Frequently Asked Questions
- Recent Changes to Testing Requirements
- For Connecticut Applicants
- Application Process
- For Postgraduate Applicants
- For International Applicants
- For Those Applying to Repeat Their Current Grade
- For Late Applicants or Late Application Materials
- For Financial Aid Applicants
- Scheduling the Interview
- Does going test optional change the way the admission committee reviews my application?
- Will I be penalized or disadvantaged if I do not submit test scores?
- How do I decide whether to submit my test scores?
- If I choose not to submit test scores, is there anything else I should submit?
- If I do submit my test scores, is there an average test score you look for?
- If I took a standardized test in a previous year, will you accept these scores?
- If I am an international student, is an English Language Proficiency Test required?
- Do you offer fee waivers for standardized tests?
No. Testing has always been just one part of the broader application process to Choate. A student is never solely assessed based on a single test score. Instead, when reading an application to determine who is the best fit for our community, we do so holistically through the interview, teacher recommendations, grades, courses, and extracurricular involvement.
No. We will make decisions based on the other parts of your application including your current grades, transcript, courses, interview, recommendations, and extracurricular activities. If you do not submit testing, we do suggest submitting a third letter of recommendation so the admission committee can get a greater insight into your academic background.
The decision is truly yours as an applicant! The new test- optional policy allows applicants to decide if their standardized test score accurately reflects their academic ability and potential. For candidates who decide to submit test scores, they will be reviewed along with other indicators of academic ability including teacher recommendations, transcripts, and current grades.
If you are unable to submit test results, we strongly encourage submitting both a Graded Essay and a third teacher Recommendation using the Personal Recommendation Form in the Gateway Application. Please upload your graded writing sample to your Choate Applicant Portal. You will gain access to your portal in the fall once you complete the Candidate Profile through Gateway to Prep Schools.
Applicants who reside in Connecticut may apply as either a Boarding student or a Day student; however, there are some considerations families should make before submitting their application.
Can I apply as both a Day and a Boarding student?
No. You must choose either Day or Boarding when you officially submit your application. If you would like to change the status of your application after it is submitted, please send a formal request in writing to Admission.
Is it more advantageous to apply as a Day or a Boarding student?
Both the Day and Boarding application pools are robust and competitive. For students who live within a reasonable drive to campus, we recommend applying as a day student; however, the admission committee will consider any extenuating circumstances that may make the day experience exceptionally challenging for the student or the family. Please send any additional information for your application to Admission.
Which areas of Connecticut do Day students come from?
Many Day students live in New Haven County. Day students also reside in towns across Hartford County, including: Bristol, Plainville, New Britain, Newington, Southington, Berlin, Rocky Hill, Marlborough, Wethersfield and Glastonbury; and the following towns in Middlesex County: Portland, Cromwell, Middletown, Middlefield, Durham, Haddam, Killingworth.
A general outline of the application process can be found on the Admission Process page. Please note the application due date is January 15. Admission decisions will be sent on March 10.
Submitting Application Materials
Where can I submit an application to Choate?
Applications to Choate should be submitted through the Gateway Application.
Which materials are submitted through Gateway?
All required materials for the application can be submitted through Gateway except for optional test scores and the Graded Essay. Testing should be sent directly to Choate from the testing organization or the applicant’s school. The Graded Essay should be uploaded in the Choate Applicant Portal. You will gain access to your portal in the fall once you complete the Candidate Profile through Gateway to Prep Schools.
What if my school’s transcript or other file is too large to upload on Gateway?
Schools may send official materials directly to the Choate Admission Team.
What if my school cannot send current grades?
We must receive some indication of current year performance no later than February 1. If term or semester grades are unavailable, we will accept grades in progress.
How will I know if my application is complete?
Applicants can monitor the status of their application materials both on the Gateway to Prep Schools Application Portal and the Choate Applicant Portal. You will gain access to your portal in the fall once you complete the Candidate Profile through Gateway.
Should I submit a Graded Essay with my application? How do I submit my graded essay?
All 9th grade applicants are required to submit a Graded Essay.
10th, 11th, and Postgraduate applicants who are unable to submit test results, are strongly encouraged to submit both a Graded Essay and a third Teacher Recommendation using the Personal Recommendation Form in the Gateway Application.
Please upload your graded essay to your Choate Applicant Portal. You will gain access to your portal in the fall once you complete the Candidate Profile through Gateway to Prep Schools.
What are you looking for in the Graded Essay?
The Graded Essay will provide the admission team with a fuller sense of your writing abilities. We prefer that your essay come from your current English class; however, if this is not possible, then you may submit an essay from either another current humanities class or a sample from an English or humanities class from the previous academic year. The essay can be either analytical or creative, should be a minimum of 500 words, and should include teacher comments or feedback.
Where should I include recommendations and application supplements?
Gateway allows applicants to list activities, include multimedia links, and request recommendations (2 required and 1 optional). Please submit these materials through your Gateway profile.
What if I want to submit additional recommendations or materials?
Applicants may submit additional, supplementary materials to the Choate Admission Team. Additional personal recommendations should be sent directly from the recommender to the Choate Admission Team. Materials we receive will be added to the student’s application.
