Upcoming Deadlines for Private School Admissions in Austin

As we get into the final months of the year, private school admissions deadlines are approaching. In fact, many application portals opened in October. Have you signed up for the SSAT or ISEE? Did you already schedule (or attend) a campus visit? Do you have your letters of recommendations and transcripts prepared?

Getting all the required documents can feel like a hassle, but the good news is that you still have a few months before you have to start submitting your private school applications. To make things easier on you, I’ve compiled a list of Austin private schools and their deadlines for the 2019-2020 school year.

Since some of you may be curious about what kind of timeline you should follow for future private school admissions (and maybe what kinds of private school admissions tests are required), I’ve also included what schools accept ISEE, SSAT, and/or PSAT 8/9 scores as part of their application process.

(Note: Since there are MANY private schools in the Austin area, I’ve limited this list to the top schools with specific deadlines.)

Top Private Schools in Austin with Priority Admissions Deadlines

1. St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

  • Priority Deadline: January 25, 2019 (rolling admissions based on space after deadline)

  • Admissions Test: SSAT (preferred, administered at St. Stephen’s on 12/1, 12/8, 1/5, 1/19 or elsewhere) or ISEE (must take test at another site in Austin or elsewhere)

2. St. Andrew’s Episcopal School

  • Priority Deadline: February 1, 2019 (rolling admissions based on space after deadline)

  • Admissions Test: ISEE (administered at St. Andrew’s on 12/8 and 1/26 or elsewhere)

3. St. Michael’s Catholic Academy

  • Priority Deadline: February 1, 2019 (rolling admissions based on space after deadline)

  • Admissions Test: ISEE (administered at St. Michael’s on 12/1, 1/19, and 2/9 or elsewhere)

4. Regents School of Austin

  • Priority Deadline: January 15, 2019 (rolling admissions based on space after deadline; test scores are due 2/15)

  • Admissions Test: ISEE (administered at Regents for applicants on 2/2 or elsewhere)

5. St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School

  • Priority Deadline: February 1, 2019 (rolling admissions based on space after deadline)

  • Admissions Test: PSAT 8/9 (all applying to 9th grade ONLY; test is administered at St. Dominic)

6. Hill Country Christian School of Austin

  • Priority Deadline: March 15, 2019 (rolling admissions based on space after deadline)

  • Admissions Test: ISEE (there are onsite dates or you can test elsewhere)

What is more popular among private schools: ISEE or SSAT?

As you can see from this small sample of schools, ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) is more popular than the SSAT (no relation to SAT). You may be wondering, then, what is the difference between the two exams?

In short, SSAT can be more rigorous when it comes to format (students get penalized ¼ a point for wrong answers and have more answers to choose from) and knowledge (they must know how to solve analogies, for example).

However, the tests are more similar than they are different, so a score on either should be fine. If you were to choose to prepare for one, ISEE would be the better bet, unless your dream private school only accepts SSAT (or prefers it).

[Get more information about the ISEE and the SSAT!]

What should you do now?

Since many deadlines fall within January and February, I recommend that you start preparing for the ISEE or SSAT at the beginning of the school year (August/September), especially since vocabulary (i.e., the “Verbal” section) is a key portion of the score for both tests.

Beyond the tests, it's definitely time to start working on your admissions essays, teacher recommendations, and even parent surveys. All pieces of the application will be important for determining whether you get accepted, so you shouldn't consider any document too trivial or application task too small.

Also, a key part of many application processes for private schools is setting up a visitation day, so make sure you can schedule one prior to the priority deadlines! As it goes for many things, the earlier you plan, the better, and November is a great time to get yourself at a steady pace and make sure you are on track for submitting documents on time.

Planning on applying to a private school in Austin? Need help preparing for the ISEE or SSAT? Check out our private school admissions services and get the best advice on how to get accepted to your dream private school!

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