Admission

Application Steps

Thank you for your interest in Punahou School. We are looking forward to working with you through the application process.

Please find a general overview of our process by grade level below. Please note, the application process may differ slightly per grade. At any time, to follow school safety protocols due to COVID-19, modifications may be needed to ensure the health and safety of applicants, their parents, and the Punahou community.

Application Due Dates
Kindergarten Oct. 1, 2021
Grades 1 – 3 Dec. 31, 2021
Grades 4 and 5 Oct. 31, 2021
Grades 6 – 12
Nov. 15, 2021


Supporting Documents Due Dates
Kindergarten – grade 5 Jan. 15, 2022
Grades 6 – 12 Dec. 31, 2021

Within the myPunahou portal, you will fill out your application, upload all supporting documentation and access your admission checklist. The checklist will be available once you have submitted your application. 
 
If the applicant has recently completed a standardized test in reading, language, or math, these results, complete with the name of the test, level, and date, may be submitted. These results are optional. It is useful, but it is not a requirement as some candidates have not been previously tested. Punahou may ask for additional documentation to complete the profile of a candidate during the application process.

Questions about the admission process?
Please contact us at admission@punahou.edu.

List of 9 items.

  • Kindergarten

    Developing a love for learning – whether through play, personalization, or exploration – along with becoming respectful, empathetic, collaborative members of a larger community is at the heart of a place where teachers learn alongside students every day and where love and kindness are valued. Each year we welcome 150 new students for the incoming Kindergarten class across six classrooms.

    Kindergarten applicants for the 2022 – 2023 school year must have been born within the following dates:
    • Boys: June 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017
    • Girls: September 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017
    If your child is an older applicant for kindergarten, please do not delay in submitting the admission application so that your child’s visits to our campus can be scheduled at the ideal times (before the younger applicants).
    Important Dates
    October 1, 2021Application Due (along with birth certificate and previous year report card or progress report)
    January 15, 2022Supporting Documents Due (current year report card or progress report and teacher reference report)
    Late April 2022Admission Decisions Announced
    May 10, 2022HAIS Family Commitment Deadline

    Applications should be submitted as soon as possible for older children with birthdates in the first half of the birth date range. Scoring of tests is age-adjusted, so ideally we want to see the older applicants ahead of the younger ones.

    After submitting your online application, your child will be scheduled for a required in-person individual session. These sessions are scheduled Monday – Friday between September and January. During this session, an assessment specialist will conduct an individual assessment. Your child will also be scheduled for an online Saturday group observation session. If you have any questions regarding scheduling, please contact Adele Uyehara.
     
    A teacher reference report must be submitted by your child’s current teacher. Applicants will also be asked to submit a report card or progress report from the previous school year and the first-semester of the current school year. If your child’s school does not have any written reports, please contact the Admission Office so we may note this on your child’s application.

    Non-O‘ahu Applicants:

    Candidates for kindergarten through grade 8 who apply from the Neighbor Islands, the mainland, or foreign countries will be considered only if their parents will be living on Oahu during the school year. If you have questions regarding applying, please contact Adele Uyehara.
  • Grades 1 – 3

    Openings in grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3 are based on withdrawals (spaces that become available due to current students who will not return for the next school year). Applications for grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3 are only accepted by applicants who were placed in the previous year's wait pool. Wait pool applicants must submit a new application and complete testing for the current application year.

    Important Dates
    December 31, 2021Application Due (along with previous year report card)
    January 15, 2022Supporting Documents Due (current year report card and teacher reference report)
    Late April 2022Admission Decisions Announced
    May 10, 2022HAIS Family Commitment Deadline

    Online Classroom Group Session
    The Admission Office will schedule the online classroom group session for grade 1 applicants. If your child is applying for grade 2 or grade 3, please register for the online classroom group session. Information on how to register will be provided via your myPunahou application checklist. 
    • February 19, 2022

    Non-O‘ahu Applicants
    Candidates for kindergarten through grade 8 who apply from the Neighbor Islands, the mainland, or foreign countries will be considered only if their parents will be living on Oahu during the school year. If you have questions regarding applying, please contact Adele Uyehara.
  • Grade 4

    In grade 4, goals for students include finding a passion, building a solid skillset, being active learners who can advocate for themselves, and becoming deeper thinkers. Experiences are ever-evolving and varied, yet impactful and designed to develop an intrinsic love for learning. Each year we welcome an additional 50 new students, raising the overall grade level to 200 students across eight classrooms.

