“We Must All Help Each Other To Succeed, Rather Than Put Each Other To The Test To Fail.” Marylyn Rosenthal

Well, it’s been quite a week of mixed emotions. Mid-March is the witching hour of first wave admission decisions for US boarding schools, and for leading day schools in major cities.

Along with my client families, I have been on tenterhooks awaiting school decisions. After years of chairing admission committees, and distributing the results, it is humbling now experiencing the nervousness felt on the other side of the equation. The loss of control over the process is tempered by knowing you have done everything you can do as a consultant to help students succeed. That is what it is all about.

In mid-March I am delighted to have helped students gain the following acceptances:


Connecticut: Ethel Walker School

Massachusetts: Berkshire School
Miss Hall’s School


California: Harker School, San Jose
Stratford School, Palo Alto

Canada: Two applicants to Canadian boarding schools on rolling admissions are awaiting decisions.

Now, on to the next season – which begins today! Many students may have been disappointed with the choices they have been left with. Other families are just beginning to look for next September as they have realized they want a positive change for their children.

So, research and choices have to be made in an encapsulated time. IECA consultants are ready to help. Feel free to call us.

Consultant as Advocate

We are approaching decision time for applicants to independent schools. The consultant and family school research, student visits, coaching, testing and interviews are all done. Now the wait is on. Most schools will be announcing their first round of decisions by mid March.

Admissions staff are reading and assessing applicant folders right now. With the increasing popularity of independent schools, the pressure to achieve the right mix and fit of successful applicants intensifies. I found reading the applicant files to be a joy in discovering each student’s uniqueness. The pressure came from rendering the decision when the competition was overwhelming.

When I was admissions director, I was always looking for talent. As an admissions associate at Choate Rosemary Hall School said to me in November on my visit there, “ We are looking for smart plus.”

The “ plus” is personal for the student, yet must fit the programs and values of the desired school. Both must mesh and fit. The great independent schools enroll a well-rounded class with multiple talents in evidence. Schools want star soccer players to star saxophonists. If they go together in one student – great – but that is very difficult to achieve, so they try to encapsulate excellence as a whole in a class.

At this period in late February, the educational consultant will be nearly as anxious as the family. Did he/she recommend the right school fit for the student? Did the consultant provide enough advice prior to the visits to help the student shine and stand out? Finally, did the consultant advocate clearly and effectively for the student with the admissions office?

March decisions will tell the story. Stay tuned. Stay calm. I wish the very best results to all applicants, particularly my clients of course!