Reflections and Advice:
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Emma Willard's home on Mount Ida is in itself one of a kind. The moment you step on campus, you enter a different world of gray stone walls and unbridled passion. Emma Willard's small, close-knit environment encourages girls to pursue their passions, whether that means exploring a wide range of new interests or delving deeply into a predetermined focus. Emma has a very collaborative environment that teaches girls to work well in teams as well as take strong leadership roles. Every person at Emma Willard is over-the-top supportive of everything from in-class success to off-campus activities. The advisers and teachers will do whatever it takes to see you have success as well as your willing to put in the effort.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Emma Willard really helped me grow as both a student and a person. Going into Emma, I was very scared about being able to take on such a rigorous academic environment. Emma taught me that there are no limits to my abilities and that I really can do anything I set my mind to. Emma allowed me to delve into my academic interests and go into college with a well-developed idea of what I want to major in and volunteer activities I'd like to pursue.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I was very nervous when I first got to Emma, and I was afraid to really explore my interests. Don't be afraid to really get involved right away! Everyone at Emma is really excited about involving new students.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Emma allowed me to learn so much about myself, my interests, and where I want to go with the rest of my life. Emma gave me amazing friends to help me through the difficult teenage years and amazing teachers to help me explore my academic interests. I definitely feel like I had opportunities that I would have never had at any other school.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Take as many opportunities as you can to get to know your teachers and fellow students. Your relationships are what will really be important to you in your life after Emma!
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics at Emma Willard are definitely rigorous. The small class sizes and Harkness method, round-table teaching style push girls to their limits in interesting in-class discussions. Emma's academics are strong across the board, allowing any girl to find what she is really interested in. Girls are free to explore new interests in base-level classes or pursue their passions in more intense AP classes. Every one of my teachers in my four years at Emma were absolutely spectacular teachers both in and out of the classroom, and they were always willing to give extra help when asked. The learning environment is extremely collaborative, with a lot of help coming from peer-tutor groups that exist for almost every subject. My academic experience at Emma led me to publishing my sophomore history research paper in the Concord Review and doing original research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Emma provides extremely unique opportunities for girls to explore their interests and talents.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Athletic activities are mandatory at Emma for all students, but there are lots of ways to fulfill the requirement, including varsity sports, PE classes, dance classes, and off-campus practicums. I played on Emma's very competitive varsity tennis team for four years. In my time on the team, we won two section II AA team championships, two section II doubles championships, and a section II singles championships, and we qualified many players for the NY state tennis tournament. The JV teams at Emma are attainable for girls with very little experience, and the varsity teams are very competitive within their divisions. Teams do a lot of bonding activities including team dinners and team spirit on game days. Overall, the athletics at Emma are a lot of fun!
Art, Music, and Theatre:
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
There is an arts requirement at Emma for both performing and visual arts, but they are very easy to fulfill. I wasn't really interested in visual arts at all, but I took a photography class the fall of my sophomore year to fulfill the requirement at actual loved it. For un-artistic girls like me, there's an option to take art classes credit/no credit so you don't have to worry about being graded. For my performing arts credit, I was in the choir for four semesters, and it was always a lot of fun.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There is a HUGE abundance of extracurricular activities at Emma Willard. The hardest part is deciding which ones you want to participate in! I actively participated in the animal rights club SOAR, which involved volunteer work at the local animal shelter. There are many different clubs focused on areas of interest, service, and awareness. If you have an interest that does not have a club currently on campus, it is VERY easy to start a new organization. My senior year, my best friend and I started a new STEM Club because we were both very interested in the science fields. All it took was asking a faculty member to advise us and gathering a few friends who would participate, and we ended up with over 30 members in our first year! One of the unique clubs to Emma is the Fair Trade Club, which established Emma as the first Fair Trade high school in the country.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
As a day student, I felt very involved in dorm life. There were many nights I slept over in my boarding friends' rooms, and I felt completely at home! Each dorm hall has a senior proctor, a senior or junior peer educator, and an adult houseparent, so there are always people to help you with anything you need. Each day student is associated with a hall for all-school events. As a freshman or new student, day students also have their own day student proctor and peer ed.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The food at Emma is actually really good. Even as a day student, I usually found myself eating three meals a day. The whole school has the same lunch period, which is nice to be able to meet with teachers, clubs, teams, or hang out with friends from other classes and grade levels. There's always a salad bar, fruit, yogurt, soups, and a variety of hot meal options. The dining hall staff is very friendly and accommodating for any food allergies and special needs.
Social and Town Life:
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Emma Willard is located in New York's bustling capital district. There are many opportunities in the area for outside study including the neighboring Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, GE Research Center, SUNY Albany, and New York government buildings. Emma has great connections to the community to provide for unique extracurricular opportunities. Emma is also just a short trip from Boston and New York City.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Everyone at Emma is so unique. There are girls from very different states, countries, interests, and cultures. There are so many communities to be part of within Emma, such as dorm halls, sports teams, clubs, and classes. My favorite part of the social life at Emma is the huge variety of friends you find across grade levels. By the time you graduate, you've likely had classes, played on sports teams, and participated in clubs with girls in every grade. You have a ring sister in the class above you and the class below, as well as a sister class two years below and above you. There are girls I met at Emma that I know will be my best friends for the rest of my life.
Alumni Reviews Review School
Emma Willard School Alumni #1
Class of 2014
Class of 2014
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. . .
Emma Willard School Alumni #2
Class of 2014
Washington University in St. Louis
Class of 2014
Washington University in St. Louis
Emma Willard's home on Mount Ida is in itself one of a kind. The moment you step on campus, you enter a different world of gray stone walls and unbridled passion. Emma Willard's small, close-knit. . .
Emma Willard School Alumni #3
Class of 2010
Class of 2010
One of my favorite parts about Emma Willard was the round table method of teaching. All humanities classes were taught around a round table, so that all of the students could see one another. Teachers. . .
Show more reviews (6 reviews)
Navigating the Modern Maze: Emerging Challenges for Boarding Schools
Explore the pressing challenges facing boarding schools, from marketing difficulties and rising insurance costs to facility maintenance and recruitment of competent trustees and teachers. This article delves into these complex issues and proposes innovative strategies to overcome them.
What To Wear at Your Job Interview
Navigating job interviews can be stressful, but knowing what to wear shouldn't be. Our comprehensive guide covers the essential dress code tips for men and women interviewing at boarding schools. Make your first impression count with style and professionalism.
July 23, 2023Boarding School Pros and Cons: History and Common Misconceptions
We address common misconceptions about boarding schools, shedding light on the actual experiences versus perceived notions. Ideal for parents contemplating this educational choice for their children, the essay provides a balanced perspective on the topic.