An independent day school for grades 6-12

Application Process

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

  • Am I able to visit your school this year in person?

    We are conducting our entire admission process online this year. You cannot physically visit our school, however, you can use the virtual tour and other events available to experience Crystal and our community.
  • Does Crystal accept international students?

    Unfortunately we cannot offer an I-20 Visa. We do not have any ESL classes. If these specifics are not the case, we would be happy to review an international application. International applicants follow the same timeline as local applicants and must complete the required application steps, including testing. We do not accept the TOEFL in place of the ISEE or SSAT. 
  • How many students are admitted to each grade?

    For the 2020-21 school year, we will be bringing approximately 72 students into our 6th grade class. We will add roughly 25-30 students to our rising 9th grade class in order to create a 9th grade class of approximately 90 students. We will be accepting applications for grades 7, 8, 10, 11, and 12; however, these spaces will be based on attrition, so we will not know whether spaces will be available in these grades until February at the earliest. If you are interested in applying for one of these grades, we encourage you to move forward with your application.
  • How many applications do you receive?

    The number varies from year to year, but we usually anticipate five to six applicants for each opening.
  • How are students selected?

    Crystal Springs Uplands School takes the admission process very seriously and invests countless hours in the process. A committee comprised of faculty and administrators considers the following criteria in making selections for admission: information provided on the parent and student applications, the student’s academic records, the teachers’ and principal’s recommendations, test scores, the student’s talents, character, and leadership qualities, and information gathered during the visit at Crystal Springs Uplands School, including the interview. Each candidate’s application is given careful consideration.
  • Are siblings, children of alumni, or employee applicants given special consideration?

    Crystal Springs Uplands School recognizes the association that many families have with the school and so too recognizes the desirability of enrolling siblings, children of alumni, and children of employees; however, siblings, children of alumni, and children of employees are not guaranteed admission on association alone. They must demonstrate qualities likely to lead to their social and academic success at Crystal.
  • When will we be notified of the admission decision?

    Admission decision letters and Financial Aid decision letters will be mailed on March 19, 2020 and will also be made available on Ravenna.
  • What are your testing requirements this year?

    • Crystal Springs Uplands School will not require admission testing for the 2020-2021 admission season and is adopting a test-optional policy for all applicants.
    • As we considered the 2020-2021 admission season, we at Crystal carefully evaluated our process to ensure it would be  accessible for all applicants. Given the uncertainties and challenges presented by COVID-19, we determined that Crystal would best serve all applicants by adopting a test-optional policy for students applying to enroll for the 2021-22 school year. As such, we will not require admission testing (ISEE or SSAT) as part of the application process this year. If applicants would like to include any testing (ISEE, SSAT, HSPT, ERB, or CAASPP, etc.) with their applications, they may do so, and we will review it as an additional piece of the application file. That said, submitting testing is NOT required, and Crystal will not make assumptions nor will we evaluate an applicant differently if testing is not submitted.
    • To be clear: Students who do not submit testing will NOT be at a disadvantage in any way in our admission process this year.
  • How do I register for the optional ISEE or SAT?

    • Crystal Springs Uplands School will not require admission testing for the 2020-2021 admission season and is adopting a test-optional policy for all applicants.
    • If you choose to take one of the optional exams, please register directly with the test company
    • Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) - our school code is 051173
    • Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) - our school code is 2675
    • All applicants should complete optional admission testing before February 1, 2021. Please note that spaces fill up quickly, and registering for a January test can be difficult
    • If the cost of test registration is a financial hardship, please contact Ken Considine, Director of Financial Aid, at kconsidine@csus.org or (650) 342-4175 x1553. Waivers are available.
  • How much weight does the admission committee give to test scores?

    • Test scores are just one aspect of a student’s file. Although we find them to be helpful as a standardizing mechanism in the admission process, a broad range of test scores exists among those students accepted to Crystal. We discourage review courses, repeat testing or the submission of multiple test results. A reminder that submitting testing is NOT required, and Crystal will not make assumptions nor will we evaluate an applicant differently if testing is not submitted.
    • To be clear: Students who do not submit testing will NOT be at a disadvantage in any way in our admission process this year.
  • Should my student take the ISEE or the SSAT?

    • Test scores are just one aspect of a student’s file. Although we find them to be helpful as a standardizing mechanism in the admission process, a broad range of test scores exist among students accepted to CSUS. We do not have any minimum scores or cutoffs for consideration for admission.
    • Crystal understands that admission testing can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for applicants and their families. This is why we accept both the ISEE and the SSAT. Our hope is that families will only have to sacrifice one weekend day of their time for testing. We encourage you to visit both the ISEE and SSAT websites to learn more about the tests, their differences, and to determine which test is the best fit for your child. We do not have a preference, and both tests are looked at equally in the admission process. We do not encourage outside tutoring, and both the ISEE and SSAT offer samples tests if you are looking to familiarize yourself with the format of the test. We also do not encourage multiple test-taking, unless there was an illness or other major factor that may have negatively impacted the results.
  • What happens to applications filed after the January deadline?

    We discourage late applications. However, we recognize that circumstances sometimes do not enable families to plan their lives around our deadlines. Therefore, late applications will be considered at the discretion of the Director of Admission and only if there are spaces available in the particular grade.

Financial Aid

List of 11 frequently asked questions.

Crystal Springs Uplands School


General: (650) 342-4175 | info@csus.org
Admission Inquiries: admission@csus.org
Middle School
10 Davis Drive
Belmont, CA 94002
(650) 645-1000
Upper School
400 Uplands Drive
Hillsborough, CA 94010
(650) 342-4175