Application question?

<p>I know this question is rather silly, but please help! If I request a viewbook from a school, is it necessary I finish the application? I would like to see what other schools have to offer, but I am pretty sure I will shortlist only a few!

<p>Absolutely not...order as many viewbooks as your heart desires. You can even interview without finishing the application.</p>

<p>Agreed. You are simply gathering information. Do expect to be put on a mailing/emailing list after requesting information. Even if you don't schedule an interview, you may likely continue to receive info. It's OK. It's marketing. The schools don't expect everyone who inquires to apply.</p>

<p>Thank you! Also, if you are/were an applicant/parent of an applicant, could you tell me approximately how many schools you considered in the beginning?</p>

<p>Oh jeez! This is so different depending on circumstances. We are a FA family with no viable local options so my son applied to more schools than usual and a wider range of schools. I think we researched online close to twenty schools and requested info from about fifteen, toured 12 and he applied to 10. </p>

<p>My daughter is more opinionated than my son so I'll describe our plan for this year:</p>

<p>She requested as many viewbooks as she desired (seems like around 20!) and then gave me a list of about 15 that she would like to visit. From there, I scheduled interviews ONLY at schools that I felt comfortable with. That way, she wouldn't tour and interview at a school that I would later veto (why waste everyone's time?). Now, here is the important part: ** She will only apply to schools that, after the tour, she feels like she would really feel fortunate to attend.** Like my son, she does not have to give me a reason why she does or doesn't feel right about ANY of the schools she looks at. You'd be surprised how opinions can change after a visit. Unless she feels excited about a school, I will not encourage her to make the application. </p>

<p>The way I look at it is that once she has a "mom-approved" list, it's in her hands. I will do no more urging in one direction or another. Once decisions and FA come and we examine financial viability (sadly, it is a consideration in our home) and the choice is hers.</p>

<p>I would never recommend applying to a school simply because you "need one more" or anything like that (not saying you would do that!). So don't let my own family's numbers influence you too much. If you have a good local option there will probably be fewer schools that look more inviting that your local does. Because our local opportunities are so limited, many schools "made the cut." That's why I say that the number of schools looked at and applied to depends so much on a student's circumstances.</p>

<p>I originally researched about 10 schools, but my parents turned down most of the schools leaving me at 3 schools. But keep in mind that I did not hear about boarding schools at all until October last year. I visited and interviewed at these three schools, but ended up applying to only 2. I do encourage you to apply to more than just two if you really want to go to boarding school. I was new to the whole process and wasn't expecting to absolutely go. But also, apply to only schools that would feel right. Schools are different from their websites and viewbooks as neatoburrito said. Don't apply if it's just your "safety" school. There actually isn't really such thing as a safety school because schools have crazy admission processes and you can't expect to definitely get into a school. </p>

<p>I was fortunate to get into one school, and get enough financial aid to go. But if you're so set on going, apply to plenty and make sure you like them!</p>

<p>I agree with the two posters above me but you should look into safer schools. You shouldn't apply to safeties just to apply to safeties. Make sure you could really see yourself attending them if you had no other option.</p>

<p>neatoburrito, we are in a situation similar to yours, but we dealt with it slightly differently. we had a number of family discussions where everyone could voice their thoughts about positives and negatives they had perceived about each school. one reason we did that is that speaking one's thoughts requires one to articulate them better and that usually leads to better understanding too. our child understood that we were not trying to do any arm twisting but simply sharing our thoughts in the same way that we wanted theirs. as it turned out, our child made their own decision which was different from our preferences and that was fine with us too.</p>

<p>One thing that I underestimated was geography and how beneficial it is to being closer over farther. We went in thinking geography was irrelevant. And that was good, because we didn't cut down our options before we saw what the full range of possibilities were. But, in the end, we discovered how awesome it is to be relatively close -- if that's possible, of course. So be sure to include options that are nearby in your search. Even if they seem off the beaten path for College Confidential visitors.</p>

<p>If you have a viable local option -- we had a well-regarded magnet school and knew he was "in" before applications went out -- then I'm of the opinion that the whole "reach-match-safety" thing that people do for college is inappropriate. Unlike college applications, if you don't get accepted to a boarding school it's not doom and gloom. In fact, there's a good chance you'll be perfectly fine and will do just A-OK in life, love and, yes, college applications. The selection criteria is simple, as neatoburrito notes: "Unless [you feel] excited about a school, I will not encourage [you] to make the application." (And, to reconcile this with the geographic point, above, you still need to feel the magic. That's the most important thing.)</p>

<p>For neatoburrito: I've taken this parenting approach for college applications and exercising my prerogative to be a sieve.... Since I will not be eating the food in the cafeteria, hanging out in a smelly dorm room, sleeping through large lectures or looking for someone to throw a frisbee to on the quad, none of those things matter. What matters is that he doesn't end up at a college that cranks out creeps and jerks and people that make my skin crawl and, ideally, ends up at college that has more than its fair share of people I love to be in the company of and who are eminently decent people, generous with themselves in myriad ways. As I consider the alums I know from the colleges on his list, I ask whether I'd want a son whose more like them or not at all like them. This is very important, for purely selfish reasons, because I want my child to be generous and not be the type who'll stick me in the cheapest nursing home he can find!</p>

<p>Proximity turned into a big factor for us too. It has been too hard to get to know the school community and any faculty or keep pulse on S from far away--not to mention missing sports games, recitals, parent interactions, etc. We will not look more than a few hours away for #2. One comment to the "the kid must be excited about the school." We found that changed quite a bit from fall applications to revisit days. They mature and grow into the idea so first impressions are not the only basis. I would agree to eliminate schools that D/S say "no way" or I can't see myself here, but a lukewarm school that the parent thinks has great potential should stay on this list because by springtime it may be the winner. Teens can be fickle!</p>