Admissions: Admissions FAQs

Admissions FAQs

What populations do you serve?

While each student has a unique learning profile, our typical students have average to above average cognitive ability and have been diagnosed with language-based learning disabilities. All of our students require a small, specialized learning environment to meet their true potentials. Some other possible characteristics of our students:

  • Deficits in one or more academic areas (reading, writing, math)
  • Language disorders (expressive, receptive and/or pragmatic language)
  • Attention and executive function struggles

A small number of our students have been diagnosed with non-verbal learning disabilities. Our program does not have the necessary level of support and services required for students diagnosed with autism, cognitive impairments, or emotional and behavioral disabilities.

See our definition of Learning Disabilities

What ages do you serve?

Mary McDowell Friends School (MMFS) is a K–12 college preparatory program. Students are accepted from kindergarten age through eleventh grade. We cannot accept applications for students entering twelfth grade.

What is required in an application?

In order to review an application, our admissions team requires the following:

  1. Neuropsychological or psycho-educational evaluation
  2. Report cards from last school year and current school year
  3. IEP if your child has one
  4. Classroom Teacher Checklist — Lower School and Middle School applicants
  5. English and Math Teachers’ Recommendations — Upper School applicants
  6. Any other relevant evaluations if available (i.e., speech/language, occupational therapy)

Do you have an application deadline?

Though most families apply in the fall and early winter, we follow a rolling admissions policy and accept applications throughout the academic year for all three divisions for September enrollment.

Do MMFS students go on to college after graduating from high school?

Our graduates are admitted to and attend competitive colleges. MMFS offers an academically rigorous college preparatory program. The goal of our college guidance program is to educate and counsel students and families to make choices that reflect the interests, abilities, and needs of each student.  See a list of colleges our students are attending or have attended.

How long do students typically stay at MMFS?

There is no typical length of stay for our students. Some of our students will be ready for a mainstream school after a limited number of years at MMFS, while others benefit from the structure and support of our program through high school graduation.

Where do MMFS families live?

Families come from all five boroughs, with the majority coming from Brooklyn and Manhattan. We also have students who reside in New Jersey, Westchester County, and Long Island.

Do you offer financial aid?

Yes. Mary McDowell Friends School is committed to offering financial aid, based on need and availability of funds, to families. At MMFS, we believe that financial means should not prevent students from receiving the highest-quality education possible. MMFS strives to provide financial aid to as many families as possible. Parents interested in financial aid must fill out an online application through SmartAid.

Do you have an afterschool program?

Yes. Our lower and middle schools have afterschool programs Monday through Friday for an additional fee. Snack, recess, homework help, and enrichment classes are all part of the program. Please visit our Afterschool Program page for more detailed information.

Does the new law about vaccinations apply to MMFS?

Yes. As of June 13, 2019, there is no longer a religious exemption to the requirement that children be vaccinated against measles and other diseases. This applies to children attending public, private, and parochial schools. If you have any questions about this new requirement, please refer to this document from the New York State Department of Health or speak with your child’s physician. You may also contact our lead nurse, Linda Natoli, at

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