What are the best U.S. boarding schools?


I’d like to learn more about boarding schools in the U.S. Are there some that will give me greater access to elite universities than others?


There are many, many great boarding schools in the U.S. What typically comes to mind for most people is the very traditional boarding schools of the Northeast that look like tiny versions of the Ivy League schools that many graduates will go on to attend. However, there are great boarding schools all across the nation that can prepare you for an exceptional college experience through the independence and confidence you will gain in that setting. Take a look at some of these options just to get a sense:

Phillips Exeter Academy (New Hampshire). Phillips Exeter is known as one of the top, if not THE top, academic schools. Discussion-based learning through small seminars makes the experience much like what you’ll get at any elite college.

Asheville School (North Carolina). Students are encouraged to partake in serious outdoor experiences to compliment their academic training. Hiking, climbing, and camping happen alongside rigorous work like the senior thesis that all graduating students write.

The Webb Schools (California). This campus is really interesting because classes don’t become coed until junior year. Also, they have a paleontology center, and all students get to “dig into” fossil expeditions.

Interlochen Arts Academy (Michigan). Interlochen is known as the oldest and most prestigious arts boarding program. Graduates go on to careers in all areas of the arts, ranging from the world’s best symphonies, to writing shows like Breaking Bad, or appearing as major cast members of shows like Orange is the New Black.

So these are some schools that represent a wide cross section of what’s available for boarding schools in the U.S. If you are thinking more along the lines of the Dead Poet’s Society vibe - check out the institutions of the “Eight Schools Association,” which include Phillips Exeter, Phillips Andover, St. Paul’s, Choate Rosemary, Deerfield, Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville, and Northfield Mount Hermon.