How does Darüşşafaka admit its students?
Darüşşafaka has been admitting students by examination since its founding. Until 2012, third year students were eligible to take the exam, but with the introduction of the 4+4+4 educational system, fourth-year students become eligible as of 2013. Darüşşafaka Schools have been striving to reach all students meeting their criteria in light of its principle of “equal opportunity in education.”
Darüşşafaka collaborates with the Ministry of Education and collects the data of all children in fourth year with one or no parents. Then it sends letters to every single one of them, informing them about Darüşşafaka and what it has to offer them and inviting them to the exam.
All Turkish citizen fourth grade students with one or no parents are eligible to take the Darüşşafaka Exam. Students who are successful in the exam are then entitled to enrol at Darüşşafaka after a full medical examination, interview with the Counselling department, and assessment of their financial circumstances.
Darüşşafaka Admission Exam
The Darüşşafaka exam takes place every year in May or June in 20 provinces across Turkey. Darüşşafaka pays the transportation costs of students who live in other provinces. Students who pass the exam are admitted to Darüşşafaka following a medical scan, counselling interview and examination of their family’s finances. Darüşşafaka’s admission exam was knowledge-based until the 2008-2009 academic year when it switched to an aptitude test, attesting to the fact that not all students in Turkey have access to the same level of education.
This eliminated the impact of educational differences between regions on Darüşşafaka’s admission process and resulted in more students coming from the heart of Anatolia. In addition, the resources created by İşbank through "81 Students from 81 Provinces" project have meant that Darüşşafaka's efforts reach even more children.
With this project, which enables Darüşşafaka Schools to accept students from different provinces throughout Turkey, Darüşşafaka was able to commence the "Expansion to Anatolia" movement. Since 2008 when the project started, approximately 70% of new Darüşşafaka students come from Anatolia and 30% come from Istanbul. Today, 51% of the students at Darüşşafaka are from Anatolia and the remaining 49% from Istanbul.
Darüşşafaka opened its doors to girls in 1971 after admitting only boys for nearly a hundred years. Today the number of girls is nearly equal to the number of boys.