Questions & Answers

Castilleja School Admissions Questions

We are happy to answer any questions you may have about Castilleja and our application process.

If you can't find the answer you're looking for here, please contact us by phone (650.470.7733) or email.

What does the Admission Committee look for in an applicant?

The Committee evaluates several hundred applications for 6th grade and over one hundred applications for 9th grade and through the process identifies girls who truly love learning.

Successful applicants are intellectually curious, actively engaged and strong members of their school community. We seek girls who embody and appreciate our core values, the 5 Cs- conscience, courtesy, character, courage and charity, and who also appreciate these values in their classmates.

What Admission events do you offer and which do you recommend attending?

Castilleja's Admission Office hosts many events for prospective families. Preview Days (Open Houses) are available for applicants and their parents or guardians. Parent Tours are designed for parents who are unable to attend a Preview Day. Informational Coffees offer another opportunity to meet students, faculty, parents, and School leadership.

We encourage you to attend the event that best suits your needs, as it is not required for prospective applicants and their families to attend all events. All events are on campus and require registration.

How many students do you enroll in each grade?

Castilleja’s main entry point for enrollment is in 6th grade with approximately 60 places available. At 9th grade, we typically enroll 10-12 new students each year. Admission to 7th, 8th, 10th or 11th grades is very limited and contingent upon having a place available.

Students interested in 7th, 8th, 10th or 11th grades may apply, and a campus visit and interview will be scheduled when openings are available.

Do you have a sibling policy?

We value the relationships we have developed with current families and to that end, siblings are given special consideration in the admission process.

As is the case with all our applicants, Castilleja must be a good fit for the sibling applicant, both socially and academically. Admission is not guaranteed.

What is the timing of admission decisions?

Admission decision letters and Tuition Assistance decision letters are mailed on March 19, 2020 and posted on Ravenna on March 20, 2020 at 4:00pm.

Will applying for tuition assistance impact the admission decision?

Admission decisions are made independently of tuition assistance applications and decisions.

Castilleja is committed to enrolling a diverse student body and encourages families to apply for admission and tuition assistance. Twenty-one percent of our families receive tuition assistance awards ranging from $5,000-$49,400.

How much weight is given to the ISEE/SSAT test results?

Test results are just one of many factors we consider when evaluating an application and are by no means the only measure of a student’s capabilities. Because we receive applications from so many different schools, the test result provides a consistent lens into a student’s academic profile.

Should applicants enroll in Test Prep programs?

No. Test results are only one factor in the admission decision. It is unnecessary to add to applicants’ busy schedules and raise their anxiety level during the fall. We strongly discourage applicants in doing more preparation than is suggested by schools and testing organizations.

Questions about Testing Dates and Locations?

We hope that you will choose a testing date and location that works best for your daughter’s schedule. Your daughter’s application will receive full consideration if we receive her test results by February 3, 2020.

What communities do your students come from?

While the majority of our students live in the areas surrounding Palo Alto, our entire study body comes from over 50 different zip codes all over the Bay Area.

What kind of transportation support do you provide?

Castilleja is committed to providing many transportation options to help girls get to and from school. Many girls walk, bike, or carpool to school daily. Other girls take Caltrain and we have shuttles for morning pick up and after school drop offs. We also provide shuttles that pick up in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside and Los Altos each morning.

Do you enroll international students?

Castilleja welcomes international students to apply for admission. All applicants must go through the same admission process to determine if they are a match for the school. Successful applicants will be fluent in English and, if applicable, will present a minimum TOEFL score of 80.

Upon admission to Castilleja, we are able to offer student visas to international students. It is Castilleja’s expectation that accepted students will live with immediate family members in the Bay Area.

Does Castilleja's gender policy address who can be considered for admission to the school?

Yes. As a school for girls, Castilleja will consider any applicant who aligns with the mission of the school and identifies as a girl, whether or not that identity is different from the gender identity traditionally associated with the person's physiology, assigned sex at birth, or school records.

Contact Us

We're happy to answer any questions you may have.

Contact us at: 

650.470.7733 or

Para información en Español contactar Marlyn Negron650-470-7733.

Key Dates for Applicants