The 50 Best Boarding Schools in the U.S.

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Boarding school: The term conjures images of small, immaculately kept, verdant campuses; ties, blazers, and gray skirts; Dead Poets Society, The Emperor's Club, A Separate Peace, and Hogwarts; forms, traditions, and academic excellence---these are all ideas we associate with boarding schools (not to mention expense).

When parents choose to send their children to boarding schools, they're choosing to send them to the most selective, competitive, and influential schools in the country. These are the schools that open Ivy League doors; these are the grounds on which lucrative social networks are built.

Is it any surprise, then, that the founder of Facebook---the world's largest social media network---attended a boarding school?

There are scores of articles available on the benefits of a boarding school education, but this isn't one of them. Instead, we look at various criteria in order to determine which boarding schools in the United States are indeed the very best.

Preparation for the Future
The teenage students who graduate from these schools become our CEOs, our Nobel Prize--winners, our ambassadors, philanthropists, Olympians, and judges. They are the innovators, the pioneers in their fields.

We looked for schools that offer signature, specialized programs (as well as schools that are beyond solid in their approach to the traditional curriculum).

However, we also looked for schools that take a proactive approach to whole person development. There is hard work to be done out there in the wide world, and we appreciate schools that teach students to value hard work, both in and out of the classroom setting. Community service, chores, jobs---all of these contribute to instilling a work ethic.

Academics
Private schools by their very nature offer a different menu of educational programs than public schools are able to provide. This is just one of the reasons they appeal so strongly to parents and students alike.

Boarding schools are in the unique position to offer diverse academic programming led by teacher-scholars, many of whom hold advanced degrees in their subject areas. All of the schools on this list offer a beyond-solid academic program and rigorous graduation requirements. However, there is a difference in where students matriculate for college (and how many students per school matriculate at those colleges), and we consider this in our list.

Percentage of Students BoardingBest-schools-seal
A boarding school by definition is any school (usually private) that offers food and lodging to its students. However, it's also much more than that: A boarding school is a thriving community of scholars, athletes, and artists. It's common for faculty, staff, and their families to live right on campus and serve in coaching or advising capacities. All of this truly makes the boarding school a student's home away from home.

To that end, we looked for schools where 50% or more of the students lived on campus, regardless of school size. For an ideal boarding school experience,
the majority of the kids in class with you should also be the kids in the dorm with you, at chapel with you, and hanging out on the weekends with you.

Affordability
Gone are the days when boarding school experiences were saved for the rich alone. OK, the price tag on most of these schools might lead you to double-take that statement. But many schools are seeking a diverse student population (in terms of multi-cultural students, as well as socio-economic backgrounds).

Without students, these schools don't exist, and they need to be affordable so that they can continue to matriculate a diverse population. The best schools make sure to provide financial assistance to students who qualify for admission and who need assistance in funding the education they qualify for.

Note: The tuition price comes from the most current figure posted on the school's websites. Most of the numbers listed are exclusive of textbooks, lunches, and other fees. Additionally, we've excluded military schools from this list. While students certainly board at military schools, those institutions provide a highly specific educational experience, which deserves its own separate consideration at a future time.

 

The 50 Best Boarding Schools in the U.S.

1 Phillips Exeter Academy

Phillips Exeter AcademyMore commonly known as Exeter, this New Hampshire school has been the unofficial feeder for Harvard for decades, serving boys and girls in grades 9--12 (post-graduate year available).

Students choose from more than 450 courses in 19 subject areas in true Exeter style: The Harkness method, the plan that calls for dialogue-based learning. The one-of-a-kind math curriculum focuses on problem sets and seminar-based learning, tossing traditional textbooks aside in favor of student-owned learning processes. More than 80% of the faculty are advanced degree--holders.

Since 2007, Exeter has implemented a financial aid initiative that provides a free education to any student whose family income is $75,000 or less, making a truly wealthy, world-class education available to anybody who qualifies for the rigorous course of study.

