Getting Started

This section covers the basics of choosing a boarding school. Learn more about educational consultants, explore the dos and don’ts of making the right choice, and learn why you should trust your instincts. When is the right time to attend boarding school? What is a post-graduate year? How can an educational consultant help? Here you’ll find the answers to these questions and more.
View the most popular articles in Getting Started:
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Looking For Some Great Summer Programs?
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.
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Bellevue, Washington

We parents have many reasons for wanting to send our children off to a summer program at a boarding school. Whether you are looking to remediate a learning deficiency or improve an athletic skill, you will be able to find a summer program at a boarding school which meets your requirements. It didn't take me very long to find summer programs devoted to riding, figure skating, STEM, ESL, and dozens of other activities.

Searching for summer programs is easy on Boarding School Review. From our home page click on Find Schools. Then click on Advanced Search. Select the region and check the box at the bottom left of the screen for Summer Program.

Underlying all these activities is the high quality of supervision and program management you find in boarding schools. Boarding schools know how to look after young people. After all, they do it 24/7 during the school year. It's just part of their DNA. And that is reassuring to us parents. We most certainly want our children to be safe and happy, and not slip through the cracks.

What follows is a sampling of programs in the six regions of the United States to give you an overview of the wide range of activities available. I have included brief descriptions from the schools' websites, as well as links so that you can explore their summer programs easily. On some

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The Secret To Getting Into Boarding School
Actually, there is no secret to getting your child into boarding school. Just a lot of hard work and a heavy commitment of time.

It's a loaded statement, isn't it? Truthfully, there is no secret to getting your child into boarding school.  Getting your child into boarding school requires three things: a desire for that type of education, a well-organized, systematic approach for following the required steps in the admissions process, and the flexibility to follow the advice of professionals who know their schools.

Why should you consider boarding school as opposed to keeping your daughter in your local high school?  Review some of the talking-points which I mention in this article. These are much more important than they appear at first glance. You must discuss this drastic change of schools with your child, on her terms, and on her level. Leaving public school to go to boarding school must be her idea. Parents who make major decisions affecting their children unilaterally risk creating serious emotional issues later on. So, before you broach the idea of sending her off to boarding school, think through what you are going to say and her reaction to your words.

As you begin thinking about private schools, add you will schools from various sources to your initial list of potential schools. That’s fine. Accept all suggestions and advice in the early stages of your search for the right school or schools. Friends will suggest schools which their children attend. Family members will mention schools that your uncle or aunt attended. And so on. Finally, you will explore on your own. Boarding School Review is a

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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

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Education in the UK vs U.S.
A comprehensive overview of the difference between boarding schools in the US vs. UK.
Photo courtesy of EF Academy

The education systems in the U.S. and UK are ranked among the best in the world. With an emphasis on employing highly qualified teachers, providing students with opportunities for success inside and outside of the classroom and offering tailored support, the academic experiences offered at boarding schools in the U.S. and UK have their fair share of similarities, but they also have differences that ultimately distinguish the education on each side of the Atlantic Ocean.

1. Academics

In the UK, students often follow the A-Level academic program in their last two years of secondary school. This program culminates in internationally recognized qualifications, which means that it’s possible for A-Level students to apply to and attend university in the U.S. or other countries. But A-Levels are the standard pathway for entry to university in the UK. With the A-Level program, a student will focus on just three or four subjects that are related to what they would like to study at university, and then they apply to a specific field or program in line with their A-Level studies. In the U.S. students can follow the well-known IB or AP programs, but in addition to those qualifications, they can also receive a high school diploma.

To earn a high school diploma, a student in the U.S. will have to meet the academic requirements set by a state’s department of education. These requirements include all subjects – math, science, humanities, English, and arts, as well as additional electives. This means

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Why Are You Only Looking At Very Competitive Schools?
It makes sense to cast your net widely when looking at boarding schools. Here's why.
First of all let's define competitive. At its most basic level a competitive boarding school is one which admits less applicants than it receives applications from. For example, a school has a fixed admissions deadline of January 31 each year. Last year it received 250 applications for 100 places. That means that 150 applicants were not accepted by the school. Perhaps some of them were put on the waiting list but we will look at that later.
 
So, essentially a competitive boarding school receives more applicants than it has places which it can offer to those applicants. Within the scope of competitive schools are several subsets. There is nothing official here, of course, as no organization will officially state that such and such a school is a highly competitive school or a less competitive school and so on. Having said that, you do not have to know a lot about private schools to look at the data which our site Boarding School Review offers after doing a little sorting of acceptance rates. 
The other filter which we have to apply is for admissions to special schools. These schools which specialize in teaching students with learning disabilities, for example, have acceptance rates which are generally subject to other variables. In most cases we will classify these as non-competitive.
 
So, where are we going to set the bar? Anything below a 25% acceptance rate is very competitive. 26-50% is competitive. 51-75% is less competitive. Individual educational consultants will have their own scales
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Choosing a School

Getting Started