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Best boarding schools in America

  • Best boarding schools in America

    Students often seek every advantage possible when it comes to getting into college. Many find that edge in U.S. boarding schools, which enrolled more than 72,000 students for the 2018-2019 school year. A high percentage of these schools boast above-average standardized test scores, impressive curricula options, community-based living, and consistent acceptances to elite universities. Still, students and their families may have questions about whether or not boarding school is the best choice for the high school experience. And, for those with the financial means to pursue such secondary education, how does one decide which school is the best fit?

    With that in mind, Stacker looked at how American boarding schools compare to one another, consulting Niche's list of the 2019 Best Boarding Schools in America. The rankings are reportedly the most comprehensive data in the industry—calculated using data from the U.S. Department of Education, self-reported statistics from Niche users (parents and students), the National Center for Education Statistics, and information from the schools. Along with the numbers, Stacker included key findings from its own research. The net price for each school reflects annual tuition rates before taking into account boarding fees or financial aid.

    Most of the schools can demonstrate academic rigor and impressive facilities, and many have long histories complemented by state-of-the-art updates. A number have previously been (or, in many cases, still are) single-sex institutions. Well-known and celebrity alumni aren't uncommon, and more than one can claim a former U.S. president among their graduates. While New England campuses dominate the rankings, schools throughout the country are on the list.

    Whether or not you're curious about the subculture of U.S. boarding schools, considering them for a student in your own life, or perhaps wondering on what campuses a student can earn a pilot's license alongside Advanced Placement and college prep classes, you'll likely find answers in the slides here.

    You may also like: Best public high schools in America

  • #100. Walnut Hill School for the Arts

    - Location: Natick, MA
    - Net price: $47,030
    - Number of undergraduates: 284
    - Teachers grade: A- (Student-to-faculty ratio: 6:1)
    - Academics grade: A+
    - Diversity grade: Not applicable
    - College prep grade: A+

    Walnut Hill School for the Arts offers extensive coursework in dance, music, theater, visual art, and writing, film, and media arts, as well as academic courses. Originally a traditional school for girls in 1893, the school became a co-educational school for the arts in the 1970s. Auditions and portfolio reviews are part of the admissions process.

  • #99. Fountain Valley School of Colorado

    - Location: Colorado Springs, CO
    - Net price: $28,800
    - Number of undergraduates: 225
    - Teachers grade: A (Student-to-faculty ratio: 6:1)
    - Academics grade: A+
    - Diversity grade: A-
    - College prep grade: A+

    The highest-ranked boarding school in Colorado according to Niche, Fountain Valley School of Colorado enjoys a Rocky Mountain setting in contrast to the many East Coast campuses on the list. A number of activities and offerings, including an outdoor education program, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding, take advantage of the setting.

  • #98. Baylor School

    - Location: Chattanooga, TN
    - Net price: $23,282
    - Number of undergraduates: 1,048
    - Teachers grade: A (Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1)
    - Academics grade: A+
    - Diversity grade: B-
    - College prep grade: A+

    Not to be confused with Baylor University in Texas, Chattanooga's Baylor School has grades six through 12, with boarding opportunities for grades nine and up. “Memoirs of a Geisha” author Arthur Golden is a graduate.

  • #97. Pomfret School

    - Location: Pomfret, CT
    - Net price: $40,000
    - Number of undergraduates: 355
    - Teachers grade: A (Student-to-faculty ratio: 7:1)
    - Academics grade: A+
    - Diversity grade: A-
    - College prep grade: A+

    Pomfret School's hometown of Pomfret, Conn., has a population of 4,247, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The school is one of the area's largest employers, and offers a community impact statement on five different topics—economic, recreational, cultural, human, and environmental.

  • #96. The Webb School

    - Location: Bell Buckle, TN
    - Net price: $20,300
    - Number of undergraduates: null
    - Teachers grade: A (Student-to-faculty ratio: 6:1)
    - Academics grade: A+
    - Diversity grade: A
    - College prep grade: A+

    The Webb School, whose notable alumni include three governors and a U.S. senator, will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2020. With 300 students currently enrolled, The Webb School is ranked as the second-best boarding school in Tennessee, and the ninth-best private school in the state.

  • #95. Worcester Academy

    - Location: Worcester, MA
    - Net price: $33,822
    - Number of undergraduates: 605
    - Teachers grade: A- (Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1)
    - Academics grade: A+
    - Diversity grade: Not applicable
    - College prep grade: A+

    Distinguished alumni of Worcester Academy include composer Cole Porter and co-founder of Merrill Lynch, Charles E. Merrill. In addition to grades six through 12, Worcester Academy offers a postgraduate program for students who, for a variety of reasons, may want more time to prepare for college.

  • #94. Saint John's Preparatory School

    - Location: Collegeville, MN
    - Net price: $16,782
    - Number of undergraduates: 260
    - Teachers grade: A- (Student-to-faculty ratio: 7:1)
    - Academics grade: A+
    - Diversity grade: A-
    - College prep grade: A+

    One of two Minnesota schools to appear in the rankings, Saint John's Preparatory School includes grade 12 down through grade five (with boarding options for grades nine through 12). Facilities are on the grounds of Saint John's University, providing students the opportunity to explore and use both campuses.

  • #93. Maharishi School

    - Location: Fairfield, IA
    - Net price: $19,500
    - Number of undergraduates: 179
    - Teachers grade: B+ (Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1)
    - Academics grade: A+
    - Diversity grade: A+
    - College prep grade: A+

    Maharishi School describes itself as “one of America's most unique and progressive schools,” with much attention paid to the alertness and well-being of their students. Emphasis is placed specifically on rest, and days include yoga, meditation, and time to pursue personal passions and interests. In 2011, Oprah Winfrey stopped at Maharishi School and later profiled the visit on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

  • #92. TMI Episcopal

    - Location: San Antonio, TX
    - Net price: $23,450
    - Number of undergraduates: 475
    - Teachers grade: A- (Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1)
    - Academics grade: A+
    - Diversity grade: A
    - College prep grade: A+

    The “TMI” in the name stands for Texas Military Institute, though participation in the school's Junior Reserve Officer Training (JROTC) program has been optional since 1974. At TMI Episcopal, about 30% of students are cadets in the school's JROTC program, one of the highest ranked in the country.

  • #91. The Bolles School

    - Location: Jacksonville, FL
    - Net price: $23,870
    - Number of undergraduates: 1,634
    - Teachers grade: A (Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1)
    - Academics grade: A+
    - Diversity grade: B+
    - College prep grade: A+

    One of two Florida schools to place in the rankings, The Bolles School has pre-K through 12th grade on four campuses. Boarding is available for grades nine and up. Some of its esteemed alumni include a number of Olympic and professional athletes, as well as two Pulitzer Prize winners in journalism.

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