2 Phillips Academy (Andover)

Phillips Andover AcademyLocated in Andover, Massachusetts, Phillips Academy was founded in 1778,and is the oldest incorporated boarding school in the United States. Andover (as it is universally known) has the historic significance of being an original feeder school for Yale. It was also the first private secondary school to establish and implement a need-blind admission policy. Andover is able to meet 100% of a family's demonstrated financial need by way of grants.

Like its arch-rival Exeter, Andover's faculty is composed of 80% advanced degree--holders. The school, which also uses the Harkness method and is equally rich in tradition, offers a wide array of music classes---many students take private lessons through the prep school at nearby New England Conservatory. Beyond academics, all Andover students participate in a work-duty program and are assigned to different jobs throughout the year.

3 The Putney School

The Putney SchoolFounded in 1935, the Putney School in Vermont offers a rigorous yet progressive, hands-on education to students in grades 9--12. Students here are encouraged to pursue their personal academic interests, as well as to “present their thinking in coherent and compelling ways.”

This approach is certainly working. Graduates gain entrance to the very best schools in the country; they attend Ivies like Yale, Dartmouth, Columbia, and Cornell, as well as schools like Oberlin, Sarah Lawrence, and Boston College.

In addition to academics, students participate in an arts-based program two nights a week and must satisfy six jobs during their stay---lunch, dinner, barn crew, dish crew, substitute, and land-use activities---which helps instill in them a different kind of work ethic not generally found in the classroom.

4 Church Farm School

Church Farm SchoolThe Church Farm School, located in Exton, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1918, as a college preparatory, independent, boarding school for boys in grades 7--12. Loyal to its name and its Episcopal heritage, the school requires attendance at weekly chapel services and meetings.

Students at CFS are required to take part in the co-curricular C.O.R.E. (Challenge Of Required Experience) program, which provides opportunities for community service, outdoor experiences, leadership training, and exposure to cultural arts. Graduates often attend schools such as Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Emory, MIT, Princeton, Rice, Notre Dame, and Penn.

5 Episcopal High School

Episcopal High SchoolLocated just seven miles from the White House in Alexandria, Virginia, Episcopal High School is a private, coeducational school that boards 100% of its students, which contributes to a thriving campus community. As its name suggests, the school has a religious affiliation and all students are required to attend chapel three times a week.

Proximity to the nation's capital has resulted in the development of the school's signature Washington Program, which offers four concentrations: Public Policy, Sustainability, Cultural Awareness, and Entrepreneurship. Sophomores dabble in each concentration, select one the following year, and engage in a year-long project and externship during their final year.

More than 85% of faculty hold advanced degrees and teach over 140 courses. In recent years, Episcopal students matriculate in high numbers at William and Mary, Duke, Wake Forest, Washington & Lee, UVA, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Sewanee.

6 St. Paul's School

St. Paul's SchoolFounded in 1856 in Concord, New Hampshire, St. Paul's School is an all-boarding school for students in grades 9--12. The school offers a post-graduate year. Not only do all of the students live on campus, but all of the faculty do, too, which works to promote a close, spirited campus community. The community also begins four days of the week with chapel services. In order to ease the transition to campus life, each new student is assigned a "big brother" or "big sister."

Classes are rigorous and implement the Harkness method; colleges with the highest matriculation of St. Paul's alumni include Georgetown, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Harvard. Rather than having physical education classes, St. Paul's requires all its students to play sports.

In order to make a St. Paul's education more affordable, students from household incomes of $80,000 or less are considered full financial need.

7 Asheville School

Asheville SchoolIn the mountain city of Asheville, North Carolina, lies the Asheville School, a private coeducational boarding school founded in 1900 for students in grades 9--12. Students here learn to challenge themselves academically and personally. The natural setting of the area invites mountaineering: all first-year student go on a three-day wilderness camping trip complete with a high-ropes course. They also take a series of seminars designed to orient them to Asheville School.

