International Admission FAQs

We’ve got answers to many of the frequently asked questions from international families.

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How many international students attend at Putney?

Of 232 Putney students, about 40 come from outside the US. Most of these students are citizens of other countries; some are dual citizens, and some are Americans living overseas. Definitions of “international student” vary, but any student living outside the US offers experiences and insights we value for our “world at Putney.”

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Do you have an ESOL program?

Yes. We have a two-level ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) programs — intermediate and advanced –- for students who need additional language training.

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How many international students will you accept this year?

The school enrolls about 80 new students each year, from the US and around the world. Our ESOL program is small, however, and is limited to 8-10 new students each year.

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Do I have to take the SSAT, TOEFL, or SLEP to apply? What are the minimum scores?

International students whose first language is not English are not required to take the SSAT. As a measure of English ability, TOEFL or SLEP scores are required.

Please submit your TOEFL score directly to Putney by using school code 8079 when you take the test.

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For which grade should I apply?

Most students apply for the same grade they would enter in their home country. However, it is sometimes a good idea to apply for the same grade you are finishing at home, to give you one more year of education in English before applying for college. Repeating one grade when moving to an American school has many benefits. Each situation is different, and you should discuss this with our Admission office.

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Can I apply as an incoming 11th or 12th grader?

We accept applicants for all grades, although these spaces are more competitive. If you apply as an 11th grader, you need to demonstrate a readiness for our advanced ESOL class or higher. If you apply as a 12th grader, you will need to include with your application a statement of intent on what courses and activities you wish to take during your year Putney. If you are applying for 11th or 12th grade you will need a high command of English. A TOEFL score of 95 (IBT) generally shows this readiness, as does prior experience in a mainstream program at another American school.

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Can I apply for the spring term (beginning in January)?

We rarely enroll international students mid year. Our academic year unfolds in such a structured way that entering midway does not provide the orientation and adjustment time we feel our international students need.

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Do you offer financial aid for international students?

Yes. We offer some aid for qualified students. Typically, maximum grants are 50% of total costs. Families who wish to receive financial aid, must apply.

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Do you have orientation for new International Students?

Yes, international student orientation begins a few days before new US students arrive. This allows international students to recover from jet lag, get to know the campus, meet our International Ambassadors, shop for dorm room supplies, and more. New international students are encouraged to participate in our Summer Skype program, which matches them with a current student to help them know what to expect upon their arrival to Putney.

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Why don’t you teach AP courses?

Putney’s educational program considers that learning should be creative, collaborative, and flexible. Students should learn to ask good questions, to research and analyze, and to share their ideas clearly and powerfully. These skills cannot be measured by standardized tests such as the APs, which are designed to teach students how to answer questions that others have asked. Putney has never had an AP curriculum, and we are now being joined by many of the top schools in the country. It is clear to us that colleges understand our program, because our students do well in today’s competitive college-admission process.

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What colleges do Putney’s international graduates attend?

Each year, Putney’s seniors apply to a great variety of colleges; this variety represents the individuality of our students. Here is a list of some of the great schools where our recent graduates are studying.

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Do you have a summer program for international students?

Yes, The Putney School has a summer program for students learning English, as well as programs in the arts, writing, and on the farm. We strongly urge new Putney international students to attend our summer English program for three or six weeks. Please read more about our summer programs here, or request an application.  Students who are accepted into our academic-year program do not need to complete a full application for summer.

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