Manhattan Country School's annual Farm Outing Day at the MCS Farm.
The following are common questions prospective families have about Manhattan Country School's application process. If you have additional questions, please contact our Admissions Office.

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: How old must my child be to apply to MCS?

    Children must be four by September 1, 2023 to be considered for the 4-5s program.
    Children must be five by September 1, 2023 to be considered for the 5-6s program
    Children must be six by September 1, 2023 to be considered for the 6-7s program.
    We do not have age requirements for children applying to the 7-8s through 8th grade, however, they must have successfully completed the prior grade.
    The way we look at our 4-5s program is that it is the foundation for a 10 year curriculum at MCS, and while some students may have been in a pre-K program, we do not consider their starting in the 4-5s at MCS as “repeating.”  At MCS our 4-5s are engaging in identity work, concepts of equity, and community building which are all core values of the school and are woven into different aspects of learning. Our 4-5s begin to explore these themes in age appropriate ways and begin applying their learning to some of these more abstract concepts as they root themselves as members of their community - both in school and out. This is part of the foundation of our social justice and activism curriculum and deepens the academic learning and experiences of our students.

    Click here for more information about mixed age groupings at MCS.
  • Q: Why are there mixed-age groups in early childhood at MCS?

    Please note that our birthday cut off is September 1. If your child turns 4 after September 1, we are not able to consider them for admission for the current admission cycle and invite you to reapply the following year; if your child turns 5 after September 2, we will consider them solely for the 4-5s program.

    At MCS, we have mixed-age groups which cover approximately an 18 month age span in the classrooms. The 4-5s (Pre-K) classroom includes children who are between 4  to 5.6 years of age; the 5-6s (Kindergarten) classroom includes children who are between 5  to 6.6 years of age. 

  • Q: What are your application and supplementary materials deadlines?

    Our deadline for applications is December 1, 2023
    Family Financial Worksheets are due by December 1, 2023.

    Supplementary materials such as Confidential Reports (4-5s through 6-7s) and Teacher Recommendations (7-8s and up) are due no later than January 12, 2023.
  • Q: Why choose a pre-k- 8 school?

    MCS intentionally designed a pre-k to eighth grade school because of the demonstrated benefits this model has for academic growth and challenge, and emotional well-being in children. Children have the chance to be leaders, while also being children for a little while longer before the transition to high school. The pre-k to 8th grade model also allows greater coordination and cooperation amongst teachers across grade levels and increases parent involvement. 

    Responsibilities grow as students advance through the Upper School (Fifth through Eighth Grade). Leadership examples include the 9-10s serving as Reading Buddies to children in the 6-7s; our 7th graders taking a Child Development class and observing the 4-5s; and 8th graders serving as Admissions Ambassadors on school tours. Our oldest students are empowered, enthusiastic role models for the entire student body. They best demonstrate what it means to value and encourage each other, developing rewarding relationships across age groups based on trust and mutual reliance. Our eighth-graders truly discover who they are as learners and what kind of academic environment would best serve them in high school. MCS eighth graders gain admission to highly selective high schools, view a list here

    The following articles highlight the benefits of this educational model. 
    NYU Study
    The Fordham Institute
    NPR Education
  • Q: When will I know of the admission decision?

    As a member of the Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY), we adhere to their notification deadlines. Please see our table below:

    Notification and Reply Dates 2023
    For applications with all elements completed by January 12, 2023

    Grade Entering
    Notification Mailing
    Parent Reply Deadline

    Not before Thursday, March 2

    Not before Thursday, February 9
    No later than noon Thursday, March 9

    No later than noon on Thursday, February 16
    Grades 1-8
    Not before Tuesday, February 14
    No later than noon on Friday, March 3
    Early Legacy Optional Notification Dates
    Please note that schools cannot require parents to opt for the Early Notification program before November 18. School reports for Early Decision consideration must be completed by sending schools and submitted to receiving schools by December 2.

    Grade Entering
    Notification Mailing
    Parent Reply Deadline
    PK and Kindergarten
    Not before Friday, December 9
    No later than noon on Friday, December 16
  • Q: Are there special considerations for admissions?

    Yes, sibling, legacy and staff applications are given special consideration but are not automatically accepted.
  • Q: Does my child need to take a test as part of the admissions process?

    MCS does not require standardized testing as part of the admissions process.
  • Q: How is each child's tuition/contracted fee calculated?

    The Family Financial Worksheet provides the basis for determining a family’s Contracted Fee. All families complete the FFW when applying to the school and annually thereafter. The Family Financial Commitment Plan is at the core of our commitment to economic diversity. It replaces set tuition, scholarships and financial aid with a contracted fee calculated for each family on a sliding scale in equitable proportion to the family’s financial resources.

    To determine one’s tuition, families submit a confidential Family Financial Worksheet (FFW) each year. Student fees are then set on a sliding scale.
  • Q: What is tuition for the 2022-2023 school year?

    Maximum Tuition*
    4-5s to 9-10s
    Fifth to Eighth Grade

    *These figures apply to the 2022-2023 school year and will increase for the 2023-2024 school year.

    Included in the annual tuition are the following:
    • Farm trips for children in the 7-8s through 8th grade. Trips include transportation, meals, lodging, and site-based learning.
    • Books and classroom materials
    • Early drop-off coverage between 8:00 a.m.– 8:30 a.m.
    • Daily morning snack
    • Lunch Monday through Thursday
    • Field trip transportation and expenses
    • Access to laptops, iPads, SMART boards during the school day
  • Q: Is there an afterschool program?

    Afterschool is available Monday through Thursday until 5:30 p.m. MCS offers extended-day coverage through a wealth of enrichment classes that change year to year. Past classes have included Mandarin, Lego Robotics, Yoga, Baking and African Drumming. There is also a daily playgroup for students in the 4- 5s and 5-6s.

    Emergency Afterschool is available to accommodate unexpected, last minute changes in families' schedules.

    Pricing for Afterschool is based on the number of days a child attend classes. Class costs are fixed and do not follow the sliding-scale model.
  • Q: What high schools do MCS graduates attend?

    MCS eighth graders are accepted to highly selective public, independent and boarding schools. Below are schools to which MCS students have been accepted over the past two years. For a more extensive list, and to view colleges our graduates have attended, please see High School Placement.
  • Q: What is the MCS approach to homework?

    MCS uses homework to extend a child’s intellectual life outside of the school day and to help synthesize knowledge and build strong organizational and time-management skills.

    Starting in the 6-7s, children begin receiving homework assignments, generally on Wednesdays and due on the following Monday. Homework is gradually increased as the children get older. Upper School students (5th - 8th grades) tackle long-term assignments and complete an hour to an hour and a half of homework each night.
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