Academics mirror the rigor of the outdoor adventure through the four-year sequence of the Integrated Humanities program. Seniors must also complete a Senior Demonstration that requires them to write a series of papers on a chosen topic and defend the topic to a faculty panel. Seniors also give “Chapel Talks” in which they make oral presentations on personal and significant ideas or experiences in front of the entire campus community.

The community service requirement---one that is common among boarding schools---differs at Asheville in that students complete 40 hours of service for one organization and submit an essay about that experience to the headmaster.

In addition to Ivies, students attend Bates, Boston College, Davidson, Furman, University of Richmond, and West Point.

8 Shattuck-St. Mary's School

Shattuck-St. Mary's SchoolFounded in 1858, Shattuck-St. Mary's is an independent coeducational boarding school in Faribault, Minnesota, and serves students in grades 6--12. The school also offers a post-graduate year. SSM provides a unique blend of tradition and innovation to their students.

The school maintains its traditional Episcopalian identity and offers weekly chapel services, classes in religion, and the saying of grace before lunch. Students must also fulfill a community service requirement for graduation.

On the academic front, Shattuck-St. Mary's offers signature multi-year, experiential programs through their Centers of Excellence in bioscience, engineering, numerous sports (notably ice hockey), or a self-designed major. SSM also has a unique pre-conservatory program for students interested in attending the nation's top music schools. Students gain entrance into top-tier colleges and universities with the highest enrollments at Penn State, Boston University, University of Washington, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

9 St. Andrew's School

St. Andrew's SchoolIf you've ever seen Dead Poets Society, you've seen the campus of St. Andrew's in Middletown, Delaware---the movie was filmed almost entirely on school grounds. Committed to its Episcopalian identity, St. Andrew's is an all-boarding, coed private school for students in grades 9--12. Along with the all-boarding requirement, family-style meals during the week (where students take turns waiting tables) help ensure a close-knit community on campus. St. Andrew's requires chores of students (which are usually in the student's dorm and rotate regularly).

Academics are rigorous and graduates attend Ivy League schools and other top-tiers like NYU and Vanderbilt. Seniors take spring tutorials which are reading and writing intensive, in which three students meet in a course specifically designed by faculty members across a range of disciplines in the spirit of the Oxford tutorial method, and then defend an original thesis to the English Department.

True to its heritage, St. Andrew's offers a Pipes & Drums ensemble that gives students the opportunity to learn and perform the bagpipes or learn field drumming, and requires attendance at chapels and Sunday service. Lastly, the school can meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for students.

10 The Thacher School

The Thacher SchoolFounded in 1889, the Thacher School in Ojai, California, is the oldest coed boarding school in the state. Nearly 90% of students live on campus, which naturally contributes to a strong campus community along with Formal Dinners four nights a week and seven-day-long camping trips each semester.

Freshmen not only have a single room during their first year at Thacher, they also learn to appreciate the value of good old-fashioned hard work through the mandatory Horse Program, where they learn all the basics of horsemanship (both caretaking and riding). Through this program, students develop a higher sense of self-esteem, along with problem-solving skills and responsibility. Students also take at least one overnight horse-packing trip during the year.

Life within the classroom walls encourages the same development of responsibility and critical thinking, with seniors developing, researching, and presenting their senior thesis in Senior Exhibitions. College acceptances and matriculations for Thacher students are highest at Stanford, NYU, Dartmouth, George Washington, MIT, Colorado College, Tufts, Harvard, Duke, Wesleyan, Bowdoin, Middlebury, USC, Berkeley, and many more.

