Q. I’m interested in applying to Branson. What do I need to do to begin the process?
A. Your first step in Branson's admission process is to fill out our Online Inquiry Form so that we can learn more about you.
Q. Is it too late to apply for entry for school year 2016-2017?
A. Please contact our office. Branson is fully enrolled for the 2016-2017 school year, however we would love to learn more about you and your family. We look forward to hearing from you.
Q. Does Branson accept transfer students?
A. Yes. While the majority of students will matriculate as 9th graders, we do accept applications for transfer students into the 10th, 11th, or 12th grades and the application process is the same for each applicant grade. However, acceptance rates for transfer applicants remain quite low due to high retention.
Q. How do I schedule a visit?
A. The first step is to fill out our Online Inquiry Form. Once you have completed the form you will be sent an e-mail with instructions for scheduling your campus visit. The visit season runs from late September through mid-Decemeber. A visit is required for all applicants and includes an interview with a faculty/staff member.
Q. When are this year’s Open Houses?
Prospective families are strongly encouraged to attend one of the two Open House events. These events offer families an opportunity to tour the campus and hear from current students, teachers, and administrators.
Sunday, October 16th, 2016, 1:00 - 3:30p.m.
Saturday, November 12th, 2016, 1:00 - 3:30p.m.
Please RSVP to our Open House by logging into our website and registering for the event through our Admissions Calendar.
Q. What is the application process?
A. To begin the application process, families must first complete the Online Inquiry Form and set up a visit to campus. See above for directions to set up a visit.
After completing the Online Inquiry Form, families will receive a username and password to access the online application. Part I: Parent/Guardian Common Application and Part II: Candidate Application, along with a $95 nonrefundable application fee is due January 12, 2017.
Other pieces due January 12, 2017 (all forms can be downloaded at the Admission Home Page):
- Current Principal or Counselor Recommendation Form
- Current English Teacher Recommendation Form
- Current Math Teacher Recommendation Form
- Transcript Release and Confidentiality Form
- Transcripts from 7th and 8th grade for applicants to the 9th grade
- Standardized Testing (see below for details)
Q. What kinds of standardized testing does Branson accept?
A. Branson maintains a holistic approach to the admission process and testing is merely one component of this complex process. We do not have any minimum score requirements and we accept the following tests:
- Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)
- Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE)
If an applicant chooses to take either the SSAT or the ISEE, we suggest doing so no later than a January test date so we can receive the scores as close to January 12th deadline as possible. For more information on SSAT, please visit www.ssat.org. Branson’s code for SSAT test registration is 4288. ISEE test dates and information can be found at www.iseetest.org and our school code is 092695.
Q. What is Branson looking for in a student?
A. We are looking for students who have demonstrated strong commitment for, and dedication to, and engagement in their academic and extra-curricular activities. We want students with a passion for learning and exploration. There is no fixed criteria for academic qualification, although many of our students have performed well in their middle school years.
Q. Do you have quotas on geographic, ethnic or public/private school admission?
A. Branson does not have any quotas for any specific kind or group of students. We look for a wide range of students from different backgrounds and our outreach extends throughout the entire Bay Area to San Francisco, Marin, East Bay, and as far north as Santa Rosa and Sebastopol. Competitive applicants from public, private, and charter schools as well as those home-schooled are strongly encouraged to apply to our community.
Q. What is the tuition for 2016-2017?
A. Tuition for the 2016-2017 school year is $42,285. Additional expenses of roughly $2000 cover the cost of the lunch program, textbooks, dues, cultural and social activities, and other miscellaneous expenses.
Q. Is Financial Aid available?
A. Access to a Branson education is of the utmost importance to us, and we believe that all qualified students should be able to receive the benefit of a Branson education, regardless of their families’ ability to pay. Branson commits a significant percentage of its yearly operating budget to support its financial aid program, with plans to do even more. Financial hardships should not prevent any family from applying for admission to the school. In the incoming class, 27% of our students are receiving financial assistance, ranging from $3000 in aid to almost full tuition. To request more information about financial aid, please contact our Business Office. Application for Financial Aid is due January 12, 2017.
Q. What is the policy on siblings in the admission process?
A. There is no specific policy for siblings. We like to keep families together, but never at the expense of a child’s development and overall success. Every applicant is assessed thoughtfully and in balance with the overall pool.
Q. What is the commitment by the school in areas of ethnic or cultural diversity?
A. A deep array of experiences, backgrounds and perspectives is key to the success of any learning environment. At Branson, continuing to cultivate and nurture a diverse environment is an institutional priority. With 32% of our incoming freshman class identifying themselves as people of color, we are pleased that our student community strives to reflect the textured world around us. A strong commitment that begins with our Board of Trustees supports efforts in increased diversity, from securing and safeguarding funds for financial aid to considering curricula and programs that promote rich dialogue. There is a great ethnic diversity amongst our faculty (12 faculty and administrators of color) that provides professional role models to all of our students.
Q. How would you define diversity at Branson?
A. Every aspect of who we are defines the diversity of our campus. As individuals, we each have our own style of expression. We value and encourage that style in the way that we dress, the skin that we live in, the voices that we use to express ourselves and in our ability to listen to the experiences of others. Diversity is a key component of our Mission Statement.
In our community, the diversity of religion, family make-up, gender, sexual orientation and social economic status is a part of the sound that we all create in order to question, to understand and to appreciate one another.
There is diversity in thought and there is diversity in who teaches you. It is in this search that we strive to share our lives, to understand the lives of others, to create our own stories and to appreciate the world we live in together.
There are a number of student organizations dedicated to promoting diversity on campus, including the Black Male Forum, The Ethnic Branson Sisterhood, Latino Student Alliance, Asian Student Alliance, EGALATE (the school's Gay-Straight Alliance) and STRIVE (Students Tackling Racial Issues Via Education). In addition, the Diversity Committee, comprising faculty, administrators and trustees, addresses issues of diversity on a community level.