4 excellent US schools preparing students for top tier universities
Source: Boston Trinity Academy

Outstanding academic results, plenty of opportunities to pursue one’s interests and hobbies, and an environment that encourages helping others — these are just a few key markers of a school that sets its students up for success. It’s a winning combination that stems from decades of research, showing how the average young person learns best by stimulating different aspects of the brain through a variety of ways: intellectually, socially, emotionally, and more. 

Naturally, this creates students who are ambitious, thirsty for knowledge, and always seeking out new experiences to inform their worldview. At the same time, they are empathetic, responsible, and caring citizens that contribute to their communities in meaningful ways. 

Perhaps the more immediate benefits of such an education, however, is how they often translate into offers from the world’s most highly-ranked universities. In this, it’s no secret that sending your child to a school — that will encourage them to flourish in a multitude of ways — can act as a golden ticket into a bright and successful future. 

Here are four US schools that set students up for top tier universities: 

Boston Trinity Academy

Boston Trinity Academy

Boston Trinity Academy combines faith and learning with service, setting students up for a future of success and purpose. Source: Boston Trinity Academy

When it comes to giving your child the best possible prospects, Boston Trinity Academy is a top choice. Established in 2002, Boston Trinity is a Christian, co-educational college-prep school that is home to 240 students in Grades Six to 12. It’s the most diverse private school in Massachusetts, educating its young, bright community of learners to develop the intellect, leadership, and moral character they need to succeed at university level and beyond. 

At Boston Trinity, learning and faith are integrated with service to create an educational experience that is as transformative as it is impactful. This is pioneered by the Trinity Institute for Leadership and Social Justice, a leadership development and service programme that aims to produce active, engaged, and personally responsible citizens of the world. Here, students go through leadership training, lead their own project groups, and engage in school-wide learning opportunities that go beyond the traditional classroom. The result? A group of thoughtful and justice-minded students seeking out lives of service and purpose. 

Within the classroom, students are intellectually curious and driven to discover more. The school’s rigorous scholarship programme — one that utilises the benefits of a liberal arts education — spans across Middle and Upper School, preparing students across crucial age ranges to not only learn, but seek out true understanding. Clearly, it’s a strategy that works: graduates of Boston Trinity go on to attend elite universities and colleges, including the likes of Brown University, Cornell University, Dartmouth, and more. 

After classes, students tap into their interests, pursuing a range of activities in the arts, athletics, and more. It’s a testament to the unique environment that’s cultivated at Boston Trinity, one that teaches students not to shy away from the tensions and challenges of the world around them, but to meet them with determination, diligence, and a desire to do good. To learn more, follow Boston Trinity Academy on Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Instagram, YouTube.

The Cambridge School of Weston

At The Cambridge School of Weston (CSW), it’s easy for students — between the grades of nine and 12 — to get a glimpse into their future, both on and off-campus. Set on 65 acres of lush woodlands, about 12 miles away from Boston’s finest universities, students enjoy the best that a world-class dynamic city and the tranquillity and safety of a contained, suburban campus have to offer. 

CSW brings to life active, experiential, student-centred learning to complement diverse interests and aspirations — an education that remains relevant and responsive to the evolving needs of generations of students and the changing world in which they live.

The Cambridge School of Weston

Here, a progressive education brings to life active, experiential learning to complement diverse interests and aspirations. Photo source: The Cambridge School of Weston

CSW’s signature academic model, the Module System, is based on research about how adolescents learn best, and divides the year into six, six-week terms known as “mods,” in which students take no more than three academic courses at once. Rigorous courses in the expressive arts, English, language, history, maths and science lay a solid foundation. With guidance and support from teachers, advisors, and coaches, students can choose from CSW’s over 250 courses that provide incredible depth into specific themes or subject areas. This highly individualised approach empowers students to explore and engage with choice, curiosity, courage, self-awareness, discipline, open-mindedness, and a sense of personal responsibility.

Here, social justice is a requirement as well. In fact, CSW is the first school in the nation to make it a fundamental component, encouraging students to take at least 10 classes on the diverse perspectives, complexity, and richness of our world. These courses — there are over 80 in total — examine issues from the perspectives of non-Western cultures and historically oppressed groups, study structures of power and privilege, and investigate models of social change with the goal of advancing human rights.

Stoneleigh-Burnham School

The girls of Stoneleigh-Burnham School (SBS) come from over a dozen countries in the world. They join a community that inspires meaningful lives based on honour, respect and intellectual curiosity. Located in Greenfield, Massachusetts, this private boarding school is a testament to the benefits of a single-sex school, which has been proven by research to be effective. What is the main benefit? A culture that inspires achievement. 

Stoneleigh-Burnham School 

Stoneleigh-Burnham School is the first and only all-girls boarding school in New England to offer the IB Diploma Programme. Source: Stoneleigh-Burnham School

The SBS curriculum encourages young girls to develop today’s essential skills such as self-advocacy and leadership, both of which will enable them to thrive in their academic and professional careers. The first and only all-girls boarding school in New England to offer the IB Diploma Programme, SBS ensures learners will graduate with the ability to draw connections across disciplines as active and compassionate lifelong learners. 

When it comes to extracurricular activities, SBS is well-equipped with many diverse clubs and affinity groups. There are many perks to this, such as engaging students outside of the classroom. 

By taking on responsibilities like running clubs and raising funds, they take risks, learn new skills, and become leaders. One example is its Business Club, which provides early exposure to entrepreneurship, finance, investments, leadership, and potential careers in this field. Meanwhile, the Community Service Club is where pupils can gain awareness of local and global challenges, as well as the importance of assisting those in need.

Support is offered at every step of every student’s journey. As one parent says, “I researched schools that could accommodate our daughter’s unique interests … SBS figured out how to meet our daughter where she was and they have been with her every step of the way. Her teachers and her advisor have shown up for her and support her wholeheartedly. The commitment of the SBS faculty and staff amazes me.”

Cushing Academy

Students between grades nine and 12 have the opportunity to explore their way to academic success at Cushing Academy, located just 60 miles from Boston. The school’s 162-acre campus is home to students from over 30 countries and 30 US states. Here, students quench their intellectual thirst through a combination of outstanding academics while enjoying Cushing’s robust athletic, artistic, and cultural offerings.

The best part? Every international student who arrives here is ensured a seamless move into their new life. A dedicated faculty offers day-to-day support to aid with cultural adjustment, homesickness, and academic planning. 

ESL classes are also available to non-native English speakers. By opting to board, pupils enjoy this personalised guidance 24/7 — alongside 92% of Cushing’s student body who currently live and learn within an inclusive community.

In the classroom, Cushing’s signature academic curriculum spans foundational courses, honours classes, Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and independent study for a total of 210 minutes a week. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor throughout their schooling experience to ensure they remain on track.

Cushing offers extensive programmes in both visual and performing arts. Aspiring athletes are equally spoiled for choice with the school’s state-of-the-art athletic facilities. Meanwhile, those who love community involvement stay engaged through various activities, clubs, and organisations.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International