On the other hand, planning your visits to the various schools on your short list can be time-consuming. The actual visits themselves can take days to accomplish, especially if the schools are located far from where you live.
Use this school search process time line to help you organize the school selection process. Click on the months to reveal a detailed discussion of the various tasks, help and tips. We don't want you missing anything. Nor do we want you to have to reinvent the wheel. Plenty of parents have been through this before you.
You should also note that ideally you begin the process in March or April. That's why the January tasks look kind of strange because they are actually the end of the process. This time line follows the calendar year.
School Search Time LineJanuary
- Submit applications.
- Complete financial aid forms.
- Watch your deadlines. Beat them by a week or more if possible.
- If the schools you applied to had January deadlines, then relax and wait for the admissions letter.
- If you are applying to a school with rolling admissions, you need to complete your application so the admissions staff can make a decision.
- If you are just starting to think about choosing a school, now is a great time to plan the project.
- The decision letters for schools with January and February deadlines arrive mid-month.
- Depending on what's in those letters, take appropriate action promptly.
- Let schools know your decision.
- Look at your options if the schools which wait listed your child didn't have a place.
- Identify an educational consultant.
- Compile list of schools which meet your criteria.
- Take the online tours. Look at the photo galleries.
- Request catalogs and videos from selected schools.
- Meet with your consultant.
- Schedule visits and interviews.
- Confirm school visits.
- Make travel arrangements.
- Register for SSAT, ISEE, or other testing.
- Complete visits and interviews.
- Arrange SSAT/ISEE test preparation
- Review admissions forms.
- Complete teacher references.
- Visit schools and do interviews.
- Review admissions requirements.
- Verify and list admissions deadlines.
- Schedule regular admissions test preparation.
- Complete interviews.
- Finalize how you will pay for it.
- Start financial aid request process if needed.
- Review admissions deadlines.
- Test preparation.
- Take SSAT/ISEE tests.
- Complete applications.
Don't fuss if you do some of these tasks out of the order suggested above. The main thing is not to leave things until the last minute. Good luck.