Admissions FAQs

General Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • When does the school day begin and end?

    Classes in Session:
    • Pre-Primary: Nursery and pre-kindergarten classes begin at 8:15 a.m. and conclude at 2:30 p.m. We also offer half-days that conclude at 12:30 p.m. for nursery and pre-kindergarten students.
    • Lower School: Kindergarten through grade 5 morning meetings begin at 8:15 a.m. and classes begin at 8:20 a.m. Classes conclude at 3:00 p.m.
    • Middle School: Advisory for grades 6, 7, and 8 begins at 8:15 a.m. and classes begin at 8:20 a.m. Classes conclude at 3:00 p.m.
    • Upper School: Advisory for grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 begins at 8:15 a.m. and classes begin at 8:20 a.m. Classes conclude at 3:00 p.m.
    Morning and After School Care:
    • Morning care is offered from 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. free of charge.
    • Afternoon care is available from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. through our outstanding after school programs: Rainbow Room (nursery – grade 5), AC After 3 p.m. (pre-kindergarten – grade 12), athletics (grades 7 – 12).
  • How early can I drop off my child?

    Students may be dropped off as early as 7:30 a.m.  Classrooms open at 8:00 a.m., but we have dedicated, comfortable spaces for students who arrive early. Students  arriving before 8:00 a.m. in nursery through grade 2 should go to the preschool classroom and students in grades 3 – 5 should go to the Library. This morning care is offered free of charge.  Middle and Upper School students may arrive as early as 7:30 a.m. and report to their divisional lounges.
  • Does AC offer after school programs or after school care?

    Yes; we offer Rainbow Room and AC After 3 p.m. programs every day.

    Rainbow Room is AC’s after school program for children in nursery (AC3s) through grade 5.  It is open every day from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. It is also open on most vacation days and conference days.

    AC After 3 p.m. is an after school program that offers different specialized classes for enrichment. The timing can vary depending on the class in which your child(ren) are enrolled.
  • Does AC offer athletics after school?

    Yes; our athletic program is available for students in grades 7-12. We offer more than 30 Modified, JV, and Varsity teams.  Allendale Columbia and Harley join together for athletics and compete in Section V. Learn more by visiting our HAC Athletics website.

Admissions FAQs

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • When does the admission process begin?

    We often say it’s never too early to explore different educational options for your child. The admission process for applicants formally begins the year prior to entry. Allendale Columbia’s priority application deadline is January 31, and we will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis, if space remains available.
  • When should we submit our application?

    We recommend you submit your application and supporting materials by January 31st, if you are interested in starting in September of the same year.

    We do accept applications throughout the year, but priority decisions are mailed in February each year (this also includes merit scholarship applications).

    Families wishing to apply mid-year or in the summer are encouraged to complete and submit their application as soon as possible to our admissions office.
  • When will we know if our child has been accepted?

    Priority admission decisions are sent out in early February for all applicants who submit completed application files prior to January 31st.  We offer rolling admission based on space availability for all applicants after January 31st. We do enroll a number of students in the spring and summer each year, but space is typically limited.
  • When do we schedule a visit for our child(ren)?

    Students applying to Allendale Columbia in grades 1-12 spend a day on campus. These visits can be scheduled anytime after October 1st.  If you wish to apply for mid-year enrollment, please contact the Admissions Office, and we will schedule a visit day as soon as possible.

    Students applying for nursery, pre-kindergarten, or kindergarten will meet their teachers during their readiness assessment. Readiness assessments are usually scheduled for January and February or as needed in subsequent months. Contact the Admissions Office to schedule a visit or a readiness assessment.
  • Is there bus transportation?

    Yes; most public school districts provide transportation to Allendale Columbia School free of charge if your home is within 10-15 miles of the school, depending on the district.

    All parents who wish to use public school transportation must complete the necessary form associated with their home district.

Merit Scholarship Program FAQs

At Allendale Columbia, we look for talented students with strong character regardless of a family’s ability to pay. In addition to our need-based tuition assistance (known as financial aid), we also feel fortunate to offer merit scholarships to exemplary incoming students in grades 6 – 12.

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Where can I learn more about the Merit Scholarships that are available?

    We have comprehensive information available on the Scholarship & Financial Aid page, and you are welcome to contact the Admissions Office with any questions 585.841.5344 or
  • Can I apply for more than one merit scholarship?

    Yes; students who apply for any of the merit scholarships may be considered for the others.
  • What is the difference between need-based aid and merit scholarships?

