Emma Willard School - Review #6

Read more details about Emma Willard School on their 2024 profile page.
Emma Willard School

About the Author:

Years Attended Boarding School:
Sports and Activities:
While at Emma, I was very musically oriented! I was in the choir, inner-choir, and the acapella choral group for all four years and I was head of choir my senior year. I was in the jazz band and orchestra (I played the trumpet). I was part of the Mock Trial team for four years and I was captain of it my junior year. I was also a Proctor on S2X as a senior.
College Enrolled:
Marymount University
Home Town, State:
Newburgh, NY, NY

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
EWS is unique in that it enables the students to find what they love and pursue it as much as possible. There is no typical Emma girl and that is what makes the school so great. Attending school at Emma Willard was an empowering experience, no one ever told you something you wanted to achieve wasn't possible, instead everyone from the houseparents to the teachers, to the coaches enforced the idea that we could achieve anything.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
The best thing that happened to me while in boarding school was figuring out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life while having more fun and making better friends than I would’ve thought possible. Emma Willard let me explore many areas of study and allowed me to pursue what I was really interested in. Also, attending boarding school and being given a certain level of independence and responsibility allowed me to mature much faster than I think I would’ve otherwise. Because of Emma I went to a college I wouldn’t have even heard of if I had stayed home and this allowed me to continue to challenge myself and pursue my goals.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I should've done more, even if just to try it out for a while. Emma has so many activities, classes, and opportunities that I should've tried to involve myself in. It is rare in the "real world" to get have so many options presented to you so easily.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I love the sense of community at Emma. Everyone knows each other and interacts together through classes and dorms. I love that we got to know our teachers outside of class and learn from their experiences, not just from what they taught us in class. I credit many of my teachers at Emma with inspiring me to begin my work in psychology and more importantly, my career in a helping profession.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
I would not be the person I am today if I didn't attended Emma Willard. Because I was willing to take a risk and leave home at 14 (which was really scary at the time!), I have benefited in ways that I never even imagined. You don't know what you are capable of unless you challenge yourself and Emma Willard will help you with that process!


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics at Emma Willard are rigorous. There are high expectations for Emma girls but they are there to help you learn as much as possible. I loved my electives at Emma, which allowed me to pursue specific interests, like Neuroscience and Forensic Science, and find my strengths as an academic. I was also extremely well prepared for college because of the quality of work that teachers at Emma expected from students.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was not very involved in athletics while at Emma. I took several gym and dance classes which I enjoyed but I am not an athlete.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I loved the art classes I took at Emma. I took ceramics classes and really enjoyed them. I was not as artistic as many of my peers, but I spent most of my time taking part in musical activities.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I typically took part in musical activities as extracurriculars but I was also very involved in the Mock Trial team all four years of high school. I loved Mock Trial. I got to learn about concepts and topics I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise and I loved the competitions we took part in. We got great advice and coaching from two faculty members and overall, we just had a great time as a team.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Emma Willard has a pretty tight-knit dorm environment because all of our dorms are connected. As a freshman I lived on the freshman hall with all the other girls in my grade, which was a really great way to introduce new students to the boarding environment. I made all of my best friends through my interactions with them in the dorm. And as an upperclasswoman, I still found that the dorms were a great way to meet new people that I might not have otherwise gotten to know. Proctors and houseparents are hugely helpful to adjusting and doing well in a boarding environment because they're such an effective support system. They encourage you to have fun at evening snack ("Tea") and other hall events. I loved living in the dorms and all the fun we got to have together when we were done working for the day!


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Emma has a pretty good dining facility. When I attended, we had two dining halls and there was usually a wide variety of food options. I thought the options were typically pretty healthy and tasty. Now, the dining hall is Fair Trade, which is great!

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
As a student at Emma, I was pretty well acquainted with the walk from the campus to the CVS and nearby restaurants. I think the area has gotten even better and more walking-accessible since I was a student. On weekends, we typically went on outings to the mall or movies, or occasionally to a destination further away like a museum or theme park.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I loved being a part of a tight-knit community that included students, teachers, houseparents, etc. Typically events would be planned for students on the weekends to keep us entertained, such as trips off campus. While Emma Willard is an academically rigorous environment, there was time to watch movies with your houseparent and your hall, or order in sushi, or have a dance party with your friends (we had a lot of dance parties). I'd say that the thing I liked most about the social life at Emma Willard was that I got to have my best friends around all the time.

Daily Schedule:

7:00 AM
8:00 AM
Morning Reports
9:00 AM
10:30 AM
Art of the Essay (English elective)
11:45 AM
Inner Choir rehearsal
12:15 AM
1:45 PM
AP Statistics
3:15 PM
African Studies
5:00 PM
Choir rehearsal
6:00 PM
10:00 AM
11:00 AM
Dance party
1:00 PM
Trip to the mall
5:30 PM
Order in pizza or sushi
8:00 PM
Watch a movie with friends
Read more details about Emma Willard School on their 2024 profile page.

Alumni Reviews Review School

Emma Willard School Alumni #1
Class of 1980
5.00 7/19/2017
DePauw University
I visited many girls boarding schools. Emma Willard seemed to have a much higher academic standard and huge push to refine analytic skills. The student population was very well mannered. No one was there because. . .
Emma Willard School Alumni #2
Class of 1980
5.00 7/19/2017
University of Michigan
Emma Willard's campus and the friendliness of my student tour guide and others we met while on the tour were the most important factors in my then 14-year-old decision to apply to and then attend. . .
Emma Willard School Alumni #3
Class of 2014
5.00 12/27/2014
Northeastern University
Emma Willard is especially good at facilitating discussion based classrooms using the Harkness Method. I am finding now that I am in college classes that are all large lectures that Emma Willard's teachers were especially. . .
Show more reviews (6 reviews)

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Quick Stats (2024)

  • Enrollment: 356 students
  • Yearly Tuition (Boarding Students): $69,970
  • Yearly Tuition (Day Students): $43,600
  • Application Deadline: Feb. 1 / rolling
  • Source: Verified school update