Private School Application

by Caleb Park

KEY Admissions Advisory Specialist


September is a month of many starts. It signals the start of autumn. It marks the beginning of a new school year. And for many of you taking the plunge to apply for private school, it’s the opening of a hectic application season.

And “hectic” is no exaggeration. With the application deadlines for two of Greater Vancouver’s most prestigious schools only a month away. Collingwood School and Mulgrave School junior kindergarten and kindergarten students must have applications in by October 15, 2018 and Mulgrave’s deadline for senior kindergarten is November 1, 2018. That means you have a narrow window to get to know the schools, collect every single one of the required documents, prepare application forms, statements, and recommendation letters, and ready your child for entrance assessments that take place almost immediately after submitting your applications. 

After Collingwood and Mulgrave fire the first salvo with their kindergarten application deadlines, a barrage of others follow:

Crofton House School

JK and SK: November 15, 2018

Gr. 6 and 8: December 3, 2018

Non-Intake Years: December 3, 2018


West Point Grey Academy

All Grades: December 3, 2018


St. George’s School

Gr. 1: November 1, 2018

Gr. 2-5 & 6-12 (Day): December 3, 2018

Gr. 6-12 (Boarding): February 1, 2018


York House School

JK & SK: November 15, 2018

Gr. 8: December 3, 2018

All Others: February 1, 2019


St. John’s School

All Grades: December 3, 2018


Stratford Hall School

K, Gr. 1, & Gr. 6: November 15, 2018

All Others: November 30, 2018


Southpointe Academy

All Grades: November 30, 2018



All Grades: December 1, 2018


Urban Academy

JK and SK: November 15, 2018

All Others: January 1, 2019


Meadowridge School

All Grades: December 31, 2018

So mark your calendar. Get ahead of the deadlines. Give yourself sufficient time to prepare a fantastic application that will set you a world apart from the crowd. 


A Private School Application Primer

Now, let’s say you’ve done all that. Then comes the question: How do you prepare an application that makes you stand out—like a lone crane standing gracefully amongst a brood of chickens—from the hundreds of others piling in the admissions office? Here are some pointers:


  • Know yourself and know your schools.

When it comes to private school admissions, half the battle is in finding whether you’re the “right fit” for the school to which you’re applying. Spend plenty of time on taking stock of what you’ve done as a family and as parents. Research the school and get to know its missions and values, the special programs and clubs offered, and the qualities it looks for in an ideal applicant. Find the common ground and use this as the foundation for a strategically built application. 

  • Be thorough and accurate.

There is nothing more damaging than an application with incorrect information, omitted entries, or missing documents. Create a checklist to keep track of all the requirements. If you’re unsure about something, seek help from someone experienced and knowledgeable in the application process. Check your application multiple times. 

  • Be honest and genuine.

Your application is most powerful when it’s authentic. A “phony” application full of affectation is bound to ring hollow. A strong application reflects who you really are, and that’s what private schools are looking to discover in the admissions process. Say no to admissions consultants who take little time to get to know you or offer you a “magic” one-size-fits-all template. 

  • Highlight your Spark Factors.

Of course, being honest doesn’t mean that you should approach your application without a plan or strategy. Instead of trying to cover all the bases and diluting your appeal, hone in on highlighting what we at KEY call your “Spark Factors”: those unique qualities and experiences that exude genuine joy and purpose. Remember, private schools don’t want “well-rounded” applicants—they want “pointy” applicants who have focused their energy on developing their singular interests and talents.   


We hope this article has helped you start this application season on the right foot. We at KEY wish you all of you good luck as you embark on this journey, and invite you to reach out to our team for guidance. Schedule an initial consultation at our Oak or West Vancouver campus by calling (604) 638-5398.