    Important Dates
    October 31, 2021Application Due (along with previous year report card)
    November 13, 2021EL SSAT Punahou Test Date
    January 15, 2022Supporting Documents Due (current year report card, teacher reference report, and EL SSAT scores)
    Late April 2022Admission Decisions Announced
    May 10, 2022HAIS Family Commitment Deadline

    Online Classroom Group Sessions
    Please register for an online classroom group session. This year you will have two online session options. Information on how to register will be provided via your myPunahou application checklist. 
    • January 22, 2022
    • February 12, 2022
    Teacher Reference Report and Report Cards
    A teacher reference report must be submitted by your child’s current English and math teachers. Applicants will also be asked to submit the previous school year’s complete report card, including teacher comments for all reporting periods, and the first-semester report card, including comments for the current school year.

    Elementary Level SSAT
    Please register for and have your child take the Third Grade Elementary Level SSAT (EL SSAT) as part of the application process. The results of the test must be submitted to Punahou by SSAT.  If you would like to see if you qualify for a need-based fee waiver for the EL SSAT, please contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance before registering for the test.

    We highly recommend that you schedule your EL SSAT test date as soon as possible, as space is often limited. If you plan to have your child take the test on O‘ahu, please register for the November 13, 2021 test at Punahou. We are not aware of other O‘ahu schools offering the test this season. For more information on the EL SSAT, please visit SSAT.org

    We are often asked what an average applicant’s score is. Average ranges are not seen as cutoffs, rather as a guide for decisions. While the majority of those accepted to Punahou score within or above the ranges listed, applicants with lower scores have been admitted.

    At Punahou, average scores for a successful applicant have been:
     
    ReadingVerbalQuantitative
    520 – 540530 – 550515 – 535

    Non-O‘ahu Applicants
    Candidates for kindergarten through grade 8 who apply from the Neighbor Islands, the mainland or foreign countries will be considered only if their parents will be living on Oahu during the school year. If you have questions regarding applying, please contact Adele Uyehara.
  • Grade 5

    Openings in grade 5 are based on withdrawals (spaces that become available due to current students who will not return for the next school year). Applications for grade 5 are only accepted from applicants who were placed in the previous year’s wait pool. Wait pool applicants must submit a new application and complete testing for the current application year.

    Important Dates
    October 31, 2021Application Due (along with previous year report card)
    November 13, 2021EL SSAT Punahou Test Date
    January 15, 2022Supporting Documents Due (current year report card, teacher reference report, and EL SSAT scores)
    Late April 2022Admission Decisions Announced
    May 10, 2022HAIS Family Commitment Deadline

    Online Classroom Group Session
    Please register for the online classroom group session. Information on how to register will be provided via your myPunahou application checklist. 
    • January 22, 2022
    Teacher Reference Report and Report Cards
    A teacher reference report must be submitted by your child’s current English and math teachers. Applicants will also be asked to submit the previous school year’s complete report card, including teacher comments for all reporting periods, and the first-semester report card, including comments for the current school year.

    Elementary Level SSAT
    Please register for and have your child take the Fourth Grade Elementary Level SSAT (EL SSAT) as part of the application process. The results of the test must be submitted to Punahou by SSAT.  If you would like to see if you qualify for a need-based fee waiver for the EL SSAT, please contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance before registering for the test.

    We highly recommend that you schedule your EL SSAT test date as soon as possible, as space is often limited. If you plan to have your child take the test on O‘ahu, please register for the November 13, 2021 test at Punahou. We are not aware of other O‘ahu schools offering the test this season. For more information on the EL SSAT, please visit SSAT.org

    Non-O‘ahu Applicants
    Candidates for kindergarten through grade 8 who apply from the Neighbor Islands, the mainland or foreign countries will be considered only if their parents will be living on Oahu during the school year. If you have questions regarding applying, please contact Adele Uyehara.





  • Grades 6 and 7

    In grade 6, grade 7, and grade 8, we’ve created a unique learning environment that makes a big campus feel small. To help our middle school students develop their own identity and deeper connection to others, students are placed in small dedicated “teams” with approximately 90 students, with dedicated learning spaces per team. Each team will have dedicated advisors that work with and guide approximately 14 students. In grade 6, we welcome an additional 88 students bringing the grade to approximately 280 students. In grade 7, we welcome 80 more students to Punahou.

