How to Apply to Tampa Preparatory School
1. Submit an Online Inquiry to Schedule a Tour
Once you submit an online inquiry via the button below, an admissions officer will follow up with you to provide next steps and schedule a tour. We strongly encourage you to bring any applicant on the tour, but please note that tours are limited to parents and applicants only. We encourage you to read some of our blogs to learn more about our faculty, students and alumni.
2. After Your Tour, Submit an Online Application
Following your tour, you will receive an email from your admissions officer with instructions on submitting an online application as well as a checklist of other admissions materials needed from the student’s current school including a School Record Form and Teacher Recommendation. Applications and all supporting documentation must be submitted with the $75.00 application fee by February 1. Families must submit an application to schedule a Shadow Day.
3. Schedule a Shadow Day at Tampa Preparatory School – NOTE: NO SHADOW DAYS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Once your application has been submitted, you will receive an email from your admissions officer with a link to book a Shadow Day for your student. During your student’s visit, he/she will shadow a host student and attend classes, mingle and eat lunch with students and meet faculty. The Admissions Office will conduct an interview at some point during the day. Shadow days are scheduled for Mon. – Thurs. from October through March.
4. Take the SSAT and the Character Skills Snapshot
Register for the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT). Here is a Guide to take the SSAT at Home. You will also need to take the Character Skills Snapshot Assessment. Be sure to select Tampa Preparatory School (code 7612) as the school that receives your reported scores. There are three new testing options for taking the SSAT. Registration for these begins in August.
- SSAT at home. Testing will be given every Saturday and one Sunday every month with 2 test times available each day.
- At a Prometric Test Center.
- Paper-based option for Flex Tests only. There are only five dates for Flex Tests in 2020: Sept. 5, Sept. 26, Oct. 31, Nov. 21 and Dec. 19.
Families in areas where the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) is more common than the SSAT may submit an ISSE test in place of the SSAT. Register at www.iseetest.org.
NOTE: Applicants for the junior and senior year must submit PSAT or SAT scores instead of taking the SSAT.
International students take the TOEFL or TOEFL Jr. Register online at www.ets.org/toefl. Scroll down to see details about testing requirements for international students.
5. Keep in touch with us
Families are advised to login to their account to check the status of their student’s admissions file. Completed admissions files are reviewed by Admissions Officers on a rolling basis for all grades except grade 9. Notification letters for grade 9 applicants are mailed on March 1. While you wait, feel free to browse our 20-21 Guide for Academics and Student Life or our 2020-21 Course Descriptions catalogs. Hear what current families and alumni have to say about their experience.
International Students Applying for Admission
We gladly welcome applications from:
- International students
- Students whose families may be moving to the Tampa Bay area from out of the country
- Students from our partner exchange programs (for a semester or a year).
International students who seek admission follow the same process that all students follow except that the full tuition payment is required when the contract is submitted. The school will then issue the I-20 form to the family in the country of origin. *NOTE: International students are not eligible for financial aid due to the difficulty in determining financial need in a different currency and tax structure.
- All international applicants must have a strong command of English.
- Students who reach the age of 19 years old on or after September 1, and who have not exceeded his/her four-year limit of eligibility, may participate in interscholastic athletics during the school year.
- Tampa Preparatory School does not admit postgraduate students.
Diploma-seeking international students who wish to graduate from Tampa Prep and seek admission to an American university or college are required to take the SSAT (Secondary School Admissions Test) as well as the TOEFL.
- Submit an online application with the $75.00 application fee by February 1. Subsequent applications for limited openings will be evaluated on a rolling admissions basis.
- Submit a School Record Form with all previous years of official high school transcripts. Transcript(s) must be translated into English. We need both translated and untranslated versions of your transcripts.
- Submit two Teacher Recommendations (Math and English teachers). Teachers may submit their recommendation forms to us via email (scanned), fax or mail.
- Interview. A Skype interview may be required during the admissions process.
- Testing. International students entering grades 9 through 12 for whom English is a second language must take the TOEFL. www.toeflgoanywhere.org International students entering grades 6 through 8 should take the TOEFL Junior test.
There are two formats for the TOEFL test. The format you take depends on the location of your test center. Most test takers take the Internet-based Test (IBT). Test centers that do not have Internet access offer the Paper-based Test (PBT).
