Frequently Asked Questions
When should we apply?
Applications are available each year in early October. We do not have rolling enrollment or pre-enrollment for our entry level class (Junior Kindergarten). Parents begin the admissions process the fall prior to the year they wish to enroll.
Are there fees involved in applying to Parker?
The application fee of $125 is valid for two years. There is a $95 evaluation fee for Junior Kindergarten - 4th grade applicants. For 5th - 12th grade applicants, there is a $100 testing fee for the ISEE test.
Are there deadlines for completing the admissions process?
The deadline for first round admission applications is February 3, with written decision notification in early March. Families who miss the first deadline may apply for second round consideration.
How many students are admitted to each grade?
Approximately one hundred and seventy-five students are accepted to Parker each year; approximately eighty students in the Lower School, fifty-five in the Middle School and thirty in the Upper School. The majority of our openings occur in JK, SK, 6th, 7th and 9th grades. Openings in other grades are contingent on attrition. Applications for admission to the eleventh and twelfth grades are only considered in special circumstances.
From which schools do you choose most of your new students?
Parker values the opportunity to enroll students from all over San Diego County. We seek students from a variety of schools with different missions and programs. This past year we offered places to students from 103 different public, private, independent and schools and 50 zip codes.
Does the Admissions Committee have a pre-determined grade point average or entrance exam score for the students they admit?
No, however, admission to Parker is competitive and it is important to have some indicators that a student will be academically successful at Parker and make a smooth transition smoothly into the School. Other things considered in the selection process are teacher and administrator recommendations, essays and questionnaires and a student’s special talents, interests and accomplishments.
Is there any test preparation or tutoring, that Parker recommends prior to testing?
Students should not require any special preparation or tutoring for admission testing as it is probably similar to tests administered annually in their classrooms. Students (Grades 5-12) taking the ISEE may wish to review the sample questions provided by the ERB (Educational Records Bureau). Our youngest candidates (JK and SK) are developmentally evaluated and there is no preparation necessary.
How much weight does the Admission Committee give to test scores?
Test scores are only one aspect of a student’s file. A broad range of test scores exists among those students accepted by Parker. Since we accept students from varied programs, these scores are regarded as one measure of their preparation for Parker.
Do families who have an affiliation with Parker have an advantage in the admissions process?
Parker is, by mission and tradition, a “family” school. Sibling and legacy applications (faculty/staff and children of alumni), are given priority consideration. However, no admissions are ever guaranteed. Traditionally, about 30% of newly enrolled students are affiliates. Therefore, there are always significant spaces, depending on grade, for new students to enroll at Parker.
Is there an age cut-off for some grades?
The Lower School has age requirements. Children must be four by July 31st of the year they seek enrollment in the Junior Kindergarten class; five for Senior Kindergarten. Subsequent numbered elementary school grades have the same cut-off date as the children advance in age. Middle and Upper School applicants do not have birth date cut-offs.
What financial resources does Parker have available for families who have cost concerns?
Approximately twenty percent of the student body receives tuition assistance based on financial need. Parker does not award athletic or academic scholarships. The School has a commitment to socio-economic diversity and this year over three million dollars was awarded to new and returning families who qualified, based on a standardized process. The School and Student Service for Financial Aid processes financial assistance applications for a nominal fee. However, the funds awarded come from Parker and are determined, based on demonstrated need, by a committee of administrators.
What is the tuition at Parker? Are there additional costs?
Tuition and new student fees are set by the Board of Trustees each winter for the following year, and are announced in acceptance letters. Other expenses, which vary by grade level, include books, uniforms, transportation and some class activities. Lunch and Lower School snacks are included in tuition.
Does Parker accept international students?
Francis Parker School welcomes applications from students from around the world who intend to complete their secondary education at Parker. Applications are considered in the same pool as the domestic applicants. Parker does not offer a program in English as a Second Language (ESL). Therefore all students need to be completely fluent in English for reading, speaking and composition.
International students should fill out the standard application, submit the $125 fee and complete the SSAT or ISEE standardized test. Parker issues I-20’s to international students once they are accepted and enrolled in the school. We do not have boarding facilities nor a homestay program.
When will families receive the School’s decision?
Applicants will be notified by mail on March 7. The Admission Committee will inform you of one of the following decisions: Your student will be offered enrollment at Francis Parker School and details of the enrollment process and deposit amounts will be included in the acceptance letter. Students who meet the requirements for admission, but for whom there is no space available, will receive a Wait Pool letter. Wait Pool candidates are not ranked and the pool does not give a candidate priority in subsequent years. A letter of denial or deferral will be sent to those students for whom our program is not an appropriate match at the current time.
Should we continue to apply if there is not an opening the first year we seek enrollment?
Absolutely, especially if the reason for not being offered acceptance is because of lack of space. It is helpful to note at which grades the most openings occur and plan to apply for these grades first.
Does Parker accept applications and offer enrollment after the first round of acceptances?
Parker does consider late applications. However, even though most places will probably be filled by students who apply before February 3, applicants who complete their applications after that date will be processed, evaluated and considered as openings become available.