Readers' Questions

Updated February 28, 2017 |
Readers' Questions
Readers send dozens of questions via Facebook, Twitter and email. What do they ask? Readers want to know which is the best school in a particular country or region. A close second is figuring out how to pay for a private school education. Here are some readers' questions with my answers.

Over the years I have been asked hundreds of questions about boarding schools. What I find fascinating is that most of the questions are variations on the same question, namely,  "Which is the best school in...?" Readers understandably want to know which is the best school for their child. As they soon realize, there is no easy answer to their question. It is similar to finding an apartment or a house. You have to describe what it is that you are looking for. The second most common question I am asked is about scholarships. Paying for a boarding school education is a major concern for most parents. They need to know their options. So, against that backdrop, let's look at a couple of these inquiries together with my answers.

The question: "Hi there would u please suggest me best boarding school in Jakarta??"
My answer: "I am not familiar with private schools in Indonesia. I suggest that you ask the head teacher at a local school for guidance."

A quick Google search seemed to indicate that there are no western-style boarding schools in Indonesia.  In any case, I am not familiar with private schools in that part of the world. The other point I would have made if the reader had asked about schools in the U.S. or Canada, is that the best school is always the school which fits your requirements best. That does not necessarily mean that the school you choose is better than any other. It just happens to fit your needs and requirements the better than any other schools which you have looked at.

Boarding schools offer so much more than academics, as you can see in this video from The Taft School.

The question: "Hello, I'm from Bangladesh. I want to admit in a school in Canada at 12 grade. Which school will be great for me? By the way, I always achieved GPA 5.00 out of 5.00 in every exam? May I have any scholarship?"
My answer: "This link on Boarding School Review lists 21 schools in Canada. Canada is a very large country. So, first of all, decide which part of the country you wish to live in while away at school. You will have to take the TOEFL examination to prove your fluency in English. Admissions requirements for most schools include transcripts from your current school, teacher recommendations, as well as some form of admissions testing. If you need financial aid, ask the schools in which you are interested if you are eligible and what the application procedure is for financial aid."

Hopefully, the reader could attend a local event to meet admissions staff members from several overseas schools. Canadian and American schools often send teams overseas on recruiting trips in the fall. You can find details about those trips on the TABS site, as well as on individual school sites. Also, schools in which you express interest as an international student will alert you to local recruiting events. 

Boarding schools deliver academics in a variety of ways. Here is an overview of the Northfield Mount Hermon College Model Academic Program (CMAP). 

The question: "I'm looking for a boarding school that caters as from Grade 1 and for children with ADHD. Please assist."
My answer: "Most boarding schools in the United States and Canada offer high school, typically grades 9-12. There are about ten junior boarding schools which offer grades 4-5 through grade 9. Call the admissions offices of these schools and determine if some of them can provide the specialized teaching which your child requires. If you live in an urban area, you can probably find a school in your area which has teachers who specialize in teaching children with ADHD. That should cover the elementary school years. As one parent to another, I advise exploring your local options first." Use the Private School Review search engine to find schools in your area.

The idea behind my response is that children with learning difficulties should be assessed locally and a course of remediation implemented as soon as possible locally. The parent will have to devote much love, attention, and care to her child in order to achieve the kind of good results the child deserves and needs.

The question: "Can you suggest me a good high school with a good golf team ??? Thanks."
My answer:  "The search engine on Boarding School Review will produce a list of schools offering golf as a sport. You will have to do your own research and due diligence about the program and the staff who run it in order to determine whether the golf program at a particular school will meet your needs and requirements."

The search engines on both Boarding School Review and Private School Review have a number of filters which will allow you to find precisely the kind of school which you are looking for.

The question: "Hello, I was wondering if I could get some information on boarding schools and their scholarship."
My answer: "The first step is to identify schools which interest you. Use the search engine on Boarding School Review to look for schools. Then make a list of three to five schools which you feel meet your requirements. Finally contact each school individually and ask about their financial aid programs. There are a couple of free boarding schools Take a look at these and see whether you qualify. Good luck!"

The question: "My name is Abdulhafiz Baker. I finished grade 10 last year I have 4.0 grade from Ethiopian national exam. I have also good school transcript. I also participated in natural and HIV clubs. Please  if possible help me to learn in your school or tell me if other schools could support me."
My answer: "Apply to schools which you can find using the search engine on Boarding School Review. You will need to take the TOEFL, as well as complete the other admissions requirements for each school to which you decide to apply. Begin your search eighteen months before the date of your proposed first class. You will need plenty of time to obtain a Student Visa in order to enter the United States." 

Perhaps a single sex school is the right solution. Take a look at what McCallie School offers.

If you are interested in attending a boarding school in the United States or Canada, explore individual school websites to find schools which you  think might be ones which you would like to attended. Then email each individual school's admissions office and ask for information. If you have specific questions about a school's program, don't hesitate to ask those questions. You will find boarding school admissions offices only too happy to help.

More questions? Contact me on Twitter. @privateschl


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