  • Percentage of students who board: 93%
  • Boarding tuition: $58,920
  • Day tuition: $40,970
  • Acceptance Rate: 11%
  • Average class size: 11
  • Student:Teacher Ratio: 6:1
  • Total Students: 246
  • Percent international: 12%
  • Notable alumni: Howard Hughes (aviator, filmmaker, and industrialist), Thornton Wilder (writer), Noah Wyle (actor)
  • Average SAT Score: 1920 - 2150
    • Critical Thinking: 640 - 740
      Math: 620 - 740
      Writing: 650 - 720
  • Average ACT Score: 30
  • Endowment size: $137.3 million
  • Percent Faculty with Advanced Degrees: 83%
  • Percent on Financial Aid: 29%
  • Average Financial Aid Grant: $44,620 (from $41,400)

 

11 Deerfield Academy

Deerfield AcademyFounded in 1797, Deerfield Academy is an independent, coed boarding school in Western Massachusetts for students in grades 9--12. Deerfield also offers a post-graduate year.

An impressive 89% of the faculty hold advanced degrees in their subject areas. Deerfield prepares its students well academically, as evidenced by the fact that the most graduates have attended Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Georgetown, and UVA over the past four years. Of particular note is the approach of cultivating personal interests and a sense of community.

The inscription on the Deerfield Academy seal reads: "Be Worthy of Your Heritage." At Deerfield, it is understood that "heritage" means more than just the legacy of those who came before. It is an all-encompassing identity and set of core values that the community lives by. Respecting and valuing this heritage is the reason for traditions like sit-down meals and the singing of the Evensong, but it is also the reason the Academy reestablished coeducation in 1989 and continues to develop a curriculum and campus to meet the educational demands of the 21st century.

Deerfield also boasts a thriving alumni network of 12,000-plus. Students are required to participate in a co-curricular each term. Financial aid is distributed by way of grants for those who demonstrate financial need; full-need grants cover up to 98% of costs.

12 Choate Rosemary Hall

Choate Rosemary Hall Founded in 1890, Choate Rosemary Hall is a private coed boarding school located in Wallingford, Connecticut, that enrolls students in grades 9--12. Choate also offers a post-graduate year.

What really sets Choate apart is its extensive menu of course offerings---students can choose from more than 300 classes. Within that framework, students can also focus on programs unique to Choate, like the interdisciplinary Environmental Immersion program, the Modern Standard Arabic program, or the arts program. Students work with their advisors on a capstone project within a concentration---a rated course of study culminating in the final term of the senior year.

Choate is fortunate to be able to cover 100% of costs for students with demonstrated financial need.

13 Woodberry Forest

Woodberry ForestLocated in Madison County, Virginia, Woodberry Forest is an all-boys, all-boarding school founded in 1889.

A distinct graduation requirement of Woodberry Forest is that every student needs not only to perform 60 hours of community service before graduation, but also to spend at least half of these hours as "contact hours," which means hours “spent in direct contact with those benefitting from their service,” according to the school website. Additionally, all students enroll in a leadership development program.

Woodberry Forest boys attend the Ivies, as well as Washington & Lee, UNC-Chapel hill, UVA, and the University of Richmond.

14 Western Reserve Academy

 Western Reserve AcademyFounded in 1828 as the “Yale of the West,” Western Reserve Academy is a private, coeducational boarding school in Hudson, Ohio, serving students in grades 9--12. A post-graduate year is available.

WRA prides itself on long-standing traditions and is one of the only boarding schools that still requires students to adhere to a strict, formal dress code. Other traditions include Friday study breaks that celebrate the coming of the weekend and Wednesday sit-down, family-style lunches with the entire faculty.

In place of Saturday classes, WRA extends learning to the Saturday Academy, a time allotted for in-depth subject study or class meetings. Grads attend Ivies as well as University of Chicago, Northwestern, Duke, Georgetown, NYU, and the U.S. Naval Academy.

15 Verde Valley School

Verde Valley SchoolFounded in Sedona, Arizona, in 1948, the Verde Valley School is an independent, coeducational boarding school for students in grades 9--12. Verde Valley students complete daily morning dorm chores, a weekly work job program, and several community work days throughout the year.

As an International Baccalaureate World School, Verde Valley focuses its course content on IB courses. Current students attend Cornell, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, Vassar, Stanford, Harvey Mudd, and Claremont McKenna, among others.

