Beyond Transcripts: Additional Documents Required for Private School Applications

When preparing to submit an application for a private school, you will typically need more than just academic transcripts. While each private school has its own specific requirements, there are several common documents and forms often requested.

 Medical Forms

Many schools require a health form or medical examination report completed by a healthcare provider. This typically includes a record of immunizations and general health information. Schools need this data to ensure they can adequately care for your child’s health needs and meet regulatory requirements.

 Teacher Recommendations

Recommendation letters from your child’s current teachers provide insights into your child’s academic abilities, classroom behavior, and social skills. The private school may provide a form for these recommendations or ask for a traditional letter.

 Standardized Test Scores

While not always required, many private schools request scores from standardized tests. This could include nationally recognized exams like the SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test) or ISEE (Independent School Entrance Examination), or tests provided by the school itself.

 Personal Essays

Many private schools require prospective students to submit a personal essay. This essay allows the student to express their interests, personality, and reasons for wanting to attend the school, providing a personal perspective that goes beyond academic records.


Depending on the nature of the school, a portfolio showcasing the student’s work may be required. This is especially common for arts•focused schools but may also be applicable in other contexts. A portfolio could include artwork, writing samples, science projects, or other evidence of a student’s abilities and interests.


While not a ‘document,’ it’s important to note that private school applications often include an interview process. The interview provides a chance for the school to get to know the student better and for the student and parents to ask any remaining questions they have about the school.

In summary, while each private school has its own specific application requirements, you might need to provide:

• Medical forms or health records.

• Recommendation letters from current teachers.

• Scores from standardized tests.

• Personal essays written by the student.

• A portfolio showcasing the student’s work.

• Participate in an interview process.

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