Admissions FAQs

Are campus tours and information programs available?

Tours and information programs for Lower, Middle and Upper School are offered from September through December. You can register for our fall programs and for our Sunday Open Houses by going to the "Visit Sidwell Friends" tab.

How do I apply?

Applications are submitted online from our website. For the 2017-2018 academic year, applications will be accepted between September 1, 2016 and December 15, 2016. Part II materials are due by January 15, 2017.

What are your application deadlines?

To apply for the 2017-2018 school year, our deadlines are as follows:

Part I submitted by December 15, 2016*
Part II submitted by January 15, 2017
Financial Aid submitted by February 1, 2017
Decision letters mailed on March 2, 2017

* October 1, 2016 deadline for siblings of current Sidwell Friends students and children of faculty and staff.

Also for applicants to sixth, seventh, and ninth grades, we cannot guarantee an interview if application is not received by December 1, 2016.

What are the age requirements for applicants?

We have an age requirement at our Lower School and use September 1 as our birthday cutoff. Your child must meet the age requirement for the grade to which he/she is applying. For applicants for the 2017-2018 academic year, please refer to the dates below for guidance.

GradeAgeBorn Before
PK 4 9/1/2013
K 5 9/1/2012
1 6 9/1/2011
2 7 9/1/2010
3 8 9/1/2009
4 9 9/1/2008

What are your application requirements?

To view application requirements for each division, click on the desired division below:

What are the criteria for admission to Sidwell Friends?

During the application process, we ask applicants to submit information from a variety of sources, including teachers, parents, and independent testers, as well as written statements from the applicants themselves (for grades six through eleven). We carefully consider a student’s previous academic performance, as well as how his/her individual talents, passions, and strengths might contribute to the diverse tapestry of our School community. Above all, we make admissions decisions with careful sensitivity to the academic, social, and emotional well-being of each applicant. It is important to us to ensure that every student we admit can be successful and happy at Sidwell Friends School. If you are unsure about whether Sidwell Friends School might be a good fit for your child, please attend one of our information sessions, or call the Admissions Office at 202-537-8111.

Does my child have to be a practicing Quaker to attend Sidwell Friends?

Students do not have to be practicing Quakers to attend Sidwell Friends School. We welcome students of all faiths. To learn more about Quaker values and how they shape the educational philosophy at Sidwell Friends School, click here.

Are any applicants given special consideration?

While it is by no means a guarantee of admission, Sidwell Friends does give special consideration to the applicant groups listed below:

  • Children of Members of the Religious Society of Friends
  • Siblings of current Sidwell Friends students
  • Children of Sidwell Friends alumni/ae
  • Children of Sidwell Friends faculty and staff
  • Former students in good academic standing
  • Children of former Sidwell Friends parents
  • How many students are accepted to each grade?

    Although we will accept applications to each grade, we only increase the class size at certain grades. We have 22 openings for PK, 26 openings for K, 16 openings for third, 4 openings for fourth, 16 openings for sixth, 16 openings for seventh, 25 openings for ninth. Grades other than those mentioned above will have openings only through attrition of current students.

    How can I get more information about the academic program at Sidwell Friends?

    Our School is organized in three divisions. Click on the appropriate division below for a description of the academic program.

    How diverse is your student body?

    Diversity is a core value of Sidwell Friends School. We are committed to maintaining a student body that represents a wide range of backgrounds, beliefs, and life experiences. Sidwell Friends believes that diverse perspectives and meaningful inquiry fuel academic excellence and promote personal growth. Each of our three divisions stresses empathy, equity and social justice in age appropriate ways. To read more about the ways in which we prize diversity at Sidwell Friends, click here.

    What is the student/teacher ratio?

    PK K-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-12
    11:112:1 12:116:1 12:113:1 (varies)

    Is financial aid available?

    Absolutely. Approximately 23% of the student body receives a total of $6.7 million in financial aid. Sidwell Friends School awards financial aid based on a family's need. We do not offer merit scholarships. Grants are awarded on the basis of the SFS Financial Aid Committee’s review of information provided on the School & Student Services Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) and 1040 tax forms. To learn more about financial aid at Sidwell Friends School, click here.

    Does applying for financial aid affect my child’s chances of admission?

    Applying for financial aid will not impact your child’s chances of admission. The School admits students on a “need-blind” basis, meaning that an applicant family’s economic circumstances are not considered by the Admissions Committee when making admissions decisions.

    If my child is admitted without any financial aid, might there be aid available the following year?

    There is little chance that a student enrolling without financial aid would be awarded aid in a subsequent year without significant changes in the family’s financial circumstances.

    Are there extra fees beyond the cost of tuition?

    Tuition includes a daily hot lunch, curriculum fees, and Lower School textbooks. Middle and Upper School students receiving financial aid may be eligible to receive assistance with textbook costs and technology fees in the Middle School. Transportation between our Lower School and our Wisconsin Avenue campus carries an additional fee, but families receiving financial aid may receive assistance for a portion of this cost. For more information on tuition and fees, click here.

    What are the hours for the school day?

    The Lower School starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3:15 p.m. Tuesdays are early dismissal days with school ending at 2:00 p.m. The Middle School starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays are early dismissal days with school ending at 1:55 p.m. The Upper School starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:20 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays are early dismissal days with school ending at 2:30 p.m.

    Is there before and aftercare?

    There is before school care available at the Lower School starting at 7:15 a.m. The Lower and Middle Schools both conduct aftercare programs on their respective campuses. The aftercare programs run until 6 p.m. and can be used 1 day per week through 5 days per week. There is also a drop-in program available for those with only an occasional need. Learn more about the Lower School and Middle School aftercare programs.

    Do you have bus service?

    Bus service is provided between our two campuses in Washington, DC and Bethesda, MD before and after school. The cost is $900 for one-way and $1,325 for round trip. The bus schedule is as follows:

    7:20 a.m. - Depart Lower School7:50 a.m. - Arrive Upper School
    8:00 a.m. - Depart Upper School8:30 a.m. - Arrive Lower School
    3:10 p.m. - Depart Lower School3:30 p.m. - Arrive Upper School
    3:40 p.m. - Depart Upper School4:00 p.m. - Arrive Lower School

    Is there a school uniform?

    There is no uniform for students at Sidwell Friends. Cleanliness, neatness, and simplicity are the objectives of the dress code.