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.
View the most popular articles in About Boarding Schools:
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   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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Updated   June 19, 2017 |
10 Top Reasons to Go to Boarding School
There are many reasons to go to boarding school. The academics, the athletics and the extracurricular activities are just a few considerations. Here are the 10 top reasons why you should go to boarding school.
Why should you consider sending your child to boarding school? Wouldn't she do just as well at day school? This is a common question for parents to ponder as they review their private school options. You have made the decision to send him to private school in principle. Now it is just a matter of working out the details.
 
There are many reasons to go to boarding school. The academics, the athletics and the extracurricular activities are just a few of the considerations. But there's more. Much more. Here are the 10 top reasons why you should go to boarding school.
 
10. You will get great teachers who love to teach.
 
Boarding schools traditionally hire teachers with degrees in their subjects. As well a large number of these experienced teachers have advanced degrees in their field. Typically all are passionate about their subject and love to teach it to young people. Because discipline is rarely a problem in boarding school, these talented teachers get to teach without having to be traffic cops or paper pushers like their public school counterparts.
 
9. You will have great sports and sports facilities.
 
Most boarding schools have amazing sports facilities. The range of sports and teams is mind-boggling. You will find everything from squash to crew, hockey to basketball. Natatoria are common. So are equestrian facilities. Many boarding school fitness facilities make commercial fitness establishments look tame. The varsity teams travel regionally and globally to compete. (Think Henley and Head of the Charles, for example, in crew.) Look
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