High School Admissions Support
Our coaches are experts at managing students' attention spans, moods, needs—and sense of cool.
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Ready for your middle schooler to become a high schooler?
This is a major application process for your child - our team can support your family during this very challenging yet rewarding time of academic and personal growth.
Take academics seriously
Your child’s academic transcript is a critical component of their application. Encourage your child to do their best in their schoolwork.
Submit an inquiry form and/or join the school’s mailing list
Many schools have an inquiry form or mailing list where you can get updates on the admissions process and information about recruiting events. Getting connected is a great way to access a wealth of information and to find out about networking opportunities.
Make a standardized test preparation plan
The testing process varies school to school. While some schools have made standardized testing optional (or not required at all), other schools still require applicants to sit for the SSAT, ISEE, or their own assessment. Be sure you’re aware of the situation for each school your child is applying to.
Tackle the application and essay
Each school operates a unique application portal to capture student and family information. Most applications also include space for two personal statements: one from the parents and one from the student applicant. This essay can be a memorable opportunity for your child to dream about who they are and where they are going.
Request letters of recommendation and academic transcripts early
Typically, schools want letters of recommendation from your child’s math and English teachers. Some schools also require a letter from an administrative official or guidance counselor. Reach out to your child’s recommenders early to give them plenty of time before submission deadlines. You will have to submit your child’s transcript requests through the application portal; once notified, your child’s middle school will send transcripts electronically to the appropriate schools.
Prepare for the interviews
The interview is as much an opportunity for your child to learn about the school as it is for the school to learn about your child. Some of these interviews are one-on-one, and others are open to parent participation.
Determine if your child must submit an additional writing assessment
Some schools have an additional writing assessment to help them understand where your child is academically; other schools request to see a previously graded essay to gain that understanding.
Stay in touch
You can expect your Student Support Manager to reach out to you right after your child’s first session and throughout your relationship to make sure everything is on track. But we love hearing from clients anytime!
We are a cooperative of professional writers, historians, and mathematicians who provide exceptional one-on-one coaching and mentorship to our students.Meet everyone
We are a cooperative of professional writers, historians, and mathematicians who provide exceptional one-on-one coaching and mentorship to our students.
Colleen earned a PhD and MA from Harvard University in History, an MA in Modern European History from St Andrews, and a BA in History and Art History from University of Notre Dame. Currently, she is a researcher at Johns Hopkins.
Graham holds an MD (Vanderbilt University Medical School) and MBA (Harvard Business School). He earned his BS from MIT in Materials Science & Engineering. Currently, he is an Emergency Medicine Resident at Vanderbilt Medical Center.
Julia holds a BA from Princeton University in English Literature, with certificates in Theater and Music Theater. Her thesis won the Alan Downer prize for research in English and drama. Currently, she works in theatrical costuming.
Charlotte holds an MA in Hispanic Studies from Brown University and a BA in English and Spanish from Oxford University. She is a recipient of the Kossoff Prize for Leadership in Language Teaching.
Ash earned a BA in Social Studies (Harvard), an MPhil in Intellectual History and Political Thought (University of Cambridge), and a JD (Yale). He is currently a PhD candidate in Political Science at Columbia University.
Daniel is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and author of 5 books of literary nonfiction. He holds an MFA in Fiction (Columbia University), and has taught at Saint Ann's School, Columbia University, and elsewhere.
Sarah graduated from Brown with a BA in History & International Relations. She currently attends the University of Hong Kong and the University of Pennsylvania, where she is a History PhD candidate.
Mariam is a PhD candidate in Comp Lit at UCLA and a Fiction MFA student at Columbia. She earned her BA in Comp Lit from Princeton (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and MSt in Islamic Art and Archaeology, with distinction, from Oxford.
Morgan holds Masters' degrees in Maritime Archaeology (University of Southampton) and European History (University College London). She is a member of the Oceangate Titanic Expedition scientific team.
Adrienne received her English PhD from Harvard University, her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and her BA from Princeton University. She is a nonfiction writer and poet, and teaches in the Writing Program at Princeton University.
“Tess is an amazing tutor. She created goals and milestones, and worked with our daughter on interview techniques and applications. Our daughter has a special confidence having worked with Tess that we have seen carry through to her classes and other interactions. In addition to the diligence and care with which she approaches her role as a tutor, she is a fantastic role model for a young person. We highly recommend her for essay writing, interview techniques and application prep!”
What is the timeline for applying to private high schools?Most private high school applications have deadlines ranging from mid to late January, though it differs from school to school. Be sure to check the websites or call the admissions offices for your schools of interest to confirm any submission deadlines!
What are the requirements for admission to a private high school?Applying to a private high school is similar in many ways to applying to a college. The high school admissions process typically includes the application form, recommendation letters, a transcript, a tour of the school, an interview, a day of classes, and a standardized test. Most private high school applications have three main components. The first is a student profile, which includes basic biographical, personal, and academic information, a graded essay, and recommendations from teachers and mentors. The second is an essay/short answer supplement that is unique to each school. And third, most schools require a personal interview (conducted onsite or via Zoom).
Does my child need to take a standardized test for admission?Mostly likely, yes! The SSAT and ISEE are standardized exams designed to test readiness for private schools, and are almost always required elements of the application. There are multiple tiers of these exams depending on grade level. These exams assess critical thinking and problem-solving capacities by measuring verbal reasoning skills, reading comprehension, and mathematical ability.
How do I decide between the SSAT and ISEE?While there is considerable overlap in content between the two tests, some schools will state an explicit preference for one over the other. Check the “Admissions” section of your target schools’ websites to get an idea of which test your schools prefer. If a given school requires one of the two exams, then you don’t have a choice, take that one! If you do have a choice, have your child take a practice SSAT and a practice ISEE exam. You can find practice tests at the back of most standard SSAT/ISEE prep books. Compare your child's scores and think about which exam they felt played more to their strengths, or simply, which felt more accessible to them. Most students perform similarly on the two exams, but if you are scoring much higher on one of them, it is better to focus on preparing for that one.
We've created a structured, yet flexible plans that offer everything you need to succeed throughout the admissions process.
Hourly Rate1 Hour
All of our coaching is available on an hourly basis. If you're not sure how much coaching you'll need, you can enroll in our "pay as you go" option.
First Time Package3 Hours
This initial package is a good way to get the ball rolling and evaluate the amount of coaching that your process will require. Allows for parents and student to get to know their coach, align on expectations, and determine a basic action plan.
Comprehensive Package25 Hours 5% OFF
Comprehensive assistance including long term positioning, school selection, coaching on your personal essay and management of the process from start to finish. It generally allows for regular meetings throughout the process, as well as remote feedback and editing on application materials by your coach. Represents our best estimate; students may need more or less time with their coach.
$ 2850 You save $150
$ 3800 You save $200
$ 5700 You save $300
$ 6888 You save $362
We have 4 tiers of coaches. The coach’s tier is based on the experience level of the coach with our team. All coaches begin working with Cambridge Coaching at the Standard tier.