    Need-based financial aid is offered to families who demonstrate financial need according to their submitted financial aid application. All families who anticipate needing financial assistance are encouraged to submit their financial aid form to SSS when starting the admissions process.

    Merit scholarships are awarded regardless of need to top incoming students in grades 6 – 12 based on academic excellence, extraordinary character, and demonstrated leadership.
  • When are all financial aid (need-based and merit) decisions made?

    Priority decisions are mailed in February for those families who have met the January deadlines. After the first deadline, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. If you plan to apply for need-based financial aid or a merit scholarship, you should indicate this as early as possible in your admission process. All financial aid decisions are made only after a student has completed the admission process. Although the processes for admission and financial aid are separate, we try to include a financial aid decision with your admission decision.

Financial Aid FAQs

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

  • Does my income have to fall under a certain level for my family to qualify for financial aid?

    No. Since many factors including number of children, assets, and liabilities go into the financial aid process, there is no one specific income level that can clearly represent a cut-off for every family.
  • How is my level of need determined?

    Each year, the Financial Aid Committee makes its decisions after careful review of the Parent's Financial Statement (PFS), current IRS forms, supporting schedules, and other pertinent information.

    To determine each family’s degree of need, the Financial Aid Committee uses the forms and procedures established by School and Student Services (SSS). Income, assets, expenses, number of dependents, and other special circumstances are taken into account in the process.

    In the case of divorce or separation, the school requests financial information from both parents.

    While a family may demonstrate a given level of need, the school does not promise to meet 100% of that need, therefore a financial aid grant represents what AC can offer, not necessarily what a family may ask for or qualify for. Strict confidence is expected on the part of all families and a breach of confidentiality can jeopardize financial aid offers in the future.
  • Will I have to pay a deposit?

    Yes. We ask parents to return a financial aid agreement with the re-enrollment contract and a small deposit indicating a plan to return the following fall. In keeping with the National Association of Independent Schools Principles of Good Practice for financial aid administration, Allendale Columbia School does not require a full financial commitment until a family has had the opportunity to review our financial aid offer. A “fully informed enrollment decision” sets our standard for fairness to all families.
  • What is the purpose of the financial aid program?

    Allendale Columbia School is proud of its tradition of providing an outstanding education that prepares students for life’s important next steps. A strong financial aid program helps make our independent educational experience affordable and accessible to families seeking such an education for their children.
  • Will I be eligible in my income bracket?

    The only way to answer this question is to complete the confidential financial aid application process. Since many other factors including number of children, assets, and debts go into the financial aid process, there is no one specific income level that can clearly represent a cut-off for every family.
  • What are the factors other than income that are considered?

    Other factors included in the determination of financial need include number of dependents, underemployed spouses, divorce and child support agreements, investments, student loans, business ownership statements, housing equity, and discretionary spending choices.
  • Will I have to apply for financial aid each year?

    Yes. Every family that wishes to be considered for financial aid must reapply every year by the deadline. Funds often run out and preference is given to those parents who complete their application by the deadline and submit the necessary tax paperwork by the deadline. Applications received after the deadline may not be offered financial aid for the upcoming year. Accounts must remain in good standing to be considered for financial aid.
  • Can I expect to pay the same amount each year once I enroll?

    No. We re-evaluate each family’s situation every year and there are a variety of circumstances that affect the allocation of financial aid. Financial aid funds are not guaranteed. We try to work with returning families to help ensure continuity of experience for the student(s), as long as parents stay current with their payments. We believe long term financial planning is as important as long term educational planning and we look forward to working with every family.
  • Does everyone pay something toward tuition?

    Yes. All families pay some part of their tuition.
  • Will a financial aid application affect the admissions process?

    No. The need for financial aid in no way affects the admission process or decision. Financial aid decisions are made with the Financial Aid Committee. Admission decisions are made with a faculty-driven Admissions Committee. The processes are separate. However, financial aid decisions are not formally rendered until an applicant has been deemed admissible.
  • Are there costs in addition to the tuition that I will have to pay?

    Yes, there are a few additional costs that may come up, but they usually include things like AP test registration, SAT registration, and perhaps rare or specific field trips. Books and lunch are included in the tuition as are many other parts of school life.
Please contact our Admissions Office at 585.641.5344 or if you have any questions or require additional information.
At Allendale Columbia, we prepare students for the world they will inherit. In our trusting and responsive environment, students in nursery through grade 12 grow in confidence and develop scholastic independence.