The reason behind why some people choose to send their child to boarding school can come with misunderstandings, presuppositions and confusion from others. Some of the most common misconceptions assume that the use of boarding school is a way for parents to get their child out of the house or that it’s only for bad kids who are “disappointments” and need “fixed”. Others think that boarding schools are extremely strict with impossible rules and dress codes and don’t allow fun; or that they are only for rich kids or geniuses. These stereotypes mainly are perpetuated on television or in the movies. The truth is that even though no educational environment is perfect, boarding schools offer in most cases, a much more positive and unique educational, social, emotional, diverse and safe experience than public or private day schools. In addition, boarding schools students tend to participate in more extracurricular activities than other students, including playing sports, engaging in creative advancements such as music and art, and participating in student government and academic clubs.
Muting the Myths
So… why boarding schools? Just like with any stereotype the best way to combat it is through educating the public on what attending boarding school is really like. Here are some key statistics found by The Association of Boarding Schools that provide greater insight on the advantages of attending boarding school:
- 75% of boarding school students feel that their peers are more motivated academically and as it pertains to extracurricular activities than their public or private day school counterparts.
- 50% of boarding school students earn their advanced degrees as opposed to 36% of private day school students and 21% of public school students.
- 60% of students apply to boarding school primarily for the opportunity to get a better education.
- 95% of boarding school students say their social lives do not revolve around drugs and alcohol, compared to 82% of private day school and public school students.
- 70% of boarding school students say that boarding school has helped them develop self-discipline, maturity, independence, and the ability to think critically.
- 95% of boarding school students are satisfied or very satisfied with their academic experience, compared to 86% of private day or public school students.
Just like when considering any school the quality of the academic environment surrounding a boarding school is a very important factor. Traditionally boarding schools employ highly qualified teachers who believe that it is their calling to teach in this type of environment. It is a way of life for them and not just a job. Boarding school students benefit from smaller class sizes than public or private day schools. In addition, there tends to be a deeper and more involved interaction between students and their teachers because of the warm community feel and the heightened motivation that boarding school students generally exhibit. The residential campus environment gives students an atmosphere where learning is central to all activities. This particular aspect benefits students by giving them common experiences, camaraderie, friendship, and promotes increased trust and honesty among students and the faculty.
Setting Up a Successful Future
Boarding schools offer an incredible opportunity for the preparation and transition into college or university life. Boarding school graduates often end up attending the finest universities and colleges. They also tend to arrive much more adapted and adjusted because of their experience and maturity from attending boarding school. Furthermore, boarding school graduates tend to advance rapidly in their professional careers and endeavors. Overall the boarding school experience is unique, focused, stable, structured, warm, welcoming, and empowering; setting up its students for immediate success and providing the tools and growth to ensure their further success into the future.
How We Help
We work with all kinds of students who are considering boarding schools. Some have outgrown their current schools and need more of a challenge. Others are in schools that do not understand their needs or how they learn best. Still other students feel overwhelmed in their big public schools but thrive when they feel valued and recognized for who they are.
Much like college, navigating the boarding school admission cycle is a process, from finding the right school that fits the student’s needs, to interviewing, visiting, completing the application, and making the final decision. It’s often an emotional process and one where both students and parents appreciate having both professional help and support.
Here at RNG International we love working with boarding school students and families. Not only have we visited hundreds of boarding schools both in the United States and in Europe, but also we’ve been through the experience as a family. Michelle attended a boarding school and Rebecca has been the mother of a student in boarding school. This gives us a unique perspective on what to look for – and what to avoid – when selecting a school. Let us help you navigate the process and find the right boarding school fit for you and your family.