What is the SAO?
The SAO was created to simplify and standardize the process of applying to independent schools (grades 6-PG). The Standard Application Online allows families to complete an online application and obtain one set of teacher recommendations that can be used to apply to any number of private schools that accept it. The SAO eliminates the need to fill out multiple recommendation forms. This web page will provide you with information on using the SAO to apply to independent schools.
If you have any additional questions, or require assistance, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do the Schools You Are Interested in Accept the SAO?
The SAO is accepted by hundreds of independent schools in the U.S., Canada and worldwide, and numerous schools use the SAO exclusively for applicants. Many schools that accept the SAO say so on their admission web page, but some do not.
If you see this graphic on a school’s website,
you know they accept the SAO.
A complete list of accepting schools is available online here . Click on "Schools Accepting Standard Application Online."
Hint: You can also use this list to start your application – just click on a listed school to open its page and click on "Apply to this School." You will be asked to Log In or Create a New Account.
The application includes these sections:
1. Student Information (Part 1): basic biographical information about you such as your age, current school and family. You complete the form and submit it with the school’s application fee, payable with Visa, MasterCard, Discover or Fee Waiver.
2. Student Questionnaire: includes brief essay questions.
3. Parent Statement: to be completed by parent or guardian.
4. Recommendation Forms (School, English, Math,Transcript): only one set is required, regardless of how many schools to which you apply.
5. School Supplement (where required): this supplement asks for additional information required by an individual school.
Want to see what's on the application? To view a PDF of the Standard Application with samples of the recommendation forms, click here. Please note: these sample recommendation forms cannot be used for submission, as they do not contain unique student ID information.
Get Started! Use one of these links:
To get started right away, click here to go directly to the SSAT Account Management page and Log In Or Create a New Account.
If you have a school in mind, click here for a list of schools accepting the SAO. Find your school, click on "Apply to this School" and log in or create an account when prompted, to start your first application.
To begin a Standard Application Online, you must first log in to your SSAT account (or create one). Go to www.ssat.org. If you have registered to take the SSAT, the login is the same. If you haven’t, click on "Create a New Account." Then use the School Search feature to select the first school you want to apply to and begin the application. The school’s application homepage will contain information about the school’s application fees, deadlines and requirements.
As soon as you are ready to submit the first section of the application (Student Information/Part 1), you’ll be prompted to pay the school’s application fee via credit card. If you have received an application fee waiver number from the school to which you are applying, you may enter the fee waiver number in lieu of a credit card. Withn one business day of your submission of Part 1, the school will receive your payment and information. Then, fill out the remaining sections and submit them before the school's application deadline.
Download the teacher recommendation and transcript forms and give them to your teachers/administrator, who will then mail them to SSAT, where they are added electronically to your application. Check to see if the school requires a supplement (it will be listed on their application page), and if so, follow the instructions to submit it.