The High School Admissions Process
The independent high school application process can feel daunting to 8th graders and their parents. Don't be intimidated by the process or the schools that are demanding so much from you and your student. We can help you manage the process with ease, be competitive, and best of all, find the right fit for your student and family. Our goal is to keep it organized by tracking each step, to keep it very low stress, and to present your student to the schools in the best possible light. If you would just like to meet to discuss the process and hash out ideas, we are happy to do that as well, as we are very familiar with many of the schools in the bay area. Some parents just appreciate having someone else help manage the application process with their teenager!
Here is the Right Fit process:
1. In the Standard Orientation meeting (usually in Aug, Sept, or Oct before applications are due), Mary meets with
8th grade* parents and students together to understand your goals, get to know your family and review your student's
academic profile, extracurricular activities and interests. This service also provides a detailed orientation around the
application process, defining the different stages, and reviewing where your child currently stands as a candidate. We will
organize the process, set up a timeline, and discuss preparation steps for the process. This also includes an in-depth
discussion of the different schools that you might be considering and others that we suggest for you. Our expertise in this
area allows you to get a very good feel for the direction you can take. This meeting involves both the parents and the
student with get-to-know you exercises to lay the groundwork for the applications. At the end of this meeting, you will
have a smart initial school list (which may include independent/private, public, parochial, and/or charter schools) for
applications and a lot of comfort in how we will approach the process.
*For 7th grade families curious about the process, Mary can provide an early orientation for parents only.
2. In the School Visit Preparation meeting (Sept - Jan), we will check-in on the school list and testing preparation and then
provide coaching for school visits. We will discuss what to expect with Open House visits, "Shadow Visits," and student and parent interviews.
3. The Essay Preview and Review meeting(s) (Oct - Dec) include an initial discussion of the essay questions (both student and
parent essays) and how we can best present your student and family to the school. We also talk about what the different
schools are trying to understand about your family. With our experience on both sides of the admissions desk, we
have found that posing certain questions and having fun conversations around the essay topics can help students
(who might not be used to writing about themselves) write phenomenal essays. We are committed to ensuring that the
voice of the student and family come through in the application. These meetings also include a check-in on all
aspects of the application with suggestions for specific action steps to make sure your student stands out.
4. Additional Essay Review meetings (Oct - Jan) are sometimes required to refine essays. We can review as many essays as
necessary either in person or through email. To be clear, we do not write essays for clients.
5. Critical Reminder Emails (Sept - Jan): If you participate in any of our services, we will automatically send you email
reminders throughout the process so that you never have to worry about missing a critical deadline.
6. As results come in (Mid-March), we are also here to offer advice and help with decision making if needed. Sometimes,
communication with the schools is needed during the process and we can provide guidance in this area.