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General instructions for applicants (Gateway)

Before you begin work, please read through these general instructions.

  • Click here to watch a webinar that explains the various steps of the application.
  • Click here to watch a short tutorial video for applicants.

The Gateway to Prep Schools contains seven sections, each designated by the following navigation items:

My Schools:

This section is where you choose the schools to which you wish to apply.


Reviews all the requirements you must fulfill after submitting the Candidate Profile. This important feature allows you to keep track of all parts of your application to each of your schools, including whether or not fees have been paid to schools that accept online payments.

Part 1: Candidate Profile:

The Candidate Profile is the primary common form accepted by all participating schools. This form gives schools a basic sense of who you are, what you have done and where you have been. "Who, What, and Where" are the focus of the Candidate Profile.


NOTE: This section will be unavailable until Part 1 has been submitted.

Provides access to online payment links, which allow you to submit your application fees to selected schools online. Many schools accept online payment through the Gateway to Prep Schools. This is the simplest and most secure method of paying your application fees. After submitting, you will instantly be taken to a confirmation page verifying that schools have received your payment.

Part 2: Essays:

NOTE: This section will be unavailable until Part 1 has been submitted. If the school accepts online payment through the Gateway to Prep Schools, this section will also be unavailable until payment has been submitted.

The more interesting questions of "How" and "Why" appear in each school's Essay and Short Answer section, commonly thought of as Part Two of the application. Typically, each school designs its own questions based on what they value and seek in candidates for admission. You may access schools' essay and short answer sections through this section. Some schools require a Parent Statement which is also included in this section.

Part 3: Recommendations:

Typically, schools require a Previous Grades, a Current Academic Year Grades, a Principal/Counselor Recommendation, an English Teacher Recommendation and a Math Teacher Recommendation, but each school varies. Some schools may also accept Personal Recommendation, Special Interest Recommendation, Optional Additional Grades and even custom recommendation. On this page you will find links to request the recommendation forms that each school requires. You will need the name and email address of your recommenders in order to request these forms.

My Advisors:

This section allows candidates to add advisor users to their account. Advisor users can view the candidate’s checklist in order to stay up to date on the status of the applications; however, the advisor users cannot view the candidate’s personal information or responses to application questions.

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  1. Yiwei Huang

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