After Upland

What Happens After Upland?

Upland Country Day School is proud of its long tradition of graduating students well prepared for the next chapter in their educational journey.
Our graduating 9th graders matriculate to leading private schools, independent, boarding and day schools, parochial high schools and area public schools armed with the academic repertoire to excel. They are independent learners who are comfortable building relationships with their peers, teachers and advisors. Most importantly, they are confident young men and women, who manage their time effectively and contribute character, service and leadership to their school communities.

Upland's secondary school placement program allows for the strengths of each student to be celebrated, the needs and desires of each student to be heard, and the goals of each student to be formalized. The school search process is a collaborative endeavor between Upland families and the School, relying on cooperation and extensive communication between the student, the parents, and the Director of Secondary School Placement and culminating in the appropriate placement of every student who graduates from Upland. For some, that placement is in a local independent or public school, for others, it is at a boarding school.

Placement Timeline

List of 9 items.

  • March of Eighth Grade Year

    You should begin discussions with your child about the letter and your child's needs, strengths, and interests with respect to the areas of academic, athletic, and extra-curricular and social involvement. You should look into the pros and cons of size (large vs. medium vs. small), location and environment (rural vs. urban), enrollment (coed or single sex); you should look into the desirability of specific programs or areas of instruction.
  • Spring of Eighth Grade Year

    During the final spring term, the Director of Placement will be meeting with the entire 8th grade parent body to officially begin the Placement Process. Families should begin compiling a list of possible schools to visit, and begin requesting information in the form of catalogues and other brochure information.

    Each family must also register for the SSAT in June, as well as schedule an individual meeting with the Director of Placement to map out a strategy for the path of the 9th grade year.
  • Summer Before Ninth Grade Year

    In June, each student will take the SSAT for the first time here at Upland. This is arranged and monitored by the Director of Placement, and details will be discussed during the spring meeting. The scores from this test will help frame an appropriate school list for each individual student, and the students will have the opportunity to take another test at Upland in October.

    With your child at home, each family should continue to map out a strategy for school visits in the fall. If you are eager to get a head start, feel free to make a cursory visit during the summer months. Please remember to keep Patrick Manahan in the Placement Office informed of all interview appointments. It is imperative that the families make the necessary appointments and travel arrangements.
  • Fall of Ninth Grade Year

    Families should plan to make all of their school visits between September 15th and December 15th. Students should try their best to avoid missing school, and we have set aside the week of Columbus Day for students to visit schools. Mr. Manahan will help you arrange visits on those days.

    Families should stay in close contact with the Director of Placement, and keep him apprised of all school visits as they are scheduled/completed.
  • December of Ninth Grade Year

    VERY IMPORTANT: During the Thanksgiving and Winter breaks, PARENTS should oversee the completion of the essays, letters, and questionnaires that your child might have to write. While your child's English teacher, advisor and the Director of Placement will be happy to provide assistance and advice, it must be the responsibility of the parents to see that the important documents are completed in a quality manner. You should keep in mind that high standards for spelling, punctuation, neatness, and clarity must be attained. The student must be willing to rewrite his or her essays in order to produce the very best final product.

    Day School applications MUST be completed before the start of Christmas Break.
  • January of Ninth Grade Year

    When your child returns to Upland after Winter Break, all of the essays and other paperwork should be completed for boarding school applicants. As both first and second marking period teacher comments are included in the material that is sent from Upland Country Day School, it is important that the student not return to school with any application work incomplete. All student and parent forms should be given to Patrick Manahan.
  • January 15 to February 1 of Ninth Grade Year

    Sometime during this period is the application deadline for most secondary schools. The transcripts, teacher and/or personal recommendations, and parent and student portions of the applications will be sent out from Upland after the grades have been entered on the transcripts and after the teacher comments have been written.
  • March 10 of Ninth Grade Year

    This is the date on which secondary schools begin to mail out letters of acceptance, rejection, or waiting list decisions.
  • April 10 of Ninth Grade Year

    This is the deadline for applicants who have been accepted at a school to notify the school(s) of their decision. The earlier your decision has been made, the earlier you can notify all of the schools involved. If at all possible, you should avoid waiting until the last minute. If your child has been placed on the waiting list, you should hear of a clear-cut decision any time after April 1 but sometimes as late as April 20.

