3 Tips for Applying to Private High Schools to Save Time

St. Agnes Academy
Are you a parent seeking tips for applying to private high schools? The admissions process can be overwhelming. Learn some valuable tips to navigate the application stage.
Private high schools are a popular choice for families of all backgrounds looking to provide their students with top-tier, individualized educational experiences. Selecting the right private high school for your daughter requires careful consideration of everything the school has to offer before applying.

Parents and students who are considering applying to private schools like St. Agnes Academy can take certain steps to streamline the application process and garner positive responses from admissions teams.

Let’s unpack some tips for applying to private high schools that rising ninth graders and their families can utilize during the admissions process.

Consider These Tips for Applying to Private High Schools

Students and their parents must do their due diligence during the high school application process. Recent estimates suggest that the average private school acceptance rate in the United States hovers around 85%. At some schools, the admissions process is even more competitive, so it’s important for families to put substantial time and effort into applying. 

Choosing the right high school for your student is no small task. Many factors, including academic curriculum, extracurricular activities, and overall campus culture, must be considered during the decision-making process.

We understand you have options for private high schools in the Houston area, including St. Agnes, so we recommend working with your child to create a list of prospective schools that align with your family’s needs and values.

Putting in extra effort before embarking on the private school application process can increase your child’s odds of being accepted to their first choice school and make the application and admissions processes less overwhelming for all. 

Tip #1: Start Early 

It’s never too early to start thinking about your daughter’s educational future. Waiting until the last minute to prepare for the high school application process can negatively impact your child’s acceptance odds and add unnecessary stress and strain to your household.

Parents should encourage their children to dedicate themselves to their studies during their middle school years and develop a game plan for the private school admissions process well in advance of their child’s 8th-grade year. 

Parents and students should acquaint themselves with common acceptance requirements of St. Agnes and other schools in their area to ensure your child meets the benchmarks for high school admission down the line. Parents might also want to encourage their daughters to pursue extracurricular opportunities or engage in community service to include these activities on their application.

Early action is also vital for families who expect to require financial aid or other assistance to cover the cost of education. In addition to the in-house scholarship aid a particular school offers, parents may also be able to apply for third-party financial aid to help offset the cost of tuition.

Applying for financial support early in the admissions process can help parents develop a more comprehensive view of the financial implications of their child’s final school choice. Parents who pay attention to key deadlines and requirements will be in a great position to support their daughter’s educational pursuits.

Tip #2: Do Your Research

If your family wants to streamline the admissions process, doing ample research is always the best place to start. For example, you can cast a wide net and narrow the list over time. Many parents choose to compile a list of all the private schools in their area and then isolate a few schools they feel might be a good fit for their child.

For example, you and your family may have specific preferences that are high on your list:

  • Do you prefer that your daughter attend a single-gender private school?
  • Is a Catholic educational experience essential for your daughter’s schooling?
  • Are there other critical factors – such as language immersion, college preparation, and athletics – that your family will consider when making a school decision?

Visiting St. Agnes and other schools on your list is one of the best ways to get a sense of the campus culture and develop a keen understanding of the environment your daughter may spend her formative years.

Some private schools, like St. Agnes, offer open houses where prospective students and their families can speak with admission officers, current students, parents, and alumni about their experiences. Speaking to people with firsthand knowledge about a particular school is a great way to understand whether a school aligns with your expectations. 

Admissions representatives and other community members can also offer your child guidance and insight about various parts of the application process. Current students may have valuable advice not just about the admissions experience but about how students can navigate their high school years with greater grace and confidence.

Tip #3: Be Prepared

Once your family has narrowed down the pool of potential private schools, it is time for your daughter to begin working towards meeting those schools’ admissions criteria.

Sometimes, the next step is to prioritize studying for grade-level-appropriate standardized testing. In other cases, it may look like a student preparing for a private school entrance exam in addition to keeping up their grades at their current academic institution.

Students should also demonstrate dedication to their academic future by participating in extracurricular activities and service projects. Private high schools such as St. Agnes look at more than just test scores during the admissions process. We want to admit students who are well-rounded and likely to make a positive contribution to the school community at large.

Learn More About Admissions at St. Agnes Academy 

St. Agnes Academy is an all-girls Catholic high school that has been serving the Houston community for over a century. We pride ourselves on offering students a rigorous academic curriculum and various extracurricular opportunities. We also provide comprehensive student support services for your daughter throughout her high school journey. 

If you are preparing for the high school admissions process with your child, we would enjoy sharing more information about these tips for applying to private high schools and what sets St. Agnes apart from other Catholic high schools in the area.

Visit our admissions page to learn more about our process, requirements, and admissions decisions. Also, please contact a member of the admissions team with questions you may have or to schedule a campus visit with your daughter.