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Don’t miss out! Continue to reach more students, build stronger networks, and make confident decisions by securing your EMA membership for another year.

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You deserve a seat at the leadership table.

Are you ready to yield your best?

EMA members gain access to our newest tools, insights, and events.

Now more than ever, we need a strong community to develop solutions to solve the difficult challenges ahead of us. That’s why we’re constantly evolving our offerings and adding to our services to ensure that we help members like you yield your best. 

From professional development, to at home assessments, to online conferences and courses, to real-time data, we have so much in store for this upcoming year. Are you ready to recommit to your success? 

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When challenges arise, EMA members thrive. 

“We were all stopped dead in our tracks [because of COVID-19]. I thought, how in the world will I be able to do my job now? It was all too overwhelming. But EMA helped me come out of the fog. The EMA team rallied and put together all these wonderful resources so quickly. It showed me all the possibilities and reinvigorated me. These are unprecedented times, but this has really given me hope.”

Alexis Newman
Admissions Associate
Milken Community Schools

2020–2021 Membership Dues

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Continue to be the leader your school needs.

Your EMA Enrollment Toolkit includes enrollment and assessment tools, industry research, and professional development to help you lead and thrive.

Enrollment Tools

Enhance your marketing efforts with powerful enrollment tools, such as Student Prospect Lists, targeted lists of thousands of prospective families already interested in independent schools. Zero in on the best-fit students for your school, optimize your enrollment funnel, get more leads and applicants, and position your admissions team for success. Adopt the Standard Application Online (free for EMA members) to expand your reach and simplify your application process. 

Assessment Tools

Pair assessment tools like the traditional cognitive assessment of The SSAT or the SSAT at Home with the innovative online Character Skills Snapshot to drive smart enrollment decisions. Get a holistic view of each applicant by measuring essential character skills for admission: initiative, intellectual engagement, open-mindedness, resilience, self-control, social awareness, and teamwork. 

Industry Research

Which schools are your biggest competitors? Where are the kids sending you scores also applying? EMA’s industry-leading data dashboards offer multiple data points and real-time information, and the Score Overlap Report provides essential competition intelligence. Specialized research and trend analyses will help you operationalize information and set smart enrollment strategies. 

Professional Development Events

Attend exclusive events and trainings, and receive discounts to the EMA Annual Conference, the largest independent school enrollment management conference in the world. You’ll come away with real, actionable solutions, a renewed sense of purpose, and new industry connections.

Professional Development Training 

EMA’s professional development programs not only help you discover new ways to solve the daily problems you face but also ensure you’re constantly building your own portfolio of skills. Take advantage of both online and in-person training opportunities, and join highly esteemed leadership programs to earn and keep your seat at the leadership table. 

Community Building 

Connect with a community of peers, gain insights from others in your network, and access specialized thought-leader articles and resources. As the largest member organization for admission- and enrollment-facing independent school leaders, you’ll be in the best company for learning, connecting, and growing your expertise.

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 cannot express how impressed I’ve been with both the volume and quality of EMA’s content. Webinars for timely subjects like yield. Multiple podcasts in a week. Launching a wildly successful online class with nearly every aspect of enrollment you could want. Wow! I’m a long-time and big supporter of EMA, but you’ve taken the organization to the next level. THANK YOU!"

Victoria Muradi
Director of Enrollment Management
Durham Academy
Our renewal process opens in May

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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.