Determining the Right "Fit"

Determining the right "fit" requires introspection on the part of the student, as well as accurate self-assessment. While this has the potential to be overwhelming, the activities and discussions that the secondary school placement process affords each family, and in particular, each student, are designed to be insightful and minimally stressful. Upland facilitates the distribution, collection and mailing of teacher recommendations, keeps track of deadlines, helps students coordinate school visits, prepares students for interviews and SSAT, and counsels the student and his or her family through every step of the process. As a result, the process is an exciting and empowering time of self-discovery and accomplishment.

Classes of 2012-2020 Matriculation

Upland graduates from the classes from 2012-2020 matriculated to the following institutions:
  • Asheville School (Asheville, NC)
  • Avon Grove High School (West Grove, PA)
  • Avon Old Farms (Avon, CT)
  • Bayard Rustin High School
  • Berkshire School (Sheffield, MA)
  • Blair Academy (Hightstown, NJ)
  • Canterbury School (New Milford, CT)
  • Coatesville High School
  • Cushing Academy (2) (Ashburnham, MA)
  • Downingtown West
  • Foxcroft School (2) (Middleburg, VA)
  • Germantown Academy (Germantown, PA)
  • Henderson High School (2)
  • Hill School (12) (Pottstown, PA)
  • Holderness School (2) (Holderness, NH)
  • Hoosac School (Hoosick Falls, NY)
  • Hotchkiss School (Lakeville, CT)
  • Kennett High School (8)
  • Kent School (Kent, CT)
  • Lawrenceville School (4) (Lawrenceville, NJ)
  • Malvern Prep (Malvern, PA)
  • Master's School (Dobbs Ferry, NY)
  • Mercersburg Academy (Mercersburg, PA)
  • Middlesex School (2) (Concord, MA)
  • Millbrook School (Millbrook, NY)
  • Miss Porter's School (Farmington, CT)
  • Pennington Preparatory (Pennington, NJ)
  • Phelps School (Malvern, PA)
  • Pingree School (South Hamilton, MA)
  • Pomfret School (Pomfret, CT)
  • Salesianum (Wilmington, DE)
  • Salisbury School (3) (Salisbury, CT)
  • Sanford School (2) (Hockessin, DE)
  • St. Andrew's School (Middletown, DE)
  • St. George's School (Newport, RI)
  • Taft School (Watertown, CT)
  • Tatnall School (23) (Wilmington, DE)
  • Tower Hill School (5) (Wilmington, DE)
  • Turku, Finland International School
  • Unionville High School (7)
  • Ursuline Academy (Wilmington, DE)
  • Vermont Academy (Saxton's River, VT)
  • West Chester East (2) (West Chester, PA)
  • West Nottingham Academy (Colera, MD)
  • Westminster School (3) (Simsbury, CT)
  • Westtown School (4) (West Chester, PA)
  • Wilmington Friends School (5) (Wilmington, DE)
  • Woodberry Forest (3) (Woodberry, VA)
  • Wyoming Seminary (Kingston, PA)

Louisa Zendt, Director of Admissions, St. Andrew's School

Coming from a small nurturing school with a strong focus on academics and community, Upland students make an easy transition into St. Andrew's. They are well prepared academically and connect and engage effortlessly, with both adults and students, in our diverse residential life community.

