- Be a Boston resident
- Be in 4th or 5th grade at the time of application
- Be motivated and eager to learn
- Attend an eligible school*
- Steppingstone does not use any one factor to determine the outcome of an applicant’s candidacy; instead, all parts of the application are considered holistically. The below income guidelines are just one tool we use to identify candidates who demonstrate the greatest need for Steppingstone's tuition-free program. Consideration of income alone is not a determining factor in an application.
* Eligible schools include public and select parochial schools. Students currently attending one of Steppingstone’s placement schools or a school accredited by AISNE are not eligible to apply. If you have questions about your student or family’s eligibility, or whether your student’s school is eligible, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Are committed to supporting their students through the Steppingstone journey.
- Demonstrate a need for our tuition-free program (note: there is a $100 fee for each summer of academic program in grades 5–7, which can be reduced or waived if it is a hardship).
- Are interested in exploring independent schools and select Boston public schools, including the three exam schools.
1. Submit an Inquiry Form
2. Attend a Family Information Meeting
5. Final Admission Decisions and Next Steps
Finalists will be notified if they have been accepted to the program on May 1. Accepted Scholars will complete enrollment paperwork and attend the New Scholar and Family Welcome Event in May. Scholars begin their first Steppingstone summer in July.
- Families applying to the program must share the Teacher Recommendation Form with their student’s current classroom teacher and ask them to complete it by January 3, 2024
- Includes a brief evaluation of student, Term 1 Report Card, Spring 2023 MCAS scores, and most recent MAP scores
- We encourage you to start speaking to your current classroom teacher now about your interest in Steppingstone. As a reminder, the links to your Student and Family application as well as the Teacher Recommendation Form will be emailed to you in early December.
Finalists for the program will be selected at the end of January based on an evaluation of the Student and Family Application, Teacher Recommendation, report card, and standardized test scores. All components must be submitted by Wednesday, January 3, 2024 in order for a student to be considered for admission.
4. Complete an Interview and Exam
Finalist students and families are invited to interview with Steppingstone staff. Interviews take place throughout the months of February and March. Finalist students will take the Steppingstone Exam in mid-March.
3. Submit Your Application
After attending a Family Information Meeting, you will be sent a link by email to complete a written application. The required components of the written Steppingstone application are:
Student and Family Application
- Includes family contact and demographic information as well as short answer questions for both the student and the parent/guardian
- Optional Independent School supplement for families interested in applying to independent schools