The admissions season has begun! One aspect of the independent school admissions application process is the Parent Essay. This can be a daunting experience for parents but it doesn’t need to be. Here are some tips for writing an essay that really illustrates why the particular school is the best fit for your child and for your family.
- Many schools will ask why you are applying to their particular school. You will have visited the school in some capacity (Open House, tour, etc.) so show them what about the school makes it a perfect fit for your child. Is it the academic program? Is it their arts program? Is it the community? If possible, include thoughts about how the school’s mission aligns with what you are looking for in a school.
- When describing your child, be honest. Schools don’t expect a “perfect” child. They expect a child who has strengths and weaknesses and since you are the one that knows your child best, you should talk about these honestly. How does your child shine? What are some areas of growth? Give a particular example of something that uniquely describes him/her. Illustrate things that will help your child stand out and make the school want him/her to be a part of their community. Maybe tell a story that will be a window into your child.
- Volunteerism and fundraising is a part of being in an independent school. Describe how you and your family will be a part of the school. Have you volunteered at your child’s current school? Do you enjoy being involved in the life of the school? Have you served on a Board?
The Parent Essay is one piece of the application but it’s an important one because it’s your chance to tell the school about your child and your family. Admissions Committees want to make sure their school is the right “match” for your child so being honest and transparent is important.