Admissions Criteria

How and when are admission decisions made?

At Shanghai American School, 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 in good standing 
  • Those with siblings currently attending SAS 
  • U.S. and other foreign citizens 
  • Those with an international background and/or international schooling 
  • 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 Process and Outcomes

  1. Applications are reviewed for qualification
  2. Qualified applications are placed into the wait pool
  3. Qualified applications are considered alongside other wait pooled applications at decision rounds for either:
       • An offer of admission
       • A decline of application, or 
       • A continuation of wait pool

Admissions Update

Kindly note, as the 2023-24 school year has now begun, seat availability is now extremely limited across many grade levels on both campuses. We highly recommend you contact our Admissions Team directly before submitting an application form 2023-24. Applications for the 2024-2025 school year will open in the fall.