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If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that we’re better together — and that collectively, it’s time to write a new future for our industry.

As an EMA member, you’re in the perfect position to yield your best in this fundamentally changed world. Renewing your membership will ensure you have the tools, insights, and support necessary to solve the difficult challenges ahead. Will you continue to be the leader your school needs?

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When challenges arise, EMA members thrive. 

Lori Carlos
Director of Admission
Maryknoll School

“I have never felt so supported in my 20+ years as a school administrator. EMA’s content is extremely relevant and timely. I appreciate all your efforts to reassure and spark new ideas for us. I start every morning with an ‘Enrollment Podcast!’”

Unmatched value. Unlimited opportunities.

Beyond belonging to a diverse network of 1,300+ peers, your EMA membership packs more than $30,000 worth of value into an annual fee that is one of the most economical in the industry.

Gold-Standard Assessment Tests such as the SSAT, the SSAT at Home, and the Character Skills Snapshot

Powerful Enrollment Tools, including the Standard Application Online and Student Prospect Lists

ALC Roundtables & Seminars that spark ideas and encourage collaboration

Professional Development, both online and in-person, to help you solve daily problems and build your portfolio of skills

Special Reports that provide essential industry and competitive intelligence

Data Dashboards, which simplify real-time data points and help you operationalize information

Member Meetups that put you in the best company for growing your expertise

24/7 Member Community, a vibrant network that offers insights and industry connections

Discounted Fees for professional development events and trainings, including EMA’s Annual Conference

The Yield, an in-depth quarterly magazine only available to EMA members

EMA Expertise & Support from association professionals whose mission is to provide you with unparalleled leadership and service

Free Online Admission Course as an added benefit when you renew your membership—free access to "Admission Planning: The Guide to Meeting Your Enrollment Goals"

2021-2022 Membership Dues

US and Canada Schools
Membership Fees
Students Enrolled
$1,100 USD
$990 USD
$925 USD
$825 USD
$725 USD
$675 USD
$600 USD
International Schools
Membership Fees
School Type
$500 USD
$840 USD
Membership Fees
$600 USD
Educational Consultants
$600 USD
Access Organizations

Continue to be the leader your school needs.   

Remember, your EMA Enrollment Toolkit includes enrollment and assessment tools, industry research, and professional development that helps you:

  • Zero-in on the best-fit students for your school
  • Optimize your enrollment funnel
  • Simplify your application process 
  • Get more leads and applicants 
  • Drive smart enrollment decisions 
  • Gain essential competitive intelligence 
  • Connect with a community of peers
  • Position your admissions team for success
  • Build your own portfolio of skills
  • Earn and keep your seat at the leadership table
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“I am in awe of EMA’s responsiveness and attentiveness to admission professionals who need it the most at this time. Huge thanks for the comforting outreach and the behind-the-scenes magic you do to help us all feel secure in the last leg of our admission season!”

Jasmine Park, M.Ed.
Admissions Associate
The Overlake School

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Frequently Asked Questions

How were the skills selected?

After comprehensive deliberation and a series of surveys, focus groups, and meetings, admission directors, heads of schools, and administrators selected the character skills they thought were most important to consider in an admission context.

For what age groups is it intended?

The Character Skills Snapshot is intended for students seeing application to independent schools in grades 6 through 12. The Snapshot was pilot tested with students in grades 5 through 11. The measurement properties of The Snapshot are stable across these grade levels.

How do you know students are answering honestly?

The Character Skills Snapshot is meant to capture a student’s perceptions of themselves in relation to the character skills. They should answer the questions on their own with no help from parent, guardian, or peers. In the unlikely event that students do attempt to fake their answers, they should find it extremely difficult to fake the forced-choice portion. Given that the situational judgment test portion (section 2) is knowledge-based, there is no real threat of faking.

Is it the same as the SSAT?

It is not the same thing as the SSAT. The Character Skills Snapshot was designed to complement standardized cognitive testing measures like the SSAT to provide a richer, more well-rounded picture of an individual applicant. It is taken separately from the SSAT. Schools can choose whether and how to utilize The Snapshot in their admission processes.

What is The Character Skills Snapshot?

The Character Skills Snapshot is a noncognitive assessment tool that measures character skills (initiative, intellectual engagement, open-mindedness, resilience, self-control, social awareness, and teamwork).

