In the summer of 2003, an idea sparked the interest of a group of experienced admission directors. With the recent restructuring of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the group felt there was increasing interest in a national body that would attend to the professional concerns of independent school admission officers. The more this group of colleagues discussed it, the more firmly they believed that there was great need and widespread support for such an organization.
The first steps
The group held a preliminary organizational meeting on January 28, 2004, at NAIS in Washington, D.C., to focus on the necessary first steps in building the association. The attendees represented a diverse group of boarding and day schools. Using other organizations such as the National Business Officers Association (NBOA), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)and the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) as models, the group brainstormed about possible names for the association, development of a mission statement, as well as a fee structure for membership that would stress inclusion. As a follow up to this meeting, surveys were issued to independent school admission professionals across the country to gauge interest. From the responses, approximately 20 schools expressed interest in becoming founding members of the association—a level of support that assured the feasibility of this endeavor.
A second organizational meeting was held on May 6, 2004, and was attended by representatives from more than 23 schools located in 14 states. The group came to consensus about the mission and goals of the organization and set into place the early stages of the governance and committee structure needed to move the effort forward.
The organization officially incorporated in January of 2005 with 65 founding members. Membership information was sent out to schools across the country in the summer of 2005 and AISAP has since become the fastest growing independent school association for admission, marketing, and financial aid professionals, representing schools in almost every state and several foreign countries.