Congratulations! Your child has been accepted to one (or multiple!) of your top-choice private schools. Now, the decision on where your child will receive their education is in your hands. What do you do next?
Before you make any final decisions or sign the paperwork, consider attending school revisit days at the private schools that made it to the top of your list. These school-planned events can help your family feel confident and excited about your ultimate choice for your child.
What is a private school revisit day?
Admissions revisit day is when private schools invite accepted students and their families back to campus (or to a virtual event) to provide any final insights that may sway their decision.
Whether held in-person or online, revisit day will most likely include meeting with current students or parents, sitting in on classes or activities, and attending a few presentations or panel discussions that include students, faculty, staff, or leadership.
During this visit, private schools aim to demonstrate the value they provide for a family’s investment and help prospective students determine if the school’s community and educational approach align with their own. It’s a time when your child can better experience what it’s like to be a student at a school through both observation and candid conversations.
Should you attend revisit days at your top-choice schools?
Even if you think you have your mind made up, it’s always a good idea to attend revisit days at your top contenders. Revisit days can validate your choice, or they can open your eyes to new possibilities. They’re a useful tool in the private school admissions process.
What questions should you ask during a revisit day?
The best way to make the most of private school revisit days is to come prepared and pay attention. This opportunity is your chance to get any final questions answered, to explore any programs or offerings that you haven’t yet experienced, and to talk to any faculty, staff, or current students with whom you have not yet connected.
Make sure you bring a list of topics you want to cover or areas you still need to explore. You may even want to create a spreadsheet to log answers and information to compare and contrast your top schools post-visit.
However you decide to collect your information, there are specific questions that can provide you with clarity during your revisit experience:
ASK THE SCHOOL...
- What do you think makes this school different? Hearing this answer from various school professionals or current students should give you a full picture of the school’s values.
- What are the most unique experiences offered to students? Once again, this question may get you different answers from each person asked — and you may learn about exciting opportunities you didn’t know existed!
- What student supports are available? Understanding how a school will support your student’s strengths and challenges is essential during the decision-making process.
- What is it really like to [teach/learn] here? Asking both faculty and current students to describe their personal experiences on campus can help you better understand the learning environment.
- Describe the typical student at this school. This question may lead to contrasting answers when asked to current students versus faculty and leadership — and that’s good to know. You may want to follow this up with additional questions about matriculation and student achievements.
ASK YOUR CHILD…
- What are you feeling? Can you see yourself learning here? Revisit day is when your child can truly FEEL what it will be like to be part of this community. Ask them if they think it’s a good fit for their future.
- How would you describe this school in your own words? The goal of the revisit is to immerse your child in the school’s culture. Asking your child to describe the school’s personality will help you uncover their personal feelings and gut reaction.
- Do you have any remaining concerns about this school? Once revisit day is complete, it’s important to ask your child about their hesitations or worries so you can address them before making a final decision.
What else should you consider during revisit day?
Revisit day is a time to observe campus life around you. Consider attending class visits, athletic practices, or special programs to watch learning in action. Some areas in which to pay attention:
- How are faculty interacting with students?
- How are students treating one another?
- Do the students seem happy?
- Is the campus diverse?
- Is the day thoughtfully structured? Is it designed to address prospective families’ needs, or is it more about showcasing the school?
- How do students and staff welcome new families?
While private school revisit days may not cement your final decision, they’re a great way to finalize any lingering questions or concerns. You never know — you may end the day with a decision made, a school bumper sticker on your car, and a signed contract in your pocket.