Why Boarding School

The decision to attend boarding school is not an easy one. While the quality of resources, activities, and academics offered by boarding schools may be found in local schooling options, boarding schools offer a unique set of benefits and experiences. Our informative articles cover the history of boarding schools in the US, explore the varied types of schools, and provide an overview on why boarding school can be an excellent educational option for your child. Learn more about issues affecting international students, identify some of the oldest and most prestigious boarding schools in the US, and review expert advice on making the right choice.
View the most popular articles in Why Boarding School:
Updated   February 02, 2017 |
Boarding Schools at a Glance
If you are just beginning to explore boarding schools, this article will give you an overview of the subject. We also point out a couple of things to watch for as you begin your exploration.

If you are just beginning to explore boarding schools, this article will give the view from 10,000'. I suggest that you scan the article quickly, and then drill down in anything which interests you. Our site has a wealth of information to guide your search process. And, if you don't find the answers you want, you probably will be able to find them on our sister site, Private School Review. Finally, if you have more questions, tweet me. I will be happy to help.

Size

Boarding schools range in size from rather small (100 students) to rather large (1200 students). Most boarding school populations are somewhere in the middle with 300-400 students. Compare these numbers to most public schools and you will begin to see why size is so important in my opinion. I wanted my daughters to be visible when they went to boarding school. When the school community is a manageable size, teachers and administrative staff get to know their students quickly. More importantly, they will usually know what their young charges are up to.  Boarding schools take their role as your substitute very seriously. The legal term is in loco parentis. Your child will not be invisible or able to hide when she attends boarding school.

Chatham Hall is an example of a small school. Everybody knows everybody in a school like this one.

Numbers

How many boarding schools are there? Approximately 300 boarding schools in the U.S.

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Updated   June 28, 2017
Boarding School FAQs
Read frequently asked questions on a range of boarding school related topics.
By Barbara Kennedy - Director of External Affairs - http://www.baylorschool.org
 
Question 1
 
Boarding school seems awfully expensive. My parents' combined income is less than $90,000 a year. I am the oldest of 3 children. I have had a GPA through middle school and 9th grade of 3.9. I play intramural soccer, had the lead in the spring musical last year and want to be a physicist. Should I even be thinking I can go to a boarding school?
 
Paying for a boarding school education does require some planning, but it can be manageable, and the investment is invaluable. When considering the cost of boarding school, it is important to know that need-based financial aid, which is based on a family's income and assets is available at most schools.  For example, last year Baylor School awarded more than $2 million in financial aid.  Other schools, including Baylor,  offer other merit scholarships as well. Most schools offer monthly payment plans (administered either by the school or by an outside agency) that allow families to spread their tuition payments over eight to ten months. This brief video explains how the financial aid program works at one private school.
 
One helpful resource is the School and Student Service for Financial Aid, a service of the National Association of Independent Schools, which objectively assesses a family's ability to contribute to their child's educational costs. From their website, you can access the forms needed to apply for financial aid. For the most reliable information,
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Updated   June 29, 2016 |
5 Founders and Their Boarding Schools
What prompts somebody to start a boarding school? The motives range from idealism to munificence right on through to capitalism. The common thread seems to be ample capital and a vision of what education can do.
Any school is a lot of work and takes a great deal of money to open and to continue operating. So, when you look at the examples of these five founders of legendary boarding schools, you can only marvel at the sheer determination which each one had to make his or her dream come true. American boarding schools are some of the best in the world. In an age when everybody seems to be taking shots at America and what we stand for, that's a nice statement to be able to make. Here then are snapshots of the founders of five boarding schools. They are an inspiration forever, as indeed are all the founders of boarding schools throughout the United States.
 
