Otherwise you have basically two options:
2. Hire an educational consultant.
The three top private school sites will give you all the information you need. You just have to have the time to explore the thousands of school profiles and articles we have on file. How much time would that take? Probably 10-20 hours just to research schools. Filling out online requests for information, taking the video tours of schools and viewing their slide shows will take another 10-20 hours. At the end of all that work you probably won't have any real idea of whether the schools might be ones your child can even get into.
That's why hiring an educational consultant makes so much sense. She knows her schools. She knows the admissions people. She has visited the schools. You hire an educational consultant for the same reason you hire a lawyer. She has expertise and knowledge you need. But it does come at a price.
If you decide to hire a consultant, review the process of choosing a school. Understand the steps involved and the time frame. Develop a list of issues and questions which you will undoubtedly have. Then you will be able to make the most of your consultant's expertise and time.
Been There! Done That!
I thought I was pretty savvy about choosing a school. After all, my eldest daughter was a top student and she played sports and the flute. She was outgoing, well-adjusted and well-rounded. A cinch for admission, right? Not exactly. She applied to three schools and got one acceptance. It was a cliff-hanger! Our mistake? Not hiring a consultant who would have told us that two of the schools Heather had selected were highly competitive and therefore real reaches. So, when it came time to choose a school for her sister, we hired a consultant and ended up with three acceptances. And a great fit.
Don't let your own competence and experience fool you. The wealth of information out there and the ease of access to that information often fools us into thinking we can do everything ourselves. Not so. Your child's future and happiness are at stake.