    Important Dates
    November 15, 2021Application Due (along with previous year report card)
    December 31, 2021Supporting Documents Due (current year report card, teacher reference reports, SSAT scores and interview; optional: extracurricular reference forms, additional standardized testing results)
    Mid-Late March 2022Admission Decisions Announced
    April 15, 2022HAIS Family Commitment Deadline

    Online Applicant Interview 
    Each applicant is required to participate in a one-on-one interview and complete a writing sample. This year you will have four session options. Information on how to register will be provided via your myPunahou application checklist. Please register for one of these days.
    • December 4, 2021
    • January 8, 2022
    • January 22, 2022
    • February 12, 2022

    Teacher Reference Report and Report Cards
    A teacher reference report must be submitted by your child’s current English and math teachers. Applicants will also be asked to submit the previous school year’s complete report card, including teacher comments for all reporting periods, and the first-semester report card, including comments for the current school year.

    Two extracurricular reference report forms may be submitted by the leaders of two activities in which the applicant participates, e.g., scouts, music lessons, sports. These forms are optional.

    Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)
    As part of the application process, please register for and have your child take the August, September, October, November, or December Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT).  The results of the test must be submitted to Punahou by SSAT.  If you would like to see if you qualify for a need-based fee waiver for the SSAT, please contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance before registering for the test.

    We highly recommend that you schedule your SSAT test date as soon as possible as space is often limited. For more information on the SSAT, please visit SSAT.org

    We are often asked what an average applicant’s score is. Average ranges are not seen as cutoffs, rather as a guide for decisions. While the majority of those accepted to Punahou score within or above the ranges listed, applicants with lower scores have been admitted. In addition to SSAT test results, applicants need to have commendable academic records, satisfactory writing skills, and a positive recommendation from their current school.

    At Punahou, average scores for a successful applicant have been:
     
    GradeReadingVerbalQuantitative
    6620 – 640620 – 640620 – 640
    7615 – 635620 – 640620 – 640

    Non-O‘ahu Applicants
    Candidates for kindergarten through grade 8 who apply from the Neighbor Islands, the mainland or foreign countries will be considered only if their parents will be living on Oahu during the school year. If you have questions regarding applying, please contact Ellen Bella.
  • Grade 8

    Openings in grade 8 are based on withdrawals (spaces that become available due to current students who will not return for the next school year).

    Important Dates
    November 15, 2021Application Due (along with previous year report card)
    December 31, 2021Supporting Documents Due (current year report card, teacher reference reports, SSAT scores and interview; optional: extracurricular reference forms, additional standardized testing results)
    Mid-Late March 2022Admission Decisions Announced
    April 15, 2022HAIS Family Commitment Deadline

    Online Applicant Interview 
    Each applicant is required to participate in a one-on-one interview and complete a writing sample. This year you will have four session options. Information on how to register will be provided via your myPunahou application checklist. Please register for one of these days.
    • December 4, 2021
    • January 8, 2022
    • January 22, 2022
    • February 12, 2022
    Teacher Reference Report and Report Cards
    A teacher reference report must be submitted by your child’s current English and math teachers. Applicants will also be asked to submit the previous school year’s complete report card, including teacher comments for all reporting periods, and the first-semester report card, including comments for the current school year.

    Two extracurricular reference report forms may be submitted by the leaders of two activities in which the applicant participates, e.g., scouts, music lessons, sports. These forms are optional.

    Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)
    As part of the application process, please register for and have your child take the August, September, October, November, or December Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT).  The results of the test must be submitted to Punahou by SSAT.  If you would like to see if you qualify for a need-based fee waiver for the SSAT, please contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance before registering for the test.

    We highly recommend that you schedule your SSAT test date as soon as possible, as space is often limited. For more information on the SSAT, please visit SSAT.org

    We are often asked what an average applicant's score is. Average ranges are not seen as cutoffs, rather as a guide for decisions. While the majority of those accepted to Punahou score within or above the ranges listed, applicants with lower scores have been admitted. In addition to SSAT test results, applicants need to have commendable academic records, satisfactory writing skills, and a positive recommendation from their current school.

    At Punahou, average scores for a successful applicant have been:
    GradeReadingVerbalQualitative
    8660 – 680670 – 690660 – 680

    Non-O‘ahu Applicants
    Candidates for kindergarten through grade 8 who apply from the Neighbor Islands, the mainland or foreign countries will be considered only if their parents will be living on O‘ahu during the school year. If you have questions regarding applying, please contact Ellen Bella.


