Can You Apply to Private School in the Summer?

If you’re interested in applying, get those applications in early

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As the school year comes to an end and summer continues to draw closer, some students may find themselves uncertain about their high school options for next year. Many will look for alternatives to their local public high schools, and private schools may be among their choices. But, can you apply to private school in the summer?

For the most part, yes. While not every private school has openings during the summer, there are always schools that operate on a rolling admission basis, meaning they accept applications until spaces are filled. Keep in mind though that the longer you wait, the less likely there will be slots available for enrollment.

Applying for Financial Aid

This is especially important if you need to apply for financial aid, as funds are typically awarded to the earliest applicants first. The longer you wait, the less likely it is that you’ll receive an adequate award. Financial aid budgets are limited, which means come summer time, it’s harder for schools to accommodate your needs. Always ask though, as award dollars may unexpectedly become available should a student turn down their aid application.  

A Quicker Admission Process

The admission process typically moves faster in the summer, so make sure that you know exactly what is expected of you to complete the application, and what the deadlines are for applying. Completing your standardized testing is going to be one of the biggest hurdles if you haven’t already taken an approved test. If you’re applying as a junior, senior or postgraduate, you might be able to submit your scores from the PSAT, ACT or SAT. If you have not, then you will need to schedule your SSAT date immediately. If there isn’t a testing date that works within your required timeframe, you do have the option to ask the admission office if they can give you a flex-test, which can often be scheduled during your visit to campus. Not every school offers the flex-test though, and the private school you’re applying to may be able to help you find another testing location that offers the flex-test.

Obtaining your teacher recommendations is another time-sensitive hurdle, as once school ends, your teachers won’t always be as readily available. It can often be a good idea to obtain a copy of the private school common application (there are a few types, so be sure to research which version your schools of choice prefer), which many private schools accept, and have your teachers complete the recommendations early.

Scheduling Summer Campus Tours

The faster admission process also means that you need to schedule a visit and interview as soon as you know you might be interested in a school. While there are exceptions, at most private schools students are welcome to visit and interview without having completed an application. Visiting doesn’t mean you have to apply but can be extremely helpful in deciding if you want to complete your application.

Try to visit before the school year is over, but a summer visit is a possibility. However, it’s important to keep in mind that should you visit a campus over the summer, you’re not going to get a full and accurate picture of the school. The students and teachers are away for the break, and the campus can feel empty and quiet but come September, the buildings and walkways will once again be filled with people. To help make up for the fact that students aren’t around, ask the admission office if they know of a local student who might be able to give you the tour. Then, you can still get a student’s perspective on the campus; just be sure to ask a lot of questions! If you can’t get a student tour guide, ask for a phone number or email of a student or alumnus you can talk to and ask questions.

While you have to complete your application quickly if you’re applying to private school later in the year, there is a perk. A bonus of the faster admission process in the summer is that you will receive your admission decision sooner. During the school year, schools typically adhere to standard application and notification deadlines, but in the off months, rolling admission provides more flexibility for the school to turn around your admission decisions faster.