Admissions Criteria

How and when are admission decisions made?

At SAS, admissions is selective. Decisions are based on a holistic review of each candidate's demonstrated academic potential, their developmental, social, and behavioral background, as well as their English language proficiency. Alignment in values and expectations between family and school is also considered.

Parents should note that admission decisions are based on best fit according to the school’s mission, values and goals. They are not made on a first-come, first-served basis. Amongst equally qualified candidates, priority consideration (not automatic placement) will be given, in no particular order, to:

  • Returning students
  • U.S. passport holders
  • Those with siblings currently attending SAS
  • Those with an international background or mindset
  • Those with stronger academic English proficiency

Admissions decisions also take into account the balance of English language learners and other relevant demographic factors to ensure that a diverse and vibrant cohort is joining our learning community at each grade level.


Decision Timelines

Shanghai American School receives and reviews applications on a rolling basis. We encourage families to submit all required documents as quickly as possible so an application can be:

  • Reviewed for qualification
  • Placed into the wait pool, if qualified
  • Considered in a subsequent decision round alongside other qualified applications

Decision rounds occur at specific times from the pool of completed and qualified applications. Only qualified applications are placed into the wait pool for consideration in each round.

Decision rounds for the 2022/2023 school year will follow these timelines:

Applications received after March 1 will be considered on an ad-hoc basis dependent on remaining seat availability.

*An application is considered ‘completed’ when the application fee is paid and the online application form and all required supporting documents have been submitted. You will receive an acknowledgement from your Admission Officer once your application is completed, and they will invite you for any necessary assessments and/or interviews at that time. You will also be advised of the decision round the application has been placed into.

**Refers to Pre-Kindergarten 3 and Pre-Kindergarten 4. Note that the first Pre-Kindergarten decisions are made in the second round. There is no first round decision cycle, but early applications are welcomed.