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 June 03, 2017 |
Considering a U.S. Arts Program?
If the arts are part of your interests and your passion, you should research each school’s available offerings. Spend time reading the school’s literature and visiting its website.
This article was written by the staff of Boarding Schools in the USA.

Arts programs are an especially appealing aspect of selecting a U.S. boarding school. In fact, you may be narrowing your search to U.S. programs because both contemporary and traditional art forms are flourishing in this country and many of our boarding schools excel in arts instruction and practice.
 
To be sure, arts programs vary widely. Some programs specialize in visual art, (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, and computer graphics), theatre (acting and theatre design), dance (ballet, jazz or modern), creative writing, music (vocal or instrumental) or filmmaking. Other schools offer relatively little instruction in the arts and specialize more in outdoors activities, military training, and so forth.
 
When choosing a boarding school in the U.S.A. it is important to match your interests and goals as they change over time, with the strengths of the school.
 
If the arts are part of your interests and your passion, you should research each school’s available offerings. Spend time reading the school’s literature and visiting its website. Be sure to look for the qualifications of the teachers, who may themselves be artists, and the range and level of available courses. Examine the facilities available – the theater, studios, and practice rooms. If possible, visit the school yourself.
 
 
You should evaluate whether the arts are your first priority. Arts courses may be just a part of the well-rounded education that
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Updated August 02, 2018 |
Types of Boarding School
Explore the different types of boarding school options in the US. Find which type of boarding school is most appropriate for you.
There are several different types of boarding schools. These distinctions will be useful to know as you research schools:
 
College-Preparatory Boarding Schools
 
College preparatory boarding schools' primary goal is to prepare students for the academic rigors of college life. If you're a generally well-motivated student seeking to excel and explore new opportunities, this is the type of boarding school you're looking for. All the schools listed in our boarding school directory are exclusively college-preparatory or junior boarding schools. Note that a number of college-prep boarding schools also accommodate students with learning differences (LD) or ADD/ADHD. Within college-preparatory boarding schools, there are additional distinctions between schools:
  • All-boys or all-girls boarding schools - while fewer in number, there are a number of single-sex boarding schools in the USA. View a list of all-girls boarding schools or all-boys boarding schools.
  • Military schools - these boarding schools also prepare students for college-life, with the addition of military-type discipline and structure. View a list of military boarding schools.
  • Pre-professional arts schools - these schools specialize in helping students train and become artists in a variety of fields such as music, visual arts, theatre, ballet, and creative writing. Students are prepared for entrance into either traditional colleges or specialty schools like music conservatories (e.g., Juilliard). View a list of arts boarding schools.
  • Religious boarding schools - these schools have an emphasis on a particular religion and spiritual growth. View a list of Christian boarding schools.
 
 
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Updated June 03, 2017 |
Boarding School Myths
Read about common boarding school myths in case your perception of boarding school is driven largely by popular movies and urban legend.
What are boarding schools really like anyway?
 
Even if you're just starting your boarding school research, there's a good chance you already have an impression of what boarding schools are like. Perhaps you have read The Catcher in the Rye or A Separate Peace. Or maybe you saw Dead Poets Society or School Ties.

These stories, while entertaining, take place in boarding school settings which are quite different from what you will actually find today. An excerpt from an article about college-preparatory boarding schools in The New York Times summarizes these differences well:
 
"To generations of students whose syllabuses include J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye," boarding school represents the winter of their adolescent discontent; a cold, distant place where parents threaten to send their children if they don't measure up. Parents dropped their children off in September, picked them up again in June and let the schoolmasters worry about what went on in between.

If Holden Caulfield were to return to school for Alumni Day 2001, he would find that the world of proctors and prefects, dorm teas and Mr. Chips has undergone a millennial thaw. Most of the approximately 36,000 students at boarding schools packed their bags willingly and are in daily e-mail contact with mom and dad. The ivy is no longer one shade of green. Students are as likely to room with a real prince of Thailand as with the fresh prince of Bel Air, as the schools reach farther into the public high
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Updated April 10, 2018 |
Why Boarding School?
Is boarding school right for you? Boarding schools offer a wealth of experiences in both learning and living which will do you well in later life.
Going to boarding school isn't an easy decision. You'll need to adjust to a new environment. The physical separation from your family and old friends can make the decision emotionally difficult. Financial costs are also a consideration. Is it worth it? Couldn't the same education and experience be offered by a private day school? Or a magnet school? Or a good public high school?
 
Things you should consider and compare:
 
Depending on where you live, local schooling options can compare to boarding schools in several ways. Nearby private day schools, magnet schools, or public high schools can naturally have very bright student bodies and qualified faculty. Academic and extracurricular offerings can also be equally challenging and diverse. If you're considering local options besides boarding school, compare these important considerations:
  • Attention to students - boarding schools generally have small class sizes that help teachers engage every student in the classroom. Classroom settings are often specifically designed to encourage student participation and eye contact among everyone in class.
  • Quality of faculty - the majority of boarding school faculty have advanced degrees in their subject.
  • Quality of resources - student resources at boarding schools, such as the libraries, arts facilities, and athletic complexes, are often better than those at many colleges and universities.
  • Challenging academics - academics at boarding schools operate at very high levels. Students are encouraged to question and discuss a wide array of subject matter in an environment where it is cool to learn.
  • Broad and diverse offerings - the academics at
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Recent Articles
Types of Boarding School
August 02, 2018
Explore the different types of boarding school options in the US. Find which type of boarding school is most appropriate for you.
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The quality of a summer camp depends very much on the quality and experience of the folks running it. When you select a summer program run by a boarding school, you are getting a program with experienced, well-organized professionals at the helm. More here.
Featured Schools
Featured Schools
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.