16 The Taft School

The Taft SchoolFounded in 1890, the Taft School is a coeducational boarding school for students in grades 9--12 located n Watertown, Connecticut. A post-graduate year is available.

Taft students select from more than 200 academic courses or take their own course in the Independent Studies Program, which exists to foster further independence and creativity in learning. Students enjoy access to a thriving alumni network of almost 9,000 active alums of record.

The most recent Taft classes saw large numbers of students enrolls at Yale, Penn, Trinity, Georgetown, Middlebury, and George Washington University.

17 The Orme School

The Orme SchoolJust an hour out of Phoenix in Mayer, Arizona lies The Orme School. Founded in 1929, The Orme School is a unique, college-preparatory, coeducational boarding school for grades 8 through 12. A unique feature of this particular campus is that it is also home to a fully-operating cattle ranch, which serves as a lab for learning in the school's Farm-to-Table program.

In addition to rigorous academics, students are required to participate in the Fine Arts Festival each year as well as attend two “Caravan Trips,” in which faculty members lead classes camping in National Parks or nearby wilderness areas. Students matriculate at Ivies and at Mount Holyoke, Virginia Tech, RPI, NYU, and Seattle Pacific, among others.

18 Rabun Gap--Nacoochee School

Rabun Gap-Nacoochee SchoolLocated in northeast Georgia and founded in 1903, Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is an independent, coeducational boarding school for students in grades 5--12. The school became famous in the late 1960s for the Foxfire magazine project, an experiential education initiative that involved students in interviewing local people and then writing, publishing, and preserving their oral histories.

Rabun Gap affords students unique opportunities unavailable at any other school. For example, the Tallulah Falls Railroad Museum is not only located on campus, but is also owned and operated by the school. Students also have access to a circus skills program---one of the few of its kind in the entire country.  

In addition to challenging academics and one-of-a-kind co-curriculars, all students engage in a campus-wide work program in which they help contribute to the maintenance and improvement of campus buildings, grounds, and programs.

Students gain entrance in to Harvard, Princeton, Duke, Brown, and Emory.

19 Miss Porter's School

Miss Porter's SchoolFounded in 1843 in Farmington, Connecticut, Miss Porter's School is a private boarding school for girls, and was named the top girls' boarding school by U.S. News & World Report. In addition to challenging coursework, students must play in three interscholastic team sport offerings before the start of their senior year. They also receive formal leadership training via themed seminars each year; topics include decision-making, personal awareness, teamwork, problem-solving, and strategic planning.

Students select from over 115 classes, one of which must be an online core class. Girls must complete 30 hours of community service as a graduation requirement. There are nearly 6,000 alumnae worldwide, making an attractive and huge network available to students.

20 Foxcroft

Foxcroft SchoolFounded in 1914, Foxcroft School is a private boarding school for girls in grades 9--12 located in Middleburg, Virginia. Foxcroft tends to its campus life and nurtures its community. Each dorm is overseen by a full-time housemother whose sole responsibility is ensuring a positive residence life experience for students.

Foxcroft girls have access to a world-renowned equestrian program, as well as vast opportunities in STEM, with a third of graduates choosing STEM majors in college. Students gain entrance into the country's best colleges, including (but not limited to) Barnard, Georgetown, Middlebury, Pratt, Syracuse, Tulane, UCLA, UVA, Virginia Tech, Washington & Lee, Wellesley, and Wesleyan.

21 Trinity-Pawling

Trinity-Pawling SchoolFounded in 1907, Trinity-Pawling School is an all-boys boarding school in Duchess County, New York, for grades 7--12. The school retains a strong Episcopalian identity and thus provides a religious chapel service three times a week, in addition to other non-mandatory religious services.

Students receive academic letter grades as well as marks for effort. The Effort Program rates student performance for ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders both in and out of the classroom---for residential life, athletics, clubs, and work---and students are rewarded with different privileges.