Guidelines SSAT Test
Internet-based Test (IBT)
88-95 (will consider)
570-589 (will consider)
Minimum Total Score
Verbal Reasoning 60%
Minimum Test Score
Reading Comprehension 60%
Minimum Test Score
Quantitative Reasoning 60%
Families of international applicants should be aware that in order for our College Counseling Officers to be the best advocates for an international student matriculating to the American university system, an international student must attend Tampa Preparatory School for the last two years of their schooling. This two-year period provides our College Counseling Officers with a better understanding of a student’s knowledge, skills, abilities and habits, and allows for a more personal relationship with the student.
Q: I need to make travel arrangements for the entire year. How do I plan my trip?
Please view the school’s major dates calendar before making travel plans so you do not miss any school commitments. We do understand there will be times when some adjustments are needed. Please bring any concerns to Ms. Linda Quinn, Admissions Administrative Assistant.
Q: What is the purpose of the I-20 form?
Every non-U.S. citizen needs this form to get a student visa; the student visa allows you to attend Tampa Preparatory School. Your student visa must apply to the entire academic year (August – May). In addition, you need this form whenever you travel, both within the U.S. borders and especially when you leave the U.S. This form and your visa are your legal documents from the U.S. Immigration Department and should be kept safe and secure at all times.
Q: What courses will I be taking?
All international students take courses in the following areas: English, History, Mathematics and Science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics). Students may also choose three more courses from the electives listed in the Guide for Academics and Student Life or two courses and one study hall.
Q: What clothing should I bring to school?
The weather in Tampa is some of the best in the country! Tampa lies just north of the tropic zone. During the Fall, it can be 30° Celsius, Winter is usually between the 4° – 16° Celsius and in the Spring it’s in around 26° Celsius. Our dress code is informal, so plan to bring items that are practical for the weather and comfortable for you. You may review the details of our Dress Code in our Guide to Academics and Student Life. If you have questions about clothing, you can wait until you arrive and do some shopping here.
Q: Spending Money?
Some students use Visa or MasterCard Debit/Credit cards for purchases in addition to cash. We strongly discourage students from keeping large amounts of cash in their possession.
Q: Religious Observances?
Religious holidays are not formally recognized on the Tampa Prep calendar. Because we have many devout students from all faiths, we are sensitive to their significance. Devout students who plan to miss three or more classes must inform their teachers and submit an Absentee Permissions Form in advance of the upcoming absences. Students who miss school for a religious holiday will not be required to turn in any assignments or take any assessments on the holiday or the day after. Furthermore, they will be allowed five school days upon returning to school to complete missed assignments and assessments.
Q: Can I participate on a sports team?
Participation in sports at Tampa Prep is a highly demanding endeavor. International students should be aware that the level of skill required for many teams is quite high. Students are required to attend daily practices after school and attend all scheduled games on weeknights. All practices and games are mandatory, not optional. To participate in a sport, international students may not have any grade lower than a C.
Please contact Athletic Director Chris Lavoie (email@example.com) or Assistant Athletic Director Eric Snow (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on how to join these teams. Paperwork for participation in the Florida State High School Athletic Association (FSHAA) must be completed before students officially join a team.
What we are looking for . . .
Is your child resilient? Creative? Inquisitive? Open-minded? Motivated? We appreciate these character traits at Tampa Prep and encourage students who are ready to immerse themselves in all aspects of school life and who are eager to learn with peers from diverse backgrounds to apply. We are dedicated to supporting personal growth while upholding academic excellence. Need-Based Financial Aid is available to students who qualify through a separate, confidential process.View our Fall 2020 Academic Reopening PlanTake a Virtual Tour
What you can expect from us . . .
As educational thought leaders, we incorporate progressive ideas into our curriculum, schedule and facilities on a regular basis to make life more student-centered. Here are just a few of those ideas:
- Delayed School Start – Our school day begins at 8:50 a.m. because research indicates that later mornings are more compatible with teens’ natural body clocks.
- Active Learning Environments (ALE) – Our innovative classrooms involve more than fancy desks on wheels–though a technologically-advanced atmosphere conducive to collaboration, student engagement and creativity is a great start!
- Harkness Method – The use of Socratic teaching and the Harkness method encourages maximum student engagement and an opportunity to facilitate trusting relationships between faculty and peers.
- Academic Concentrations – Our students may take advanced concentration and receive additional credits in the areas of the arts, global studies, humanities and STEM.
- Class Seminars – Grade level weekly meetings cover topics such as stress management, relationships, the honor code, exam prep, digital footprint, mindfulness and more.
“My time as a Terrapin changed the way I valued work ethic as a skill applied to not only sports and school–it’s multidisciplinary.”
– Corey Perkins, Tampa Prep Class of 2015, University of Delaware Class of 2019 (Collegiate Athlete: Volleyball)