Beyond TPS

Graduates of The Philadelphia School are confident, self-assured, and well-prepared to excel in a variety of environments. They attend many of the area’s highly regarded public and independent schools including:  

School District of Philadelphia Special Admission Public High Schools
Academy at Palumbo, Central High School, Constitution High School, Franklin Learning Center, Hill-Freedman World Academy, Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School, George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science, Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP), Girls High School, Parkway Center City High School, Parkway Northwest, School of the Future, Science Leadership Academy (SLA), Science Leadership Academy at Beeber, The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), Walter B. Saul William W. Bodine High School

Other Public High Schools
Harriton High School, Northeast High School, South Philadelphia High School, Strath Haven High School

Independent Schools
Academy in Manayunk (AIM), Abington Friends School, Agnes Irwin School, Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, Friends' Central School, Friends Select School, George School, Germantown Friends School, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, LaSalle College High School, Merion Mercy Academy, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Revolution School, Sacred Heart Academy Bryn Mawr, St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, The Baldwin School, The City School, The Crefeld School, The Episcopal Academy, The Haverford School, The Shipley School, Westtown School, William Penn Charter School

Parochial Schools
Roman Catholic High School, Sts. John Neumann and Maria Goretti High School

Boarding Schools
Blair Academy, Church Farm School, Peddie School, Phillips Exeter Academy, St. Andrew’s School, The Lawrenceville School

The High School Application Process

Applying to area high schools can seem overwhelming at first but with a little planning and research, the process can be an exciting opportunity for students to reassess their interests, talents and how they learn best in order to prepare them for college and beyond.  


We start discussions about the high school process in the spring of 7th grade.

Over the summer prior to the beginning of 8th grade, students and their families are encouraged to learn more about the schools they are interested in applying to through the school websites, requesting materials and talking to alumni and friends.

In September and October, 8th graders embark on the process in earnest, attending open houses on the weekends and registering for any required standardized tests* to meet the late Fall application deadlines.

The Philadelphia School District holds their high school fair in the fall. At the fair,  special admissions schools have booths with information about their programs. In addition, TPS hosts its own high school fair night in September, where a variety of high schools are available to answer questions and present their materials. Attending these events can provide excellent opportunities to explore high school options.

During this time, families are also encouraged to participate in our High School Alumni Panel evening held annually in October. At this event, TPS alumni from a variety of independent and public schools share their experiences at their individual schools and answer any questions families might have. This panel gives families a candid, “inside” perspective on some of the school options 8th graders might be considering as well as insight into how alumni feel TPS prepared them for their next educational steps.

As families narrow the list of schools in which they are interested, students will begin to submit applications. While application processes across schools have similarities, each high school has a different set of admissions requirements. It is important to identify such requirements early in the process to ensure admissions files are completed in a smooth, timely, and accurate manner.  Please note that many schools either suggest or require a student visit day; these visits should take place in October and November, preferably on days that TPS is not in session. 

Through the exploration process, the Middle School Dean of Students works closely with students and their families in group and one-on-one settings to answer questions, clarify the application process and coach students for school visits and interviews.

In the winter, as decisions are mailed out, the Middle School Dean supports families in helping them to identify which high school might be the best fit for their student.

*A note about testing requirements:
For public school admissions
, the Educational Records Bureau Testing (the ERBs), administered at TPS in May of the student’s 7th grade year fulfills the standardized testing requirement needed.

For independent school admissions, additional testing in the 8th grade year is required. Your child can take either the SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test) or the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) in the fall of their 8th grade year. Our Learning Resources team will work with families whose students may be requesting testing accommodations.


The Middle School Dean of Students is the primary contact for students and families involved in the high school admissions process. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Alyssa Rickels at any time with questions.

college choices

Post-secondary schools selected by TPS alumni in the past few years include: American University, the Art Institute of Chicago, Brown University, Babson College, Barnard College, Bates College, Boston University, Colgate University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Drexel University, Emerson College, Earlham College, Fordham University, Franklin & Marshall College, Goucher College, Hamilton College, Harvard University, Haverford College, Hofstra University, Ithaca College, The Juilliard School, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University, McGill University, New York University, Northeastern University, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Pitzer College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Scripps College, Skidmore College, Stanford University, Temple University, University of Chicago, University of Delaware, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, University of Richmond, University of Southern California, University of the Sciences, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin, Ursinus College, Washington University, Wellesley College, Wesleyan University, and Yale University.