Admissions FAQ

When do I start the application process?

Applications for admission for the fall of 2020-2021 will be available in early September, and due January 9, 2020. The Application process for all grades involves a number of steps, and we strongly recommend that you carefully review the Apply Online page to understand the requirements of the grade you are interested in. If you have any questions about any part of the process, the Admissions Office will be happy to help you. Please email us at

Admissions decisions will be mailed on March 19, 2020, with some PreK decisions pending until early April. Children are not admitted once the school year has begun.

Please note that families applying in the fall are usually able to take a tour of the school before submitting an application. However, by mid-December, tours are often booked through the spring, and a wait list develops. This means that some families make the choice to submit an application to meet the deadline without having toured the school.

If you are thinking of applying for your child for the fall of 2020, we recommend that you create an account through Ravenna, our online scheduling and application system, as early as you can. Once you have created a Ravenna account, you will be able to register for parent tours, open houses, and on-campus IQ testing.

In the event that a tour, open house or testing date is full, please email to be added to our waitlist.

How old must my child be to apply?

Prekindergarten Applicants

Children applying for prekindergarten must be four years old by September 1. However, we evaluate prekindergarten applicants at three distinct times during the admission season due to the timing of when applicants are old enough to take the IQ test. The minimum age to take the test is three years, ten months. Children who turn four years old after June 1 may be considered during the Rolling Admissions Process which happens after the second round of prekindergarten admissions in April.

  • Children applying for the first round of prekindergarten admissions must be four years old by February 1. We ask that children be four years of age when testing; however, applicants must be at minimum three years, ten months old.
  • If your child’s birthday falls between February 2 and June 1 they will be considered a 'late birthday' prekindergarten applicant. Late birthday applicants apply by January 9, 2020 and take the IQ test in late March and April.
  • In order to accommodate children with later birthdays, the Admissions Office will accept only half of the prekindergarten class on March 19, 2020.  The Admissions Committee meets again in April to evaluate children with late birthdays and those in the wait pool from the first round. Admission decisions for the remaining prekindergarten spaces will be mailed April 10, 2020.
  • The majority of our prekindergarten class will be offered admission on March 19 and April 10, 2020. If we have space in the PreK class after late-April, we will accept prekindergarten applications from children with birthdays from June 2 to September 1. 


  • K-12 Applicants

    Children applying for kindergarten must be five years old by September 1. Children applying for first grade must be six years old by September 1. With each grade, the child will be one year older: six years old for first grade, seven years old for second grade, eight years old for third grade, and so on. The process of determining placement for eligible candidates begins with observing your child in the age range standard for The Nueva School. Given that Nueva draws candidates from many educational backgrounds, grade placement is assessed in the context of a child's age cohort, social and emotional development, academic skills, and the mission of the school. 

    If an applicant seems more appropriately matched for a lower or higher grade, the Admissions Office will make a recommendation to the family after the campus visit(s).


How many students are admitted for grades PreK-12?

We encourage families to apply, as openings occur every year. Actual numbers vary from year to year. Feel free to contact us to discuss possible openings.

  • Prekindergarten: 14-18 applicants
  • Kindergarten: 20-22 applicants
  • Grade 1: 4-6 applicants
  • Grade 2: 2-4 applicants
  • Grade 5: 10-15 applicants
  • Grade 6: 20-25 (main entry grade for middle school)
  • Grade 9: 40-50 applicants

Openings for grades 3-4, 7-8, and 10-12 are limited, and are contingent upon attrition.

What is the wait pool?

Acceptance into the wait pool means that the Admissions Committee believes your student is a potential match for Nueva’s program. We place applicants in a wait pool because more spaces may open up by the end of the summer. We cannot give families an estimate of the likelihood that their student will be accepted, so we encourage wait pool candidates to secure a place at another school. You will be notified right away if a space opens at Nueva and the Admissions Committee selects your child. The wait pool ends when school starts in the fall.

The wait pool is not ranked. It represents a pool of applicants that the Admissions Committee will draw from if a student cannot enroll or re-enroll. When choosing an applicant from the wait pool, the Admissions Committee evaluates learning styles, abilities and talents, gender balance, and various facets of the grade to build a well-rounded class.

Families are welcome to re-apply or submit Rollover Applications (for Grades K-8) in the next admission season.

Are financial awards available?

Yes. The Nueva School’s financial award grants are based solely on financial need. Currently enrolled students receive awards totaling over $4 million. We structure our awards by first serving those students who currently receive awards, then we serve currently enrolled students who have had a change in their financial status, followed by newly accepted students.

Unfortunately, we are not always able to meet the financial award requests of every family. If you have additional questions or would like more information about financial options, please contact the Admissions Office at 650-350-4528 or email You may also read Affording An Education at the Nueva School.

Please note: Financial awards are available for all grades starting at prekindergarten. Admissions decisions are made independent of financial award consideration.

For additional financial information click here.

Is there an advantage to submitting my application early?

Yes. Submitting your application before the winter break allows more flexibility in scheduling on-campus IQ testing (Grades PreK-8), parent interviews, and campus visits. These are only offered October through February, and they fill quickly.

What happens if I miss a deadline?

All applicants are asked to meet our stated deadlines. Applications that are late or incomplete have a disadvantage in the admissions process. Only applications that are completed by the deadline will be considered in the first application review.

When will I be notified of the admissions decision?

The Admissions Committee carefully reviews completed files and mails decision letters March 19, 2020. All decisions will also be available to view through your Ravenna account on March 20, 2020 after 4:00pm. Families must notify the Admissions Office of their decision to accept or decline the offer within one week of receiving the notice. Early responses are very helpful and appreciated! Prekindergarten applicants who receive a wait pool letter in mid-March are considered in the second round of prekindergarten decisions, which are mailed April 10, 2020. Enrollment contracts, with deposit, are due back in the Admissions Office the following week.

What is your 2019-2020 student enrollment?

The Lower School has approximately 215 students in prekindergarten through fourth grade (boys 48%; girls 52%). The Middle School has approximately 300 students in fifth through eighth grade (boys 47%; girls 53%). The Upper School has approximately 390 students in ninth through twelfth grades (boys 50%; girls 50%), making our Nueva student population approximately 900 students.

How ethnically diverse is your student body?

African American, Asian American, Latino/Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Biracial/Multiracial, and Native American children represent 57% of our student enrollment, as defined by the National Association of Independent Schools.

Do you have geographic diversity?

Students travel to school from the North Bay, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, East Bay, and the Coast. Families from the Central Peninsula represent 36% of the Nueva community. About 17% of our families  live in the San Francisco area, and 38% commute from the Southern Peninsula. Nueva offers three bus routes from San Francisco and the Southern Peninsula. Upper School students are provided CalTrain passes as part of their tuition.

8th-grade Nueva Student 

"My transfer to Nueva made me realize how excited I am to be here. I look forward to the challenge, innovation, and learning that lies ahead."