Ethical Culture Fieldston School Admission Counselors

A Guide to the Fieldston Admissions Process

What is ECFS Looking For?

Students who embody intellectual discipline and creativity, who will learn and grow from their own desire and curiosity. Unlike many other top independent schools, ECFS values applicants who have learned from hands-on learning experiences more than their ability to score highly on standardized tests.  They are looking for applicants who are inspired by their surroundings and driven by their desire to make a difference in the world.  Applicants should be creative, self-motivated and want to use their skills and talents to ultimately improve the greater good.  ECFS’ commitment to diversity and providing a diverse environment is a key component of their mission.

Ethical Culture Fieldston School Admissions Counselor

What does diversity mean in the eyes of ECFS?

  • ECFS prides itself on being one of the first schools in NYC that did not discriminate against applicants because of race, color, or creed.
  • The admissions office is looking at the race, ethnicity, religion, economics, geography and family lifestyles of their applicants.
  • Students of color make up about 34% of the student body; Faculty and staff of color are about 15%.
  • Approximately 45% of ECFS newly admitted students are minorities.
  • Each year, financial aid is awarded to approximately 22% of the student body.

A Long-Lasting Tradition of Progressive Education

Since they opened their doors in 1878, ECFS has integrated creative and manual arts with academics.  Originally called The Workingman’s School, ECFS is not only looking at what their applicants have already accomplished but is also considering, What will this applicant become as a result of benefiting from the ECFS community?  Applicants should be able to pinpoint and expand upon educational and personal goals throughout the admissions process.

How can you stand out to ECFS?

strong academic record

Applicants should have an overall strong academic record paired with active extra-curricular interests, excelling in at least one area of the arts or academia.

ingenuity and motivation

When applying to ECFS, applicants should have an understanding of what it means to set a goal and the process by which they will accomplish it.  This independence, ingenuity and motivation should be expressed during the applicant’s in-person interview.

Community service

Community service is incorporated into the school’s curriculum from the earliest grades. In their application essays and interviews, Fieldston applicants should be ready to highlight a humanistic learning experience through which they improved their own values.  A record of community service is highly desirable.

critical and ethical thinkers

The admissions committee is seeking passionate learners, critical thinkers, and ethical individuals who aim to make the world more humane and just.  Applicants who have received recognition for their efforts in academics or community-service are strongly encouraged to apply.

A Commitment To Community Service

In the eyes of ECFS, the classroom functions as a laboratory and New York City serves as a classroom for their students.  As the first to school to open its doors to underprivileged students in NYC, ECFS seeks talented individuals who view success as having an impact on the community at large.  Applicants should be willing to not only demonstrate their ability to look at the big picture, but also how his/her accomplishments will be used to benefit others.

Applicants selected for admission to ECFS would
have these academic credentials:

  • Top 20% of high school class
  • A course load including at least 2 AP courses
  • ERB or ISEE scores above the 80th percentile
  • Glowing letters of recommendation from past several years from his/her previous school
  • A self-motivated passion for learning and a demonstrated desire to improve the community at large
  • Potential to be leader in an artistic or academic field

Examples of applicants with special talents at ECFS would be:

  • A young entrepreneur
  • The captain of an athletic team
  • Talented actor, musician or artist
  • Awards at the national level
  • Leader of a community service initiative

This is the tip of the iceberg. For more information about the Ethical Culture Fieldston application process, contact us at one of the following: