Frequently
Asked
Questions

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Academic and Student Life Questions

All Gravitas classes are synchronous (a.k.a. taught live). Other online programs which only offer asynchronous instruction require students to do all of their work on their own by watching pre-recorded lessons. 

Gravitas students take four required classes at a time and spend approximately three hours on video in their live classes each day. The rest of their school day is spent doing course readings, discussion board responses, essays, research, etc. Two of the four courses is paced intensively and goes for only eleven weeks before the introduction of a different intensive course. This model allows students to join Gravitas from different parts of the world at different points in the year. 

No, Gravitas is designed for teenagers in grades 7-12.

Yes, though students will need to work with their advisor and college counselor to make sure they complete all of the requirements.

Starting in the 2022-2023 school year, Gravitas is launching Passion Academies, which consist of clusters of project-based and competition-based elective courses, some of which are taught asynchronously and some of which are taught or coached live. Learn more about Passion Academies here.

Though some of SBS’s teachers teach at Gravitas, the majority are hired specifically for our program. Gravitas teachers are hired using the same criteria and process used for hiring SBS faculty. 

Gravitas hosts staff and student-led community events such as fun trivia bowls, holiday-themed games, and movie nights. As with in-person socializing, we encourage students to be proactive about forming friendships as well.

Gravitas is a fully accredited virtual extension of The Stony Brook School (SBS), a highly regarded 100-year-old day and boarding school on Long Island, New York. Gravitas students receive the same excellent and rigorous college preparatory instruction and official diploma as their SBS peers and are prepared to attend top-25 schools as they do. Our first Gravitas graduate in 2022 was accepted to Cornell University. 

Yes. Our dress code requires academic dress during the school day. You will receive additional dress-code information after you are accepted.

As a Gravitas student, you will participate in a local club sport or physical activity like dance or martial arts or complete the Gravitas online physical education course.

Admissions Questions

Tuition includes all course materials. Updated information on tuition and fees can be found here

No. While Gravitas is a distinctly Christian institution, and aspects of our faith are integrated into the students' daily lives (e.g., weekly mandatory chapel), you are allowed to maintain your own personal beliefs. Our hope is that you will develop your own vision of who God is and who God is calling you to become.

August 29 – November 18, 2022 July 15, 2022 July 31, 2021
November 28 - February 24 October 15, 2022 November 15, 2022
March 6 - May 26, 2023 February 1, 2023 February 15, 2023
June 5 - June 16, 2023 May 1, 2023 May 15, 2023
June 26 - August 11, 2023 May 15, 2023 May 15, 2023

After the listed deadlines, admission is rolling throughout the year until the start of the next term. The Admissions Office works to notify late applicants as soon as possible.

Standard enrollment deadlines for Gravitas depend on your desired start date. 2021-2022 school year:
Term Standard Enrollment Deadline Notification
June 28 – August 6, 2021 May 15, 2021 June 1, 2021
August 30 – October 22, 2021 July 1, 2021 July 31, 2021
October 25 – December 10, 2021 September 1, 2021 September 30, 2021
January 3 – February 18, 2022 November 1, 2021 November 30, 2021
February 21 – April 8, 2022 December 1, 2021 January 15, 2022
April 18 – June 3, 2022 February 1, 2022 February 28, 2022

After the listed deadlines, admission is rolling throughout the year until the start of the next term. The Admissions Office works to notify late applicants as soon as possible.

 

Do I need to submit all parts of my application at the same time?

No. You can start by completing the inquiry form and student profile and paying the application fee. You can finish your application later here

When we consider your application, we try to get to know you as a whole person, not just a set of numbers. We consider your tests scores, teacher recommendations, student essays, transcripts, and interview.

Standardized testing is currently optional. You can choose to take an exam if you feel it will improve your chances.

Test Recommendations:

Grades 9-10 Applicants
Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)
Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE)

Grade 11 and 12 Applicants

PSAT, PreACT, ACT, or SAT, SSAT

In addition to any required standardized testing, if English is not your first language, you will berequired to take an English language proficiency test. Our office prefers the TOEFL exam. When registering, please use code 8083 in order to send us the applicant's scores directly. Please note that our office does not accept TOEFL's MyBest Score.

If the TOEFL is not available, you may choose : IELTS, Cambridge, ELTiS, and Duolingo.

Even if you have studied in the United States for several years or are currently attending an international school with an American or British curriculum, you may still need to take a test. Please contact the Admissions Office at gravitas@sbs.org for further questions.

If you are a full-time applicant to Gravitas, the Admissions team will schedule a Zoom interview with you. You only need to have one parent or guardian present for the interview.

Yes. Please make sure to call 631-675-3504 or email the Gravitas Admissions Office at gravitas@sbs.org to set up your interview during those times.

You can wear whatever is most comfortable to your interview.

You and your parents or guardians will receive an email with the acceptance letter and instructions for accessing the parent portal.

Yes. Unfortunately, Gravitas is not need-blind, which means that the Admissions Office will need to consider the family’s ability to pay before making the final decision on an application. That said, we encourage you to apply.

No. The financial aid award is essentially a tuition discount and does not require repayment.

How is financial aid eligibility determined? How much financial aid can I expect to receive?

Gravitas does not award merit scholarships—only need-based financial aid. These decisions are made based on a family’s demonstrated need and determined on a case-by-case basis. Factors considered include:

  • Number of children attending tuition charging schools
  • Personal assets, liabilities, investments
  • Size of family

 

Domestic families apply for financial aid using TADS.

Yes. As your finances do not change significantly from one year to another, you can expect to pay roughly the same percentage of tuition each year that your child is enrolled at Gravitas.

Yes. You must submit a financial aid application whether you are new to Gravitas or a returning family.

As a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, Gravitas endorses its recommendation that both birth parents have an obligation to contribute to the education of their children to the extent they are able.

Gravitas expects that separated parents, divorced parents, or parents that have never been married will contribute to the cost of their child’s education regardless of whether or not there is a legal obligation for them to do so. The financial aid process considers all resources that might be available to the student. If either parent remarries, the Financial Aid Committee will take into consideration the obligation of that parent to his/her new family and the resources of the stepparent, given the obligation of the stepparent to his/her own children. Therefore, both parents along with stepparents must provide financial information by submitting a TADS application.

Yes. International students can receive financial aid. You will need to complete the International Student Financial Aid Application Form. In addition, the Admissions Office requires proof of income by way of bank statements, tax documents, pay stubs, etc.

The process will be similar to the process for students attending traditional schools. The one major exception is that recommendations will be completed by online teachers or home-school teachers (i.e. parents). We strongly encourage that at least one recommendation comes from an adult that is not the applicant’s parent.

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