US boarding schools
Source: Mount Pisgah Academy

Boarding schools offer superior academic programmes — 87% of boarders say they are more prepared for college, compared to their public school counterparts. Many serve as a crucial bridge, not just to university, but to fulfilling careers and lives too.

There are many reasons why this is so. Curricula centre around practical learning, individualisation, and self-reflection. Teachers, who live on-site, are available for extra help, whether it’s for a passion project or college prep coursework. Qualified and expert guidance counsellors are available to guide boarders every step of the way in their college application. Students have a 24-hour intentional community that places their growth and development at the centre. Abundant athletics and arts offerings complement what they learn in classrooms. 

The result? Graduates who succeed at significantly higher rates than private day and public school students. For the ideal launchpad for your children, consider these four world-class boarding schools:

Mount Pisgah Academy

Established in 1914, Mount Pisgah Academy (MPA) is a boarding school for grades nine to 12 that uses a holistic approach to education. The focus is on the mental, physical, social, and spiritual aspects of a student’s education. The goal? Graduating students who are well-balanced and prepared for life’s challenges.

US boarding schools

Source: Mount Pisgah Academy

What started off as an educational centre for students living in the mountains became a community centre to help the area grow and thrive. From there, it grew into a boarding academy run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church that continues to love, educate, and disciple students for God’s service.

Today, an MPA student is easily recognisable — they are the ones who are inspired, motivated and supported at every turn. A unique combination of academic programmes — there are three diploma tracks to meet graduation requirements — various varsity teams and intramural programmes, an emphasis on fine arts opportunities, and a commitment to God makes this possible.

In classes, students get to focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) — taught by caring teachers in small classes — and have laptops for textbooks.  Every week, there is a community service day and every year, they get to go on mission trips. Regular balanced vegetarian meals are provided in the cafeteria — dairy options are served but not meat.

To bolster students’ Christ-centred journeys, there are sports programmes — such as competitive basketball, soccer, volleyball and gymnastics as well as intramurals like floor hockey, flag football, soccer, volleyball, softball and basketball — and music programmes like choir, hand bells and band. Work programmes allow students to earn money for their schooling and add experience to their resume. There are also opportunities to earn a full-year of dual-enrollment credits for college. In short, to study at MPA is to receive a holistic education of exceptional value at an affordable price.

All of this takes place in a 230-acre campus with a picture-postcard view of the Southern Appalachians and the 5,721 foot peak of Mount Pisgah. To learn more about how MPA nurtures young men and women to become positive leaders, click here.

Stoneleigh-Burnham School 

Located on a 100-acre campus in the town of Greenfield, on the northern edge of the beautiful Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, is Stoneleigh-Burnham School. Fostering an international perspective, this US boarding school inspires girls to pursue meaningful lives based on honour, respect and intellectual curiosity.

US Boarding Schools

Source: Stoneleigh-Burnham School

Why an all girls’ school? The numbers speak for themselves. One-quarter of the women in Congress and 33% of women Fortune 500 board members attended girls’ schools. As the first girls’ boarding school in New England to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, Stoneleigh-Burnham educates girls between grade seven through to 12 with programmes for postgraduates and international students. 

The school’s nationally recognised Equestrian Centre, public speaking and debate programmes, performing arts workshops, athletics, international travel opportunities, community service, numerous clubs and after-school activities develop qualities of character, sportsmanship, and a passion for lifelong learning. From internships and mentorships to friendships and affinity groups — Stoneleigh-Burnham School provides it all. 

Worcester Academy 

The Worcester Academy is a private boarding and day co-ed institution that blends its rich history together with the latest technologies. Located in the heart of Worcester and within an hour of Boston, this academy prepares students to succeed in the multi-cultural, technology-driven world they are poised to inherit.

US boarding schools

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Many students begin their academic adventure in middle school and often continue on to upper school and postgraduate year. Learning support at many and varied here. The Centre for Learning (CFL) provides academic support for Upper School students with documented learning needs. This includes targeted and strategic instruction — based on the student’s specific learning needs — to foster success and independence as well as individualised support for students who struggle in areas such as time management, note taking, organisation, test taking, writing and reading comprehension due to documented learning issues.

It’s not all work and no play for students, however. Worcester Academy is a member of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) and competes against the top tier of New England prep schools. WIth over 50 teams, 17 sports and 60% student body participation, the academy boasts a proud and rich athletic tradition.

It also prides itself on its dynamic and interactive activities in visual arts involving ceramics, architecture craft and costume design; music and theatre — all while enhancing academic studies. 

The Bolles School 

The Bolles School is a co-ed day and boarding college preparatory school from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. It is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Southern Association of Independent Schools and Florida Council for Independent Schools. 

US boarding schools

Source: Shutterstock

The lower school is situated at the Ponte Vedra Beach Campus and Whitehurst Campus, middle school in the Bartram Campus and upper school in the San Jose Campus. Nearly 300 faculty and staff members hold 131 postgraduate degrees between then — 118 with master’s degrees and 12 with doctoral degrees. 

Up to 25 Advanced Placement course offerings and seven world languages — including Arabic, Chinese, ESL, French, Japanese, Latin and Spanish — are offered here. From 2018 to 2020, 92% of students who tested scored three or above on AP exams.

Grades aren’t the only measure of excellence here. The Bolles School is where students define their own barometres of success through extraordinary opportunities to become academic scholars, renowned artists and Olympic athletes. On top of a rigorous academic curriculum, students are also able to pursue athletics or the arts, depending on their passions.

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