Owls: Why Consider Flying West?

Samantha New lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and daughter. Utah, Colorado, California Perhaps you envision yourself skiing the Rocky Mountains on the weekends with your classmates, or, you’re drawn to the laid-back lifestyle and stunning landscape of Southern California. Boarding schools west of the Mississippi leverage their access to the regions’ natural resources […]

Normalizing the Neuropsych: 5 things to Know about Neuropsychological Testing for Students

5 things to Know about Neuropsychological Testing for Students A neuropsychological exam can be administered proactively, or in response to challenges a student may be facing in the classroom and/or at home. It can serve as the first step toward early identification of emerging learning or developmental challenges in younger children, and can help to […]

The SSAT: To Test or Not to Test?

For all the right reasons – among them the demonstrated link between family income and high test scores, the drive for diversity, and a recognition of different learning styles –  many independent schools have continued with the SSAT-optional stance that they adopted during the pandemic, just as colleges have largely continued with SAT/ACT optional admissions.   […]

Make a Positive Impression: Say “Thank You”

One way to help make yourself more memorable: follow up with thank you emails. While handwritten notes are nice, it is easier for the admission person to respond to an email and attach it to your file. So be sure to get your interviewer’s name and business card during your visit, as well as the […]

The Independent School Admissions Gazette

We are excited to launch our new newsletter, where we update you on the dynamic admissions landscape, and invite you to explore the only directory providing thorough and unbiased boarding school data and descriptions, The Owl Boarding School Guide, which we curate. As lifelong educators who taught extensively in independent schools, the 20 of us here […]

Don’t Forget to Read this Summer. Your Brain Depends on It!

Read. Read. Read. It’s advice given ad infinitum to children from preschool all the way through high school. There are well documented reasons that back up this recommendation, some of which I mention below. But now that summer is upon us, it’s a great opportunity to set aside some time each day – say 15-20 […]

We Are Pleased to Offer You A Place On Our Waitlist

After weeks of waiting, March 10 finally arrives and throngs of aspiring independent school candidates learn their fate. Predictably, there is elation for the admitted, and sorrow for the denied. But for a select few there is, “We are pleased to offer you a place on our waitlist.” For the aspirants who receive an invitation […]

School Readiness

Unlike my slightly more aged colleagues here at McMillan Education, for me the elementary back-to-school frenzy is not a hazy memory in the rear-view mirror of my peacefully empty nest. With three children ages 7, 9, and 12 and a teacher husband, the end of August spawns a quickly metastasizing lump of queasy anxiety in […]

Are AP Classes Right For You?

Many of our students received their AP scores earlier this month. The College Board offers three dozen Advanced Placement courses and administers exams each May, and exam scores range from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). Though not as many colleges grant college credit for top scores as they used to, the exams do demonstrate academic […]

The Power of the Passport

With the recent presidential election in the United States, many of our families living abroad have asked how international students will be received at American colleges and universities in the future. Will visas continued to be issued? Will it be safe to live and study in the U.S.? Will the same opportunities that have afforded […]

Go Swiss, Go Canadian, Go UK, Go Global Boarding!

Considering applying to a US boarding school in New England, Mid-Atlantic or the west coast? If so, you may want to dust off your passport and explore international boarding school options. International boarding schools can offer your students an excellent academic, sports and extracurricular balance. Switzerland, Canada and the UK offer some of the best-kept […]

Developing the Right Questions to Research Schools and Colleges

Eager to find out more about a potential school or college? Prepping for a campus visit or interview? The road to inquiry begins with asking the right questions. Way back in my days of prepping to be a journalist in college, we were introduced to a basic exercise and key words to facilitate our preparation […]

What Is the Best Fit for the Child?

One cannot attend an educational conference, read a trade publication or a school’s marketing materials without coming across the hot buzzwords “grit,” “zest” and “best fit.” These snazzy concepts are regarded as essential for student success. The child with grit perseveres, and a zesty student connotes images of active engagement in activities and classroom discussions. […]

Grit, Inspiration, & New Hampshire Boarding Schools

A Yankee Recipe For Success David Brooks recently wrote a column, “Putting Grit in its Place,” in which he references the current fascination with this formative four-letter word. He initially defines grit more in the negative as “the ability to trudge through long stretches of difficulty.” Parents often invoke this definition of grit to urge […]

The Role of the Post Graduate (PG) Year in Preparation for College

Not Just For Athletes Anymore I have worked with many PG students who have eventually declared the PG experience as essential to their growth and success. These students are young women and men, some student athletes, who have chosen to commence to another challenge before taking on the new world that is the college experience. […]

Alex Clark’s Post-Graduate Year Perspective

When I was first accepted into college in 2009, I was thrilled. I had gotten into my first choice school, Elon University in North Carolina, and felt like I had accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish during my high school career. However, as the summer months came to a close and my departure for Elon […]

Benefits of Attending University in the U.K.

Often when families come into our office they know just what they want, but still, we know how important it is to ask and provide all the different options. We love asking about Gap years, traveling, and about attending university in a different country especially the United Kingdom. While many families will think instantly of […]

Finding Joy (and Yourself!) in the Application Process and in School/College

As I look forward to working with new students and families on their educational plans, I often think back to my own college application essay that focused on the process of education rather than the end product as seen in a final grade. If the process is drudgery with only the desired grade in mind, […]

‘You Sent Your Child Away!’

Demystifying the Boarding School Experience “Why would I send my child to boarding school?” “Boarding schools are for…troubled kids.” We hear these concerns expressed frequently by families we work with. And recently I’ve been thinking about better ways to demystify the boarding school experience thanks to some work I’ve done with a wonderful group of […]

Applicant Profiles: Who Are You?

For each of our candidates, whether applying to independent school, college, graduate or professional school, an essential element of the process is explaining who you are. Think of the 70’s hit song by, appropriately enough, the group “The Who.” The admissions representatives for each school “really wanna know” and really want you to “tell” them, […]

Semester Schools

Independent, Hands-On Learning Options Calling all high school juniors! It’s time to get off the high school academic treadmill and pursue an amazing opportunity during your junior year fall or spring. Take a semester away from your high school to develop a greater sense of self and direction. Semester schools offer an authentic, dynamic, and […]

Educational Planning

It’s Like Riding a Bike One of my favorite activities is bike riding. Like many other Americans, I started out as a preschooler trudging around the house on a tricycle. As a kindergartner, I advanced to rumbling down the sidewalk on a kiddy bicycle with training wheels. Then, I was riding on my own, off […]

Proper Balance Between Specialization and a Holistic Experience

The beauty is finding the right fit, the natural fit. To be perfect, you have to feel perfect about yourself. This quotation from NY Times best selling author Rick Riordan best describes my experience as a presenter and attendee at the Small Boarding Schools Association Conference in Florida last week. The sentiment mirrors the mantra […]