AISAP Exchange Discussion

High Profile Families

  • 1.  High Profile Families

    Posted 06-11-2019 16:02
    For those of you positioned to attract high profile families (entertainment celebrities, sports figures, business moguls, etc.), in what ways might the admission process differ from your natural course? Are there certain courtesies that you offer in accommodating these families? With whom do the parents take a tour of your campus - Director of Admissions, Head of School, Advancement Director, or etc.? I am interesting in learning more about your experiences and practices.

    Gretchen Lurie
    Director of Admissions
    Chandler School
    Pasadena CA

  • 2.  RE: High Profile Families

    Posted 06-12-2019 13:17
    Hey Gretchen, we try to treat high profile families like anyone else.  We would never have the Advancement Director initiate direct contact with the family while they are in the process of applying.  We of course put them on the radar of the Advancement Director and the Head during our evaluation of candidates but do not intentionally schedule meetings or appointments any different than we would with other families.  If it's a family other families would recognize on sight, we do try to schedule the interview during a window where they'd be the only family in the front office, just in order to be sensitive to their privacy (we've certainly had to do that with some of your own families over the years).  And the Head and the Advancement Director never conduct Admissions tours.  That is the responsibility of the Director of Admissions.

    Art Stetson
    Director of Admission
    Flintridge Preparatory School
    La Canada Flintridge CA

  • 3.  RE: High Profile Families

    Posted 06-13-2019 12:25
    Hi Gretchen, 

    When we have a high-profile family, I usually try and treat them like any other applicant as much as possible; however, sometimes circumstance necessitate something different. I always do the admissions tours and I make an effort to introduce as many of our prospective families as possible to our Head of School so that type of introduction wouldn't be out of the norm. If it's someone that might be recognizable and they come during the school day for a tour, I give our teachers an extra heads-up so that they can let the girls know that I will be dropping in with a "high profile guest." This helps, well a little, with any overt staring, whispering, etc. We have also had to adjust our admissions process for these families sometimes particularly if they are living abroad, traveling a bit, etc. so I've done Skype interviews literally at 4:00 a.m. in the morning or at 12:00 a.m. I find that most of the time they don't want or expect any special kind of treatment for themselves and/or their daughters. It's been harder when they come to Open House. 

    Be Who You Imagine, 

    Sara A. McCarthy '05, M.Ed. 
    Director of Enrollment and Student Engagement 

    Alverno Heights Academy
    200 North Michillinda Avenue
    Sierra Madre, California 91024  
    Office: (626) 355-3463 x. 235 


    The mission of Alverno Heights Academy is to EMPOWER each young woman to be exactly the person she wants to be. 

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  • 4.  RE: High Profile Families

    Posted 06-13-2019 19:52
    Hi Gretchen,

    We also treat high profile families like other families. I will add that as we have seen an increase in these types of families, there is a need for educating the community. We had an incident a few years back where I was touring a high profile family and a faculty member went into fan mode. Not great and, unfortunately, the family did not apply. Since then, I have worked with the faculty and staff on this front. Every family goes through the admissions office only- nothing with advancement. If our head of school happens to be out and about I introduce him, just like I would do with any other family. However, there is no extra meeting or time scheduled.  

    Best regards,

    Nicole Victor
    Director of Enrollment Management

    P: 404-835-4617

    345 10th Street NE
    Atlanta, GA 30309

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  • 5.  RE: High Profile Families

    Posted 06-14-2019 08:25
    Same here in beautiful Boston, Gretchen.  No Dev or Advancement involvement.  If it is someone like a famous sport guy that will freak out the kids, that makes it a bit harder, but alerting the classrooms we will visit is helpful.  We hope that they will want to be treated like other families, too, otherwise it is a disruption to the school.

    See you in July at the Annual Institute!


    Diana Perez Glass
    Associate Director of Admission, Lower School
    Buckingham, Browne & Nichols
    Cambridge MA

  • 6.  RE: High Profile Families

    Posted 06-17-2019 17:21
    When we have had high profile, very recognizable athletes come to tour the campus, I try to be respectful of their privacy and in advance, try to get an understanding of what their comfort level is about being seen. I schedule their tour with just me, and am mindful of the time of day they visit so that they can slip in and out without too much attention.

    One thing I chose to do with our last (and most recognizable) person was to only tell our Head that he was coming. I strategically told the receptionist right before he arrived so that she would stay calm upon greeting him.  I did not tell the teachers about his pending visit because I wanted the family to have an authentic experience and to see a typical day on campus. The family appreciated how it was handled, and I felt good about honoring their privacy.

    Other than that, we have the families go through the same process as everyone else, and/but, I will say that it still feels slightly different.

    Susanne Goldman
    Director of Admission
    The Seven Hills School
    Walnut Creek CA