Maria Bissell Hotchkiss and The Hotchkiss School
 
Founded in 1891
Number of students: 598
Grades 9-12, PG. Coeducational
Religious Affiliation: Nondenominational
Setting: Rural
Maria Bissell Hotchkiss had inherited a fortune from her husband Benjamin Hotchkiss. He made his money manufacturing guns. After he died, Mrs. Hotchkiss donated 65 acres of land to establish a school for boys. She wanted the school to be a feeder school for Yale University down by the shore in New Haven. Her original gift of 65 acres expanded over time into a magnificent campus of 645 acres of pristine Northwestern Connecticut countryside. Mrs. Hotchkiss' munifence also established a generous financial aid program which gave boys who could not otherwise afford the opportunity of attending The Hotchkiss School. The school became a
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Updated   July 17, 2017 |
Boarding Schools: True or False
The media loves to focus on things like elitism and how boarding schools are just for troubled kids. Let's look at the truth.
The media loves to focus on things like elitism and how boarding schools are just for troubled kids. Let's look at the truth. Boarding schools....
 
Are just for rich kids.
 
False. Since about 2000 private schools have been very proactive in seeking out qualified applicants, regardless of their economic circumstances. Basically, if you qualify academically and have good recommendations, you can get in. Furthermore, most schools offer financial aid packages. These vary from school to school, as each school is a standalone corporate entity with its own policies and procedures regarding financial aid. Several schools now offer a tuition-free education where family incomes fall below a specific threshold, typically $75,000 to $100,000.
 
Here is an overview of The Kiski School.
 
 
Don't let you have a life.
 
False. While it is true that boarding schools will supervise your whereabouts at all times, the idea that you won't have a life is simply false. In fact there will be so much to do at boarding school that there will be times when you will wonder how you will be able to fit it all in. Sports two days a week and extracurricular activities of every conceivable kind provide a nice counterpoint to your academic studies. Field trips and social activities are also part of the package. Yes, there is time for yourself too so you can chill, listen to your music and chat with your friends. The rhythm of boarding school life provides a solid
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Updated   August 05, 2017 |
10 Facts About Boarding Schools
Here are 10 facts about boarding schools which the schools want you to know. If you are considering sending your child to boarding school, this data and information will address some of your concerns.
There are over 300 boarding schools in the U.S.
 
Most boarding schools prepare their students for college level work. Hence the name, "college prep" or "prep" which you will see in many school names. Most boarding schools are coeducational. But there are  about a hundred schools which are single sex schools. They accept and teach only boys or girls.
There are several types of boarding schools. Alternative and therapeutic schools serve specific needs such as emotional and disciplinary issues. Still other schools offer programs for students with special needs such as dyslexia, ADD/ADHD and other learning differences. They have the skilled, highly credentialed staff to ensure the best possible outcome for your child. They focus on college preparation as well. Military schools combine academics and the military training many young people and their parents demand. As you will see when you review the boarding school profiles on this site, there literally is a school for every need and requirement.
 
Some schools are purely residential.
 
Other schools are a mix of boarding and day students. A true boarding school has most of its students resident on campus. But if a school happens to be located in a town or other major population area, it could have a significant percentage of day students. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with that, but it does change the complexion of the school and its life. Why? Because day students leave at the end of the academic day. While they will come back for sports and extracurricular activities, they are
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Why Boarding School

About Boarding Schools

Here you’ll find basic information on boarding schools and why they may be the best choice for your child. Get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, dispel boarding school myths, and learn what separates a boarding school from other private school options.

Kinds of Schools

There are several types of boarding schools, each offering a unique set of experiences. The articles in this section will provide more information on college preparatory, junior and therapeutic boarding schools. Here you will explore the pros and cons of single sex education, learn the truth about military schools and identify schools with programs for learning disabled students.

International Students

US Boarding schools attract students from all over the world. International students often face a unique set of challenges. This section will cover topics relevant to global students. From English immersion to preparing for entry into a US college or university, we’ll provide helpful tips and resources to help international students make informed decisions.

History

This section provides a comprehensive look at the history of boarding schools in the US. We’ll cover the evolution of private schools, as learn the importance of school mottoes and explore the history of 15 schools and their founders.