The KEY Experience
- We learn of your family’s values and goals and match you to the right private schools.
- We develop a list of target schools tailored to your child’s temperament and interests.
- We break down the process, guiding you through each component of the admissions process.
- We help you build your family’s confidence so that you make a positive and lasting impression on the decision-makers at your top schools.
Based on the initial discovery process with a student and the family, we will develop a list of prospect schools that would be a good fit for the student, one that would meet their needs, interests, and personality.
We appreciate that you’re busy with your life, and so you want to save time and hassle. Managing the application forms and communication with all the schools can add stress. So, should a family be in need, we are able to handle the completion of the application forms and advise on communication with the school. We will keep you informed of any updates provided by the school, such as changes in application requirements and test. We will also help you manage the collection of supporting documentation such as copies of official identification, report cards, and references. Most importantly, we act as those second (and third and fourth!) pair of eyes ensuring that all information provided to the schools is accurate.
Open House, Campus Visit, In-Person Meeting Coaching
Face-to-face meetings, whether on campus or in a student’s hometown, are often the first time a school meets with a family, and first impressions matter. We coach our families – both parents and student – on how to make a positive, long-lasting impression. Also, at the family’s request, we can assist with scheduling and keeping track of meetings, appointments, or visits you will have at all the schools to which you are applying.
Our team will conduct an in-depth interview with the parents to get a full understanding of your family. We ask very detailed questions about your background, employment, dreams for your child, values, educational philosophy, parenting style, and unique perspective. Our team will help review your statements until they accurately reflect the family’s values and perspective.
Our professional writers, English tutors, and admissions guidance team members are available to sit down one-on-one with your child to help them brainstorm ideas, create outlines, and go through the editing process so that your child develops an impactful and authentic student statement. As student will need to write statements for university applications, we want students to learn how to write an effective statement. Through various exercises developed by KEY, we teach students the fundamentals of good writing for personal statements.
Based on your family’s list of target schools, we guide you on how to obtain the appropriate references. Reference letters provide insight into your child’s academic, athletic, artistic, and personal qualities and abilities. Moreover, many schools also want to better understand the parents’ background and fit with the school community. As such, we will coach you on how to identify and approach the right individuals who will write in support of your child and family. We will advise you on effectively communicating with each referee as to what information should be included in the respective references in order to make them compelling.
Parent and Student Interview Coaching
The interview is your family’s chance to stand out and to really bring your application alive. One of our sayings at KEY is “Success in the Interview = Ability + Likeability.” Through our proprietary interview-training program, we coach both the parents and students on how to make a strong impression. More importantly you learn how to stand out, especially among a highly competitive pool of applicant families. We teach you how to develop your unique story and why you would make a good fit, so that you have a compelling case for support of your application.
Group Assessment Preparation
As part of their assessment process, a private school may conduct evaluations where candidates are observed in a group setting. KEY has developed our own proprietary program designed to help students prepare for the group assessment. Through various exercises, we build a student’s confidence, and abilities to articulate ideas and values and to work collaboratively with others. We help take the stress out of the group assessment by showing students what they should expect. Our students benefit from this program beyond schools assessments as KEY teaches them how to be more effective in classroom discussions.
SSAT and Standardized Test Preparation
KEY has developed a unique SSAT program incorporating group and individual lesson plans, allowing our teachers to customize the curriculum to your child’s strengths and weaknesses. A comprehensive online support system is included for every student taking the course, which allows them to track their progress and identify areas of improvement. The combination of digital and face-to-face learning has shown to provide the greatest score improvement.
While we believe that families should go through the “front door” when applying to a private school, we occasionally get requests from those who wish to make a donation as part of their application. Topics surrounding educational philanthropy must be handled with the utmost care and sensitivity. KEY’s admissions experts have previous experience working in the fundraising offices of various private schools, and so we are able to properly guide families through the various components so that they avoid any awkward moments and are able to use the right language and skillfully handle conversations around donations.
School Decisions and Admissions Follow-up
Our team stays up to date with your family application status. Once admissions results are released, we meet to discuss options and develop plans for the next step, whether that includes preparing for enrollment or applying again.