Admissions FAQs

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: Which grades have open spots? How do I get information?

    This year, Spence has openings in Kindergarten and Grades 6, 7 and 9. For all other grades, please submit an online inquiry or application without the fee. We will contact you should an opening become available.
  • Q: Do you offer spring tours?

    Spence hosts several spring outreach events: an LGBTQ coffee and group tour, a Families of Color Open House and group tour, and a general morning group tour. Individual tours begin at the end of September. We begin scheduling tours the day after Labor Day. While we do encourage families to start the application process as soon as possible, we do not limit the number of applications nor do we limit tour and interview spots. Please check the Admissions Events page for event details.
  • Q: How can Upper School applicants visit Spence?

    US applicants may visit Spence in two ways. They may spend 90 minutes on a school tour and interview or they may choose to have a Spence Experience Visit. The Spence Experience Visit provides an opportunity for US applicants to spend half a day at Spence and attend classes with a Spence buddy.” It is a unique opportunity to see firsthand the advantages of an all-girls’ experience! Spence Experience Visits are open to students on a first come, first serve basis. Please call the Admissions Office after Labor Day to reserve a spot.
  • Q: Does Spence offer a diverse community?

    Yes, our goal is to recruit and to sustain a racially diverse student body and faculty. Currently 42% of the student body are girls of color, and more than 30% of the faculty are people of color.
  • Q: What is the average class size at Spence?

    The average class size is approximately 16-18 students.
  • Q: Does everyone live on the Upper East Side?

    Many students live on the Upper East Side. Many other students reside in all other areas of Manhattan as well as Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and New Jersey.
  • Q: What kind of parent involvement is available?

    Spence prides itself on having created a wonderful community for families as well as students. We encourage family members to be as involved as their time allows. We have a very active Parents’ Association through which most of our parent activities take place. Tapestry, our parent diversity and multicultural committee, is a significant part of the Parents’ Association and is also a great way to get involved with the parent body at Spence, as is Parents and Guardians of Children of Color.
  • Q: Is public transportation available for the younger students?

    Our families residing in Manhattan within a five-mile radius of the school have two options. Students in Grades Kindergarten through 6 may get to and from school on the Atlantic Express bus, a free service. Buses pick up and drop off at designated stops. Half or full fare MetroCards are issued to students, if the Atlantic Express is not the desired option or the student is in Grade 7 or above. Students living outside of Manhattan are eligible for full fare MetroCards.

    A subsidized private bus service is available to students K-12 from Brooklyn, the Bronx and Upper Manhattan, and downtown Manhattan to Spence.
  • Q: Is there an after-school program and does it accommodate the schedules of working parents?

    The Lower School has an after-school program, Second Act, which has a variety of classes for students in Kindergarten to Grade 4. Participants in Second Act may stay at school until 6 p.m. (slightly earlier on Friday). Students in Grades 5 and above can get involved with a variety of after-school activities such as athletics, dance (depending on the grade), and they can always stay in the school library until 5 p.m.
  • Q: What is the Modern and Classical Languages program?

    Spanish is introduced in Kindergarten. In Middle School, students choose from Spanish, French and Mandarin. Latin is introduced in Grade 7. Students may study two languages beginning in Grade 7.
  • Q: Do students have an opportunity to study abroad in the Upper School?

    Spence offers both international and domestic study programs to Upper School students.
  • Q: What colleges and universities do Spence graduates attend in the last 5 years?

    Colleges most often selected by Spence students in the last five years include Amherst, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Emory, Hamilton, Harvard, Middlebury, New York University, Northwestern, Oberlin, Princeton, Stanford, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Washington University in St. Louis and Yale. For more details, see the complete list.

    Top Schools Last 5 Years
    Cornell
    University of Pennsylvania 
    University of Chicago
    Princeton
    Dartmouth
    Brown
    Columbia
    Harvard
    Northwestern
    Amherst
    Yale
    Bowdoin
    Duke
    Emory