Admissions FAQs

List of 11 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. What is the success rate of students admitted to Prep for Prep?

    Over a period of years, Prep for Prep's entering contingents gradually increased from 25 to as many as 150 students. In 1988, for the first time, more than 100 students matriculated at independent schools (commonly known as private schools) in a single year. In a typical year at least 75% of the students who begin the 14-month Preparatory Component successfully complete it.
  • Q. Does success in Prep for Prep guarantee a child admission to an independent school?

    Technically the answer is "No,” because an Admissions Committee at each independent school (commonly known as private school) makes the final decisions on particular candidates to that school. However, it is our expectation that every child who remains in good standing in Prep will be admitted to one of the participating schools. Because our students are well-prepared and highly-motivated, and because the schools are committed to the program, the acceptance rate of our students is extraordinary. In fact, since Prep’s founding, virtually every child who remained in good standing in the program has been admitted to one of the schools. In a few cases each year, this has required additional applications and advocacy in the spring after the bulk of placement decisions are completed.
  • Q. How much money does Prep for Prep cost a family?

    Prep for Prep does not charge tuition. The only financial expenses for our families are the bus fees for the summer Preparatory Component. Moreover, every year, our students are awarded approximately $40 million in financial aid directly from their independent (private) schools. While Prep families receive financial aid, many will also be asked to pay some part of independent school costs.
  • Q. Does family income play a role in determining whether a child is accepted to Prep?

    Space in the Prep for Prep program is reserved for students who demonstrate very strong academic performance and high financial need. As such, Prep for Prep considers family income and financial assets as part of its application process.
  • Q. How does the financial aid process at independent school work?

    Prep for Prep students admitted to participating independent schools (commonly known as private schools) are guaranteed financial aid to the extent that each child's family situation warrants it. Each parent is asked to fill out a financial statement in December or January. Each situation is analyzed individually, according to a formula devised by the School and Student Services for Financial Aid and the independent schools.

    The formula takes into account not only family income but a great variety of factors that might affect a family's ability to contribute toward educational expenses. The underlying premise of the financial aid process, however, is that each family is responsible for the costs of education for its children to the extent that each family is able to pay, and financial aid is supposed to make up the difference. Prep for Prep staff members are available to help families with the forms.

    Many of our families qualify for full-tuition financial aid awards or very close to full-tuition awards. Families should understand that although they may be judged by an independent school to need very considerable aid, they will probably still be expected to pay a portion of their child's school expenses.

    Families whose income is above $100,000 and/or families who have substantial assets will probably be asked to make a more significant contribution to school costs, although even in this income bracket (where a range of factors makes each situation different), significant financial aid is very often judged necessary and is awarded, particularly to families with multiple minor children.
  • Q. Will financial aid received in independent school impact my child’s college financial aid package?

    No, this aid is being provided by the independent schools themselves and does not impact the awards provided at institutions during the college application process.
  • Q. What if my child is in 4th grade or younger, can s/he apply to Prep?

    The earliest point that a student may be nominated to Prep for Prep is in fifth grade. Please come back the fall of your child’s fifth-grade year to apply!

    There are several early steps you can take that may help make your child a good candidate for Prep for Prep, including:
    • Research the Gifted and Talented programs or magnet schools in your area and advocate for your child's admission.
    • Monitor your child's grades closely and check homework regularly.
    • Whenever possible, enrich the student's life with trips to museums, cultural activities, and any travel.
    • Make sure your child is always reading worthwhile books outside of school. Encourage them to read books above their grade level.
    • Summer is a time when many students actually lose ground academically. Find an academically oriented summer program or actively participate in your local public library summer reading program.

    For other educational and leadership programs that may be of interest, please refer to this Directory of Enrichment Programs for elementary school students.
  • Q. What if my child is in 8th grade or older, can s/he still apply to Prep?

    Unfortunately, seventh grade is the last year in which a student can be nominated for Prep for Prep. For other educational and leadership programs that may be of interest, please refer to this Directory of Enrichment Programs for high school students.
  • Q. Does Prep for Prep provide transportation?

    While students and families are expected to arrange transportation on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the academic school year, Prep for Prep is committed to chartering transportation during the summer session. We cover 75% of the costs and kindly ask for each family to contribute to the difference.
  • Q. Who decides at which independent school a particular child will enroll?

    The parents and the students themselves are central figures in this decision, but counseling is provided by staff members to assist families in finding the best match. After visiting several schools, each child applies to two or three schools. If more than one of these schools admits a particular child, and if the child and parents have a strong preference for a particular school, we try our best to take this into account. In order to ensure that every child in the program who is in good standing be admitted to an appropriate school, it is not possible to honor the "first" choice of every child. For that reason, we ask each child for two "co-equal" choices. Also, if a student is not offered a place at any of the first schools selected, we ask families to consider additional school(s) for further applications.
  • Q. Do Prep for Prep students have a "scholarship advantage?"

    The financial aid formula used by School and Student Services for Financial Aid and the independent (private) schools applies to our families as it does to everyone else. There are, however, a number of major advantages to being a Prep for Prep candidate applying to these schools. Primarily, no student gets financial aid unless he or she has been admitted to a school, and being a Prep for Prep student is a big advantage in admissions.

    In addition, it is often the case that a school will admit a student who is not from Prep for Prep, but then inform the family that even though the family qualifies for financial aid, the school has already used up its financial aid budget and therefore cannot award the child any aid. This will not happen to Prep for Prep students because the schools are committing places and financial aid. If a Prep student is admitted, the money is available.

    Finally, filling out financial aid forms completely and accurately is important, and Prep for Prep is committed to making sure that each child is awarded as much financial aid as the family is entitled to receive. We will help parents with the forms and if it appears that a family has not been awarded a fair grant, we will participate in discussing the matter with the appropriate school personnel.
163 West 91st Street
New York, NY 10024
P: 212.579.1470
328 West 71st Street
New York, NY 10023
P: 212.579.1390
We envision a nation guided by ethical and effective leaders that reflect our diverse society. 

Prep for Prep's mission is to develop future leaders by creating access for young people of color to first-rate educational, leadership development and professional opportunities.