Classes of 2010-2018 Higher Learning Matriculation

Upland graduates from the classes of 2010-2018 are attending the following institutions of higher learning:
  • Boston College
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Bucknell University
  • College of Charleston (4)
  • College of William and Mary
  • Cornell University (3)
  • Drexel University
  • Duke University
  • Elizabethtown College
  • Elon University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical
  • Franklin & Marshall College
  • Gettysburg College (2)
  • Grove City College
  • Hamilton College
  • High Point University (3)
  • Hobart William Smith College (4)
  • James Madison University (2)
  • Loyola College (MD)
  • Millersville University
  • New England University
  • New York University (NYU)
  • Penn State University - Honors (3)
  • Penn State University - Main Campus (5)
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology
  • Roanoke College
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
  • Saint Lawrence University
  • Skidmore College
  • Susquehanna University
  • Syracuse University
  • Temple University
  • Tufts University
  • UMass-Boston
  • University of Alabama (2)
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of California - San Diego (UCSD)
  • University of Colorado-Boulder (2)
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Delaware (5)
  • University of Miami (3)
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of Pittsburgh (2)
  • University of Richmond
  • University of Tampa
  • University of Vermont
  • Vanderbilt University (3)
  • Washington College (2)
  • West Chester University (2)
  • Widener University
  • Worcester Polytechnical University

Jaime Morgan, Director of Admissions, Sanford School

Upland students are a great fit because of their academic readiness and desire to be involved in the life of the school. Upland kids are comfortable taking leadership roles in and out of the classroom and are ready to make their mark on their high school class. Academically, Upland students are prepared to take on our rigorous curriculum. They are strong writers and thinkers and are comfortable with in depth class discussions.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. Do you have a first choice school?

    If you are applying to more than one school, I will be asking what your first choice is. This means simply which school you would attend if you were accepted by all the schools. This does not mean you are less likely to be accepted by schools which are not your first choice. It is simply another piece of information I have to work with as schools consider these decisions.

    Should you inform a school that they are your first choice? Only if you are completely certain that this is the school you want to attend and that you will not change your mind. In general it is hard for an applicant to be this sure about all choices at this point. Most applicants will change their minds at some point in the process, sometimes several times. It would be better for me to pass on this information rather than you.
  • Q. When do I begin the secondary school process?

    A meeting for all Eighth grade students and parents is held in ____. The purpose of the meeting is to outline the secondary school process as well as to answer questions regarding the process. Beginning in early April I will meet personally with members of the Eighth grade class to confer about the secondary school process as well as discuss potential secondary schools for your consideration.
  • Q. How do I find the right "fit"?

    "How will I know which school is right for me? This is a hard question for other people to answer for you because it focuses on your feelings. If you are not already sure which school you want to go to, your best strategy is to visit several different schools-and different kinds of schools in order to get a feel for each one. Sooner or later you will come to know which one is right for you. It may strike you all of a sudden, or it may grow on you gradually. You may know right when you step on the campus for your tour, or you might not know until your acceptance arrives.
  • Q. How many schools should I apply to?

    The best answer to this lies somewhere between three and six. Some people need to apply to more for various reasons. Some applicants can select one school, apply, and be accepted. In general, however, this is neither prudent nor recommended. Many find they want to select one "likely" school (a school where they are fairly likely to be accepted), and one "reach" school (a school which they really want to attend, but where their acceptance is much less certain), and then submit the rest of their applications to schools which are likely to accept them.

    Unfortunately, it is not possible to say in general terms which schools belong in each of these three categories; the answer to this question will be different for every applicant. I can offer up to a certain point, at least an idea on the probability of your chances for acceptance at any given school based on your records and transcript. In the fall of your Ninth grade year I will have a much clearer idea of your chances at certain schools, especially after the end of the first marking period.
  • Q. How do I choose the school(s) to which I want to apply?

    You may already know the schools to which you intend to apply. If not, you must begin the process of narrowing the field of schools and selecting your choices. The secondary school placement office will assist you in this process. In early April I will begin meeting individually with members of the Eighth grade to discuss the secondary school process. Here are some of the questions I will most likely be asking you:
    1. Are you considering boarding at school or will you stay local? If you will be staying local, then your choices have automatically narrowed to the three or four fine schools we have available in the immediate area. I urge you to look at several carefully and to examine a variety of types, but as a day student, there are only so many choices.
    2. What size school do you think you might like to attend?
    3. Are you considering co-ed schools, single sex schools, or both?
    4. Are there special programs or offerings you want your school to provide?
    5. Do you have any special connections to any school through family, friends, location, or any other considerations?

    Answering these questions can narrow the field very quickly. This is not an exhaustive list of questions about schools, but should get you headed in the right direction.

    Based on your answers to the questions above, you can usually end up with a list of up to half a dozen schools which you are genuinely interested in visiting. Visit the schools. There you will have your interview, tour the campus, and generally be able to get a feel for whether the school is for you or not. You may develop a strong sense of where you want to be at this point, or you may emerge with further questions. Either way you have made progress. Please contact me whenever you think I can offer help or advice.

    This process works best when there is steady communication between the students, the parents, and me. In addition to meeting to talk with students, I am always willing to meet with parents or chat on the phone at any time during the application process.
  • Q. How do I actually apply?

    Here are the basic steps involved in the application process:
    1. Write schools in the late spring of your Eighth grade year requesting a catalog and application.
    2. Visit the school and interview with the admissions office. A majority of these school visits take place in the fall of Ninth grade.
    3. Ask your teachers if they would be willing to write recommendations for you. This is important to do; don't just expect teachers to write on your behalf.
    4. Sort through the materials in your application packet. Bring the teacher recommendation forms, the transcript release, and school forms to the Placement Office.
    5. Take the S.S.A.T. You will register in September to take the test in October.
    6. Complete the application(s) and essay(s) by January 10.
    7. Bring your completed materials to school for us to mail for you.
    8. Wait patiently.
  • Q. How long will a typical application take to complete?

    Plan on two to three hours per application, taking into account that you will need to do at least a couple of drafts for each essay. Many short answer questions will take less time, but again, rough drafts are necessary. Working on a photocopy of the application is highly encouraged. Remember, you are in control of the application. Plan ahead and budget enough time to do a quality job.
  • Q. When should I begin writing my secondary school essays?

    Rough drafts for secondary school essays should be started just prior to or during the Thanksgiving vacation. Focusing on your school work throughout the school year must be a priority so working on school essays needs to be done during vacation time. Sorry, but planning ahead will ease some of the anxiety that surrounds doing school essays. Proofing, editing and rewriting will be part of the writing process. Having an adult proof your work is okay but everything you write must be your work!
  • Q. How will the schools make their decisions?

    Every school is different and uses a somewhat different set of criteria, but here, in general terms, is what the school will look at:
    1. Your transcript - If the school does not believe you are well suited for their academic program, they are not likely to accept you.
    2. Teacher recommendations - What the teachers who work with you have to say about how responsible you are, your work ethic, your response to challenge, and other qualities is very important.
    3. SSAT scores - Some schools downplay the importance of these, but every school uses them to some measure. Students who qualify for the extended time SSAT will take the test in December. It is important that both the student and the student's parents discuss this option before registering for the test.
    4. Other factors - These include your application and interview, elements in your profile that make you an attractive or unique candidate, connections or family history you may have with the school, and many others. In general, these are the last considerations a school will weigh, but they can definitely make a difference.
    5. The quality of the candidate pool - This is a significant variable, but must be considered. If a school receives many applications from strong candidates they may be forced to put some applicants on wait lists or even turn them down. This is truly unfortunate, but is the result of strong competition for limited spaces. Be reassured, however, that in general Upland applicants rank very well in competitive pools.

    One thing you do not have to worry about in this regard, however, is having too many Upland applicants "flood the pool." The schools assure us that they never "cap" admissions from a particular school. Each year this is borne out by the admissions results from the schools. You will not be at a disadvantage in your application simply because many of your classmates are also interested in the same school.
  • Q. When will secondary schools inform me of their decision?

