An independent day school serving grades K-12 | St. Paul, MN

Admission FAQ

Below are questions often asked by parents of applicants. If you have a question not addressed below, please contact us—we are happy to help.

When do we begin the admission process?

The admission process for applicants begins the year prior to entry. While we encourage families to look ahead at SPA, we do not accept applications until September 1st of the year before a student will enroll.

When do we submit the application?

We strongly encourage families to submit their application and application fee by our priority deadline of February 1, 2020. However, we continue to accept applications beyond that date. Applicants who have submitted their application by the deadline will be in the priority applicant pool, and we will evaluate all later applicants on an individual basis.

When will parents be notified of admission decisions?

Families will be notified of admission decisions on April 3, 2020.

What is SPA's tuition?

For 2019-20, the Lower School (K-5) tuition is $28,510. The Middle School (6-8) tuition is $29,990. The Upper School (9-12) tuition is $31,110.

What are the age requirements for Kindergarten?

Applicants must be 5 years old on, or before, September 1st of the enrollment year. Children applying for grades K-12 whose birthdays fall outside of the cut-off date are evaluated on a case by case basis. Our attention to age is based on our experience that a child’s emotional maturity is often linked to age, and as children grow older, positive interaction with peers is facilitated when their emotional development is closely aligned.

What factors are taken into consideration for admission?

Decisions are made after thoughtful deliberations, taking into account the individual candidate’s ability to be successful at St. Paul Academy and Summit School. The Admission Committee looks at the applicant in the context of students currently attending SPA and the other candidates who would like to join the same grade. Many factors are taken into consideration, including academic ability, developmental readiness, maturity, curiosity, and extracurricular interests. We use teacher evaluations, school records (if applicable), admission testing/assessment, and an admission interview as tools of assessment.

Will my child take an admission assessment?

In addition to the school visit, St. Paul Academy and Summit School uses admission assessments for students applying for Grades K-2. Entrance exams for students applying for Grades 3-12 are used to help in the evaluation of candidates. K-2 assessments are completed during the student's visit; for Grades 3-12, assessments are administered during specific Saturday morning testing sessions.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. We offer more than $3 million in financial aid to our families every year.  In 2019-20, 24% of our families are receiving financial aid. To learn more, visit our Tuition and Financial Aid page.

What does the assessment include for Kindergarten applicants?

There are two separate components of our kindergarten assessment process: the individual assessment and the play group observation.

The purpose of the individual assessment is to discover a child’s learning strengths, emerging areas of development, and problem-solving strategies. Each kindergarten applicant will take part in a one-on-one assessment with a member of our admission staff. This will take approximately 30 minutes. Individual assessments will take place on school days throughout December and January. 

The purpose of the play group observation is to observe your child at play within our school setting. We have found that this experience is enjoyable and informative for all. During the playgroup, the children will have group circle time, individual meetings with teachers, and time for free play in one of our kindergarten classrooms. We will observe your child’s language development, use of materials, interactions with other children, and response to the group setting. The playgroup lasts for approximately 60 minutes. While children are at play, parents are invited to join in conversation with school administrators, admission and financial aid personnel and current parents in our living room area. The Play Group Observations will take place on January 25, 2020 or February 8, 2020.

What does the assessment include for applicants in Grades 1-5?

Our Grade 1 and 2 applicants complete an assessment with one of our teachers or admission staff during their school visit. Our Grade 3-5 applicants are required to take an admission test, specifically, the ERB/CTP5, which consists of 2 multiple choice tests to assess a student’s level in reading comprehension and quantitative reasoning. We also require a 20 minute writing sample on the day of testing.

What does the assessment include for applicants in Grades 6-12?

Our Grade 6-12 applicants are required to take an admission test, specifically the ERB/CTP5, which consists of 3 multiple choice tests to assess a student’s level in verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and reading comprehension. Applicants will also complete an essay on the day of testing. In addition to testing, every applicant must also interview with a member of the admission staff.

Are there expenses in addition to tuition?

Our tuition fee includes the cost of tuition, lunch, and in-school activities. Additional expenses may include book fees, technology fee, optional trips and events, and a one-time laptop purchase in the Upper School.

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