like to speak to others, we can arrange this for you at any time. We hope that afterwards, you’ll move swiftly to step five – completing your application.

5. Complete Your Application
We know, answering multiple pages of admission applications can be daunting. But the questions we ask should be as much help to you with your decision as they are to any school. You might find that you are in exact agreement with the priorities shown via application questions, or you might find that you are in direct opposition to them. This is valuable information! A completed application is usually necessary before any financial aid process can begin, too, so completing your application is imperative to finding out more about access and affordability as you complete your search.

If you’d like to learn more about selecting an independent school, we invite you to download our Independent School Tour Checklist for a few more things to think about. If you’d like to learn more about St. Anne’s-Belfield School or book a tour, please email admissions@stab.org. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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