Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some questions that we hear frequently from prospective families. Click on the question to see the answer.
- Is an admission interview required?
- What happens during an interview?
- What if I want to speak to a particular faculty member?
- What is the average financial aid award?
- What is the application process for home-schooled applicants?
- Does Hotchkiss offer merit-based scholarships?
- What are the tuition, room, board, and fees?
- What is the most important part of my application?
- What happens if my application is late?
- If English is my second language, should I submit a TOEFL?
- When should I take my SSAT/ISEE exams?
- Can I visit classes or spend a night in the dormitories?
- When should I begin my application process?
- When should I ask my teachers to submit their recommendations?
We highly recommended that all applicants arrange an interview if possible. On-campus interviews can be scheduled throughout the year, and off-campus interviews are possible if an admission officer is traveling in your area. Please see Schedule a Tour and Interview for information regarding arranging your interview.
The interview is intended to be a dialogue rather than an evaluative experience. During an interview, we hope to go beyond the basic information (such as grades, test scores, etc.) and focus more on the reasons behind your boarding school search. The admission interviewer will want to talk you about your interests, your talents, and your hopes for the future.
The interview is also a good opportunity for the prospective student and his or her family to learn more about Hotchkiss. Often, seeing the School firsthand is the best way to determine if you and Hotchkiss are a “good fit” for each other. In addition, a visit to campus frequently raises questions that an on-campus interviewer is best able to answer. For these reasons, we strongly encourage families to visit campus for their interviews.
Often, students with very specialized interests (music, athletics, arts, a specific academic area, etc.) will want to speak directly to the faculty member who oversees that area. When you call to schedule your interview, please let us know if you would like to meet with anyone in particular, and we will do our best to arrange a meeting with the appropriate faculty member.
The Hotchkiss School has a firm commitment to economic diversity, and we annually award more than $9.4 million to approximately 32 percent of our student body. The average financial assistance award, including grants and loans, is approximately $46,339 per year. Visit our Financial Aid pages for more information.
Homeschooling has a strong place in today's educational landscape, and we gladly accept applications from qualified homeschooled applicants. Homeschooled applicants must submit a formal application and all required standardized testing. In addition, all homeschooled applicants are required to schedule an interview, which must be completed before the admission committee will review the application. To help us best understand the educational experience of the applicant, we ask that the following information be provided:
- Teacher recommendations to be filled out by the appropriate person. If the parent is serving as the primary teacher, then that parent should fill out the necessary recommendation forms.
- Additional letters of recommendations from other adults involved in the applicant’s education program are encouraged.
- A statement of educational philosophy, written by the person primarily responsible for the course syllabi/philosophy. Please include a description of any state guidelines being followed.
- A description/syllabi for the applicant's program for the past two years. In order to help us best understand the educational background of the applicant, please clearly list each subject that has been covered during this time.
The admission committee considers each part of your application equally. Without question, we seek to enroll students who show extraordinary character, independence, and good citizenship. These qualities are the hallmark of a Hotchkiss student.
Given the highly competitive nature of our admission process, the majority of new students each year have grades in the A range, excellent teacher recommendations, strong writing skills, and some sort of school or community involvement. Standardized testing is used to support the other academic materials in the application.
Rest assured that each application is read and discussed by several members of the admission committee — and that we look closely at every element of the application to understand the student's strengths and personality.
Students who complete their applications after the January 15 deadline face a much more competitive admission process. Depending on when we receive your application, we will do our best to render a timely decision.
Though we remain open during the winter months for campus tours and encourage late applicants to visit the School, we are unable to schedule on-campus interviews during that time.
In the third week of April and throughout the summer, prospective students can schedule campus tours and interviews with Hotchkiss admission counselors. Depending on available spaces, we may consider applications through the summer months. Please contact the admission office if you have questions.
Applicants whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in addition to the tests listed above. However, If a candidate has attended a school for three years or more where English is the primary mode of instruction, a TOEFL is not required. A minimum score of 600 on the paper-based test or 100 on the internet-based test indicate a candidate’s English skills are strong enough for full participation in our program. Hotchkiss does not offer any ESL support, and all students are required to be fluent in English.