Navigating the Admissions Process For Pre-School or College

Disclosure :: St. Andrew’s Episcopal sponsored this post.

Navigating the Admissions Process For Pre-School or College

As my husband and I guide our youngest daughter through the college admission process, I can’t help but think about the many families I have guided through the admission process at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. Believe it or not, the process is very similar. Who would have ever thought Pre-Kindergarten admissions would be so similar to College admissions, but in today’s world, it sure feels very similar.

What Parents Look For During Admissions Processes

As our mailbox at home has been bombarded with open house postcards, letters, and reminders of application deadlines, all I really want is a friend, colleague, mentor or someone to tell me which college is best for my daughter and why. That’s exactly what happens to parents as they look for the perfect early childhood program for their child. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for Pre-School, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Grades 1-8, High School or College, because it’s a very important decision at every level, and as parents, we all want what is best for our children.


I keep reminding my daughter and myself to stay on track, research, visit, and meet the application deadlines. I am trying to help my daughter find the college that is just right for her. Ironically, that is just what prospective parents are doing when they call me to find out about our Cottage, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, or Grades 1-8. They are asking the same questions that I am asking…

  • Tell me about your school.
  • Do you have strong leadership?
  • How long has your school been in existence?
  • What is your average class size?
  • What is your student: teacher ratio?
  • What percent of your faculty hold advanced degrees?
  • What makes your school so special or unique?
  • Tell me about your academic program. Is it rigorous?  Will my child be challenged?
  • What type of enrichment classes does your school offer?
  • What is the religious life like?
  • How much homework do students have?
  • What type of extracurricular activities or programs does your school have?

In my role as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid for St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and as a mother, I offer the following tips in navigating through an admission process for Pre-School through 8th Grade.

Navigating the Admissions Process

Start Early :: Choosing the right school for your child can be overwhelming and confusing, so the best thing you can do is to start early by creating a list of potential schools early.  Enjoy getting to know many schools, which will prevent the process from becoming overwhelming.

Research :: Do your homework and research schools by searching websites, talking to family members, friends, and colleagues. Word of mouth or first-hand experience can be the best advice you receive as you research.

Get Organized :: Once you have a list of schools you would like to visit, create a checklist of schools along with application and financial aid deadlines. Put together a to-do list and place it in a prominent space, which will help you stay focused.

Attend Open Houses and Individual Tours :: Attend as many open houses and individual school tours as time will allow.  An individual tour is a directed way to see teachers and students in action and to get a good feel of the student body. An open house tour allows you to enjoy a planned presentation and tour of a school. Talk with administrators, faculty, students and parents while visiting schools, making sure to ask specific questions. Enjoy the tours and visits.

Gather Financial Information :: Ask about tuition and fees for the next school year to help determine which schools are in your price range.  If cost is an issue, inquire about the financial aid aid process and deadlines. If you will be applying for financial aid, gather your necessary tax documents to make sure you can meet the deadlines for financial aid. Many schools offer financial aid, so don’t let finances be the reason you don’t apply to a specific school.

Complete Application Processes and Make Decisions :: Complete the applications for the schools for which you would like to apply. Follow your checklists and make sure all of the necessary requirements have been met by the required deadlines. Once acceptance offers have been made, make the decision that is in the best interest of your child and family.

Most Importantly, enjoy the process :: Enjoy getting to know all of the schools you are possibly considering. Get to know the admission director of each school. Ask to talk with a current parent and find out from a current parent perspective what the school is like. Remember you are looking at the school as much as the school is looking at your child and your family. It can be overwhelming but you only do this a few times throughout your child’s life. Before you know it, you’ll be in my shoes working through the college admission process for your youngest child and seeing an empty nest right around the corner.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School

Are you interested in learning more about St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and the admission process? Please join us for an Open House on December 3 or January 14 and SAES-macaroni-kids-300x250-tile-ad-dec3see if St. Andrew’s is the “right” school for your child and family. The tour begins at 1031 S. Carrollton Avenue at 9:00am.

At St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, our children love learning and thrive in a small, family-oriented environment. We offer a challenging curriculum that sequentially builds skills in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and Spanish at every level. Our program enhanced by state-of-the-art technology, includes music, art, chapel, physical education, and library skills instruction. Come and see what St. Andrew’s has to offer!

Visit Our Campus/Open House Dates

Register to attend an Open House

Lisa Witter

As an educator and an administrator at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Lisa Witter has served as Director of Admissions and Development at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School form 2008 to 2010 and is currently loving her role as the Director of Admission and Financial Aid at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School since 2010. Education from early childhood through High School is Lisa’s passion and expertise. Being the mother of two children has allowed Lisa some in depth, hands-on experience and she loves her work at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School.


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