Boarding schools must never forget that they are businesses. Private schools must continually attract new students to stay in business. Public schools have a steady supply of students. That supply is more or less guaranteed by the fact that public schools must take every child living within their jurisdiction. Private schools do not have a built-in supply of new students. They have to go out and find those students the old-fashioned way, by selling the school and its attributes to every family they can.
In several ways, boarding schools are a tougher product to sell than private day schools. As much as a boarding school makes great sense regarding the complete package it offers, many parents find it difficult to send their children off to a residential school in 9th or 10th grade. Parents may be aware of a couple of boarding schools which family and friends attended. On the other hand, most parents do not know much about individual boarding school programs.
I have written this article with boarding schools which do not have a full-time marketing department in mind. These schools have talented admissions and administrative staff who have to wear many hats, often all at once. So, I hope that my suggestions and advice will help them stay on brand. You see, a boarding school has to market its story and make its case to a customer base which consists of families with children in 6th through 9th grades. Reaching these families is the key to full enrollment
k = Kindle
n = Nook
s = Sony
i = iPad
Most of these titles can also be dowloaded from your local library in eReader format. Happy reading!
The Best of the Best: Becoming Elite at an American Boarding School by Ruben A. Gaztambide-Fernandez
This is a serious book written by a Harvard education student who spent 2 years embedded in an American boarding school.
Black Ice by Lorene Cary
Lorene Cary recounts her experiences as the first African-American female student at prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire.
Perfectly Prep: Gender Extremes at a New England Prep School by Sarah A. Chase
The author is a professional anthropologist who examines gender in all its manifestations in boarding school.
Pipestone: My Life in an Indian Boarding School by Adam Fortunate Eagle
The author attended an Indian boarding school run by the Federal Government back in the '30s.
Preparing For Power: America's Elite Boarding Schools by Peter W. Cookson Jr, Caroline Hodges Persell
The authors are New York University sociologists. As a result Preparing for Power offers a documented, well-research look at private schools and the how's and why's of their success in positioning leaders of business, the professionals
You must never assume that, just because a school enjoys a solid reputation, has been there forever and looks wonderful on the surface, it will provide the kind of teaching you want and expect for your child. Doing your due diligence with respect to curriculum and how it is taught has to be one of the most important parts of your school evaluation process.
Here's how to proceed.