Admissions FAQ’s 2016 – 2017

Listed below are some of our most frequently asked questions from prospective parents and students. For your convenience, we have listed the questions and provided answers.

When can I visit Saint Mary’s?

The best opportunity for families to visit and learn about Saint Mary’s and its programs is at our Open House on Sunday, November 20, 2016 beginning at 1:00 and concludes at 2:30 PM. Please check our website for detailed Open House program information and schedules after November 13, 2016.

Click here to read more about “Opportunities to Visit.”


Do you have a campus visit or shadow program?

During the fall months of September, October, and November, Saint Mary’s sponsors a campus visit program for eighth grade students. Parent drivers who assist with carpooling are appreciated and welcome to participate in a tour and presentation from the Admissions Director.

Due to the number of requests Saint Mary’s receives each year for campus visits, we have created a two tier visit program. The first tier, from September through December, offers classroom observation and a campus tour for eighth graders. These visits are done in small groups of four or less. Saint Mary’s has reserved 18 days for campus visits for eighth grade students. The group visits begins at 9:00 AM and will conclude at 12:45 PM. These Student Campus Visits are limited to 30 students per day.

The One-to-One Shadow Visit Program, the second tier,  will take place in February 2017 for eighth graders who have applied. These visits are limited to 20 per day. The visits will begin at 7:45 AM and will conclude at 11:35 AM. Sign-ups will be available online beginning January 15, 2017.


How do I apply to Saint Mary’s?

Students can apply for admission by clicking the link, “Apply to Saint Mary’s.” Freshman applicants may apply after September 15, 2016. The deadline for freshman applicants is Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at midnight.


Does Saint Mary’s have a program for students with learning differences / disabilities?

Saint Mary’s has an academic support program for students who have mild/moderate documented learning disabilities or medical/physical needs that require classroom accommodations.  We follow the guidelines set by the College Board for students with learning disabilities and attention deficits.  Students have 1:1 coaching meetings with the Academic Support Specialist throughout the trimester.  The meetings are designed to address each students learning difference and style, as well as promote self-awareness and advocacy skills.

In order to be considered for accommodations, students need to submit a current psycho-educational assessment (completed within the past three years) that clearly states a diagnosis and offers recommendations.  Saint Mary’s College High School reserves the right to request an updated evaluation upon admission.

Saint Mary’s does not alter or modify the academic program. As students learn to navigate themselves through a college preparatory curriculum, they will learn to advocate for themselves and learn to take advantage of the excising programs and support systems already in place.

Click here for more details regarding Saint Mary’s learning differences policies and programs.


When do eighth grade applicants take the entrance exam and how can my child prepare for the HSPT test?

The HSPT (High School Placement Test) will be given at Saint Mary’s on Saturday, January 7, 2017. Students requesting extended time (who have submitted proper documentation with their application) will check in at 7:30 a.m. and begin the test promptly at 8:00 a.m. Students not requesting extended time will check in at 8:00 a.m. and begin the test promptly at 8:30 a.m.

Saint Mary’s administers the High School Placement Test (HSPT) produced by Scholastic Testing Service. The test measures grade level skills in reading, verbal, mathematics, language and quantitative skills. As always, the best way to prepare for the HSPT test is for students to do all their class work, homework, and pay attention in school. Ask your eighth grade teacher what you can do to review prior to the test or whether the teacher has plans to incorporate a review into lesson plans for the entire class.

Click here for more information regarding the HSPT.


Does Saint Mary’s offer Financial Assistance?

Yes. Saint Mary’s is committed to assisting as many families as possible who demonstrate financial need. Applications for financial assistance are made and awarded on an annual basis. Even with the large amount of assistance distributed each year, the need is always greater than the funds available. We are not always able to help all the families who wish to attend Saint Mary’s.

To apply for financial assistance, Saint Mary’s asks families to complete the PSAS (Private School Aid Service) application by February 3, 2017.  The completed application serves two programs – the Saint Mary’s Financial Assistance Program as well as the F.A.C.E. (Family Aid To Catholic Education) sponsored by the Oakland Diocese.

Click here for more information regarding Financial Assistance.


How many students apply to Saint Mary’s?

Admission to Saint Mary’s is competitive. Over 400 students apply each year for the approximate 160 spaces available in the freshman class.


When will families be notified of the admission decision?

Admissions decisions will be posted online and a copy will be sent to arrive at an applicant’s home by U.S. mail on Friday, March 17, 2017.  Families can also check their decision status via Infosnap on Friday, March 17. If accepted, students are asked to register, with a non-refundable registration  fee.


If accepted into Saint Mary’s, are there placement exams for Math, English, and International Languages?

Yes. There will be an opportunity for accepted freshmen to test into higher level courses in the area of English,  Math, and International Language  (Spanish or French) in May 2017.  More detailed information about placement testing will be sent once a student’s registration has been received.


Do you have any programs or opportunities for sixth or seventh graders?

On Saturday, April 8, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saint Mary’s will host a Seventh Grade Pre-HSPT Practice Test. Saint Mary’s provides an opportunity on this day for current seventh graders to gain a clearer sense of the format and types of questions that are included in the high school entrance test (HSPT). The link for Seventh Grade Day online registration will be active on January 15, 2017.

Yes, on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. Saint Mary’s will host an Information Night for Sixth and Seventh Graders and their families.