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applying to Shady Side academy

One of our primary goals during the admissions process is to help students and parents learn about Shady Side Academy and the value of an independent school. It is important to us that we have time to share our programs with you, answer your questions and help you manage the admissions process. We also strive to learn as much as we can about our applicants to help them determine if Shady Side is the right educational choice.

During the admissions process, we encourage multiple visits so please explore our Visit Options.   

We often receive the question "What is Shady Side Academy looking for in its applicants?" The school seeks applicants who want to become responsible members of the Academy community. We look for motivated students who are excited about learning and exploration, are willing to try new things and enjoy being involved in school life. The Academy is able to pursue a selective admission process due to limited space within the student body, and selects students whose potential can blossom in an environment of academic challenge and support. Each year we have more applicants than spaces available.

Dependent upon grade level, candidates for admission are evaluated on the following:

  • The application
  • Previous school records, when applicable
  • Personal interviews
  • The school visit
  • Teacher recommendations
  • Breadth and depth of interests and talents
  • Performance on the readiness activities or entrance examinations

Admission to Shady Side Academy is granted without preference to race, gender, color, religion, national or ethnic origin. The Academy actively seeks economic, social, racial and religious diversity in creating its student body.


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