Admission FAQ

List of 13 frequently asked questions.

  • Q What are the application deadlines?

    The priority admission deadline for all applications is January 25. Students completing the application process by the priority deadline will receive notification of an admission decision by March 10. After the priority deadline, applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling admission basis until all classes are full.
  • Q What is required to have a complete Application for Admission?

    A comprehensive list of application requirements is found online and in The Guide to the St. Stephens’ Experience. The quick answer is the Application (this biographical form must be completed before any other forms are started), Student Questionnaire & Essay, Parent Statement, Current Math Teacher Recommendation, Current English Teacher Recommendation, Personal Recommendation, Previous and Current Grades, results from ISEE or SSAT testing, and interview.
  • Q What does St. Stephen's look for in an applicant?

    That is a tough question. The Admission Committee isn’t looking for something – they are looking at everything. As a college-preparatory school with a well-developed curriculum, we look for students who have been achieving academically in their current schools. But also important are students who are curious – about their studies and their passions. The committee, comprised of admission officers and faculty, review all completed files and, in addition to previous grades, scores on the ISEE or SSAT, teacher and personal recommendations, student essays and parent statements; a student's special interests and talents are discussed as we truly seek students who will share those with the school community. We also take into consideration the impressions gained through the student's campus and class visit and interview.
  • Q Which standardized test does St. Stephen's require?

    All applicants are required to submit results from either the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) or Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE). Testing before or on January 25 will ensure that the scores are accepted for the January 25 priority application deadline. The testing company will release the scores to St. Stephen’s and will then be marked as received on the application checklist. Testing dates are limited - visit the websites early to register.
    SSAT (www.ssat.org or 1-609-683-4440). The SSAT is the preferred test and will be administered at St. Stephen’s on December 2, 2017, January 6, 2018 and January 13, 2018. International students should take the SSAT at one of the worldwide testing centers. The SSAT code number for St. Stephen’s is 6956. International students - In addition to SSAT scores, students may submit SLEP or TOEFL scores to demonstrate English proficiency. SLEP and TOEFL scores will not be accepted in lieu of SSAT scores. International students should refer to the International Admission link on the Admission page of the school website.
    ISEE (www.iseetest.org or 1-800-446-0320). The ISEE is administered at locations in Austin, the state, and nationally. The ISEE code number for St. Stephen’s is 440315.
  • Q Do I need to submit all parts of my application at the same time?

    No. The application is available at www.sstx.org/application. All of the online application forms may be started, saved and then submitted at a later date. 
    The admission system is powered by SchoolAdmin and will generate a family portal (using one email address and password) that can accommodate the admission process for multiple family members.
    Online forms are available for the Application, Student Questionnaire & Essay, and Parent Statement. Through the online checklist families will request the math, English and personal recommendation forms be emailed to the recommenders. Additional upload features for previous year report card, current report card and student photo are also available. Families should request that the scores from the ISEE or SSAT exam should be sent directly to the Admission Office.
    An electronic checklist will allow families to check the status of each required item.
     
  • Q Am I required to submit the Application for Admission electronically?

    Yes. We have been using an electronic applicaton since 2010. The Application (biographical form), Student Questonnaire & Essay, Parent Statement and all recommendations must be submitted electronically. Copies of previous and current year report cards will be uploaded via the admission portal.
  • Q When and how are admission decisions communicated?

    For students applying by the January 25 priority deadline, admission decisions are sent to the primary email account for the Application on March 10. 
  • Q Do you have a Class Visit program?

    Students are encouraged to attend a class visit day (www.sstx.org/campusvisits) where they will attend 2 classes with current students and have lunch in the Dining Hall. On that day, parents will meet administrators and teachers and have a tour of the campus. Parents are not allowed to attend classes on regular school days but those attending the fall Open House for Admission will be able to sit in on mock mini-classes that are a great example of the classroom environment at St. Stephen’s.
  • Q Does St. Stephen's offer financial assistance?

    Each year, St. Stephen’s offers almost $2 million in need-based financial aid. A separate financial aid application must be submitted each year by January 25. To receive information about financial aid, visit the financial aid section of the website and check the appropriate box on the admission application.
  • Q Are admission decisions affected by applying for financial assistance?

    No. The admission and financial aid decisions are made separately and all admission decisions are made without regard for financial need.
  • Q How much financial aid can I expect to receive?

    Many factors go into making financial aid awards and each award is individualized based upon the financial situation for each family. St. Stephen's financial aid is designed to supplement family resources to allow qualified students to enroll who would not have been able to do so without the school’s assistance.
  • Q Must I repay the financial aid award?

    No. A financial aid award is used to offset the cost of a student's education.
  • Q Does St. Stephen's give scholarships?

