Tips for Applying to Independent Schools from Explorer West’s Director of Admissions, Dawn Fornear

someThis time of year is fun because I meet new families and elementary school students curious about middle school life. It's exciting to think about new possibilities, and I love welcoming you all to our community. We kicked off the Fall with our first Open House, if you missed it, you can find it here. I invite you to join us at any of our upcoming events to find out more about EW. Details below.

If you're new to independent schools, here are a few tips and important questions to ask from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and Explorer West.

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Start early! Most schools' websites and admissions materials will offer you a step-by-step guide to their financial aid process.Admission Directors, like myself, are happy to explain or walk you through the steps or help you with documents.
If you don’t know the timeline, ask. It’s especially important to understand the difference between the deadlines for admission applications and financial aid applications.At EW, standard admission applications are due January 13, 2022. However, we will accept applications after the deadline on a space-available basis. New family financial Aid applications are due February 3, 2022.
Don’t hesitate to be honest with financial aid staff members. Feel free to call financial aid directors, develop a relationship, and be open about the information the schools need to make good decisions.Carol LaMotte, our Director of Finance and Operations is available to discuss financial aid and tuition options. She helps current and prospective families with tuition and assitance.
Ask questions that will give you a sense of what to expect. For example, ask what percentage of students receive financial aid, what is the school’s average grant, and what options exist if you don’t get the aid you need?It's important to ask what school costs will be beyond tuition, and what is covered by financial aid. At Explorer West, outdoor education trips, books, and materials are all included in our tuition.

If you're interested in learning more about our tuition and financial aid, please join Carol and me for a webinar and Q&A session on December 14th. You can register for the virtual event through Ravenna or email me at .

Through Ravenna, you can also register for our December 11th Open House or our other admission events!

More information about our financial aid program can be found on this page.