How to Apply

Our First Consideration Deadline is January 17, 2020

All parts of the application must be completed by this deadline to receive first consideration for available vacancies. Middle School and Upper School applicants meeting this deadline will be notified of admissions decisions on March 6, 2020.

After the First Consideration Deadline, applicants will be notified of decisions on a rolling basis.

Steps 1 - 5 must be completed by January 17, 2020 to receive first consideration.

*Current CA families, please log into the CA Portal and complete your application via the link found in Resources .

Step 1

Complete the pre-application

Click on “20-21 Application” link to the right, then follow the directions to provide the requested information. It will take 1 business day for the Admissions Office to process your pre-application and send you a confirmation email with your unique user name.

Step 2

Complete the application document

This step includes Applicant information, family information, school and testing information, parent statement, student statement, signature and application fee payment. 

The $85 application fee is required with submission of the Family Information Form, and will initiate an applicant record enabling the Admissions Office to assist you with completion of your applicant's application.  If this fee poses a hardship for your family, please contact the Director of Admission at 919-228-4550.   

Optional Video (Upper School Applicants Only) 

Along with the information above, Upper School applicants have the option to submit a short video expressing why they believe their talents and background would be a good addition to the Cary Academy school community. While the video is not required, it is encouraged, as it will enable the admissions committee to become better acquainted with the applicant. Further instruction about the video can be found within the applicant questionnaire. 

If you need more time to complete your video, please submit the confidential link to, and we will confirm receipt. 

Step 3

Schedule the Applicant Shadow and Interview Day

(Please note the visit and interview cannot be scheduled until the Family Information Form and Application Fee have been submitted.)  

We recommend scheduling the shadow day as early as possible as spaces fill quickly and we may not be able to accommodate all requests before our first priority deadline.

For families out of the Cary/Raleigh/Durham area, accommodations for the student visit/interview can be arranged. Please contact a member of the admissions team for further information. 

Step 4

Schedule the ISEE examination via the ERB website 

Cary Academy requires all applicants take the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE). The test date must be scheduled with Educational Records Bureau (ERB). The requested test date must be scheduled 3 weeks in advance with ERB. Special testing accommodations are available, but the test date must be scheduled with ERB 4-6 weeks in advance. 

The applicant must sit for the ISEE test on or before our First Consideration deadline. Cary Academy is an ISEE test administration site. Other schools in the Triangle area, as well as, in cities throughout the US and abroad serve as ISEE test sites. An applicant to Cary Academy can test at any ISEE test site. 

Testing Dates at Cary Academy

  • Saturday, December 7, 2019

  • Saturday, January 11, 2020 

Cary Academy ERB 
School Code 344646

Cary Academy will accept the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) in lieu of the ISEE.  A copy of the ISEE/SSAT test results must be uploaded within the application. 

Schedule ISEE Testing

Step 5

Submit Supporting Documentation

This includes transcript of grades for current and past two years, and 2 confidential letters of recommendation in core academics.  An additional optional recommendation may be submitted as well.   

All applicants are required to submit a current grade report and the previous two years' end-of-year report cards. The grade reports should be uploaded within the application.  If you need to request grade reports from the applicant's school, the transcript request form is available within the application. 

All applicants are required to submit two confidential recommendation forms from academic teachers. One of the recommendations must be completed by a current teacher, and the other recommendation can be completed by a teacher who worked with the student within the past two academic years.

How to Reapply

Applicants desiring to reapply for admission after submitting a completed application the previous academic year should contact the admissions office. We will provide guidance about the necessary steps to renew the application.

Out of Town Applicants

We look forward to working with families in other areas of the United States and other countries. We understand your circumstances may present some challenges as you go through the admissions process. Please contact the admissions office prior to making application so we can be of assistance to your family.

Cary Academy requires all students reside with a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian. We do not have a program for international students and do not issue I-20 visas.


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