What Exactly is a Boarding School?
Don't worry, it's a question we hear a lot. Part of the purpose of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) is to help kids and their parents become better educated about boarding schools. In essence, a boarding school is a college preparatory institution where students and teachers live together in a safe and secure campus environment. You might be surprised to learn that you can find boarding schools within a short distance of nearly every major metropolitan city in North America. And as you might imagine, a setting like this can provide some pretty rewarding advantages for students—and their families.
An Academic Challenge -
Boarding school will challenge your child.
The first thing you should know is that boarding schools have a tremendous tradition of academic excellence, built on an educational model that delivers diverse curricula, taught by highly qualified and exceptionally motivated teachers, in small classes that afford them a maximum of interaction with their students. Ninety percent of boarding school students surveyed in a recent study said they feel challenged academically. The figures back it up: boarding school students spend more than twice as many hours a week (17 to 8) on homework than their peers in public schools.
A Stimulating Environment -
Beyond the classroom, learning continues.
At boarding schools, learning extends beyond the classroom. The boarding school environment, in which staff and students live together, and teachers more or less serve in loco parentis, or as surrogate parents, provides countless "teachable moments" in and out of the classroom through which students absorb the critical first lessons of adulthood. Boarding school students also participate in more extracurricular activities than other students, whether playing sports, engaging in creative endeavors like music or painting, or participating in student government and social club activities.
A Taste of Independence -
Boarding school students discover self-reliance.
Boarding school environments can range in character from arts-focused to militarily oriented, but almost always feature a student body composed of young people from a diversity of backgrounds. Within the context of these environments, students are given a measure of real independence. They're not living at home, and thus they are required to learn how to live with, trust, and respect their peers in an environment of "controlled freedom." As many graduates have noted, there are few substitutes for having to manage your own academic and personal responsibilities at a young age. Eighty-seven percent of graduates say they were well-prepared for college—versus just 39% of their public school peers.
Career Success -
Graduates lead exceptional lives.
Boarding schools also offer the priceless gift of preparing young people for future success. The academic rigor, and the training in negotiating the responsibilities of independence, set boarding school graduates on a path to prosperity—professionally, socially, and culturally. By mid-career, 44% of graduates have already achieved top management positions, while 60% actively give to social service organizations.
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity.
It is often said that at boarding schools, students "live to learn" since they spend large parts of their day engaged in learning activities. But they also "learn to live" by shouldering the greater responsibility that comes with greater independence. Without question, boarding schools shape lives for the better. Unsurprisingly, the experience leaves a positive impression on graduates—over 80% would repeat the boarding experience if given the chance.
See five great advantages of boarding school life—and the research that supports them.