The high school application process can be exciting, daunting,
self-affirming, confusing, or all of the above. We are here to help!
A student’s application to College
Prep consists of a Student Statement, a student questionnaire, a parent questionnaire,
an interview, a standardized test, teacher recommendations, two years worth of
school transcripts, and a family information sheet. Taken together, this
information allows us to learn about the student as a scholar and a person. No
one piece of the application carries more weight than any other. An applicant’s
file is typically read by five members of the Admission Committee. In addition
to looking for a strong academic fit between the student and College Prep, the
Admission Committee pays special attention to each student's willingness to contribute to the lives of others.
hope that you make good use of our website. It is an excellent place to
learn about many aspects of College Prep. When you inquire online, you will receive an application packet. The packet includes a curriculum guide, a school profile, a viewbook, and
more. The packet is a good place to write down questions and track your application progress with the included checklist.
Most prospective College Prep students come to the school for a
half-day visit during the fall of their eighth grade year, complete the
College Prep application, and participate in a brief interview with a
member of the College Prep Admissions Committee.
There is no better way to get a feel for College Prep than walking the
grounds, observing classes, and talking to students and faculty
encourage all interested students to come for a half-day visit to
Prep to observe classes and experience our community first hand. You do not have to submit an application to visit College
Visits begin in October and
conclude in January. In a typical week, we will host visitors both
morning and afternoon on four days.
Morning visits are usually from 8:45 a.m. until 12:05
p.m. and afternoon visits are typically from 12:30 p.m. until 3:10
p.m. Upon arrival, you will be introduced to your host (a current ninth-grade College Prep student), who will take you to classes and answer any
questions you might have. You might even get to answer a math question or two!
Please call Vanessa Ortega at (510) 652-4364 x1 on or after September 18 to schedule your visit.
At that time, please inform us if there are specific classes you would
like to visit or if there is a particular ninth-grade host you would like to have
show you around. To the best of our ability we will try to accommodate
your requests. Because classes at College Prep are so small, we can only accommodate
a handful of visitors each day, so please have a few dates in mind when scheduling your visit.
Since the two visitor parking spaces are often in use, visiting parents
may park in any available parking spot in
our lot (with the exception of spaces marked for van use) when dropping off their student. Directions to the school may be found here. All visitors should check-in
at the Admission Office. Follow the main path up campus and the Admission Office will be on your left, across from the Main
just past the Buttner Auditorium. At the conclusion of the visit, your child will be walked down to the parking lot.
Prep will host three open houses in the fall. Attending an open house
is a great way to see College Prep in action.
You will have the
opportunity to talk to teachers, current students, coaches, and
administrators as well as attend mini-classes and tour the beautiful
You do not need to have an application on file to attend an open house, though reservations are required. Open houses
are for prospective students and parents alike.
open houses begin promptly at 1:00 p.m. in the Buttner Auditorium and
end by 3:30 p.m.
This year's open house schedule is as follows:
Sunday, October 21, 2012, 1 p.m. (This open house is now full)
Sunday, November 11, 2012, 1 p.m (This open house is now full)
Saturday, December 1, 2012, 1 p.m (This open house is now full)
Please leave plenty of time for parking as our small lot fills up very
quickly. There is usually ample street parking, but it may take you
several extra minutes to walk to the Buttner Auditorium.
College Prep requires that all applicants take either the Independent School
Entrance Exam (ISEE) or the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) as
of the application process.
The Admission Office has no
preference between the ISEE and the SSAT.
You may register to take the ISEE exam online at the Educational
Bureau website. Registration begins in
late August and costs $98. The 2012-2013 ISEE
student guide is available here. A study guide, What to
Expect on the ISEE, is available
directly from the ISEE as a free PDF by clicking
here or you may purchase the book for $20 directly from ISEE.
Applicants should indicate on the ISEE registration form that College Prep is
receive test scores. The ISEE code number for College
Prep is 052192. The ISEE
will be given at College Prep on Sunday, January 13, 2013; the
registration deadline for this test date is December 23, 2012.
