Admissions Criteria

First things first: Please make sure your child meets all eligibility requirements.

Families wishing to apply at Shanghai American School must meet the eligibility guidelines set out by the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission (SHMEC) for schools for children of foreign nationals. This is dependent of the family’s passport, work and residence in Shanghai.

At SAS, admissions decisions are based on a review of each candidate's English language proficiency, demonstrated academic achievement, and developmental, social, and behavioral background. Alignment between family and school expectations are also reviewed.

Parents should note that amongst equally qualified candidates, priority consideration (not automatic placement) is given to returning students, overseas applicants, U.S. passport holders, those with siblings currently attending SAS, and those with stronger academic English proficiency. Admissions decisions also take into account the balance of English language learners and other relevant demographic factors in order for SAS to realize its mission and support its core values.

 

Academics Criteria teacher with kids

Admissions Requirements

Please be aware that interviews are not requirements of the application process but may be requested to assist with an application review. Admissions decisions may be made without an interview if submitted application materials provide sufficient information. Note that an interview request is not a guarantee of admission.

Please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for more information on the application process.

Pre-K3 to Grade1

  • Toilet-trained (PK3/PK4)
  • Foundational English highly recommended
  • Family Questionnaire
  • Possible EAL testing for English language learners (Grade 1)

Grade 2 to 5

  • Possible EAL testing for students whose primary language is not English
  • Grades 3-5 - standardized test scores (such as MAP), if any

Grade 6 to 10

  • NWEA MAP assessment preferred
  • Other standardized test scores such as the SSAT, ERB, ISA, IOWA Basic Skills Test or state tests may be accepted as alternate assessments
  • Possible EAL testing for students whose primary language is not English

Grade 11 + Grade 12

  • NWEA MAP assessment preferred
  • PSAT, SAT or ACT may be accepted as alternate assessments
  • Must be English proficient
  • Once students gain admission to SAS, the International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement programs have no additional admission requirements. The IB and AP is available to all Grade 11 and 12 students enrolled at SAS. For our IB Program Policies please visit the IB Program Policy Manual.

English Proficiency

Non-native English-speaking candidates may be given an English as an Additional Language (EAL) test to determine if EAL support is required. Limited spaces are available for such support.

The following guidelines will be used by the Admissions Committee to determine whether a student will be invited to take the EAL assessment:

  • The primary language spoken by the student
  • The language(s) spoken between parents and the student
  • The student’s educational background
  • The primary language of both parents

 


GRADE LEVEL PLACEMENT

SAS believes that it is important for children to be placed in classes with their age peers, especially at Pre-Kindergarten (PK) and lower elementary grade levels.

Students who apply from schools or educational systems with a different school calendar (like those commonly found in schools in Korea, Japan, Singapore or Australia) will be placed in the grade that they are currently attending if they are admitted at the start of the new school year. If they are accepted in January, they will be placed in the grade that they have just completed in their previous school.

All students must graduate from Grade 12 before their 20th birthday.

2019-20 Grade Level Placement

 
Date of Birth Grade Level
Oct 1 2015 - Sept 30 2016 Pre-K3
Oct 1  2014 - Sept 30 2015 Pre-K4
Oct 1 2013 - Sept 30 2014 Kindergarten
Oct 1 2012 - Sept 30 2013 Grade 1
Oct 1 2011 - Sept 30 2012 Grade 2
Oct 1 2010 - Sept 30 2011 Grade 3
Oct 1 2009 - Sept 30 2010 Grade 4
Oct 1 2008 - Sept 30 2009 Grade 5
Oct 1 2007 - Sept 30 2008 Grade 6
Oct 1 2006 - Sept 30 2007 Grade 7
Oct 1 2005 - Sept 30 2006 Grade 8
Oct 1 2004 - Sept 30 2005 Grade 9
Oct 1 2003 - Sept 30 2004 Grade 10
Oct 1 2002 - Sept 30 2003 Grade 11
Oct 1 2001 - Sept 30 2002 Grade 12

2020-21 Grade Level Placement

Date of Birth Grade Level
Oct 1, 2016 - Jul 31, 2017 Pre-K3
Oct 1, 2015 - Sept 30, 2016 Pre-K4
Oct 1, 2014 - Sept 30, 2015 Kindergarten
Oct 1, 2013 - Sept 30, 2014 Grade 1
Oct 1, 2012 - Sept 30, 2013 Grade 2
Oct 1, 2011 - Sept 30, 2012 Grade 3
Oct 1, 2010 - Sept 30, 2011 Grade 4
Oct 1, 2009 - Sept 30, 2010 Grade 5
Oct 1, 2008 - Sept 30, 2009 Grade 6
Oct 1, 2007 - Sept 30, 2008 Grade 7
Oct 1, 2006 - Sept 30, 2007 Grade 8
Oct 1, 2005 - Sept 30, 2006 Grade 9
Oct 1, 2004 - Sept 30,  2005 Grade 10
Oct 1, 2003 - Sept 30, 2004 Grade 11
Oct 1, 2002 - Sept 30, 2003 Grade 12

Apply to SAS Once you’ve ensured that your child is eligible to apply, you can begin your application any time.