Accompanying the traditional college preparatory curriculum is a program in Mandarin Chinese language and culture studies, relevant for any student interested in pursuing business as a college major. Most students matriculate at Trinity College, Syracuse, and St. Lawrence University, as well as the Ivies.

22 Blair Academy

Blair AcademyLocated in northwestern New Jersey, Blair Academy was founded in 1848.

Unique to Blair is the public speaking program, which has a focused approach on teaching effective public speaking across the curriculum. The weekly Society of Skeptics series has been in continuous existence since 1977 and is considered the premiere high school lecture series in the U.S.

In addition to the Ivies, Blair sends students to Boston College, Davidson, Lehigh, Stanford, and the University of Miami.

23 The Hill School

The Hill SchoolLocated in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, the Hill School is a private coeducational boarding high school serving students in grades 9--12. The school also offers a post-graduate year.

Students attend a non-denominational chapel service twice a week and enjoy family-style meals with faculty members. Additionally, students must be enrolled in an afternoon program. According to the school's website, “active participation is required in interscholastic sports at some point during all students' time at The Hill School, and is encouraged at all times.”

Of special note is the writing center, which not only provides writing instruction, but also runs the Writers at Work series of professional writers' visits to campus each year. Hill students matriculate at Boston University, Cornell, George Washington University, Penn State, and the Naval Academy, and enjoy an extensive alumni network with more than 9,500 active and registered alumni across all 50 states.

24 Peddie School

Peddie SchoolFounded in 1864, Peddie School is located in Hightstown, New Jersey, eight miles from Princeton and 50 miles from Manhattan and Philadelphia. Peddie enrolls students in grades 9--12, as well as postgraduate students.

The school offers signature experiential programs in the arts, creative writing, Asian studies, and research science. To promote well-roundedness, students attend chapel twice a week and document at least 20 hours of community service.

Peddie grads attend Ivy League schools and top-tier places like Johns Hopkins, NYU, George Washington, Bucknell, and the Naval Academy.

25 Miss Hall's School

Miss Hall's SchoolLocated in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Miss Hall's School is an all-girls college preparatory boarding school founded in 1898. The school serve students in grades 9--12 and offers a post-graduate year.

Students can choose from among 87 courses and must complete off-campus internships through the school's signature Horizons program. Hall's girls also enjoy access to a thriving alumnae network with more than 3,600 alumnae in 49 states and 60 countries.

Graduates attend the Ivies and other high-caliber colleges such as Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Michigan, among others.

26 Berkshire School

Berkshire SchoolLocated in Sheffield, Massachusetts, the Berkshire School is a private, coeducational boarding school for students in grades 9--12. The school provides a challenging college preparatory curriculum, while maintaining a unique approach to education. Students receive marks for effort, as well as achievement, in order to provide the most accurate reflection of a student's academic performance---according to the school's website, “outstanding effort is recognized as a worthy achievement at Berkshire.”

Berkshire students experience a different kind of academia during the week prior to spring break: the Pro Vita week. Applying the school's motto (pro vita non pro schola discimus, or "we teach for life, not for school"), students choose min-courses, attend presentation by renowned speakers, and experience applied learning. Other programs of distinction include a course in aviation science that prepares students for the FAA Ground School Certification Exam and a special program in advanced humanities research.

The most recent graduating class currently attends Ivies and top-tier schools like Hobart and William Smith, Wesleyan, Bucknell, and West Point.

27 The Holderness School

The Holderness SchoolFounded in 1879, Holderness is a private, coeducational boarding school for students in grades 9--12 located in Plymouth, New Hampshire. The school states simply that it's a school for “smart kids who loves the outdoors,” as it celebrates and incorporates its location in the heart of ski country into its programming.

In addition to outdoor education and a traditional curriculum, Holderness students have enjoyed the Artward Bound program, a nationally recognized visual and performing arts program, for over 20 years. They must also create and present a senior thesis.

