School of Public Service

Apply to SPS

We will begin accepting applications for the summer 2020 program on December 1, 2019, and will continue to do so on a rolling basis until the class has been filled. Under this rolling admissions process, while there is no set applications deadline, most students submit their application before the end of February.  The class is generally complete by mid-March; however, occasionally a space will open up if an admitted student changes their plans, so we encourage interested applicants to inquire about space availability throughout the spring.  Historically, students who have applied earlier in the process have had a higher likelihood of admission to SPS. 

Tuition for SPS 2020 is $6000 for residential students, $5000 for day students (financial aid is available).

Please read through this section and click on the bolded list of options to the right for additional guidelines before beginning your application. To apply to SPS, we will need: (1) the application form, which includes a short essay (this is available online or a hard copy can be downloaded); (2) a copy of your high school transcript (e-mailed to us by your high school to sps@stalbansschool.org); (3) a letter of recommendation from a teacher or school administrator; and (4) a copy of an unofficial score report for any standardized tests which you have taken, such as the PSAT, SAT, or ACT. 

For additional information about the application process, please click on the bolded list of options to the right that deal with many frequently asked questions, starting with "Eligibility."  Please also feel free to get in touch with us at sps@stalbansschool.org with any additional questions about the program or the admissions process.  Thanks for your interest in the School of Public Service, and we hope you will consider applying!

More Information

List of 8 items.

  • Eligibility

    Eligible candidates for the School of Public Service should be rising high school seniors at the time of the program (in some circumstances, we will also consider applications from students for the summer following their graduation from high school).  The School of Public Service admits students on the basis of academic achievement and promise, recommendations, and demonstrated interest in government, public policy, and/or public service.  SPS will admit approximately forty to forty-five students competitively chosen from across the country and internationally.  SPS encourages applications from students in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, most of whom choose to attend SPS as day students, but are also eligible to attend as residential students under certain circumstances (e.g., length of commute).  SPS accepts applications from international students.  Please contact us via email at sps@stalbansschool.org if you are an interested international candidate as some of the application procedures may differ slightly.

    We seek students who will not only perform at a high level in the classroom but who will also contribute positively to the life of SPS.  We strive for an atmosphere that embodies and respects many points of view, therefore we seek a broadly diverse student body.  We expect more applicants than we can admit, and considerable effort goes into giving each applicant full and serious consideration.  SPS considers the applicant's school transcript, extracurricular and community involvement, teacher recommendations, essays, and standardized test scores.  For international students, SPS requires a high degree of fluency in spoken and written English.
  • Application Form

    Every student applying to SPS must complete our application form. Students can choose to complete a hard copy of the application or the online application.

    The application includes a short essay (see below for more information on the essay), which should be enclosed along with the application form as a separate document. If completed in hard copy, the application and essay should be mailed to St. Albans School of Public Service, Mount St. Alban, Washington D.C. 20016.  (If you would like, you may also scan your completed application and essay and email them to us at sps@stalbansschool.org.)

    Once we have received the application form, we will send you an email confirming receipt of your application.  SPS will then hold your application until we have received the rest of your materials (transcript, teacher recommendation, and score report), and then review your file once it is complete.  We make admissions decisions on a rolling basis, so the earlier we receive your application, the sooner you will hear back from SPS, and the better your chances of gaining a spot in the program.
  • Tuition Information

    Residential Student Tuition: $6000.00
    Day Student Tuition: $5000.00

    Note that there IS NO APPLICATION FEE FOR APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED BY MARCH 1. There is a $25 fee for applications submitted after March 1.
    To hold a place in the class upon acceptance, a deposit is due: $1000.00 for students not applying for financial aid; $100.00 for students who are seeking financial aid.
  • Cover Letter and Essay Question

    As is noted on the application form, the SPS application includes a short essay (between 400-500 words) that addresses the following question: "Choose a single individual who has inspired you to become more public minded.  How has this person had an influence on your interest in public service or public policy?

    OPTIONALLY, feel free to include a short cover statement that tells SPS a little bit about yourself and your interest in public service and SPS. 
  • Transcripts and Standardized Test Score Reports

    The School of Public Service requires (1) an official high school transcript and, (2) to the extent available, standardized test scores (for example, SAT I, SAT II, PSAT, ACT, Advanced Placement). The transcript may be sent electronically to sps@stalbansschool.org. If your school transcript does not include test scores, you may send us an electronic copy (or screenshot) of your test score report (i.e., we do NOT need to receive the score report directly from the College Board) to sps@stalbansschool.org.  If you have only taken the PSAT, or you have not yet taken the PSAT or any of the other major standardized college admission tests, you are still eligible to apply.  (We may ask you to supplement your application with scores when they become available.)

    Both transcript and scores must be received before your application can be acted upon.
  • Teacher Recommendation Letter

    In order to be considered for the School of Public Service, applicants are required to submit at least one written recommendation from a teacher (preferably a history or social sciences instructor) who has taught the applicant in one or more classes, or a school principal or administrator who is familiar with the student and his/her record. Teachers may fill out the online recommendation form (see link button above) or mail a hard copy letter to the School of Public Service (see address above).   There is no set format for the letter; we would ask that the teacher assess the student's ability to function in a fast-paced, intellectually challenging program requiring critical thinking skills and the willingness to participate in discussion and debates on policy issues.

    At the student's option, applicants may also submit an additional recommendation (for example, from a school principal or administrator if the main recommendation is from a teacher) in support of the application. 
  • Financial Aid

    SPS maintains a financial aid fund to assist students who could not attend SPS without financial assistance.  To be considered for financial aid, a student's parents or guardians must submit (1) the SPS financial aid form, which will be emailed or mailed upon request; and (2) a signed copy of their prior year's Form 1040 statement of federal income tax and all schedules, along with a copy of their W-2 form and/or 1099 form(s). In considering applications for financial assistance from separated or divorced parents, SPS considers the assets of both parents before making any award.  Financial aid funds are, unfortunately, not without limit, and chances of receiving an award are better earlier in the application process. 
  • Admissions Decisions and Deadlines

    The School of Public Service runs its own admissions program, independent of the St. Albans School and National Cathedral School admission processes. Students are admitted into SPS on a rolling basis, and early applicants historically have stood a better chance of admission.

    We will begin accepting applications for the summer 2020 program on December 1, 2019. While there is no set deadline by which to submit applications, most students submit their applications between December 1 and March 1.  For students who apply by March 1, 2020, the application fee is waived.  Students may still apply for any places still available after March 1, 2020, but must pay a $25.00 application fee.  (Although the class is generally complete by mid-March, places do occasionally come available as the plans of admitted students change, so if you have a question about availability, please email us at sps@stalbansschool.org or call our office at (202) 537-5286.)
Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.