    Most secondary schools will mail letters to applicants on March 10. A few schools have "rolling admissions," which means that they will provide the candidate a decision shortly after an application is complete and the file has been reviewed by the Admissions Committee.
  • Q. What if I get waitlisted at a school?

    If you end up being offered a spot on a school's wait list, it means that you are qualified to be accepted by the school, but that the school has had more applicants than it has spaces available. You may opt to wait for a space to open at the school, or you can decline your space on the list if you are no longer interested. If you decide to hold on, you will have an additional month or so to wait as the school sees how many spaces they will be able to offer to applicants on their wait lists. In general, absolutely nothing will be done regarding the wait lists during this intervening month. You - or others on your behalf - can phone the school, but there is little hope of making any progress until early April. By about April 15th, however, most schools will begin to move their wait lists, as they determine how many additional spaces they can offer.

    If you end up being accepted by more than one school, you should try to decide as soon as possible which school you will attend. When you inform the schools you will not attend, they know that they can offer your place to candidates on their wait list. The longer you take to make your decision, the longer other applicants must wait. So, try to make your own decision as soon as possible.
  • Q. How do I apply for Financial Aid? (A note for Parents)

    More and more people are asking this question each year; most schools are working every year to increase the size of their financial aid budgets, and money is available for people who need it.

    You will find that most schools use a "need-based" system for allocating their resources. Applicants for aid fill out the School Scholarship Service (SSS) form which is processed at a central office in Princeton, New Jersey. This form uses your family income and assets to generate a figure they feel represents the amount of aid for which you qualify. However, this does not indicate the amount of aid you will receive. Each school must still make that decision for itself. They may offer that amount, they may offer less, they may offer none at all. Rarely do they offer more, but most schools do hold fairly tightly to Princeton's estimate as a cap.

    The new SSS forms for the year become available in mid-December and can be submitted as soon as they are available. However, since your financial information for the current year is needed to complete the form, most people cannot fill it out until they receive their tax information in January. Once you do have all the necessary information, however, you should file the form promptly. Being late in this process definitely has unfortunate consequences. The SSS forms are available from the secondary schools themselves.

    Some schools do offer a certain amount of merit-based financial aid which does not depend on demonstrable need. Some schools have merit-based scholarships which are reserved for families who can demonstrate at least a certain level of financial need (according to the results of the SSS). It is worth asking each school what their offerings are regarding financial aid awards.

    On the school applications there is a place to note whether or not you are applying for financial aid. People have expressed concern that indicating on the application your interest in receiving aid might undercut your child's chances of being accepted. Be reassured, however, that the schools are prohibited by law from basing acceptance decisions on level of financial need. Therefore, there is no liability in making this disclosure.

    When considering the applications of candidates who are also asking for financial aid, the schools usually use one of two systems. Most frequently the processes are kept as separate as they can be. The admissions office considers the folders from the point of view of suitability, and basic acceptances are decided upon. Then the folders of those applicants who were accepted and are applying for aid are considered by the financial aid office, and a decision about a financial grant is made. Applicants can receive a basic acceptance or an acceptance linked with some offer of aid.

    Occasionally the two processes are linked. The admissions office considers the folders of all applicants and decides which to accept. The folders of those accepted who are applying for aid are then sent to the financial aid offices. If the financial aid office decides that they cannot offer enough aid for the student to be able to attend the school, the student is not given an acceptance.

Ana Spinella, Associate Director of Admission, Millbrook School

We love Upland students because they are prepared, curious, and well-rounded...ready for our classrooms, athletics, and community. Because Upland encourages their students to be active members of the community, students are prepared for the demands of the Millbrook experience. Adding the Harkness tables to Upland, has helped prepare Upland students for the discussion based classrooms that we have in every subject. Upland students are ready to be in the front of the classroom and ready to advocate for their education.