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Upper School (Ages 14-18)

Welcome! We hope that this page helps you to understand what you need to do to apply for an Upper School student to attend CFS.


Since its beginning, Carolina Friends School (CFS) has sought to build and maintain a student body fully representative of the surrounding community. We actively seek young people diverse in race, nationality, creed, family structure, physical ability, and socioeconomic background. In doing so, we continue to seek students from families whose values are in harmony with Quaker philosophy and with the educational goals of the School, and we consider the student’s potential to benefit from and contribute to the School. Admission decisions are made by the Admission Committee, which includes the unit Head Teacher and the Director of Admission. The Head of School may review decisions to ensure that they comport with School policy, which is developed by the CFS Board of Trustees.



Please apply online and submit supporting documents to the Admission Office on main campus. For your child to be considered in the first round of admissions, please apply by January 15 of the preceding academic year – the earlier the better. In coordination with other local schools affiliated with the Triangle Independent School Consortium, we will notify families applying to the Upper School on March 17. This means that timely completion of the admission process – including online application, main campus tour, parent interview, teacher recommendations, transcripts, and student visit – is very important. For the first round of admission, an Upper School applicant’s file should be complete by the end of February (sooner if possible).

Upper School Timetable: Apply by January 15

File complete by February 28

Notification date: March 17

Reply by March 31

We also welcome applications after January 15 and will consider all applications as spaces arise. And if you are exploring our school from out of town, please know that we will do all we can to work with you so that your child can be considered for admission to CFS.

The Admission Committee is responsible for admission decisions in each unit. The complete application process typically includes the following steps:

  • A parent tour designed to orient parents to the overall program of the School. To schedule a tour, please contact Kathy Krahenbuhl, our Admission Secretary (919.383.6602 x221 or kkrahenbuhl at cfsnc.org). Upper School applicants are welcome but not required to take this tour; they will spend at least half a day visiting the School later.
  • Submission of a completed application and non-refundable $75 application fee. A completed application includes two confidential recommendations from teachers who have worked with the student, transcripts from the previous three years. Please request that the teachers and school(s) send these materials to us directly. Please also select a sample of the student's academic writing and send that to us.
  • An interview between the parents and a member of the Admission Committee (usually Kathleen Davidson, the Director of Admission). This is an informal conversation in which you can share stories about your child in and out of school, along with hopes and concerns and any questions you might have. After submitting an application, please contact Kathy, the Admission Secretary, to schedule this interview.
  • A visit by the prospective student. Applicants to the first year of Upper School visit for half a day, and older students visit for a full day, attending classes and activities with a student host from the Admission Committee. Upper School applicant visits begin in December and can be arranged after an application is received.

Decisions and Notification

Families are notified about admission decisions on March 17: students are accepted, placed in the waiting pool, or denied admission to the School. Signed contracts for newly accepted students are due within ten business days.

We welcome applications at all times, and when spaces open up, the Admission Committee looks to the entire waiting pool, which then includes applications received after January 15. After the first round, admissions roll, so it’s common for us to accept students into the summer, which means that it’s never too late to apply to CFS.

Tuition Assistance

Decisions regarding admission are made independently of consideration of families’ financial situations, although we do not always have sufficient funds to offer assistance to all the families whose children we would like to enroll. The admission and tuition aid processes are concurrent so that when we offer admission to a family, we can notify them about the tuition they will be expected to pay. To apply for assistance, please go to Tuition Aid Data Services (TADS): www.tuitionaid.com.

If a family does not apply for tuition aid when applying for admission, we will not expect to consider them for assistance in the next year unless their financial circumstances change in unexpected ways.

Limited funds for tuition aid make it impossible to accommodate every family’s unique financial circumstances. If you wonder whether your family would qualify for assistance, you can call the Director of Admission, but only a TADS analysis can reveal whether you would receive aid.

Future Consideration

If your child is placed in the waiting pool, we will contact you in the fall to ask whether you would like for the application to be reactivated for consideration for the following year, without charge. When a waiting pool is unrealistically large, we may reduce it at the end of the summer, before inviting families to reactivate applications.

If your child is offered a space in the first round of admission and you refuse it, you would need to reapply if you determine that you would like to apply at a later date.

The Head of School bears the final responsibility for all admission decisions. Questions concerning such matters should be directed first to the Director of Admission and then, if necessary, to the Head of School. If you have questions about the status of your application, please feel free to call the Admission Secretary or the Director of Admission – not the Head Teacher – to request information. When in doubt, please contact us. We’re eager to get to know you.

Revised May 2016

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Carolina Friends School          
4809 Friends School Road
Durham, NC 27705
919.383.6602 tel / 919.383.6009 fax / info@cfsnc.org

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