Shady Side Academy

423 Fox Chapel Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
Shady Side Academy Photo #1 - Rowe Hall is the Senior School's main academic building residing at the heart of its 130 acre campus which feels like a small college. The campus also includes 2 dormitories, dedicated buildings for the visual and performing arts, an extensive athletic complex and ice rink, and in 2018 the McIlroy Center for Science and Innovation.
Shady Side Academy Photo #1 - Rowe Hall is the Senior School's main academic building residing at the heart of its 130 acre campus which feels like a small college. The campus also includes 2 dormitories, dedicated buildings for the visual and performing arts, an extensive athletic complex and ice rink, and in 2018 the McIlroy Center for Science and Innovation.
Shady Side Academy Photo #2 - On the weekends, boarders are offered a range of activities from trips to the mall to cultural and sporting events that take advantage of our Pittsburgh location. A sample includes kayaking, city tours including the incline, baseball games, plays, movie nights and sampling the local cuisine. Brunch is on campus Saturday and Sunday.
Shady Side Academy Photo #3 - The small size of our boarding program, and the school's Pittsburgh location, are meaningful competitive advantages for students. Creating a Home Away from Home - a family-style environment with a culture of support - drives our student to residential life faculty ratio of 2:1.
Shady Side Academy Photo #4 - The classroom environment is inquiry based and students sit at Harkness tables or in small groups. These settings encourage discussion, debate and collaboration. The average class size is 15 with a student to teacher ratio of 8:1.
Shady Side Academy Photo #5 - 5- and 7-day boarders live in two single gender residence halls. The boarding population is diverse with students coming from different regions and countries and with varied interests and talents. Students have access to the campus facilities after hours and the student leaders, Prefects, plan activities including feeds, holiday events, Tuesday Night Football and Wednesday World Cup.
Shady Side Academy Photo #6 - The campus has a number of outdoor spaces that teachers and students use for class, to study or to just enjoy time with friends.
Shady Side Academy Photo #7 - The Benedum Visual Arts Center offers a range of 2-D and 3-D art electives as well as media arts classes. There are studios for painting, metal and wood working, ceramics, a dark room and an art gallery to display student work. In addition to classes, students come during their free time and boarders have an evening art club.
Shady Side Academy Photo #8 - The Hillman Center for the Performing Arts features a 650 seat theater, a black box theater, numerous rehearsal spaces as well as housing classrooms for the band and choral programs at the Senior School. Each year numerous Shady Side concerts and shows are presented as well as community events through the Hillman Performing Arts Series.
Shady Side Academy Photo #9 - The Senior School fields 30 highly competitive varsity teams in 17 sports for boys and girls. At the lower levels, the emphasis is on being active to encourage healthy choices, and learning the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship. Athletic facilities include an ice rink, squash courts, a swimming pool, 6 athletic fields, baseball facility, track and tennis courts.
Shady Side Academy Photo #10 - Shady Side Academy has 3 full-time college counselors who work as a team to help all students reach their future goals. They are dedicated to assisting students in finding best fit colleges and universities that will nurture their abilities and undiscovered talents, while allowing them to realize their career aspirations. 100% of students matriculate to college or university annually.
The Senior School (grades 9-12, optional five- and seven- day boarding program available) offers a rigorous college preparatory curriculum driven by a traditional liberal arts philosophy, where students begin to make curricular choices as early as their freshman year. A great range of opportunities exists for students to discover their talents and experience success. The program is comprehensive and allows students to learn through a variety of experiences while working closely with peers and faculty members in the classroom, art studio, playing field and even the dining hall. Every experience contributes to the learning and development of students. 100% of Shady Side Academy seniors matriculate to highly respected colleges and universities supported by the efforts of three full-time college counselors.

