Admissions FAQS

We have attempted to answer a few of the many questions that come to mind during the admissions process. The list is by no means complete, so we encourage you to contact our admissions staff for further information. For an in-depth look at our curriculum and programs, please refer to our curriculum guide and viewbook.

List of 13 frequently asked questions.

  • Is there a “typical” Bishop’s student?

    No! Bishop’s is interested in students who will thrive in a competitive environment and benefit from a demanding college preparatory education. Our students reflect and embrace diversity of thought and personal contribution to the School community through their academic potential and achievements, creativity, character, athleticism and involvement in the School’s co-curricular activities. Bishop’s strives for economic, ethnic and cultural diversity within a vibrant co-educational learning environment. The admission procedures and criteria are developmentally appropriate for the ages of our students and the grades to which they are applying, but the overarching process is designed to identify students who have intellectual curiosity and ability and/or the potential to meet the demands of a rigorous college preparatory program. Their unique talents, admirable character and zest for engaging in the School community set them apart.

    In addition to the above characteristics, students applying for admission are considered on the basis of their application, previous academic background, results from either the Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) or the SSAT, personal interview, recommendations from current English and mathematics teachers, a recommendation completed by the designated school administrator, and a transcript from the school(s) attended during the past two-and-a-half years.
  • How will I know when you have received recommendations, transcripts and test results?

    Once you submit the application, we set up a checklist for you. Periodically, you can check back on the status of your application and receipt of the recommendations, transcripts and scores. Please allow the Admissions office 2-3 business days for items to appear as completed on your checklist. Please do not worry if an item is not checked off your checklist; if any materials are missing from your file, we will be in contact with you in early February.
  • Do you consider more than just quantitative (standardized test results, GPA) factors?

    Yes. We look at the whole child and anticipate that some students will leave an indelible mark at The Bishop’s School based on their personal passions in co-curricular activities. We seek to enroll students who genuinely care for others and demonstrate kindness in their communities. We do ensure that all students will be successful at the level of academic excellence offered by Bishop’s.
  • How important is the entrance exam?

    ISEE/SSAT results are a factor, yet not a determining one. We realize that, inherent to any test of this kind, there are certain limitations, as standardized testing often fails to measure a student's motivation, creativity, research ability and character. But the entrance exam does provide us a benchmark given that students apply from such a wide variety of schools and thus have somewhat different educational backgrounds.
    • Can the student take the ISEE more than once? ISEE guidelines state that students may only test three times within a 12-month period, once in any or all of three testing seasons: Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer. Please submit all test results. The exam may not be taken for practice. A student may test only when submitting a formal application to a school. Only under very special circumstances, such as sudden illness, would a request for an additional sitting be considered. There is no limit to the number of standard SSAT tests you can take in a testing year (August 1-July 31).
    • Do you recommend test preparation courses? No, we do not. There has been much debate over the value of test preparation courses. In terms of format and concepts tested, the ISEE is similar to the tests that students take annually at their current elementary or middle schools. Test preparation courses can lead to increased pressure by making the test appear, in the eyes of an already nervous young student, as the one all-important factor.
    If, however, your child desires to learn more about the test, ISEE recommends the book published by the Educational Records Bureau titled, "What to Expect on the ISEE." The information included may help the student understand the format of the test, the directions that will be given, the types of test questions and a sample answer sheet is provided. The book is available through the ISEE Operations Office at
  • What types of schools do most of your students come from?

    Last year we received applications from 158 different schools. There is no preference given to students from certain schools. What we do consider is how well students have maximized the educational opportunities offered them during their primary and/or middle school years.
  • Does Bishop's accept international students?

    Yes, The Bishop's School enrolls students from all over the world including families from such countries as England, Italy, Germany, China, Korea, Australia, Portugal and South Africa, to name a few. It is important to note that Bishop's does not have an English Language Learning (ELL) program. Thus, applicants from overseas locations must meet the same admissions criteria listed on the admissions checklist page. We do not have boarding facilities nor do we offer homestay accommodations. It is the responsibility of the applicant family to provide proof of legal guardianship if the applicant resides with individuals other than the applicant's parents. Proof of health insurance is also required of international students. If an international student is accepted and enrolls at The Bishop's School, an I-20 will be issued. Please click here for more information.
  • Do alumni and sibling applicants have preference?

    Qualified alumni and sibling applicants have preference over an equally-qualified family new to The Bishop’s School.
  • What is class size?

    The average class size ranges between 14 and 16 students. As a student moves into upper level language classes or gets involved in electives, advanced honors or Advanced Placement (AP) classes, class size may decrease slightly.
  • How would you characterize your faculty?

    Remarkable in every way! Many of our faculty care enough to coach and sponsor activities while remaining available to tutor or counsel any student who comes to them for help. In fact, 30-45 minutes are available after school each day just for this purpose. Our faculty brings youthful enthusiasm and veteran wisdom through many years of teaching. The Bishop’s faculty have been recruited from throughout the country; more than two-thirds hold advanced degrees.
  • Do you offer transportation?

    Yes. The School offers transportation service at designated locations from North County to Chula Vista.
  • What opportunities are available for parental involvement?

    The Bishop's School community is a true partnership of school and family. Parent organizations include the Parents' Association, Performing Arts Circle, Knights Booster Group, Eye on Visual Arts and the Global Education Initiative. All five groups are active in sponsoring and hosting many School events, offering parents a wide variety of opportunity for engagement. The strength of parent involvement and support is illustrated in the 98 percent annual giving rate of our parent community last year.
  • Do you have a school uniform?

    Yes. All students wear uniforms every day except when they have a free dress day and during spirit week. Uniforms can be purchased at Click the School Uniform tab, then search for our uniform items using "Bishops" (no apostrophe) or preferred school code #900064130. The Bishop’s School Bookstore serves the School community for P.E. uniforms, sweaters, ties, sweatshirts and school logo items.
  • Are there types of support systems for new students and families?

    Yes! Each new student will have a support system in place to ensure a smooth transition throughout his or her first year at Bishop's. We begin with the Parent Ambassador Program, where each new family is assigned to a current Bishop’s family. Sometime during the summer, the Ambassador will host an informal gathering or picnic to help families meet each other and to begin the transition process. In late August, all new students are invited to attend a very thorough new student orientation and dinner. In September, our signature Retreat Program serves to introduce all new students to the School and smoothes their transition with their peers. These retreats help to develop class unity and allow our new students to more quickly feel a part of their class by spending quality time with fellow classmates and faculty advisors.

    When school begins, each student at Bishop's is assigned a faculty advisor with whom they will meet every day to support them in the social, emotional and academic transition phases. Faculty advisors work with approximately 10-12 students, acting as academic counselors reviewing grades and planning schedules for each academic year.
Parents and students who have further questions or need more information should contact the Admissions Office. Kim Cooper, director of admissions and financial aid, and Francis Donald, associate director of admissions, will be delighted to speak with you. Please call (858) 875-0826 or email
THE BISHOP’S SCHOOL     7607 La Jolla Boulevard     La Jolla, CA 92037     (858) 459-4021
The Bishop’s School is an independent, coeducational college-preparatory day school for students in grades six through twelve who live throughout San Diego County. Founded in 1909, the School is affiliated with the Episcopal church.