    With the exception of the ISAS/SAES scholarship for 9th grade boarding students, the assistance St. Stephen's offers is need-based financial aid.

International Admission FAQ

List of 21 frequently asked questions.

  • Q May I submit portfolios or other materials not required to complete the application?

    Nothing. Upload all necessary documents directly to the SSAT’s Standard Application Online or through the Application page on the St. Stephen’s website. Please do not send duplicate items by postal mail service. Educational consultants are aware of this policy.
  • Q What materials do I need to mail directly to St. Stephen's?

    Nothing. Upload all necessary documents directly to the SSAT’s Standard Application Online or through the Application page on the St. Stephen’s website. Please do not send duplicate items by postal mail service.
  • Q Does St. Stephen's admit students in January or for the spring term?

    No. The academic year begins in August and concludes late May.
  • Q Can an international student enroll as a day student?

    No. All international students must live on campus in the residential boarding program. Students are not permitted to live with relatives or family friends.
  • Q Will I need to visit the campus for an interview?

    We highly encourage applicants to visit the campus during the admission process. Understanding that a visit to Austin is not always possible, we allow interviews to be conducted via SKYPE, by phone, or InitialView. Contact the Admission Office (admission@sstx.org), to schedule the interview.

    Admission Officers travel to locations all over the world and are available for interviews in many cities and countries. Please check the Admission Travel section of our website.

    Due to the large number of applications from China, students from that country must complete all other application requirements with the exception of SSAT testing before scheduling an interview. Applicants from China must have submitted all online forms, essays, grade reports, and recommendations. 

    All interviews must be complete before January 25, 2016 for the application to be considered in the first round of admission decisions. Students may visit campus in February but the application and interview should be completed by January 25 for consideration in 1st round decisions. Campus visits for students from China are scheduled on specific days (refer to Special Instructions for Chinese students on our website). Please contact our office before making travel plans as we can not guarantee an appointment will be available each day as most fill to capacity.
  • Q What is the last testing date I can take the SSAT and still be considered for the January 25 priority deadline?

    Students who are applying for priority admission must take the regularly schedulced SSAT test on or before January 6 . Standard testing after January 6, 2018 will move the application to the rolling admission decisions made after the priority first round. The SSAT flex test may be taken through January 19.
  • Q What admission testing is required for international applicants?

    Worldwide testing centers make it convenient for international students to take the SSAT. The SSAT code number for St. Stephen’s is 6956. Testing score reports will only be accepted when submitted directly from the testing company. SSAT test sites often fill to capacity and early registration is encouraged. Visit the SSAT website at www.ssat.org.
    The ISEE exam may be taken in lieu of the SSAT. The ISEE code for St. Stephen’s is 440315. Visit the ISEE website at www.iseetest.org.
  • Q What services are provided to international students?

    The International Program Office has six full and part-time staff members whose job it is to make sure the students with parents living abroad are supported academically and socially. From assisting with travel plans, taking students to cultural activities off campus, helping with study skills and homework, the staff develops close relationships with the students.
  • Q Is there a quota or maximum number of students admitted from any country?

    No. St. Stephen’s seeks qualified applicants with a proven record of academic achievement and out-of-class interests. The admission committee is looking for students who have been successful in their previous school and have interests and passions that align with the programs offered at St. Stephen’s.
  • Q Who is considered an international student at St. Stephen's?

    Students whose primary residence is outside the United States are considered international students. That means U.S. citizens living abroad, and students whose parents are employed overseas are included in our international student program. Non-U.S. citizens whose parents live and work in the United States with approved visas or permanent residency may elect to participate in the international student program. The Application fee is $125 (this includes international students who may currently attending school in the U.S. but have parents residing in another country).
  • Q Does St. Stephen's accept the SSAT's Standard Application Online?

    Yes! SSAT’s Standard Application Online (SAO) has been used by thousands of students to apply to hundreds of independent schools. 

    The Standard Application Online has been created to simplify and standardize the process of applying to independent schools. The SAO allows families to complete one online application that will pre-fill to multiple applications and obtain one set of teacher recommendations/transcript that can be used to apply to any number of private/independent SSATB-member schools that accept it. Additional information is available on the SSAT website.
  • Q Is there a special orientation program for new international students?

    Yes - for students in grades 8-12. The orientation program, VENTURE, begins five days before new domestic and returning boarding students arrive for orientation. Most new international students are required to attend in order to become more familiar with the school, work on course placement and enjoy local Austin activities. If there is room in the program, other students are welcome to attend. The VENTURE program is for Upper School students who will be entering grades 9-11.
  • Q What is St. Stephen's tuition for a new international boarding student?

    For the 2015-2016 academic year, the cost for tuition, boarding fee, food, books, facility use fee, health insurance, and international fee is $53,270. 
     