Students matriculate at Ivies and at Bowdoin, the University of Richmond, Quinnipiac, and Stanford.

28 Portsmouth Abbey

Portsmouth AbbeyFounded in 1926 by Benedictine monks, Portsmouth Abbey is an independent Catholic coeducational boarding school in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, just seven miles from Newport. In fact, the campus is still home to an actual working monastery, whose presence exerts a positive influence on the school community. The Abbey also serves as a “prep year” for students entering the U.S. Military and Naval Academies.

Students may choose from 84 courses and must complete a community service requirement for graduation, in addition to coursework in theology and Latin.

Students are accepted at schools across the U.S. and most frequently matriculate at Holy Cross, Boston College, and Boston University.

29 Milton Academy

 Milton AcademyJust eight miles south of Boston, Milton Academy is an independent college preparatory school founded in 1798. Milton serves students grades K--12. The school values progressive thinking, actively seeks a diverse student population, and encourages students to discover their true academic selves through a variety of programs and coursework.

Students may choose from more than 180 courses in nine departments. The school is home to Ayer Observatory, which is open for use by astronomy students and for public tours on Friday nights.

Most recently, high numbers of Milton students have matriculated at Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Northwestern, Harvard, Columbia, and Boston University.

30 Suffield Academy

Suffield AcademyFounded in 1833, Suffield is a private, coed boarding school serving students in grades 9--12 (and a post-graduate year) in Suffield, Connecticut. Taking to heart that they are training the future leaders of America, Suffield requires leadership training and development from every student, which takes place in the classroom as well as through outdoor education.

Students most recently attended schools such as Trinity, Bentley, NYU, University of Vermont, and Santa Clara University.

31 The Hotchkiss School

The Hotchkiss SchoolThe Hotchkiss School is an independent boarding school located in Lakeville, Connecticut. Founded in 1891, the school educates students in grades 9--12 and offers a post-graduate year.

Students can choose from more than 240 courses, including programs based in the new global initiatives and focus on environmental sustainability. Students are given the chance to tailor their academic programs.

Over the past five years, students matriculate most frequently at Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Princeton, Yale, and Penn.

The school is noted for its extensive alumni network and sheer amount of graduates who have gone on to become representatives, senators, and other influential government officials.

32 The Webb Schools

The Webb SchoolsFounded in 1922 in Claremont, California, the Webb School for Boys and Vivian Webb School for Girls comprise the Webb Schools. The Webb schools educate boys and girl separately until the junior year when classes become coed; this is set up in order to “celebrate the formative differences between boys and girls.”

A whopping 90% of the faculty hold advanced degrees; together, they offer 81 courses.

Webb students matriculate at the Ivies, as well as the University of Southern California, NYU, Wellesley, Georgetown, Northwestern, and UCLA.

The campus is also home to the Alf Museum of Paleontology, where students are fully involved in the scientific process. Freshmen study paleontology in science classes, and all students go into the field for a hands-on fossil expedition.

33 The Salisbury School

The Salisbury SchoolSalisbury, Connecticut, is home to the Salisbury School, a private boarding school for boys. The school keeps its century-old traditions alive while creating a careful curriculum that prepares students for the outer world. Almost the entire student body boards, and the community gathers for campus-wide events daily, which promotes community.

In addition to its standard and rigorous college preparatory courses, Salisbury offers programs in robotics, entrepreneurial studies, and Mandarin Chinese.

Students matriculate at some of the nation's top schools, including NYU, Sewanee, Trinity College, and the Naval Academy, in addition to the Ivy League institutions.

34 The Governor's Academy

The Governor's AcademyFounded in 1763, the Governor's Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts, is the oldest continuously operating boarding school in the United States. The coeducational school serves students in grades 9--12.

The school recently won first place in the Green Cup Challenge. To instill the values of lifelong citizenship and civics, students must complete 100 hours of community service.

All coursework focuses on the school's seven essential skills. Clearly, the academic program at Governor's Academy is strong, as evidenced by recent matriculations at the Ivies and Boston University, Tufts, Furman, and the University of Southern California, among others.

