Reflections on Sending Our Daughter to Boarding School

Updated May 24, 2016 |
Reflections on Sending Our Daughter to Boarding School
Are you thinking about sending your daughter off to boarding school? Go for it!
We went our eldest daughter off to boarding school in 10th grade. That was back in the 80s. While the times were most certainly different from the 21st century, our motivation for making such a major decision would be the same today as it was back then. Let me tell the story which I hope will give you the courage to send your daughter (or son, for that matter) off to boarding school. It's well worth it.

Our Rationale
We were busy parents with careers and two children. The girls were five years apart. One in junior high. The other in elementary school. We lived in a little town in northwestern Connecticut. You had to drive ten miles to get to anything. Literally. While the regional high school was doing a good job, it was limited in the number of academic courses and extras which it could provide our daughter. Not only that, she had to be driven everywhere to participate in sports or extracurricular activities. With those factors looming large, we sat down one day with her and asked "What do you think about going off to boarding school?" There was a rather enthusiastic acceptance of the idea. Probably because she realized that she would no longer be trapped in her circumstances. It would be a chance to see something different. To experience something new.

Our Boarding School Exploration Process
Looking back, I cannot honestly call it a school search process. There was no Internet via
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Updated March 08, 2018 |
Is Boarding School Right for Your Child?
Are you wondering whether boarding school is right for your child? Answer these five questions and you will be better able to determine whether it is.

 Is boarding school right for your child? Honestly, it probably is. But you will never know until you explore the idea thoroughly. I advise you to tune out the negative things you read about boarding schools. After all, the media tends to focus on sensational stories which hardly show boarding schools as they really are. Go see for yourself. A quick call or an email is all it takes to make an appointment for a visit. The other consideration which keeps many parents from even considering a boarding school education is the cost. Schools have very generous financial aid programs. The admissions staff at any boarding school will be only too happy to explain how financial aid works.

Now that we have those considerations out of the way, answer these questions to help you make that important decision about sending your child off to a residential school.

1. Do you want to stretch your child?

If you are content with the status quo, then boarding school is probably not a good idea. Why? Because by going to boarding school your child will be embarking on an incredible adventure. She will be exposed to all kinds of new ideas and different points of view. She will be able to select academic courses which will enrich and challenge her. She will be in small classes where she cannot hide in the corner. Her opinion and ideas will matter. Her strengths will be expanded. Her weaknesses will be addressed

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Updated June 08, 2016 |
Is It Too Late?
Can you get your children into private school well after the admissions deadlines have passed? The answer is a guarded "Yes!"

Your husband has just called to say that he got the promotion. The increase in responsibilities and the money make the move exciting. But it's July. And you will be relocating across the country. What are you going to do about the children's schooling? They have just finished 8th and 10th grade in the local public schools which happen to be in a really fine disctrict. It's too late to apply to a private school, isn't it?

This scenario gets played out in thousands of households all over the globe. If your spouse works for a multi-national firm, chances are that he will have to spend some time abroad. It's also pretty certain that your children will have to move in the middle of an academic year. Business never seems to pay heed to school calendars. Business is business and has a mind of its own.

So, is it too late to get your children into a private school? Absolutely not. And, frankly, if you have any idea that future moves may be in the offing, you need to consider seriously settling your children into boarding school. The stability of boarding school will help insulate your children from the stress and strain of moving.

Admissions After the Deadlines

Truthfully you will probably not be able to get your children into one of the very selective, highly competitive boarding schools UNLESS you or your spouse went to one of those schools. It would certainly be a long

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Updated February 07, 2018
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 February 13, 2018 |
10 Things You Must Not Forget When Applying
There's a lot involved in selecting the right boarding school. Don't forget these ten important things when you apply.

As you begin the process of selecting a boarding school for your child, keep the following ten items in mind. 

1. Submit your application before the deadline.
 
Waiting until the last minute to submit an application is never a good idea. Make sure your child's admissions folder is completed well before the admissions deadline. Admissions staff are intrinsically well-organized and detailed-oriented. They will appreciate the care and concern which you have shown to complete the file as soon as you can. After all, they can only begin their review process once the file is complete. If a school does not have a fixed admissions deadline but instead uses rolling admissions, the same rules of the road apply. Submit your application and all the supporting materials as soon as possible.
 
2. Give recommendation forms to your child's teachers early.
 
Don't hand the teacher recommendation forms to the teachers the week before they are due. That's discourteous, to say the least. Don't forget to put a stamp on all the return envelopes. Teachers will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Recommendation forms take time and care to complete. Give your child's teachers as much time as you possibly can to accomplish this task.
 
3. Schedule testing a month or more before the deadlines.
 
While you can schedule testing at the last minute and in some cases even do walk-ins, last minute test registration is not recommended unless you have no other alternatives. Bookmark the test schedule for easy

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