Learning is not Attained by Chance


Frequent Asked Questions About Admission to FBRA

When can we apply?

  • We begin accepting applications in August of a student’s 5th-grade year for admission to the following year’s 6th grade.

  • We also accept applications for admission to the 7th and 8th grades on a rolling basis, pending space availability.

Can we get on an early waiting list if our child is too young to apply?

  • We do not have an early waiting list. We encourage families to begin exploring our school during the spring of their child’s 4th-grade year. We host Open House sessions in the spring and fall for prospective families, with the spring tours geared to parents of 4th graders.

Why is a swim test required, and what does it entail?

  • A prerequisite of admission to our program is comfort and stamina in deep water. This is a safety requirement of our whitewater paddling curriculum. If a student is not comfortable/proficient in the water, this is not a barrier to admission but rather a signal to pursue swim lessons prior to enrollment.

  • Students will be asked to tread water for several minutes and swim back and forth across a 25 meter pool several times. Stroke/form is not as important as the ability to be safe in deep or swift water.

  • Students who are not able to complete a swim test as part of their shadow day will have the option to submit a video or a letter of reference from a swim coach or swim instructor.

Are students accepted ona first-come first-served basis?

  • We consider all candidates who apply within a given season equally, regardless of how early an application was submitted. However, we do schedule applicant visits on a first-come first served basis.

  • We encourage families to apply early as our capacity to field applicants is limited and in some years, we are unable to accommodate those who apply later.

Are younger siblings of current or alumni students automatically accepted?

  • The French Broad River Academy recognizes family connections and values long-term relationships with the school. While family connection is taken into consideration in our admissions process, siblings or relatives of FBRA families are not automatically admitted.

When is the deadline for applying?

  • For early admission, all components of the application (online application, student visit, school records, and teacher recommendation) must be completed no later than early December.

  • After early December, applications are accepted on a rolling basis, pending space availability.

Is it helpful to ask my child's teachers to send in multiple letters of recommendation?

  • We only ask for one teacher recommendation, preferably from the current classroom teacher.

  • Our online application will automatically send a recommendation form to the teacher that the parent requests.

Is there financial aid available? How do I apply for financial aid?

  • Yes, we do have limited financial aid for families that qualify on the basis of need. Click here  to learn more about the financial aid application process.

What if there are moire applicants than available spaces?

  • If we have a higher number of qualified applicants than available seats in our program, we will place some of the applicants in a wait pool. We do this in hopes that we can fill any vacancies that might occur.

How many students are in the wait pool?

  • We do not share specific numbers regarding the wait pool. Each year, we offer admission to the exact number of students that reflect actual openings. We also anticipate that some additional openings might occur during the spring and summer months but can never predict the grade(s) affected.

Is the wait pool ranked?

  • No. Wait pools are made up of students whom we believe can be successful at FBRA. Each student brings a unique profile. Whenever an opening occurs, we consider the entire wait pool and think about which student would be the best complement to the class.

Is being put in the wait pool a reflection of my child's ability to succeed at FBRA?

  • Only in a positive way. Placement in the wait pool indicates confidence on our part that a student can be successful in our program. It’s also a reflection of our commitment to small class sizes and of our sincere interest in enrolling students, including your child, who will thrive with us.

What if we are unsure which program is best for our child?

  • Connecting with a Program Director and/or Dean of Students from either program to help support you with this decision would be a good first step. Contact the school to set up an in-person meeting or phone call. We also invite you to read our answer to "Why Split Gender?" and our approach to gender diversity.