  • Grade 9

    In grade 9, the first year in our Academy, students are at the center of the curriculum. The goal is to provide students an environment and variety of experiences that will enable them to develop the skills and attitudes necessary for success as lifelong, independent learners prepared to contribute to their community and make a difference. In grade 9 we welcome approximately 72 new students.

    Important Dates
    November 15, 2021Application Due (along with previous year report card)
    December 31, 2021Supporting Documents Due (current year report card, teacher reference reports, SSAT scores and interview; optional: extracurricular reference forms, additional standardized testing results)
    Mid-Late March 2022Admission Decisions Announced
    April 15, 2022HAIS Family Commitment Deadline

    In-Person Applicant Interview 
    Each applicant is required to participate in a one-on-one interview and complete a writing sample. This year you will have four session options. Information on how to register will be provided via your myPunahou application checklist. Please register for one of these days.
    • December 11, 2021
    • January 15, 2022
    • January 29, 2022
    Teacher Reference Report and Report Cards
    A teacher reference report must be submitted by your child’s current English and math teachers. Applicants will also be asked to submit the previous school year’s complete report card, including teacher comments for all reporting periods, and the first-semester report card, including comments for the current school year.

    Two extracurricular reference report forms may be submitted by the leaders of two activities in which the applicant participates, e.g., scouts, music lessons, sports. These forms are optional.

    Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)
    As part of the application process, please register for and have your child take the August, September, October, November, or December Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT).  The results of the test must be submitted to Punahou by SSAT.  If you would like to see if you qualify for a need-based fee waiver for the SSAT, please contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance before registering for the test.

    We highly recommend that you schedule your SSAT test date as soon as possible, as space is often limited. For more information on the SSAT, please visit SSAT.org

    We are often asked what an average applicant’s score is. Average ranges are not seen as cutoffs, rather a guide for decisions. While the majority of those accepted to Punahou score within or above the ranges listed, applicants with lower scores have been admitted. In addition to SSAT test results, applicants need to have commendable academic records, satisfactory writing skills, and a positive recommendation from their current school.

    At Punahou, average scores for a successful applicant have been:
    GradeReadingVerbalQualitative
    9655 – 675665 – 685670 – 690

    Non-O‘ahu Applicants
    Applicants for grades 9 – 12 may be admitted if they will be living with legal guardian(s) who agree to accept full responsibility for the students while they attend Punahou. Legal guardian responsibilities include having the authority to act on behalf of the student in an emergency situation. The legal guardian(s) must have a notarized written authorization from the student’s parents and will be asked to meet with an Admission team member or Class Dean.
  • Grades 10 and 11

    Academy students have increasing levels of choice during each of their four years in the Academy. Students will select courses from an extensive catalog, personalizing the mix of classes in a modular schedule. Students in grade 10 and grade 11 will continue to be followed by two dedicated Class Deans. Openings in grade 10 and grade 11 are based on withdrawals (spaces that become available due to current students who will not return for the next school year).

    Important Dates
    November 15, 2021Application Due (along with previous year report card)
    December 31, 2021
    Supporting Documents Due (official transcript of all high school work including first-semester report card for current year, teacher reference reports, SSAT scores and interview; optional: extracurricular reference forms, additional standardized testing results)
    Mid – Late March 2022Admission Decisions Announced
    April 15, 2022HAIS Family Commitment Deadline

    In-Person Applicant Interview 
    Each applicant is required to participate in a one-on-one interview and complete a writing sample. This year you will have three session options. Information on how to register will be provided via your myPunahou application checklist. Please register for one of these days.
    • December 11, 2021
    • January 15, 2022
    • January 29, 2022
    Teacher Reference Report and Report Cards
    A teacher reference report must be submitted by each of your child’s current English and math teachers. Applicants will also be asked to submit the previous school year’s complete report card, including teacher comments for all reporting periods, and the first-semester report card, including comments for the current school year. Grading symbols other than A, B, C, etc., should be explained, as should any citizenship grading system.

    In addition to official report cards, an official transcript of all high school work, including the first-semester or trimester of the current school year, must be submitted. Grades of C or above are transferable for Punahou credit. Grades of C- or below are not transferable for credit.

