Frequently Asked Questions
- Please call (817) 454-4994 or email admissions staff to set up a campus tour.
- Parents enjoy touring campus during the school day to see students in action.
- For parents looking at preschool thru 4th grades, we invite you to an Admissions Coffee and Tour.
- Parents’ work schedules don’t always allow for that opportunity, so we have evening and weekend events for prospective families.
- By clicking Inquire Online and entering your contact information, the Admissions office will mail a viewbook to you.
- Yes, prior to the classroom visit, an application should be submitted by online.
- Preschool and Prekindergarten: 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM
- Kindergarten: 8:00 AM to 2:45 PM
- Grades 1st thru 4th: 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
- Grades 5th thru 8th: 8:00 AM to 3:40 PM
- Grades 9th thru 12th: 8:40 AM to 3:40 PM
- Our goal is to help you feel comfortable and welcomed. The application process is designed to determine if Oakridge is a "good fit" for you.
- We have students from about 30 cities in Dallas-Fort Worth as well as about 10 foreign countries. Our students represent various racial/ethnic, socio-economic, religious, and national backgrounds. Our diversity is about 35 to 40%.
- Our students come from public and private schools. Each year, students relocate from out of state and abroad.
- The Oakridge School cooperates with the U.S. Department of State to enroll international exchange students.
- Each year about 120 to 140 new students join the Oakridge family.
- Yes. The bus travels each morning and afternoon to 3 locations:
- Duncanville/Desoto/Cedar Hill; and,
- We suggest you begin the application process in the Fall. The first group test date for admissions testing (grades 1-12) is the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
- March 1st is the recommended application deadline. However, we complete application files and start offering enrollment to new families as early as February. Since space availability is limited, it is best to start the process early.
- When a family applies, we assess each student individually.
- A student must be 3 years of age to start preschool.
- Our birthday cutoff date is July 31st; however, the Admissions Committee will consider August birthdays.
- We offer individual testing for grades 1-12 on weekday mornings, or group testing on designated Saturdays. Call to reserve a spot.
- Students testing on Saturday for grades 5-12 will take the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE). The deadline to register for the ISEE test is 21 days prior to the test date.
- Admissions testing is meant to assess the current academic level of your child, so no extra studying is needed for the exam.
- More than likely, the answer is "yes." Depending on the date and type of achievement testing, this requirement may be waived. Usually, students need to retest, just like we need to receive updated grades and recommendations from the current school year.
If a subject area teacher other than Math or English knows my student (grades 5-12) better, can one of them complete the letter of recommendation?
- Additional subject area teachers may certainly write recommendation letters or complete the Teacher Recommendation Forms. We are still required to receive recommendations from Math and English teachers (grades 5-12) in order to best assess those crucial subjects.
- Yes, a parent interview is required for the Early Childhood Center and Lower School (grades 1-4), and a combination parent-child interview is required for Middle School (grades 5-8) and Upper School (grades 9-12).
- The Admissions Committee begins making decisions in January and sends out notifications of acceptance starting in February.
- Yes, we will begin a waitlist when we have more accepted students than spots to fill. The sooner your application process is completed, the better.
- The final decision on admission is determined by the Admissions Committee’s evaluation of several factors:
- The application form;
- Previous school transcript(s);
- Completed recommendation form(s);
- Entrance examination results;
- School visit; and,
- The interview.
Although the application process does not require an on-site visit, if arranged it can help ensure the student’s success.
- English-proficiency test for non-native speakers: SLEP (www.ets.org/slep) or TOEFL Junior (http://www.ets.org/toefl_junior/scores_research/comprehensive/descriptions/).
- Achievement testing (www.iseetest.org): To register for ISEE testing at a Prometric center, visit http://erblearn.org/uploads/media_items/prometric-isee-locations-1.original.pdf.
- Official transcripts/grades of the previous 2 years and a current-year progress report.
- Recommendation forms: (1) Principal or Counselor, (2) English teacher, and the (3) math teacher.
- Student guardian: name, address, and telephone number for the student’s guardian who will be hosting the student.
- Birth certificate or passport
- Immunization record
- Financial documentation (bank letter or financial statement) showing that the family can support the student’s cost of attendance for one year (tuition, fees, plus living costs amounting to about $26,000 USD).
- Skype interview with the student and parents (skype name: oakowls).
- If the student is admitted, the family returns the enrollment agreement, a $1,000 international student fee (annually assessed), and a $750 deposit. At this point the school issues the i-20 for the student to make travel plans.
- Each new student in grades 5-12 receives a buddy who will meet with them during orientation prior to the first day of school.
- Each new student (grades 1-12) will be placed in an Oakridge Owl Connect family, which meets monthly during the school year. It allows a new student to get to know a faculty member and students from other grade levels.
Financial aid is a grant, not a loan, given to qualifying families based on financial need to offset the costs of an Oakridge education. The grant does not have to be repaid. Families who have students entering first through twelfth grade are eligible to apply for need-based assistance.
Financial grants are applied to the basic tuition and fees. Costs not included in tuition and fees include uniforms, fees for optional clubs/activities, and textbooks for grades 5-12. Based on a family’s demonstrated financial need, textbook awards may be offered to help offset the costs of textbooks.
- Admission is based on your child’s academic quality and overall fit with The Oakridge School. Financial aid is not awarded until after the student is enrolled and you've paid a $100 non-refundable enrollment deposit. This holds a spot for your child pending the outcome of the financial aid process.
Yes! Each year, Oakridge makes grants of various amounts. We recognize that every family situation is different and that even a small amount of assistance can make a critical difference for many families.
- We only offer need-based financial aid. Financial aid applications must be filed by new, and returning families, each year. The information is due in the Business Office by March 1st. A complete financial aid file consists of the full tax return, 1099’s or W2’s, and the parents’ financial statement submitted via www.sss.nais.org/parents.
All financial aid information will be treated as highly confidential. Only the Financial Aid Committee will see this information, and only the Committee and the Business Office will see the award. Division heads and faculty members are not privy to any financial materials, nor are they aware of which families apply for financial aid.
Is the cost and sacrifice of an independent school education worth it when we are saving for college?
We believe that the value of an independent school education, such as Oakridge, impacts not only the intellect, but also the character development of a young person and exceeds that of a college education and will last a lifetime. Our hope is that students will emerge from Oakridge with greater college preparedness, motivation and maturity, and will therefore lead to more college, and life choices. Oakridge graduates attend colleges that typically have extraordinarily strong financial aid programs to assist families in financing their child’s education at the next level. Oakridge’s College Advising Office is available to provide guidance in this area.
Families interested in applying for financial aid should indicate their interest on the Application Form. Oakridge uses the calculations provided by SSS, a third-party, as a starting point in determining the demonstrated need of a family. Other factors taken into consideration include the information provided in the Self-Report of Monthly Income, tax forms, the number of children in tuition-bearing schools, as well as extenuating circumstances. Additional criteria is used for those who are self-employed or own a business or farm, or if there is a non-working parent and all children are of school age.