Boarding schools conjure images of ivy-covered buildings, uniformed students, and an old-fashioned approach to education. But in reality, boarding schools are more diverse than you might think. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: People choose boarding schools for the academic rigor, college prep, extracurricular opportunities, and the community living experience.

Academic Rigor

One of the primary reasons why people choose to send their children to boarding schools is the academic rigor that these institutions offer. Boarding schools are known for providing a challenging and advanced curriculum that prepares students for higher education and future careers.

Advanced curriculum

Boarding schools often provide a more advanced curriculum than traditional public or private schools. They offer a wide range of academic subjects, including advanced mathematics, sciences, and languages, allowing students to explore their interests and excel in their areas of strength.

This advanced curriculum helps students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills, which are highly valued in today’s competitive job market.

Small class sizes

In addition to an advanced curriculum, boarding schools usually have smaller class sizes compared to public schools. This allows for more personalized attention from teachers and fosters a supportive learning environment.

With fewer students in each class, teachers can give individualized instruction, address students’ specific needs, and provide more opportunities for student engagement and participation.

Highly qualified teachers

Boarding schools often attract highly qualified and dedicated teachers. These educators typically have advanced degrees in their fields and are passionate about teaching. Their expertise and enthusiasm contribute to creating a stimulating learning environment.

The teachers’ commitment to their students’ success and their ability to provide guidance and support is a key factor in the academic excellence that boarding schools are known for.

According to a study conducted by Boarding School Review, boarding school students have higher standardized test scores, college acceptance rates, and college graduation rates compared to their peers in public and private day schools.

This statistical data reinforces the idea that the academic rigor offered in boarding schools positively impacts students’ academic achievements and future success.

College Prep

One of the main reasons why people choose to attend boarding schools is for the excellent college preparation they provide. Boarding schools often offer a rigorous academic curriculum that is designed to challenge and prepare students for the demands of college-level coursework.

Testing and Advising

Boarding schools typically have dedicated staff members who specialize in college admissions and testing. These professionals provide guidance and support to students throughout the college application process, helping them navigate the complexities of standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT.

They offer personalized advising, helping students identify their strengths, weaknesses, and interests to choose the right colleges and majors.

Furthermore, boarding schools often provide resources and opportunities for students to improve their test-taking skills. They may offer test prep courses or tutoring services to help students achieve their best scores on college entrance exams.

By receiving expert guidance and ample practice, students can feel more confident and prepared when it comes time to apply to colleges.

College Admissions Help

Boarding schools understand the importance of a strong college application and provide support to their students in crafting impressive applications. They offer college counseling services that include assistance with essay writing, resume building, and interview preparation.

These services ensure that students are well-prepared to showcase their achievements, talents, and aspirations in their college applications.

Additionally, boarding schools often have strong relationships with colleges and universities, which can benefit their students during the admissions process. Admissions officers may be more familiar with the rigor and quality of education offered by certain boarding schools, giving students an advantage when it comes to college acceptance rates.

Alumni Network

Another advantage of attending a boarding school for college prep is the extensive alumni network that many schools have. Alumni networks can be valuable resources for students as they navigate the college application process and beyond.

Alumni can provide insights, advice, and connections that can help students gain admission to top colleges or secure internships and job opportunities.

Boarding schools often foster a strong sense of community and pride among their alumni, creating a network of individuals who are willing to support and mentor current students. This network can be a valuable asset for students as they transition from boarding school to college and into their professional careers.

Extracurricular Activities

One of the major reasons why people choose to go to boarding schools is the wide range of extracurricular activities available to students. These activities play a crucial role in shaping a well-rounded individual and provide opportunities for personal growth, skill development, and social interaction.


Boarding schools often have state-of-the-art sports facilities and offer a variety of sports programs for students to participate in. Whether it’s basketball, soccer, tennis, or swimming, students can engage in competitive sports and learn the importance of teamwork, discipline, and physical fitness.

Participating in sports can also help students develop leadership skills and improve their self-confidence. According to a study conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations, students who participate in sports tend to have higher academic performance and better time management skills.


In addition to sports, boarding schools provide a plethora of clubs and organizations for students to join. From debate clubs to photography clubs, there is something for everyone’s interests. These clubs not only allow students to pursue their passions but also provide a platform for them to meet like-minded individuals and build lasting friendships.

Moreover, being a part of a club can enhance critical thinking skills, foster creativity, and provide valuable leadership opportunities. According to a survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, students who participate in extracurricular activities, such as clubs, are more likely to have higher levels of engagement in school and develop stronger interpersonal skills.

Travel Opportunities

Boarding schools often organize trips and excursions, providing students with unique travel opportunities. These trips can range from cultural visits to foreign countries to outdoor adventure activities.

Traveling not only exposes students to different cultures and perspectives but also helps them develop a sense of independence and adaptability. According to a study conducted by the American Institute for Research, students who participate in educational travel programs have higher levels of cultural competency and are more likely to succeed in college and their careers.

Community Living

One of the main reasons why people go to boarding schools is for the experience of community living. Boarding schools offer a unique environment where students live together on campus, forming a close-knit community.

This type of living arrangement provides numerous benefits for students, both academically and socially.

Dorm life

Dorm life is an integral part of the boarding school experience. Students live in dormitories with their peers, sharing rooms and common areas. This communal living fosters a sense of camaraderie and friendship among the students.

They learn to navigate the challenges and rewards of living with others, developing important life skills such as compromise, communication, and respect for others’ privacy.

Living in a dormitory also provides a structured and supportive environment. Students have access to resident advisors who can offer guidance and support when needed. The dormitory becomes a home away from home, where students can find comfort and a sense of belonging.

Making friends

Another significant aspect of community living in boarding schools is the opportunity to make lifelong friendships. Living in such close proximity with peers allows students to form deep connections and create lasting bonds.

They share experiences, study together, and engage in various extracurricular activities as a community.

These friendships often extend beyond the school years, with boarding school alumni staying connected and supporting each other throughout their lives. The diverse backgrounds and experiences of the students in boarding schools also contribute to a rich and diverse social network, providing a unique opportunity for cultural exchange and learning.


Boarding schools promote independence and self-reliance among students. Living away from home teaches them important life skills, such as managing their time, taking responsibility for their actions, and making decisions independently.

Students in boarding schools learn to become self-sufficient, as they are responsible for their own daily routines, including managing their academic workload, extracurricular activities, and personal responsibilities.

This independence prepares them for the challenges they will face in college and beyond, equipping them with the skills necessary to navigate the real world.

According to a study conducted by the Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), 92% of boarding school students reported feeling more prepared for college and the workforce compared to their peers who attended day schools.


In the end, families choose boarding schools for a combination of academic, social, and personal growth opportunities. The community environment allows students to focus on their studies and passions in an immersive setting.

With a track record of preparing students for college success, it’s no wonder boarding schools appeal to certain families and students.

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