Do you like large schools or small schools? Are you most comfortable in a city, small town or countryside? Are you interested in attending a school that has a religious or military orientation? Would you like to attend a school that is only for boys or girls? These are some questions you must ask yourself before you begin your search for the right U.S. boarding school for you.
Single-sex schools, those for boys only or girls only, are some of the oldest boarding schools in the U.S.A. As a student at one of these schools, you will have the chance to study in a less socially distracting atmosphere. For girls, single-sex schools can often provide greater opportunity to pursue leadership roles in both academic and extracurricular life.
Florida Air Academy, located near the Kennedy Space Center, uses modern airplanes and simulators as part of their flying programs, which begin as early as the seventh grade. Upon completion of flight training, students may obtain a private pilot's license and are eligible for entry into professional training programs. Not surprisingly, many Florida Air graduates pursue careers in military and commercial aviation.
St. John's Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin is a private, all-male college preparatory and leadership
- All-boys or all-girls boarding schools - while fewer in number, there are a number of single-sex boarding schools in the USA. View a list of all-girls boarding schools or all-boys boarding schools.
- Military schools - these boarding schools also prepare students for college-life, with the addition of military-type discipline and structure. View a list of military boarding schools.
- Pre-professional arts schools - these schools specialize in helping students train and become artists in a variety of fields such as music, visual arts, theatre, ballet, and creative writing. Students are prepared for entrance into either traditional colleges or specialty schools like music conservatories (e.g., Juilliard). View a list of arts boarding schools.
- Religious boarding schools - these schools have an emphasis on a particular religion and spiritual growth. View a list of Christian boarding schools.
These stories, while entertaining, take place in boarding school settings which are quite different from what you will actually find today. An excerpt from an article about college-preparatory boarding schools in The New York Times summarizes these differences well:
If Holden Caulfield were to return to school for Alumni Day 2001, he would find that the world of proctors and prefects, dorm teas and Mr. Chips has undergone a millennial thaw. Most of the approximately 36,000 students at boarding schools packed their bags willingly and are in daily e-mail contact with mom and dad. The ivy is no longer one shade of green. Students are as likely to room with a real prince of Thailand as with the fresh prince of Bel Air, as the schools reach farther into the public high
- Attention to students - boarding schools generally have small class sizes that help teachers engage every student in the classroom. Classroom settings are often specifically designed to encourage student participation and eye contact among everyone in class.
- Quality of faculty - the majority of boarding school faculty have advanced degrees in either education or another specialty.
- Quality of resources - student resources at boarding schools - such as the library, theater facilities, or athletic complexes - can often be superior relative to local options.
- Challenging academics - academics at boarding schools operate at high standards. Students are pushed to "ask why," become inquisitive, and tackle challenging problems.
- Broad and diverse offerings - course selections at boarding schools tend to be quite diverse, have