4 Tips to Improve Your Child's Admissions Chances 

These days, it ain't easy getting into kindergarten.  At New York's most elite private schools, a child's chances of being accepted can be as low as 10%.  The New York Observer recently estimated that 60-150 kids from private nursery schools didn't land a kindergarten spot at all.

Scary, right?  To calm you down, remember: many parents, unlike you, didn't do their homework.  And with all this pent-up demand, the schools are bound to expand their kindergarten places.  (In fact, several new schools have recently opened.)  Meanwhile:

  1. Be realistic.  The name-brand schools only have so many spots.  Your child, no matter what his gifts or your connections, may not get into any one particular school.  Research more schools by starting with Abacus Guide Private Schools Directory.  Don't buy into the designer-label theory of primary education; if your child is destined to go to Harvard, he'll get there.  The point now is to find a place where he'll be happy and enjoy learning. 

  2. Consider applying earlier.  Even if your child's a toddler, it's not too early to research schools.  Many desirable schools begin in nursery.  Sometimes, it's easier to get in at this level. Since every nursery child is admitted to the school's kindergarten, she'll be set.

  3. Consider applying later.  The city has many good public elementary schools.  Your child can go to public school for a few years, and then transfer to private.  Some schools expand at the middle school and high school levels.  Ask admissions directors, and also keep in touch about openings that arise through pupil attrition.

  4. Do your homework.   Every admissions director likes to see a well-prepared parent.  For your child's sake and for the interview, make sure you know about the school and why you believe your child will thrive there.

Finally, consider hiring an educational consultant.  We've counseled hundreds of other families so we have experience and perspective.  We can help you too.

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