4 US boarding schools shaping unique characters and pathways

US boarding school
Source: Hebron Academy

In a world of almost eight billion people, the only way to find success is to first find yourself. As a parent, creating the right environment for your child to explore their abilities can be challenging. That’s why many consider the safe, encouraging environment of a US boarding school.

With over 300 US boarding schools available, though, how do you pick the right one for your child? The answer: you choose the one that matches their unique strengths, interests, and goals. Check out these US boarding schools prioritising outdoor learning, athletics, military, and special education needs (SEN).


What you do at Hebron Academy defines who you become. That’s why students are encouraged to try it all and find where they fit — not just in this “boarding summer school” but in life. Over 50 after-school and co-curricular offerings await bright, energetic young people eager to grow into the best version of themselves.

US boarding school

Athletic and outdoor pursuits are aligned with academic excellence at this US boarding school. Source: Hebron Academy

A large part of learning takes place in the great outdoors of Maine, whether students are training in sports or exploring natural wonders. Athletic performance is aligned with academic excellence; hence, organised sports is a large part of the Hebron experience. Students get into more niche sports such as mountain biking, lacrosse, tennis, and snowboarding, even pursuing it competitively.

The adventure doesn’t end there; they also surf the waters of Maine, hike and climb new peaks, and hit the ski slopes as part of a robust outdoor programme. These opportunities facilitate a well-rounded self-discovery experience that begins to form an individualised pathway to higher education and career. International students, in particular, enrich their lives by trying things they never did back home. It’s how students from Mexico discover field hockey, and how students from tropical countries experience winter sports.

In the classroom, a 6:1 student-faculty ratio ensures teachers are able to guide each student based on their abilities and needs. All of this takes place in a progressive boarding community, where students learn to manage their own time, health, wellness, and success. Dive deeper into how the Hebron Academy supports its students on the official website.


Nestled on a 33-acre campus in Orlando, Florida, The Master’s Academy offers a combination of academic, spiritual, and athletic education for over 1,000 students from K2 to 12th grade. Though it is not a boarding school, community living is at the centre of this schooling experience.

US boarding school

Faith and sports form the basis of camaraderie and community at this school. Source: The Master’s Academy

Here, teachers and staff practise “going the second mile” i.e. going above and beyond to invest in the lives of students and peers. International students are welcomed into a supportive community in the International Programme, which form the stepping stones of their life-changing journey abroad. Across the campus, student ministries engage to connect with each other, grow in faith, and lead with grace.

With dedicated academies for basketball, soccer, and baseball, young athletes come here to get a head start on their dreams of going pro. There’s a wider range of other sports too; whether students join the esteemed track and field team or try their hand at wrestling, there’s much to be gained from the discipline and drive of athletics. This US boarding school’s newly-refurbished Pennington Field gives all the Eagles a place to train, grow, and compete.

All throughout their schooling journey, these ambitious youth are already charting their future education pathway. They prepare for college with 17 Advanced Placement courses through which they may earn 24 university credits. By the time they graduate, they are prepared to face whatever the future may bring. For further details and enquiries, head on over to the official website.


Located in Litchfield, Connecticut, the Forman School is the nation’s foremost co-ed college preparatory school for students with learning differences. Home to 236 unique learners, Forman provides young talent diagnosed with learning differences — such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADHD, and executive function deficits — a holistic education that ensures 100% of them get into a four-year college.

US boarding school

Differences become strengths at this SEN school. Source:The Forman School

The support of a professional Cognition and Learning team and a highly personal College Counselling Department allows Forman to offer a stellar college preparatory curriculum. Here, 68 faculty members and staff are equipped with the right skills and tools to help pupils explore academic, artistic, athletic, and social opportunities. Plus, this US boarding school regularly seeks out advanced research, engages external experts, and incorporates proven methods in every aspect of school life.

This is how students grow into their own character, revealing identities that outshine their diagnoses. Head of School Adam K. Man sums it up best, “Forman holds the bar high for students with learning differences, and we give them all the support they need to climb over it.”

Students may sign up for the classic full-time programme or the four-week summer programme. The former combines classic college prep with individualised learning support and honours classes at a level that students can place into at any time during the school year. The latter Forman Summer Programme is a coed boarding and day camp in July that is open to any students entering grades seven to 11. Click here for more on how Forman nurtures the brightest minds.


At Hargrave Military Academy, each cadet builds leadership, character and faith in preparation for the rigours of college and life. He goes on to be a leader in his home, his church, and his community. Thanks to this well-rounded approach, the Virginia-based institution is regarded as one of the best college-prep boarding schools in the US for grades seven to 12.

Boarding Schools

Cadets gain confidence as they realise their potential through discipline and rigour. Source: Hargrave Military Academy

Here, boys form bonds that last a lifetime with fellow cadets, faculty, and staff. The academy’s distinctive four pillars of academics, sports/athletics, character and spiritual development are fully integrated into a challenging and purposeful curriculum. At the same time, its military model combines structure, routine, accountability, leadership, teamwork, decision-making and personal pride to holistically develop a young man to their fullest potential.

Every cadet has a team of genuinely concerned teachers, coaches and staff dedicated to their individual success, ready to invest time outside of the classroom to mentor, lead and engage with cadets. A robust athletics programme provides opportunities for physical development and to teach sportsmanship through team sports, intramurals, and extensive recreational activities.

The result? Cadets who realise their individual potential, owning their self-confidence through an appropriate recognition of achievements. All academy graduates find their unique college college pathway while becoming part of a brotherhood for life. To learn more about how Hargrave Military Academy develops young men into leaders of character poised for lifelong success, check out the official website.

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