Quick Stats (2024)

  • Grades: (Boarding) 9-12
  • Enrollment: 470 students
  • Yearly Tuition (Boarding Students): $59,525
  • Yearly Tuition (Day Students): $36,975
  • Average class size: 15 students
  • Application Deadline: Feb. 1 / rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

Top Rankings

Shady Side Academy ranks among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 287 schools) for:

Student Test Scores

School Overview

Definition of Terms | 2023 School Data
Shady Side Academy
Boarding School Avg.
School Focus
College Preparatory
College Preparatory
Grades Offered (Boarding)
School Type
Religious Affiliation
Year Founded
Campus Size
130 acres
126 acres

Student Body

470 students
315 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding
Average SAT Score
(Out of 1600)
* National Avg. »View
SAT range (25th-75th percentile)
1220 - 1440
Average ACT score
(Out of 36)
*National Avg. »View
Offers Post-Grad Year

Academics and Faculty

Saturday Classes
Classroom Dress Code
Average Class Size
15 students
* National Avg. »18
Student : Teacher Ratio
# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered
ESL Courses Offered
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program Offered
Summer Program Details

Tuition Cost

Endowment Size
$60 million
$27 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
Tuition international students
Yearly Tuition
(5 Day Boarding)
% Students on Financial Aid
Avg. Financial Aid Grant
Merit Scholarships Offered

Acceptance Rate

Application Deadline
Feb. 1 / rolling
Jan. 15
SSAT Required
Director of Admissions
Meredith Colicchie
Bob Grandizio

AP / Advanced Courses

# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered
AP Computer Science, Calculus AB , Calculus BC, Chinese V AP, French V AP, German V AP, Spanish V AP



Total Extracurricular Organizations
Club or Organization:
Academian (Yearbook), Angles, Art Club, Astronomy Club, Black Student Union, Board Game Club, Cancer Awareness Club, Chiapas, Chinese Club, Christian Fellowship, Club for Animal Respect and Education (CARE), Dance Club, Democratic Student Union, Diversity Leadership Council, Drama Club, Dumbledore's Army, Egerian (Literary Magazine), Environmental Club, Film Club, Finance Club, French Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, Jewish Student Union, Latin Club, Learning Difference Awareness Club, Library Ambassadors, Math Club, Model U.N., Patriot Society, Philosophy Club, Piano Club, Political Science Club, Portfolio Art Club, Pre-Med Club, Quiz Bowl Team, Refugee Relations, Robotics Club, Science Olympiad, Service Learning, Spanish Club, Speach and Debate Team, SSA App Club, SSA Makes a Difference, SSA News, Students Activities Board, Video Game Club, Volunteering for Veterans, World Quest, Writing Center

Arts and Music Programs:
Chamber Choir, Concert Band, Concert Choir, Hillman Volunteer Ushers, Intonations (male a cappella), Jazz Ensemble, String Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Technical Theater

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Adventure Sports, Crew, Fitness, Ice Hockey, Swimming, Yoga

College Matriculation

Year: 2014 - 2017
10 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
University of Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania State University
University of Pennsylvania
Carnegie Mellon University
Washington University of St. Louis
Bucknell University
George Washington University
Elon University
New York University
Georgetown University