Applicants need not take the test at College Prep; several test dates and local
sites are available. Testing dates, sites, and registration deadlines
in the Student Guide under “East Bay
registration is advised, as local test sites
fill up quickly. Applicants must take the test no later than February 2, 2013 for scores to be considered for the College Prep
A limited number of ISEE fee waivers are available for families
with need. Please call the Admissions Office at (510) 652-4364 to request a fee waiver.
You may register to take the SSAT online at their website. A study guide,
Preparing and Applying for Independent School
and the SSAT, is available for $30. The testing fee for the SSAT
Students may take the
SSAT at a number of Bay Area locations. A student registration guide,
which includes local testing sites as well as registration information,
is available from the College Prep Admissions Office or directly from
SSAT. There are five SSAT testing dates (all Saturdays) that occur in
time for scores to be considered for the College Prep application.
These are October 13, November 10, December 8, January 5, and February 2. The
registration deadline for each of these tests is approximately three
weeks prior to the test date. Applicants should indicate on the SSAT
registration form that College Prep is to receive test scores.
The SSAT code number for College Prep
As part of the
admission process, each applicant is required to meet with a member of
the Admission Committee.
The interview is an opportunity for
applicants to ask questions about College Prep and to discuss their
and goals for high school. The interview is always only one student with
one interviewer and usually lasts around twenty minutes.
At College Prep, the
interview occurs on a different day than the student visit. Please call Vanessa Ortega on or after September 18 at (510)
652-4364 x1 to schedule an appointment for one
of our interview days.
Interviews occur on three Saturdays:
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Interviews time slots are available beginning at 9:00 a.m. and every half an hour until 2:30 p.m. We are happy to accomodate students who cannot make any of the above dates.
students who may be nervous or who have not been in an interview
before, here are a few pieces of advice.
- Be yourself; Don't say what you
think the interviewer
will find impressive. Talk about what you
love to do, both in school and for fun.
- Ask questions; It is a good idea to ask
questions specifically about College Prep. Maybe you are curious about
the track team, or want to know more about visual arts or the progression
through the English department. Asking questions will demonstrate to
the interviewer that you have done some thinking about our school (and
you will also get your questions answered!). Ideally, the
interview should be equally useful to the applicant and to the
- Don't over-prepare; A natural conversation
is much better than listing your accomplishments or trying to sound
impressive. The College Prep
interview does not follow a script or use set questions. You may be speaking with a math teacher, the Head of School,
the Associate Athletic Director, etc. Each interviewer has his or her
own style and technique. That being said, spend some time prior to the
interview thinking about what you are looking for from your high-school
experience. If you are nervous, it is fine to let your interviewer
Parents of current eighth graders are invited to take an optional tour of campus
to see the facilities and ask questions in a small-group setting. You must reserve space to attend a tour (no drop-ins) so we can keep the tours small.
2012-2013 parent tours will be offered on the following dates:
- October 2 (Tuesday) - FULL
- October 4 (Thursday) - FULL
- October 9 (Tuesday) - FULL
- October 11 (Thursday) - FULL
- October 15 (Monday) - FULL
- October 18 (Thursday) - FULL
- October 24 (Wednesday) - FULL
- November 1 (Thursday) - FULL
- November 8 (Thursday) - FULL
- November 15 (Thursday) - FULL
- November 19 (Monday) - FULL
- November 20 (Tuesday) - FULL
- November 21 (Wednesday) - FULL
- November 27 (Tuesday) - FULL
- November 29 (Thursday) - FULL
- December 4 (Tuesday) - FULL
- December 6 (Thursday) - FULL
- December 10 (Monday) - FULL
- December 14 (Friday) - FULL
- January 10 (Thursday) - FULL
Parking and Directions:
There may or may not be parking spots available in our lot when you arrive for a parent tour. You are free to park in any spot in the lot except those marked for van use. Directions to College Prep can be found here.