FAQs Frequent Asked Questions About Admission to FBRA
Get answers to frequently asked questions about French Broad River Academy admission.
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.
What are you looking for in an applicant?
A student who will excel at FBRA...
- enjoys a challenge and shows determination and curiosity when trying something new
- has a baseline of comfort with being outside and sleeping away from home
- has a baseline of swimming ability
- is ready to engage with rigorous academics
- doesn't need paddling experience or a Spanish-language background
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. The FBRA experience is more attainable than ever, due to expanded funds for financial aid. Click here to learn more about the financial aid application process.
- French Broad River Academy also participates in North Carolina's Opportunity Scholarship and Educational Student Account+ (ESA+) Programs, both managed by North Carolina State Education Assistance. Visit their site for more details and to start an application.
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 on a 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.
Can we get on an early waiting list if our child is too young to apply?
- We do not have a waiting list. For families with younger children, we invite you to explore our program at any time. We host Open House sessions monthly throughout the school year and families with children of any age are invited to attend.
What if there are more 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.
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.