Why are character skills important?

There is a plethora of literature that suggests character skills are important for success in school, work, and life. It is one goal of independent schools to foster these skills in their students. Learn more about character and assessment on this NAIS page authored by David Holmes.

How was it developed?

The Enrollment Management Association collaborated with admission directors, heads of schools, and teachers from more than 56 independent schools to develop The Character Skills Snapshot. Assessment development experts from the Educational Testing Service wrote some of the questions, and others were written by teachers and admission professionals from independent schools. It has been through rigorous pilot testing with approximately 12,000 students enrolled in or applying to independent schools across the country. Listen to a podcast with Dr. David Holmes, cofounder and codirector of the Institute on Character and Admission, and Meghan Brenneman, Ed.D., Director of Character Assessment Programs for The Enrollment Management Association, at the bottom of this page.

How is The Snapshot administered?

The Character Skills Snapshot is administered online in a student's home or other location with internet service. It is not available on mobile devices and is not given at schools.

What is the cost of The Character Skills Snapshot?

There is no cost for The Character Skills Snapshot if a student registers to take the SSAT; registration will be available through the student's SSAT account. If a student does not register to take the SSAT, the cost is $40.00 USD.

What if a family is having trouble accessing The Snapshot?

For families having logistical issues with The Snapshot, please direct questions to us at or 609-683-4440 or live chat on, Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET.  Additionally, step-by-step tutorials and answers to many frequently asked questions can be found on the family Snapshot page at

Parents/guardians must create both parent and student SSAT accounts to take The Snapshot.

The Parent Account

  • Provides parent/guardian and student information; creates a parent account
  • Creates a student account with username and password
  • Gives consent and signs an integrity statement

The Student Account

  • Once the parent/guardian has provided consent and submits integrity statement, student signs in to his/her account.
  • A "Take the Snapshot"  icon will appear on student account
  • Student submits integrity statement
  • Student takes The Snapshot
  • The Snapshot can only be taken on the student account, not the parent account. The student must be logged in to see Snapshot access.

Are fee waivers available for students who are not SSAT test takers, but need assistance to take The Character Skills Snapshot?

Yes. Participating member schools can issue fee waivers to those in financial need from their member access portals (MAPs). We'll automatically generate an email that will be sent to families which will include the fee waiver code that families can use in order to gain access to The Snapshot. Directions for utilizing fee waivers for The Snapshot can be found here.

Can a student stop and start the assessment, or does it have to be taken in one sitting?

The Character Skills Snapshot must be taken in one sitting. In our pretesting, it took students an average of 30 minutes to complete.

Can a student retake The Character Skills Snapshot?

Students may take The Character Skills Snapshot one time per testing year (August 1 - July 15th) The Character Skills Snapshot is intended to capture a snapshot of the student at the moment when they apply and results are valid for one year. Reports are accessible via your portal for one year.

Can a school that accepts the ISEE or another standardized test receive Snapshot reports?

A school must be a member of The Enrollment Management Association in order to receive Character Skills Snapshot reports. Member schools that use the ISEE or another admission test must let students know they use The Snapshot so that families can sign up to access it.

How can schools sign up to participate?

If a member school would like to use The Snapshot, they simply log into their Member Access Portal (MAP), click on the link titled Character Skills Snapshot, and follow the steps to opt in to receive results.

Are results sent directly to schools?

Member schools will receive reports from those parents/guardians who select them as report recipients. A parent/guardian must choose to send Snapshot reports to a school. The reports will then be delivered to the schools Member Access Portal (MAP). Snapshot results are released according to the schedule listed online each year.

When do we get reports?

When a school is selected as a score recipient following the receipt of results by the parent/guardian, the school will receive results in real time.

How should the results be used to impact an admission decision?

Admission offices should use the information provided from The Character Skills Snapshot to complement other information required as a part of the application process, including SSAT test scores, interviews, grades, letters of recommendation, and other information. The Character Skills Snapshot is not intended and should not be used alone to make an admission decision. Schools are required to sign a fair use agreement prior to agreeing to accept Snapshot reports.

Can Character Skills Snapshot reports change over time?

Yes, a student’s character skills are expected to change over time. There is a lot of research about the malleability of character skills.