Wait Pool FAQs
Each year, we receive questions about MBCA's Wait Pool. I hope these details provide some clarification for each question listed. Families with students in the Wait Pool will be notified as space becomes available. Please note that we always welcome families to move applications to the next school year if we are unable to offer admission from the Wait Pool for the current school year.
Meridith Burba, Director of Admission
- Why is there a Wait Pool?
- Who is in the Wait Pool? How many students are included?
- Are spots within the Wait Pool ranked?
- How will you contact me if a spot becomes available?
- I need to make a plan for my student's enrollment. When will you make a final decision?
- What dates should I be made aware of?
- Should we pay an enrollment deposit elsewhere even if MBCA is our first choice?
- What can we do to increase our chances of being offered admission?
- What about Tuition Assistance?
- How do I confirm interest in staying in the MBCA Wait Pool?
- Is being put in the Wait Pool a reflection of my student's ability to succeed at MBCA?
- If my student is not moved out of the Wait Pool this year, is it appropriate for us to reapply for next school year?
The Mt. Bethel Christian Academy admission process is designed to determine which applicants will be most successful in our program. Often that number is higher than the number of available spaces in a given grade level. We place a limited number of students to whom we are not able to offer admission but who we believe would thrive at MBCA in our Wait Pool. In the event a space becomes available with respect to a specific grade, the Admission Committee for that appropriate division (Lower School, Middle School, or Upper School) will evaluate the students remaining in the Wait Pool and make an offer of admission based on the factors described below.
While we do not share specific numbers regarding our Wait Pool but please know that it does not include every qualified candidate who has applied. MBCA wants to be realistic about the number of openings that may become available after our initial offers of admission are sent and those families have made decisions regarding acceptance. In addition, a space may become available in a specific grade over the summer, usually due to an unexpected family move, and we will turn to those students who have chosen to remain in our Wait Pool with an offer of admission at that time.
No. Our Wait Pool is made up of students who we believe can be successful at Mt. Bethel Christian Academy. Each student brings a unique profile. Whenever an opening occurs, we consider the entire Wait Pool and think about which student would be the best complement to the class. We consider both demographic data (i.e., gender, age with respective to the birthday spread of the grade level, etc.) as well as more subjective data (learning style, social fit, courses required, etc.).
The MBCA Admission Office will reach out to parents via email and phone. We will ask you to indicate whether you are interested in considering an available spot, and you will have some time to contemplate your decision. The window of time available for you to commit will vary, depending on the time of year.
This is the hardest part of being in a wait pool. Seats can become available as early as immediately after first-round decisions are sent in early March and as late as after the school year begins. We do not admit students after mid-September for the first semester or mid-February for the second semester. Our suggestion is that you consider alternate enrollment plans for your child and keep MBCA informed of your plans. Your commitment to another school will not affect our decision to offer your student an available spot. However, we will understand, encourage, and expect you to honor whatever contractual obligations you make with other schools.
While wait-pool activity can happen at any time, there are a few key dates to keep in mind. Families who received first-round decisions have until March 15th to commit to Mt. Bethel Christian Academy. Those who need Tuition Assistance have an additional 10 business days after receipt of their TA Award Notification so additional seats may be available; this typically occurs in mid-April. Additionally, June 1st is the date of full contractual obligation; a student can withdraw before that date without being obligated to pay a full-year's tuition. Each of these dates may provide us with additional availability.
MBCA's retention is high; however, it is not uncommon for a family to move out of town due to a business transfer that is not planned for and falls outside of our normal enrollment calendar. When this happens, we will turn to students who have chosen to remain in the Wait Pool with an offer of admission at that time.
Most independent schools in our area send acceptance letters at the beginning of April and expect decisions shortly afterwards. If you are certain that MBCA is your first choice, then there is no harm in waiting until this time to make a commitment to another school. We suggest you read enrollment contracts carefully and consider applicable financial obligations. Like MBCA, most independent schools will not refund a deposit but have a date by which you can withdraw without further penalty, but most will also require you pay the full year's tuition if a student is withdrawn after a certain date.
We suggest the following steps:
- Make sure your student's current school forwards any updated records to us. In most cases, we have received just the first half of marking periods. When we go to review Wait Pool candidates, it's helpful if we have the most current information available. Progress reports, grade period snapshots, etc. can always be added to an applicant's file.
- Let us know if you're still interested in staying in the Wait Pool. If you make other plans, please just keep us posted. We like to stay in touch!
At MBCA, admission decisions are handled independently of Tuition Assistance decisions. In fact, the Director of Operations oversees the TA program, while the Admission Office is in charge of the application/admission process. That said, the TA Committee typically does not complete a full review of a family's TA application until the Admission Office knows the status of enrollment of the student. This means that a student in the Wait Pool who has applied for Tuition Assistance has not yet gone through a thorough TA review. Should a space become available, the Admission Office will notify the TA Committee should the family also have applied for assistance. However, an offer of admission typically will be sent prior to an offer of funding assistance.
For more details about MBCA's Tuition Assistance program, please click here.
YES! If MBCA is unable to move your student out of the Wait Pool, we will be delighted to consider him/her for first-round decisions for the following academic year. Just email the Admission Office if you would like to take advantage of this.