The “Cut Off” Time of Year

by NYC Firm Schools on December 11, 2008

December is usually what is called the ‘cut off’ season by many parents waiting to find any information that will give them a hint as to whether or not their child will be accepted into their private school of choice.

While the ‘cut off’ is usually not a strict number for any school, often legacies and sibs can squeak by with entrance and admissions testing that is below the cutoff, the fact is that for many parents, knowing the unofficial cut off number gives them a valuable heads up on the situation.

Many parents will treat the possible cut off number as either a welcome bit of relief or as the end of the world, depending on if their child scored above or below that number on their admissions testing.

Our advice to you, the parent, is to take a deep breath and try to treat any form of potential cut off news as just another piece of data to file away, but not to treat it as a solid fact. As we have said before, the very best of Firm Schools take a child’s entire profile into consideration upon admission. If they didn’t, then there would be no need to do anything other than send them a completed test. There would be no need for parent and child interviews, recommendation letters, open house visits or school visits.

If your child did not score above the referenced ‘cut off’ number, remember this:

1. The cut off number is usually just a rumor that may have started out with real information but has probably long since been changed in the telling.
2. If your child had a strong interview, you had a strong interview, the test scores were solid and your child is a good match for the school, your child will have a shot at admission.
3. Your child most likely (hopefully!) applied to more than one private school in NYC, and not all of them have the same cut off.

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