A Foundation for Future Success
TABS believes there are five principal advantages to a boarding school education, and you’ll find them reflected in different ways throughout the site.
First, boarding schools provide unequaled academics, supported by small classes and heightened interaction between students and their teachers, who see their work as a calling, not a job.
Secondly, in the unique residential campus environment in which they live, students are immersed in a special setting that promotes the camaraderie of common experience, friendship among peers, and a trust and honesty with mentors and adults that endures for a lifetime.
Third, boarding school graduates are uniquely prepared for college life. Statistics reveal that graduates, on average, attend the nation's finest universities and arrive at college better prepared for both the academic rigor and social challenges that universities present.
Fourth, boarding school graduates are conditioned for future success. Studies have shown that boarding school graduates not only excel at some of the leading universities in the country, but also advance rapidly in their professional careers, and are more civically engaged than their peers.
Fifth and finally, boarding schools bestow on students what they not only want but need—a calibrated independence. Living on campus provides an unparalleled setting for learning how to live with and among peers, and provides countless teachable moments for mentors to reinforce the myriad lessons of both school and life. By the time graduates arrive at university or their first professional job, they’re fully prepared for the challenges and responsibilities of adult life.
For more information on the overall value of independent schools and tips on choosing a school that meets the needs of your child, visit the National Association of Independent Schools Parents’ Guide.
Five Facts of Boarding School Life
Some findings in a recent study by the Art & Science Group offer compelling support for these central advantages.
The Academic Promise – It’s no surprise that more than 60% of students enroll in boarding schools because of the promise of better education. More than 90% of students concede they find their schools academically challenging, and the figures back it up: boarding school students spend more than twice as many hours (17 to 8) a week on homework than their peers in public schools.
24-Hour Learning – Thanks to the unique and encouraging campus environment boarding schools provide, students are tremendously active outside the classroom. Across the board, boarding school students participate in more extracurricular activities than other students, whether it is exercising and playing sports (12 hours vs. 9 hours), engaging in creative endeavors like music and painting (6 hours vs. 4-5 hours), or participating in student government and club activities (35% vs. 27%).
Learning to Lead – One distinctive characteristic of boarding schools is that character development counts as much as academics. The environment—in which teachers live among their students, and students live away from home—lends itself to the cultivation of self-discipline and independent thought. Leadership opportunities also emerge. More than three quarters of boarding school students say they have been given leadership opportunities, a far higher percentage than public and private school students. At the same time, students gain the distinct advantage of regular interaction with their teachers outside of the academic setting.
College Ready – It is almost universally acknowledged that boarding school environments—through the balance of greater mentor guidance and greater personal responsibility—deliver graduates to university with an unequaled level of preparation. Eighty seven percent of graduates concur, while nearly 80% added that they were equally prepared for the non-academic aspects of college life, including independence, social life, and time management.
Getting Ahead – Beyond college, boarding school graduates are most often professionally accomplished and philanthropically active adults. By mid-career, more boarding school graduates achieve top management positions with more frequency than students from other schools. More impressively, 60% of alumni give to social service organizations, compared with 46% of all others.
Explore the tradition that sets boarding schools apart.