School Notes

  • Shady Side Academy is a nationally respected private school in Pittsburgh for boys and girls in grades PK-12, with an optional boarding experience in high school. Four age-specific campuses with extraordinary resources, teachers who actively mentor, a forward-thinking curriculum, a diverse and inclusive community, and a legacy of alumni accomplishments all inspire Shady Side students to high achievement in academics, the arts, and athletics, and to meaningful ambitions in life.
  • Shady Side offers two options for an enriching boarding experience. Five-day boarding allows those who live close by to spend time with family on weekends. Seven-day boarding is great for students who live beyond commuting distance and want to open themselves to further opportunities through weekend cultural, educational and service activities that take advantage of our campus and the city of Pittsburgh.
  • At Shady Side, there is a balanced approach to education with a commitment to students' academic, physical and emotional development. Putting that approach into action is a caring faculty and staff dedicated to fostering a true love of learning. Small class sizes encourage a strong sense of community and Shady Side`s academic program provides a challenging yet nurturing atmosphere in which learning occurs at the highest levels.
  • The broad academic program exists in an atmosphere that encourages inquiry, questioning, self-determination, and creativity. Arts and athletics are an integral part of the curriculum. Music, visual and performing arts are intertwined at all levels of learning, and students are encouraged to explore an array of athletic options to find the sport or activity best for them.  Extracurricular activities and clubs support students` diverse interests.
  • Faculty members are leaders in their respective fields. Seventy-one percent hold advanced degrees, and they participate regularly in professional development activities. They believe in a traditional approach to learning while developing creative curricula and determining how to best meet the needs of individual students. Senior School students (grades 9 - 12) refine critical thinking, writing and analytical skills that distinguish them in the college search, while three full-time college counselors help them prepare for the next stage of their academic careers. The Academy enjoys a 100 percent college matriculation rate.
  • Shady Side Academy accreditations: National Association of Independent Schools//The Association of Boarding School
  • Sample of notable school alumni/alumnae:
    • David McCullough '51 - Pulitzer Prize winning author
    • Bentley Weiner '92 - VP and Senior Producer, HBO Sports
    • Christian Borle '91 - Broadway actor, Tony Award recipient
    • Courtney Hershey Bress '92 - Principal Harpist, Colorado Symphony Orchestra
    • Jonathan Zittrain '87 - Professor of Law, Harvard University, Former Chair of FCC Open Internet Advisory Committee
    • Nia Phillips '08 - Producer Good Morning America, Emmy Award recipient
    • Chris Meyer '84 - Research Zoologist, Smithsonian Institute
    • Marisa Muscari '01 - Senior Manager, Activision
    • Peter Ackerman '88 - Actor, writer, producer. Ice Age films and the Amazon series, The Americans
Source: Verified school update

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Shady Side Academy cost?
Shady Side Academy's tuition is approximately $59,525 for boarding students and $36,975 for day students.
Who are famous alumni from Shady Side Academy?
Shady Side Academy famous alumni include: David McCullough '51, Bentley Weiner '92, Christian Borle '91, Courtney Hershey Bress '92, Jonathan Zittrain '87, Nia Phillips '08, Chris Meyer '84, Marisa Muscari '01 and Peter Ackerman '88.
What sports does Shady Side Academy offer?
Shady Side Academy offers 19 interscholastic sports: Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Cheering, Crew, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Ultimate Frisbee and Volleyball.
Does Shady Side Academy offer a summer program?
Yes, Shady Side Academy offers a summer program. Visit their summer school page for more information.
What is Shady Side Academy's ranking?
Shady Side Academy ranks among the top 20 boarding schools for Most extracurriculars offered and High average SAT scores.
When is the application deadline for Shady Side Academy?
The application deadline for Shady Side Academy is Feb. 1 / rolling (applications are due on Feb. 1 but additional applications are reviewed year-round as space permits ).

Alumni Reviews Review School


Class of 2019
University of California -- San Diego
At SSA, sports are required and there is a designated club period between the end of school and when most sports begin. I think this provides a lot of motivation for students to be involved. . .
Submit Review for Shady Side Academy
Earn $20 by submitting your alumni review!

Recent Articles

10 Things You Must Not Forget When Applying
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.
5 More Founders and the Schools Their Gifts Established
5 More Founders and the Schools Their Gifts Established
Vision. Generosity. High-minded principles. These are the hallmarks of the benefactors of the five schools featured in this article.
5 More Schools and Their Founders
5 More Schools and Their Founders
A private school in its infancy is quite different from the mature community it becomes over time. I wonder what the founders of these five schools would think about them today. I bet they would be very proud of their creations.

Featured Schools

Quick Stats (2024)

  • Grades: (Boarding) 9-12
  • Enrollment: 470 students
  • Yearly Tuition (Boarding Students): $59,525
  • Yearly Tuition (Day Students): $36,975
  • Average class size: 15 students
  • Application Deadline: Feb. 1 / rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

Request Information

Related School Videos

Quick Links