Admissions Process

Six high school students walking in hallway

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.

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 MethodThe 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.

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, you will receive a follow-up email from an admissions officer that provides next steps and a link to book a parent-only personal tour of our campus. Individual parent interviews and tours are scheduled weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Allow at least an hour for your visit. Before you tour in person, 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. Families must submit an application before setting up a shadow day. 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

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 Mon. – Thurs. from October through March.

4. Take the SSAT and the Character Skills Snapshot

Register for the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) and the Character Skills Snapshot Assessment. Be sure to select Tampa Preparatory School (code 7612) as the school that receives your reported scores. The SSAT can be taken at Tampa Prep on one of these dates:

  • October 19, 2019
  • November 16, 2019
  • December 14, 2019
  • January 4, 2020
  • February 8, 2020
  • March 7, 2020
  • April 25, 2020
  • June 13, 2020

If you are taking the SSAT at Tampa Prep, please plan to arrive by 8:30 a.m. to check in at the reception desk in the Mitchell Lobby (main academic building). Entrance testing begins promptly at 9:00 a.m.

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. For details about testing requirements for international students, visit the International Students page.

5. Keep in touch with us

Families are advised to login to My BackPack 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.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR OPEN HOUSE

October 30, 2019
January 22, 2020

Registration opens at 5:30 p.m.
Program begins promptly at 6:00 p.m.

Tampa Prep alumna Corey Perkins playing volleyball

“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)

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 ADMISSIONS

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.

REQUIREMENTS

  • 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.

APPLICATION PROCESS

  1. Submit an online application with the $75.00 application fee by March 15. Subsequent applications for limited openings will be evaluated on a rolling admissions basis.
  2. Submit a School Recommendation 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.
  3. Submit two Teacher Recommendation forms (Math and English teachers). Teachers may submit their recommendation forms to us via email (scanned), fax or mail.
  4. Interview. A Skype interview may be required during the admissions process.
  5. 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

Guidelines TOFEL
Internet-based Test (IBT)

96-120 (acceptable)
88-95 (will consider)

Guidelines TOFEL
Paper-based (PBT)

590-677 (acceptable)
570-589 (will consider)

Minimum Total Score
Verbal Reasoning 60%

Minimum Test Score
Reading Comprehension 60%

Minimum Test Score
Quantitative Reasoning 60%

COLLEGE COUNSELING FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

COLLEGE PREPARATION
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.

FAQ FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Q: I need to make travel arrangements for the entire year. How do I plan my travel?
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° degrees 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 Student Guide, above. Dressier clothes (dresses, jackets, ties, etc.) are only needed occasionally. 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 (clavoie@tampaprep.org) or Assistant Athletic Director Eric Snow (esnow@tampaprep.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.