Private School Re-Application

By Eva Zheng, KEY Admissions Support Specialist

Most of the time, parents try to apply to private school by themselves. More often, parents would find the workload and complicity level are beyond their imagination. References, parental statements, application form, interview, assessment, SSAT……all become a burden to both parents and students. As the competitiveness increases, more and more families received disappointing news.

So, what is re-application and what should we do? KEY would love to share some information with you today.

First of all, we need to clarify different application results.


1. Declined

Declined means a student didn’t meet their application requirements. Once declined, it is declined. That is to say, needless to contact the school trying to change their mind because it’s impossible and not appropriate and could possibly damage next year’s reapplication. The best way is to accept the decision with grace and focus on areas that need to be improved, either it is child’s weakness in academics or social and emotional development, or with parents, their English language proficiency, and then reapply next year. 

2. Waitlisted 

Waitlisting is the middle ground with a lot of possibilities - either you could get an offer later on or no offer at all. So, the communication with school at this stage should be dealt with diligence and caution. Any sensitive topics regarding contribution or something else that could potentially maximize the chances of getting in should be handled well and subtle. But always remember, it’s never the way of going through the back door by buying in. The school has a reputation and the child needs the reputation. 

Then does it mean that once declined or waitlisted, there is no way around next year?

It depends whether they had a good communication relationship with the school. It may, to some degree, leave some good impression to the admissions office, which may help next year’s application. 

I applied last year, do I need to fill out the application form and pay the application fee again?

It varies from school to school, typically, schools email you regarding reapplication and ask you to either fill out reapplication form and supply most updated documents such as report cards and reference letters, or just email school all required supplementary documents. 

In terms of the application fee, commonly, your application is valid in two years, which means you don't need to pay the application fee again, however, for some schools, you may need to pay a re-application fee.

More questions about reapplication:

  • How should my letter look like next year?
  • Should I use the same referee?
  • What if the school does not allow me to rewrite my parental statements?
  • Should I apply for more school this year to enhance my chances?
  • What is the appropriate approach to connect with private schools?
  • How can I assess my child’s readiness?


Please contact us today for more guidance and information.