Admission

FAQs

List of 22 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. Do you have to be a Quaker to attend Cambridge Friends School?

    A. No! To learn more about Quaker Education, visit the Friends Council on Education. All systems of faith and belief are welcome at CFS, and many are represented in our faculty, staff, student body, and Board of Trustees.
  • Q. Is Cambridge Friends School accredited?

    A. Yes. Cambridge Friends School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and is accredited by the Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE).
  • Q. What grades do you have at CFS?

    A. We are a Pre-K through 8th grade school.
  • Q. How many students are admitted each year? Into what grades?

    A. CFS accept students at every grade level. Our major entry points are Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st, and 6th. All other spaces are made available by attrition of current students. We enroll approximately 30-40 students each year.
  • Q. At what age are children accepted to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten?

    A. A child must be 4 years old by September 1 and toilet trained to enter the Pre-K program. Kindergarten students must be 5 years old by September 1.
  • Q. Are letters of recommendation required for entrance?

    A. Yes, your child’s current teacher fills out an AISNE Student Evaluation form as part of the application process. In addition, CFS requires a “Last Year’s Teacher or Director/Principal” form to offer a second opinion. If this person is not available, a personal letter of recommendation may be accepted. Additional letters of recommendation in support of your child’s application are neither expected nor required.
  • Q. What happens after we submit the application and how can we be certain that the school has everything they need?

    A. After the application deadline, the Admission Office will contact you if your child’s file is not complete. It is imperative that you get all pieces in by the application deadline. Your child’s file will not be reviewed until it is complete.
  • Q. When do we find out if our child is admitted?

    A.
    Admission decisions are mailed on March 10 for our first round of applicants who met our January deadlines. Parents and guardians must accept or decline our offer of admission no later than April 10.
     
    After the first round process, we continue accepting applications on a rolling basis throughout the spring and summer. Rolling admission decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis as space and resources are available and will be made within one to two weeks after a file is complete. Families who are notified of a space for their child any time after April 10 will have one to two weeks to make their decision regarding enrollment.
  • Q. What does it mean if my child is wait listed or denied admission?

    A.
    Decisions to admit, wait list, or deny applicants are heavily dependent on the pool of students applying. Our primary goal is to admit students we feel will be successful at our school. In making these decisions we consider a variety of factors such as makeup of the current class, gender balance, academic ability or potential, attitude, behavior, character, interests in both academic and non-academic areas, and the desire of the student and family to be at our school and support our mission.
     
    We maintain a small wait list at most grade levels. If an opening occurs, we will carefully look at the current class makeup and determine what student from the wait list will bring the best balance to that given class. Because openings can occur through the spring or summer, acceptances can be made up until the first day of school in late August. We encourage families to stay on the wait list as long as possible.
  • Q. Can my child re-apply the following year if they are not admitted?

    A. Yes. Applicants who are wait listed or denied admission may re-apply in following years. You should call the Admission Office to see what forms will need to be submitted. It can vary by grade, but in general you will need to update the teacher recommendation forms and submit your child’s most recent grades. You only have to pay the application fee once.
  • Q. Can you accommodate students with special learning needs?

    A. All applicants, regardless of special learning needs, will be considered in the admission process. We do accept students with learning differences or disabilities, but only if we feel that the student can manage our program and be successful here at CFS. Our limited learning specialist support at CFS is an inclusion model and is focused on reading, writing, and some math support. We do not offer OT, PT, speech or language, or other special services. The more complex a learning profile, the less likely we are able to accommodate. We encourage parents to have candid conversations with the Admission Office because our goal, if admitted, is to make sure students will be successful here at CFS.
  • Q. Are any applicants given special consideration?

    A. The Admission Committee gives priority consideration to sibling applicants. This by no means guarantees admission, and we understand that “fit” and success within the CFS program may be different for each child.
  • Q. What is the success profile for a good match at CFS?

    A. A good match for CFS includes both the applicant child and the child’s family. CFS parents, teachers, and students work closely together. We believe that family support and involvement encourages greater potential for a successful educational outcome for each child.
  • Q. Are students tested as part of the admissions process? How do you select students for admission?

    A.
    Admission is based on many criteria, using last year’s and the current school report, confidential student evaluations and recommendations, a parent interview, and a student visit and observation. The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is required for applicants to grades 6-8 only.
     
    Decisions to admit, wait list, or deny applicants are heavily dependent on the pool of students applying. Our primary goal is to admit students and families we feel will be a good fit for our program. We want students to be successful at our school. In making these decisions we consider a variety of factors such as makeup of the current class, gender balance, academic ability or potential, attitude, behavior, character, interests in both academic and non-academic areas, and the desire of the student and family to be at our school and support our mission.
  • Q. Does CFS offer financial aid?

    A.
    Yes. CFS offers financial aid to families who demonstrate financial need. CFS awards a range of financial aid grants to about 45% of the student body. Limited financial aid is available for new families. We make awards in order of the following priorities: returning families already receiving aid, returning families in need of aid for the first time, and new families.
     
    See our “Affording CFS” page for more detailed information.
  • Q. How do I make an appointment to come and see the school?

    A. You may call 617.354.3880 Ext.144 to schedule an appointment. As part of the admission process, interested parents will tour the campus and then meet with an admission officer. Prospective students will spend time in the classroom or on a play date for the PK and K applicants, and group visit for Middle School applicants. Open House is another great way to see the school, and the entire family is welcome to attend. Open House is scheduled in early November, from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. each year.
  • Q. Do you accept students mid-school year?

    A. Sometimes. Mid-year acceptances can occur depending on space and fit within our program. Contact us to inquire further.
  • Q. Is there an application deadline?

    A. Yes, our first round deadline is always early January. Second round of admissions is a rolling admission process as files become complete.
  • Q. Does CFS ask for an application fee?

    A. Yes, there is a required application fee of $50 per child. If this poses a significant hardship to a family, a fee waiver may be requested by calling the Admission Office.
  • Q. How do I start the application process?

    A. Inquiries should be addressed to the Admission Office at cfsadmission@cfsmass.org or by calling 617.354.3880 x 144, and we will send you a packet of materials. Application forms are also available online.
  • Q. Are on-campus interviews required?

    A. Yes, parent interviews are required as well as student visits. Out-of-state families should contact the Admission Office for guidance if a visit is not possible.
  • Q. Is it hard to be the new student? Doesn't everyone already know each other?

    A.
    Teachers, students, and current families work together to welcome new students! Your child will be welcomed warmly at admission events and his/her visit day. After you are notified of your child's acceptance, he/she will also be invited to revisit the school or attend a social event hosted by the Admission Office to meet current students.
     
    At the beginning of the year classroom activities will help your child transition to his/her new classroom. Community-building activities, group projects, reading stories about new experiences, and field trips are all ways teachers help students transition back to school and welcome new classmates. The Admission Office will also match you with a current host family to connect with over the summer. Most new students and their families feel at home right away.
Educating independent thinkers for over 55 years in grades PK-8