What if I experience difficulties with the Gateway platform?
Choate cannot assist with Gateway platform issues. Please review the Gateway Support Page to access their many resources.
Do you superscore standardized tests?
Yes. We review the highest score from each section across multiple tests dates. This approach applies to the SSAT, ISEE, PSAT, SAT, and ACT. Please review our testing requirements on the Admission Process page.
Do you set minimum academic requirements for admission?
Our admission process is holistic; we consider all aspects of an applicant’s candidacy, including indicators of academic preparedness and community involvement. We do not set minimum requirements for admission, nor do we publish average GPA credentials or standardized test scores.
What is a Postgraduate year?
The Postgraduate, or PG, year provides high school graduates an opportunity for a college preparatory experience during a school year between graduating from high school and matriculating to college. Choate postgraduates pursue a customized program and receive a certificate of completion on graduation day. Postgraduates walk at Choate Rosemary Hall’s graduation ceremony along with every other member of the graduating class, and upon graduation, postgraduates are considered Choate alumni.
Why do students pursue a PG year?
A PG year benefits students in a variety of ways. While at Choate, they engage in a challenging and robust academic curriculum. Like all Choate students, PGs live in senior dorms and are able to take advantage of a wide range of extracurricular activities. Living away from home in a structured environment leads to holistic development and maturation prior to the college years. Many PGs also pursue additional athletic development and are able to extend their college athletic recruitment process. While Choate doesn’t have an applicant age limit, in the case of student-athletes, by NEPSAC rule an athlete cannot turn 20 either before or during a season of play.
What does a PG curriculum look like? How are they prepared for college?
PGs must carry a full load of 5 courses per academic term. Additional coursework in the PG year will round out the student’s overall high school curriculum, and are determined by student interest, guidance from college counseling, and input from the deans. Every PG will be assigned a college counselor who will work with the student individually. PGs have an online webinar in June to ready themselves for the college process and build a relationship with their counselor.
What is the PG campus experience like at Choate?
Choate admits between 15 and 25 PGs per year. PGs live in senior dorms with other Choate seniors and postgraduate students, and are typically paired with other PGs as roommates. PGs enjoy the same privileges and experiences as other Choate seniors, including both daily permissions and annual traditions.
As a global and diverse institution, Choate receives applications from students with a wide range of citizenships and international education experiences. 18 percent of our student body is comprised of international students who represent around 40 different countries. The Choate Admission Team holistically considers all aspects of a student’s experiences and background when making admission decisions, and are trained in evaluating a diversity of international curricula.
Who is considered an international applicant?
Initially, the admission process begins by reviewing applications based on the location of the student’s current school. If the school a student attends is in an international location (i.e., outside the U.S.), the applicant will be considered international at that point; however, our committee is also interested in evaluating a student’s citizenship. Students who hold U.S. citizenship, but who attend school abroad, are considered domestic. Applicants who do not hold U.S. citizenship may be considered international applicants, regardless of whether they reside in, or are educated in, the United States.
Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS? What are your requirements for international applicants?
For non-native English speakers and/or students who have not been at a school where English is the primary language of instruction for at least two years, we strongly suggest submitting results from a TOEFL, Duolingo or IELTS test. We are looking for a minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL or a 7 on the IELTS. Otherwise, the application process is the same for domestic and international students.
When applying to Choate, students have the option to select which grade level they would like to enter. We allow students to “reclassify” their grade level so that they repeat their current grade.
Why do students repeat?
Members of the Choate Admission Team will happily discuss considerations for repeating the current grade with students and families. Students who apply to repeat do so for a variety of reasons, including:
- realigning with a grade level appropriate to the student’s maturation and skill development
- allowing more time to acclimate to Choate and having a fuller experience (e.g., repeating 9th grade vs. entering as a new 10th grader)
- experiencing more time on campus prior to engaging in the college process (e.g., repeating 10th grade vs. entering as a new 11th grader)
Students who repeat at Choate engage in a challenging curriculum, are able to take advantage of a wide range of extracurricular activities, experience holistic development and maturation leading up to the college process, and may find more curricular freedom in their junior and senior years.
If I repeat my current grade, will I have to repeat my curriculum?
No. New students will be placed in the Choate curriculum according to placement tests (in the case of Math and Language). In other courses, our academic departments will work to evaluate your previous high school level transcripts to determine courses that are equivalent to Choate graduation requirements.
Can I apply to multiple grades at once?
No. You must choose which grade you would like to apply to when you officially submit your application. If you would like to change the status of your application after it is submitted, please reach out to Admission with a formal request to change your status.
The Admission Committee gives full consideration to all applications that are complete by the January 15 deadline. Late applicants will receive due consideration as time allows. We cannot guarantee a decision on March 10 for applications received after January 15.
My application was submitted on or before January 15, but some of my materials have not been submitted. Am I too late?
Occasionally recommendations, transcripts, or test scores may arrive after the application deadline. As long as the Gateway Application was submitted by January 15 and the late materials arrive no later than February 1, applicants should still expect to receive an on-time decision on March 10.
