Application Process

Overview

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 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 four 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.

We 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.

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.

Application Timeline

September 2014

  • Application forms available from the College Prep Admissions Office by clicking here.
  • Register for the ISEE or for the SSAT; Note: The ISEE may be taken at College Prep on December 14, 2014; More information about entrance exams can be found by clicking on the tab labeled "Testing" below.
  • Call Vanessa Ortega in the Admission Office at (510) 652-4364 x1 on or after September 8 to schedule a half-day student visit.
  • Please visit our website to schedule a parent tour (optional) or contact Jonathan Zucker in the Admission Office at (510) 652-4364 to reserve a space.

October 2014

  • Please visit our website  to schedule a parent tour (optional) or contact Jonathan Zucker in the Admission Office at (510) 652-4364 to reserve a space.
  • Sunday, October 19, 2014: Open House #1 from 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

November 2014

  • Half-day visits continue
  • Saturday, November 15, 2014: Open House #2 from 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

December 2014

  • Half-day visits continue
  • Sunday, December 7, 2014: Open House #3 from 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 14, 2014: ISEE administered at College Prep, 10 a.m. (check-in at 9:30 a.m.)
  • Monday, December 22, 2014: Financial-aid workshop at 6:00 p.m.

January 2015

  • Half-day visits continue
  • Saturday, January 17, 2015: Interview Day #1
  • Thursday, January 15, 2015: Application deadline.
  • Thursday, January 15, 2015: Financial aid application deadline.
  • Saturday, January 24, 2015: Interview Day #2
  • Saturday, January 31, 2015: Interview Day #3
  • Saturday, January 31, 2015: Last day to take ISEE for scores to be considered for the College Prep application. For those taking the SSAT, the last test date to submit scores for College Prep is January 10, 2015.

February 2015

  • Monday, February 23, 2015: Tax forms (2014 - Form 1040) due for new financial aid applicants.

March 2015

  • Thursday, March 12, 2015: notification by mail of admission decisions and financial aid awards.
  • Friday, March 13, 2015, 4 pm: online notification of admission decisions and financial aid awards.
  • Wednesday, March 18, 2015: Deadline for responses from financial aid candidates with offers (by noon).
  • Friday, March 20, 2015: Deadline for responses from non-financial aid candidates with offers (by noon).

April 2015

  • Registration and placement tests for newly enrolled students (dates to be announced).

May 2015

  • New Parent Orientation (date to be announced).

Student Visit

There is no better way to get a feel for College Prep than walking the grounds, observing classes, and talking to students and faculty members.

 

We encourage all interested students to come for a half-day visit to College Prep to observe classes and experience our community first hand. You do not have to submit an application to visit College Prep.

Visits begin in September 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, participate in an English discussion, or draw something in an art class!

Please call Vanessa Ortega at (510) 652-4364 x1 on or after September 8, 2014 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.

Parking and Directions: There are two visitor parking spaces in our lot. If those are full, you may double park in front of the school vans when dropping off your child (our parking lot attendant will help you). 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 Office, just past the Buttner Auditorium. At the conclusion of the visit, your child will be walked down to the parking lot.

Open House

College 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 campus.

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.

Please note: The online reservation system for open houses can be found on this page beginning on September 2, 2014.

All 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 19, 2014, 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 15, 2014, 1 p.m
  • Sunday, December 7, 2014, 1 p.m.

Testing

College Prep requires that all applicants take either the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) or the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) as part of the application process.

The Admission Office has no preference between the ISEE and the SSAT.

ISEE Information

You may register to take the ISEE exam beginning on September 15, 2014. The testing fee for the ISEE is $100.The 2013-2014 ISEE student guide is available here (we will link to the 2014-15 guide as soon as it's available). A study guide, What to Expect on the ISEE, is available directly from the ISEE as a free PDF or the book version may be purchased for $20 directly from ISEE.

Applicants should indicate on the ISEE registration form that College Prep is to receive your test scores. The ISEE code number for College Prep is 052192. The ISEE will be given at College Prep on Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 10 am (check-in at 9:30 am). Applicants need not take the test at College Prep; several test dates and local sites are available. Testing dates, sites, and registration deadlines are listed in the Student Guide under “East Bay Consortium.” Early registration is advised, as local test sites fill up quickly. Applicants must take the ISEE no later than January 31, 2015 for scores to be considered for the College Prep application.

A limited number of ISEE fee waivers are available for families with need. Please call the Admission Office at (510) 652-4364 x2 to request a fee waiver.

SSAT Information

You may register to take the SSAT beginning August 1, 2014. A study guide, The Official Guide to the Upper Level SSAT, is available for $35. The testing fee for the SSAT is $120.

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 Admission Office or directly from SSAT. There are four SSAT testing dates (all Saturdays) that occur in time for scores to be considered for the College Prep application: October 18, November 15, December 13, and January 10 (please do not sign up for the February 7 test date -- this is too late). The registration deadline for each of these tests is 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 is 2484.

A limited number of SSAT fee waivers are available for families with need. Please call the Admission Office at (510) 652-4364 x2 to request a fee waiver.

Interview

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 interests 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 at (510) 652-4364 x1 to schedule an appointment for one of our interview days. Interviews occur on three Saturdays:

  • Saturday, January 17, 2015
  • Saturday, January 24, 2015
  • Saturday, January 31, 2015

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 accommodate students who cannot make any of the above dates.

For 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 school.

  • 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 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 know!

Parent Tour

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.

All parent tours begin at 9:30 am and meet at the Admission Office. This year, parent tours will be offered on the following dates:

Please note: The online reservation system for parent tours can be found on this page beginning on September 2, 2014.

  • September 15 (Monday)
  • September 18 (Thursday)
  • September 22 (Monday) 
  • September 30 (Tuesday)
  • October 2 (Thursday)
  • October 6 (Monday) 
  • October 9 (Thursday)
  • October 13 (Monday)
  • October 16 (Thursday) 
  • October 20 (Monday) 
  • October 23 (Thursday)
  • October 30 (Thursday) 
  • November 3 (Monday) 
  • November 6 (Thursday) 
  • November 10 (Monday)
  • November 13 (Thursday) 
  • November 17 (Monday) 
  • November 20 (Thursday)
  • December 1 (Monday) 
  • December 4 (Thursday) 
  • December 8 (Monday) 
  • December 11 (Thursday)
  • December 15 (Monday)

Parking and Directions: There are two visitor parking spaces in our lot. If those are full, you may double park in front of the school vans when coming for a parent tour (our parking lot attendant will help you). 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 Office, just past the Buttner Auditorium.