US Boarding Schools
Source: New Mexico Military Academy

What do parents look for in US boarding schools? Academic and athletic provision aside, you’d want a school that can become a second home for your child. Naturally, your decision is guided by a number of factors. Topping this list are character development and college preparation two factors that set the foundation for future success. 

Educators know that ambitious students begin charting their pathway to college or university even before high school. By equipping themselves with various skills and experiences in school, students get to explore their interests and decide which are worth pursuing as a career. This is only possible in an institution that recognises each child as a uniquely talented individual.

When considering US boarding schools for their young ones, parents also look for reassurance that they would be well cared for. Beyond dedicated pastoral care, this calls for values and facilities that support well-rounded development. Here are three US boarding schools that fit the bill.


Students from over 35 countries including Mexico, Kazakhstan, Japan, Brazil, and Malaysia gather in New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) for a formative boarding experience. Here, they develop academic, leadership, and athletic skills in the four-year college preparatory programme or the two-year junior college, going on to shape careers beyond the military sphere. New international students may join the English Language and Culture programme to build English reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills that will prepare them to study and live well in the US.

Beginning in high school, students are equipped with the resources and skills necessary to succeed beyond the academy. It starts with a well-rounded academic programme. In junior college, students cover the breadth of liberal arts and science, designing their course parallel to a bachelor’s pathway. This places bright, ambitious students on a fast track to higher education.

Senior students may get a headstart on their college journey by transferring credits to partner tertiary institutions. It comes as no surprise, then, that NMMI was ranked #2 Junior College in the US by CNN Money Magazine for its graduation and progression rates. Graduates have a 100% acceptance rate to tertiary education institutions, with 95% moving on to four-year colleges.

All graduates receive the mentorship and guidance of experienced faculty members throughout the school journey. Students may visit the Student Assistance Centre for academic, career, and personal counselling anytime, including how to select the right college for their goals.

Whether they intend to pursue medicine, engineering, math, computer information systems, social sciences, or the humanities, NMMI’s curriculum prepares young adults to tackle their education with discipline and rigour. Paired with 24 robust athletic programmes and 55 extracurricular activities, it makes for a life-changing experience that sets the foundation for a fulfilling career ahead. Check out the New Mexico Military Institute for enquiries and enrolment.


St. John’s Prep hosts 1,500 middle and high school students in a 175-acre campus just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. They come from various faith backgrounds, but their education is guided by the Xaverian Catholic way. Through their experiences in classrooms, clubs, teams, and Campus Ministry, students are shaped into global citizens focused on service and collaboration. As a result, they form a tight-knit community that becomes a second family.

US Boarding Schools

Source: St. John’s Preparatory School

Character development is a multifaceted feat here. Students express themselves through fine arts and sports, but they also engage in the community beyond the school. Whether it’s serving in a soup kitchen or visiting an assisted living community, they find purpose in small but meaningful, selfless acts. The boys take it one step further with the Eagles/ Edge programme, which features a wide range of camps and classes that help them grow into their best selves.

Each student will find the support and guidance they need at St. John’s. There’s the Centre for Learning and Student Success for those with learning differences. Then there’s the Centre for Mission and Research, which promotes inquiry and action in environmental sustainability, global health and wellness, innovation and design, and justice and peace. Besides that, students focus on physical education and recreation at the new Wellness Centre and sharpen communication skills at the Writing Centre.

Together, these opportunities facilitate a well-rounded experience, which shapes independent, ambitious graduates eager to pursue their passion. Little wonder then that 99% of its graduates go on to four-year colleges and universities. These include reputed institutions such as Harvard and Yale. Head over to the official website to find out more.


Located on a 200-acre campus in northern Georgia, the Riverside Military Academy (RMA) is where over 500 cadets in grades seven to 12, representing 30 nations and 30 states, are transforming into future leaders. The RMA Leadership Development Programme organises all cadets into a leadership structure that is modelled after a United States Army Battalion hierarchy. 

This structure is the catalyst for all rank-assignments, assigned duties, subordinate/command relationships, and leadership opportunities within the Corps of Cadets. Cadets are immersed in challenging conditions that become more complex as they progress in their abilities and experience — with every challenge, they learn and implement the art and science of leadership. 

The academy’s military edge fosters courage, discipline and determination — but it is by no means its defining feature. RMA is also a private school, all-boys school, and boarding school — all in one —  where the heart, body, soul, and spirit are educated. Here, they have an unparalleled avenue to hone their creative talents through activities in visual arts, drama, music, and video production, among others. 

As Director of Admissions Ben Allen says, “Riverside Military Academy is unique from other military schools in that it teaches students the personal values of honour, patriotism, and selflessness not only through the discipline and structure of a traditional military school environment but also through every facet of cadet life.” Learn more about RMA here.

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