Too often people hold flawed caricature depictions of what boarding school life is like, and equally erroneous beliefs regarding why anyone would go to a boarding school. For some families, boarding school is a luxury, for others, it are a necessity, and for others still, it is a means to provide the opportunity to open doors for their children.
The simple truth is that there are many reasons why families turn to boarding schools for their children’s educational and developmental needs, and boarding schools come in many different shapes and sizes. There certainly are boarding schools that line up well with what is too often envisioned blazers, ties, and tartan skirts atmosphere focused primarily on academic prestige. But, there are also boarding schools that seek to develop the students in very different ways, such as through requirements of manual labor, community service, through greater attention to the arts, or through more focus on faith perspectives.
It all boils down to the fact that people (typically parents) researching boarding schools desire different contexts and goals for their children, and accordingly, there are boarding schools that seek to meet those desires.
In ranking boarding schools, the task, at some points, becomes a comparison of apples and oranges. For that reason we do not settle for a ranking that is solely guided by a few objective measures. Rather, we hope to show the best apples alongside the best oranges.
Whenever it is a matter of weighing various criteria, no mathematical algorithm exists that may be applied to generate a ranking. We strongly believe that we must go beyond a few objective criteria. The lists generated by our procedure are likely to include schools offering a broader overall appeal to a wider range of prospective students.
In the end, we hope that our “50 Best Boarding Schools in the U.S.” serves as, at minimum, a starting point for those looking for the best-fit school for the education and development of their children.