Application Process

Applying to Bentley is more than just filling out an application. In addition to the elements required by the application, we want to get to know potential students and families. 
We welcome the opportunity for conversation to tell you more about the Promise of Bentley and all that we have to offer. 

Bentley’s online application process is designed to be clear and simple, and like most Bay Area schools, we use the online application system Ravenna. Once you create an online account, a comprehensive checklist and step-by-step directions will ensure that you don't miss a deadline or forget to submit important paperwork.

Application Process

List of 7 items.

  • Step 1: Submit an Inquiry

    When you submit an inquiry through the Bentley website, you are creating a Ravenna account. Ravenna serves as Bentley's admissions application portal.

    Throughout your search, if you have questions, please contact the Admissions Office. We are happy to help you.

    To begin your process with Bentley School, please start by completing the online inquiry form.
  • Step 2: Complete and submit the online application

    Through Ravenna, applicants fill out required forms, submit supplemental materials, and track application progress. Please visit the Bentley Application Portal in Ravenna to create a profile for your student or access your established account.

    *If you are interested in exploring admission to the current school year, please contact the Admissions Office directly.
  • Step 3: Submit teacher recommendations online

    Kindergarten Applicants
    One preschool teacher recommendation is required. 

    Grade 1-8 Applicants
    Two separate teacher recommendations are required: one from the current classroom teacher and one from the prior year’s teacher. 
    Grade 9-12 Applicants
    Three recommendations are required: one from the applicant's current English teacher, one from the current Math teacher, and one from the Principal or Counselor. 

    **All recommendations are easily delegated and submitted through the applicant’s existing Ravenna account.
  • Step 4: Submit transcripts

    Optional: A current transcript should be sent directly from your student’s school to if available.

    Grade 1-5
    We require a transcript from the current year, including attendance, standardized testing - if applicable, and grade reports from both current and previous years. Transcripts should be sent directly from your student’s school to

    Grade 6-12 Applicants

    We require transcripts, including attendance, standardized testing, and grade reports from both current and previous years. Transcripts should be sent directly from your student’s school to

    NOTE: Transcript requests can also be completed through Ravenna. (Directions are provided in your applicant profile.)
  • Step 5: Complete a Standardized Assessment

    The Bentley School admissions process requires families to complete a standardized assessment(s) depending on the grade. More information about your student's specific standardized assessment requirement is detailed once a family starts the application for Bentley.

    Lower School (Grades K-5)
    Kindergarten applicants will be required to participate in a playdate in January or February. Sign-ups will be available through Ravenna in October. Like other independent schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, they must also submit video recordings of their children completing activities and tasks. Guidance for the brief video assessment will be made available in the fall and will be due by the application deadline.

    Families applying to the 1st grade will be required to complete an assessment with a Bentley faculty member. For applicants applying in our priority process, this assessment will take place in February. A member of the admissions team will reach out to you once you have completed the admissions application.

    Families applying for 2nd grade through 5th grade are required to complete the ISEE Primary exam and submit results to Bentley School. Additional guidance is available in Ravenna.

    Middle (6-8) and Upper Schools (9-12)
    Bentley School remains test optional for applicants seeking admissions to 6th grade through 12th grade for the 2023-24 admissions season.

    All applicants must complete an online essay administered by Test Innovators. Middle school applicants will also be required to complete a short 15-minute analytical exercise during the same sitting. Registration for these sessions is available through a link directly in Ravenna. 

    If a family would like to submit results for either the ISEE or SSAT exams (grades 6-12 only), please register for the ISEE (school code: 570407) by clicking here, or for the SSAT, by clicking here. Submitting ISEE or SSAT is often an alternative for families applying to other private schools that may require these exams. The ISEE or SSAT is optional for applicants to Bentley.

    For assistance with Bentley's standardized assessment requirements, please contact the Admissions Office.
  • Step 6: Schedule a Family Interview

    Interviews for all grades are scheduled once an applicant has "Applied" status in Ravenna and after November 1.

    Lower School Applicants (Grades K-8)

    Parents and guardians will have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with a member of the Bentley faculty to discuss their child through an interview. While the student is not required to be present, the interview provides parents/guardians with an opportunity to learn more about Bentley. The faculty interviewer will also ask questions about the student and family.

    Middle and Upper School Applicants (Grades 6-12)
    Bentley interviews for Middle and Upper School applicants include the applicant and parents/guardians. The interview will begin with a question and answer session for the whole family and conclude with a 15-20 minute interview with the student applicant. At least one parent/guardian is required to attend the interview.

    All interviews are scheduled through Ravenna.
  • Step 7: Decisions Released

    Decisions for K-12 will be released in mid-March 2024 through Ravenna.

Important Dates

September 1, 2023
  • K-12 Application Released for 2024-25 School Year, submission deadlines released
January 9, 2024
  • Priority Admissions & Financial Aid Application Deadline (Grades 9-12)
January 18, 2024
  • Priority Admissions & Financial Aid Application Deadline (Grades K-8)
March 14, 2024
  • Admissions decisions posted in Ravenna Hub (Grades K-8)
March 15, 2024
  • Admissions decisions posted in Ravenna Hub (Grades 9-12)

Questions about applying?

Our admissions team is here to support you through this process every step of the way.

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Mark Schneider

    Mark Schneider 

    Associate Director of Admissions 9-12
  • Photo of David Lazo

    David Lazo 

    Director of Enrollment Management
  • Photo of Lloyd Brown

    Lloyd Brown 

    Associate Director of Admissions K-8

Notice of Non-discriminatory Policy as to Students

The Bentley School admit students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the schools. The schools do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of their educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.

K - 8 Campus

1 Hiller Drive
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 843-2512

9 - 12 Campus

1000 Upper Happy Valley Rd.
Lafayette, CA 94549
(925) 283-2101