    Two extracurricular reference report forms may be submitted by the leaders of two activities in which the applicant participates, e.g., scouts, music lessons, sports. These forms are optional.

    Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)
    As part of the application process, please register for and have your child take the August, September, October, November, or December Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT).  The results of the test must be submitted to Punahou by SSAT.  If you would like to see if you qualify for a need-based fee waiver for the SSAT, please contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance before registering for the test.

    We highly recommend that you schedule your SSAT test date as soon as possible, as space is often limited. For more information on the SSAT, please visit SSAT.org

    We are often asked what an average applicant’s score is. Average ranges are not seen as cutoffs, rather a guide for decisions. While the majority of those accepted to Punahou score within or above the ranges listed, applicants with lower scores have been admitted. In addition to SSAT test results, applicants need to have commendable academic records, satisfactory writing skills, and a positive recommendation from their current school.

    At Punahou, average scores for a successful applicant have been:
    GradeReadingVerbalQualitative
    10695 – 715700 – 720710 – 730
    11675 – 695705 – 725735 – 755

    Non-O‘ahu Applicants
    Applicants for grades 9 – 12 may be admitted if they will be living with legal guardian(s) who agree to accept full responsibility for the students while they attend Punahou. Legal guardian responsibilities include having the authority to act on behalf of the student in an emergency situation. The legal guardian(s) must have a notarized written authorization from the student’s parents and will be asked to meet with an Admission team member or Class Dean.
  • Grade 12

    Seniors in the Academy will select from a wide variety of other courses to fulfill their graduation requirements and pursue their particular passions. This includes a required senior Capstone course, with themes of social responsibility, economics, the environment, empowering deeds of service and sustainable solutions. Openings in grade 12 are based on withdrawals (spaces that become available due to current students who will not return for the next school year). 

    Important Dates
    November 15, 2021Application Due (along with previous year report card)
    December 31, 2021
    Supporting Documents Due (official transcript of all high school work including first-semester report card for current year, teacher reference reports, SSAT scores and interview; optional: extracurricular reference forms, additional standardized testing results)
    Mid – Late March 2022Admission Decisions Announced
    April 15, 2022HAIS Family Commitment Deadline

    In-Person Applicant Interview 
    Each applicant is required to participate in a one-on-one interview and complete a writing sample. This year you will have three session options. Information on how to register will be provided via your myPunahou application checklist. Please register for one of these days.
    • December 11, 2021
    • January 15, 2022
    • January 29, 2022
    Teacher Reference Report and Report Cards
    A teacher reference report must be submitted by each of your child’s current English and math teachers. Applicants will also be asked to submit the previous school year’s complete report card, including teacher comments for all reporting periods, and the first-semester report card, including comments for the current school year. Grading symbols other than A, B, C, etc., should be explained, as should any citizenship grading system.

    In addition to official report cards, an official transcript of all high school work, including the first-semester or trimester of the current school year, must be submitted. Grades of C or above are transferable for Punahou credit. Grades of C- or below are not transferable for credit.

    Two extracurricular reference report forms may be submitted by the leaders of two activities in which the applicant participates, e.g., scouts, music lessons, sports. These forms are optional.

    Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
    As part of the application process, applicants must provide Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores with an essay. The limited openings at this level will be filled by applicants with strong SAT scores. Scores of 653 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 675 for Math are guidelines for decisions but are not cutoff points. 

    Applicants may register for the SAT with an essay online at www.collegeboard.com. The results of the test must be submitted to Punahou by SSAT.  

    Along with strong SAT scores, above-average grades, and exemplary citizenship reports, applicants must have sufficient transferable credits to meet Punahou graduation requirements within one year.

    Non-O‘ahu Applicants
    Applicants for grades 9 – 12 may be admitted if they will be living with legal guardian(s) who agree to accept full responsibility for the students while they attend Punahou. Legal guardian responsibilities include having the authority to act on behalf of the student in an emergency situation. The legal guardian(s) must have a notarized written authorization from the student’s parents and will be asked to meet with an Admission team member or Class Dean.
Additional details regarding the application and supporting document deadlines can be found in the Enrollment Management System. You can access these details via your “Admission Checklist” once you have submitted your application.
 
If the applicant has recently completed a standardized test in reading, language or math, the results, complete with the name of the test, level and date, may be submitted. This is optional; it is useful to have this additional data, but it is not a requirement as some students have not been previously tested.
 
Punahou reserves the right to require additional documentation for students with learning differences.