I want to apply, but it is after January 15. Now what? You may still apply to Choate as long as the Gateway Application is live.
Just missed the deadline? If all materials are received by February 1, we will make every effort to render a decision by March 10. Applications received after that time will receive consideration as time allows.
Applying in the spring? Late applications may be submitted through the spring; however, applicants should be aware that it is unlikely that applications received after March 10 will be offered admission.
Applying in the summer? Please be aware that after June 15, our common application, Gateway to Prep Schools, will no longer accept applications for the coming Fall cycle. Therefore, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request our application materials if you are applying after June 15.
- How does Choate know that a student is applying for financial aid?
- How is financial aid eligibility determined?
- Does applying for aid affect my chances for admission?
- When are students and families notified of financial aid decisions?
- If our child is offered admission with a financial aid grant in year one, can we expect to receive a similar grant in future years?
- We are currently not planning on applying for financial aid, yet this could change if our financial situation changes. What do you recommend we do?
- Are other costs beyond tuition and related fees taken into consideration when determining the amount of financial aid a family may receive?
- Does my family qualify for a fee waiver?
- If my child is offered admission with a financial aid grant, will the school meet 100% of our demonstrated financial need?
- How do families who live outside of the United States (international families) apply for Financial Aid?
- Does Choate offer financial support for non-tuition related expenses?
- In the case of divorce/separation, are both birth parents required to submit financial aid information?
- Should I submit copies of my income tax documents to SSS or mail them directly to the School?
- Are there specific financial aid grants potentially available to my child?
- Does Choate offer merit scholarships?
- Are loans available?
A family's eligibility for financial assistance is determined through careful and thorough analysis of the information provided on the Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) coupled with information provided from a copy of a family's federal tax returns. SSS and Choate financial aid methodology will provide Choate with a dollar figure of a family's discretionary income derived from our review. Choate will then consider a portion of a family's discretionary income to be available for private education tuition and related fees.
All applications are initially reviewed without regard to their financial aid status, but there are instances when the overall financial need of the applicant pool exceeds our financial aid budget. Accordingly, financial need, in addition to a range of other factors, may influence our admission decisions.
Families of currently-enrolled Choate students must go through the financial aid application process each year and submit paperwork just as they do during the initial process. Given that a family's financial picture remains relatively the same from year to year, a family can expect to have a similar financial outlay tuition and related fees each year. The Financial Aid Office will perform a full analysis each year to determine eligibility for continued assistance.
If you are currently not in need of financial aid and you do not foresee this need, you should not apply for it, but you will not be eligible for any future grants unless there is a materially adverse change to your circumstances, such as a job loss or an additional child entering a tuition charging school. If a change in your family’s financial circumstances occurs at any time within the admission process or financial aid cycle resulting in a need to apply for financial assistance, please contact the Financial Aid Office immediately.
Families inquiring about a fee waiver for the Admission Application or the Secondary School Admission Test should contact the Admission Office by email or by calling (203) 697-2239. The Parent Financial Statement automatically determines fee waiver eligibility.
Families who live outside of the United States and who do not file a United States income tax return (Form 1040) are asked to complete a PFS and to do so by using the United States dollar equivalent. Such families are also asked to complete and submit to SSS the International Student Financial Aid Profile and a copy of their most recent federal income tax return, official signed statement from an employer which details annual income, or wage statements.
Students with exceptionally high levels of demonstrated need receive additional financial assistance with the cost of books, travel, and the other school-related needs.
All students, regardless of whether they receive financial aid, are eligible to apply for support from The Beyond the Classroom Fund. The purpose of this fund is to support a student’s full participation in the Choate experience.
To ease the financial burden of a student's participation in distinct, valuable opportunities that are associated with, and enhance, the student's academic, athletic and extracurricular involvements, a student may apply to this fund to cover non-tuition associated costs.
At the discretion of the Dean of Students, the fund may also be used to provide financial support to a student facing emergency circumstances.
We require families to submit income tax return copies (along with copies of any additional documents) directly to SSS. The most efficient method of doing so is by direct upload of your documents to your PFS. View more information about this secure process on the SSS website.
While all aid at Choate is based upon a family’s demonstrated financial need, most students are matched with a unique endowed fund. Endowed funds are gifts to the School, made by alumni, parents, and friends which are an investment in the talent, aspirations, and education of our students. Whether out of gratitude for the assistance provided to them as students or parents, as a way of remembering loved ones, or simply to assist promising students in reaching their goals, their support of the School’s financial aid program is invaluable.
Students who apply to Choate and whose families qualify to receive need-based aid are automatically considered for one of the many endowed fund awards offered each year.
For the 2020-21 school year and admission cycle, all interviews will be conducted online using the Zoom platform. Our interviewers include admission officers, Choate faculty, and volunteer alumni. All interviews will be weighed equally in your Choate application, regardless of your interviewer.
The interview should last approximately 20 minutes. Following your interview, we encourage you and your registered guests to converse with your interviewer and ask questions. We will reserve a total of 45 minutes for your appointment. If you have any questions about interviewing or visiting our campus, please email email@example.com.