  • Q Does St. Stephen's offer Advanced Placement courses?

    Beginning with the 2008-2009 academic year, St. Stephen's eliminated the AP curriculum designation. We continue to be an AP test center and support students who wish to sit for AP examination in any subject they choose. Our students currently pass (with a score of 3 or better) AP exams at an overall rate of 85%. Scores on AP examinations are not generally considered as part of an applicant credential for college admission, but they can sometimes be used for advanced standing at the college level. Many colleges also grant advanced standing in subject areas based on the results of SAT Subject Test examinations, which are currently taken by approximately 75% of our students every year.

    As a college preparatory school, St. Stephen’s takes seriously its charge to ensure that our graduates are as prepared as possible for the rigors of the curricula at the most demanding colleges in this country and abroad. The school offers advanced courses in most all subject areas and a locally developed curriculum allows our teachers the flexibility to design advanced and challenging courses that incorporate new and innovative ideas in each field of study with goals that exceed preparation for a nationally standardized test, like the AP Exam. St. Stephen’s joins many of the most selective Independent Schools across the country which have either eliminated all AP courses or offer them on an extremely limited basis. We understand that the scores on standardized examinations are important to our students, and we are committed to preparing them to sit for the AP and SAT Subject Test examinations.
  • Q How many international students are currently enrolled at St. Stephen's?

    The St. Stephen’s boarding program has 178 students in grades 8-12. Typically about 90 of those students have parents living outside the United States. About 1/3 of those students are U.S. citizens whose parents live abroad.  St. Stephen’s has about 685 students with 490 of those in the Upper School (grades 9-12).
     
  • Q Does St. Stephen's accept International students for grade 11?

     In some cases, we will consider an international applicant for whom English is not the native language for grade 11. However, that candidate must not be older than 17 at the time of enrollment. We do not admit any students to grade 12.
  • Q If I am using the St. Stephen's Application for Admission, what makes an application complete?

    A complete application has the following completed and received in the Admission Office: 

    1. Forms/Reports/Recommendations uploaded to the Application Website: (www.sstx.org/application)
    Application(biographical), Student Questionnaire and Essay, Parent Statement, student photo, copies of previous year and current report cards (with translations provided by the school when possible), current English and math teacher recommendations, personal recommendation
    2: SSAT or ISEE scores sent directly from the testing company 
    3: Personal interview (conducted by an admission officer on the St. Stephen’s campus or by SKYPE or InitialView)
  • Q I will be submitting the Standard Application Online through SSAT. What else do I need to do to have a complete application?

    In addition to the SAO requirements the applicant must request their testing scores be sent directly to St. Stephen’s Episcopal School (SSAT Code 6956) and request an interview by Skype or in person prior to the January 25 deadline. Interviews will not be scheduled until the student has completed all parts of the SAO and registered for a testing date (on or before January 9, 2016) to take the SSAT. Requests for SKYPE interviews must be made by December 15, 2015 and completed by January 25, 2016. SKYPE interviews are offered on a limited basis and fill up quickly. Students from China, , Hong Kong, and Taiwan who are not offered a KSYPE interview should contact InitialView for a fee-based interview. Students applying after January 25, 2016 should contact InitialView to schedule an appointment.
  • Q Does St. Stephen's accept TOEFL or SLEP scores?

    Students may submit TOEFL (TOEFL code B078) or SLEP scores to demonstrate English proficiency but not in lieu of SSAT or ISEE scores. The SSAT or ISEE is required of all admission candidates. 

    Students who wish to submit SLEP scores should submit the St. Stephen’s mailing address to the testing company with a request that the official scores be forwarded on your behalf. St. Stephen’s does not have a code for SLEP.
  • Q Does St. Stephen's have an ESL program?

    No. St. Stephen’s classes are conducted in English and international applicants must demonstrate a significant level of proficiency in written and verbal English skills to be considered for admission.

    International students often enroll in the Transitional English Program, which provides non-native English speakers with the most important content of the mainstream English classes while also meeting their specific needs as language learners. Many non-native English speakers need to adapt to new expectations about writing and class participation, and English 9T and 10T allow for this adjustment to occur before students enter mainstream English classes. All students are placed in traditional math, science, history and language sections.
  • Q Does St. Stephen's issue I-20 visas?

    St. Stephen’s is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS) to issue the I-20 visa application. To receive the I-20 visa application a student must apply to, be admitted to, sign the enrollment contract and make arrangements for payment before we may issue the visa application. Specific I-20 information will be given after these steps have been completed. St. Stephen's will work with students who need to transfer a valid student visa.

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Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Drive Austin, Texas 78746
Phone: 512-327-1213