Choosing a School

You’ve decided boarding school may be the best option for your child’s education. Now it’s time to find a school that meets the needs of your family. Determine when your child is ready to attend boarding school, learn why students can benefit from a single-sex education, and get tips on finding data and comparing schools. Discover the benefits of education consultants, explore Quaker schools, and find get expert advice on making an informed decision.

View the most popular articles in Choosing a School:

Why Choose a Boarding School in Florida?

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Why Choose a Boarding School in Florida?
Explore 13 great reasons to benefit from choosing a boarding school in sunny Florida.
Photo Courtesy of Admiral Farragut Academy
There are many benefits as to why students should attend boarding school, but what does Florida offer that other locations cannot? Well, if you’ve ever been to Florida you may be able to answer that question rather quickly. Here we list 13 reasons that may have you convinced to choose a boarding school in Florida.
 
In 2015, Florida became the first state ever to welcome more than 100 million out-of-state and international tourists. In addition, more people moved to Florida than California for the first time in nearly a decade. There’s a good reason, too. The weather. Year-Round outdoor activities. The cost of living. Job growth and opportunities. Sporting events. The cultural arts. Music festivals. The ever-improving infrastructure.

Not only is Florida a great state to visit and live, but it’s also an incredible place to learn. With 10 college-prep and boarding schools in Florida, the state offers a nice mix to choose from. But why is attending boarding school in Florida better than anywhere else? Here are just a few reasons:

The Weather
 
Sunny and Tropical

Nicknamed the “Sunshine State,” Florida boasts an average of 361 days of sunshine a year. Did you know that St. Petersburg holds a Guinness Book World Record with 768 consecutive sunny days? St. Petersburg is just one of many places in Florida where sunshine reigns supreme. giving students an opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities all year long.

No Snow

There are just 20 states that average less than 15 inches a snow each year. Florida is

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Advice for Athletes Applying to Independent Boarding Schools

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Advice for Athletes Applying to Independent Boarding Schools
Tips for athletes applying to boarding school.

You are considering attending an independent private boarding school as a student-athlete. Perhaps you’ve even been encouraged to apply to one or more schools because of your athletic ability. While your family and the admission staff at the schools will help you through the process of applying, remember that you still have your work cut out for you.

You must complete the steps required of all applicants in a timely manner. You should express genuine interest in the school’s athletic program. And most importantly, it is your job to learn as much as you can about each school to be sure that it would be a good fit for you, not only in terms of athletics but overall. Here are some tips for you and your family as you apply to independent schools and consider your options.

The Admissions Timeline

Ideally, you’ll begin researching and visiting schools in the fall, or about a year before you plan to enroll. While applications are most commonly due in January, it takes time before then to have completed any standardized tests and submitted any required transcripts and recommendations. (See more below.)

Make sure you and your family have in hand all the information you need to meet all the application requirements of every school in which you are interested. Pay careful attention to deadlines for applications for admission and financial aid: they vary from school to school.

Even if you’ve been recruited or had contact with a school’s coach, it is the admission office you

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What About Schools With Riding Programs?

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What About Schools With Riding Programs?
Does your son or daughter ride? Are you thinking about finding a private school which will suit both your academic requirements and your child's penchant for riding? Let's look at a couple of schools with riding programs.
Does your son or daughter ride? Are you thinking about finding a  private school which will suit both your academic requirements and your child's penchant for riding? After all, your daughter began riding in seventh grade. One of your neighbors had a small stable with a couple of horses. She had ridden professionally years ago. Now that she was retired, she had taken on a few riding students and was showing them how to ride as well as how to take care of the horses. Your daughter has participated in several shows and loves riding. So, it makes sense to find a school which will allow her to enjoy her riding as well as give her the college preparatory academic curriculum which she needs.
 
A quick search of Boarding School Review looking for schools which offer equestrian programs yielded a list of 67 schools. After you filter that list for location, religion, and size, as well as any other criteria which matter to you, you will be able to come up with a short list of schools to visit and evaluate. In the meantime let's look at ten of the schools in my search results so that you can get an idea of what is available. We will inspect schools which have their own equestrian facilities as opposed to schools which offer riding programs based at a local stable not located on campus.
 
 
I personally always thought that the Litchfield Hills in Connecticut
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Frank Bruni: Why Fit Matters Most

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Frank Bruni: Why Fit Matters Most
Parents considering schools should read New York Times columnist Frank Bruni's book about college admissions entitled Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. Much of what he says applies in the private K-12 world.
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni has written a very useful book about college admissions entitled Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. Obviously, as you can see from the title, Bruni's audience is parents, and possibly students, who are thinking about and applying to college. Yet as I read the book, I began to see many similarities between the private K-12 school admissions process and the college admissions process. I suggest that you read this book which will clarify your thinking as you go through the process of selecting a private school for your child. Bruni's insights will also prepare you for the months and years ahead when you and your child will be dealing with the mysteries of college admissions. In the meantime let's look at some of the things about college admissions which Frank Bruni points out which are remarkably similar to what we will find in private school admissions.
 
Treatment of legacies
 
Affirmative Action for the Rich: Legacy Preferences in College Admissions by Richard D. Kahlenberg and The Price of Admission by Daniel Golden are two additional books which you should read about legacy admissions. These authors go into great detail and cite many sources to support their arguments.
 
What is a legacy? A legacy is an applicant to a school who has a relative or relatives who attended the same school. You will find legacies in both private K-12 schools as well as at the college
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Why Are You Only Looking At Very Competitive Schools?

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Why Are You Only Looking At Very Competitive Schools?
It makes sense to cast your net widely when looking at boarding schools. Here's why.
First of all, let's define competitive. At its most basic level, a competitive boarding school is one that admits fewer applicants than it receives applications from. For example, a school has a fixed admissions deadline of January 31 each year. Last year it received 250 applications for 100 places. That means that 150 applicants were not accepted by the school. Perhaps some of them were put on the waiting list but we will look at that later.
 
So, essentially a competitive boarding school receives more applicants than it has places which it can offer to those applicants. Within the scope of competitive schools are several subsets. There is nothing official here, of course, as no organization will officially state that such and such a school is a highly competitive school or a less competitive school and so on. Having said that, you do not have to know a lot about private schools to look at the data which our site Boarding School Review offers after doing a little sorting of acceptance rates. 
The other filter which we have to apply is for admissions to special schools. These schools which specialize in teaching students with learning disabilities, for example, have acceptance rates that are generally subject to other variables. In most cases, we will classify these as non-competitive.
 
So, where are we going to set the bar? Anything below a 25% acceptance rate is very competitive. 26-50% is competitive. 51-75% is less competitive. Individual educational consultants will have their own scales
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What is Progressive Education?
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The promise of progressive education is as the students come to the solution, they’re active, they’re engaged, they’re motivated, and they’re learning. Most progressive schools encourage students to explore other areas of their development where young people find focus or uncover the contentment of stillness. It is about learning how to think, not what to think.
The Importance of Strong Connections with Family & School
The Importance of Strong Connections with Family & School
We look at the roles in the partnership of school, parent, and student. Understanding each partner's responsibilities is essential for a successful boarding school experience.

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Choosing a School

EVALUATING SCHOOLS
Here we’ll provide you with information on evaluating boarding schools. From comparing schools to identifying language and sports programs, our articles will help you make an informed decision. Learn the best approach to compare schools, get tips on creating a spreadsheet, and determine where to find the data.
Is Boarding School Right for Your Child?
Is Boarding School Right for Your Child?
Take The IB Quiz
Take The IB Quiz
Choosing a School: Comparing Schools
Choosing a School: Comparing Schools