35 Groton School

The Groton SchoolFounded in 1884 just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Groton is a private, coeducational boarding school that serves students in grades 8--12. Groton offers a classical college preparatory curriculum and requires students to take two years of Latin or Greek.

Keeping in line with traditions, the Groton School day commences with chapel services and concludes with "check-in," which is when dorm residents shake hands with the teacher on duty. Students matriculate at all the Ivies, highest enrollments at Harvard, Georgetown, Trinity, Bowdoin, and Yale in the past five years.

Students are not required to perform community service and count hours; instead, community service is an expectation of all students. All students are required to attend weekend religious services, but are free to choose the service that best fits their own tradition.

Groton School has over 4,200 active alumni, with more than with more than 50 percent alumni participation each and every year.

36 The Storm King School

Storm King SchoolThe Storm King School, a private boarding school located in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, was founded in 1867. The school serves students grades 8--12 and offers a post-graduate year.

Students benefit from the school's proximity to Manhattan, as well as the pastoral setting of the campus, which offers outdoor education and an optional mountaineering program.

Storm King provides a strong college preparatory curriculum; students most frequently matriculate at Rutgers, Boston University, NYU, Syracuse, Cornell, and Parsons School of Design.

37 Loomis Chaffee

Loomis ChaffeeLoomis Chaffee, located in Windsor, Connecticut, was founded in 1874 by five siblings whose children all died tragically and who therefore became determined to found a school as a gift to the children of others. Today, the school serves students in grades 9--12 and offers a post-graduate year.

In addition to more than 180 courses, students can select a Global Studies certification through special study in international relations, foreign language, and study abroad.

Loomis Chaffee grads go to every Ivy and frequently matriculate at George Washington, the University of Connecticut, Skidmore, NYU, Bates, and Tufts.

38 Middlesex School

Middlesex SchoolFounded in 1901 and located 20 miles west of Boston in Concord, Massachusetts, Middlesex School is a private, coeducational boarding school that serves students in grades 9--12. The school encourages the development of each individual student's personal academic interests and says “after all, the world needs both physicists and Disney Imagineers.”

As part of the Independent Study Program, seniors create customized courses and learn from faculty experts in that designated field of interest.

Freshmen are required to take a course in mindfulness during the first nine weeks, and sophomores take a weekly seminar in expository writing across the curriculum. In addition to participating in various traditions, the entire campus community joins in an all-school read each year.

Middlesex students most frequently attend Ivy League schools, as well as Amherst, Boston College, Bucknell, Colby, George Washington University, Middlebury College, NYU, Trinity, University of Chicago, and Vanderbilt.

39 Tabor Academy

Tabor AcademyLocated on the water in Marion, Massachusetts, Tabor Academy is an independent coeducational boarding school for students in grades 9--12.

Among its 138 course offerings are six specific classes in nautical studies. Tabor, known as “the school by the sea,” takes full advantage of its location and has turned it into an educational resource. The successful completion of these courses (some of which can be completed in the Caribbean Studies program), according to the school website, “entitles a Tabor graduate to a Naval Honor Certificate, recognized by the United States Armed Forces as part of the candidate's permanent record and qualifying him/her for the school's nomination to a Federal Service Academy.”

Tabor graduates most frequently enroll in schools like Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, George Washington University, and Bowdoin.

40 Northfield Mt. Hermon School

Northfield Mt. Hermon SchoolLocated in western Massachusetts, Northfield Mount Hermon School (NMH) dates back to 1879. An independent, coeducational boarding school for students in grades 9–12, the school also offers a postgraduate year.

NMH prepares students for college life, from using a College-Model Academic Program to providing extensive college-planning support. Students, faculty, and dorm advisors comprise a “partnership of 12”: a dorm-centered advising system that helps students navigate their personal and academic paths toward success at NMH.

While living on campus, all students are part of a work program in which they spend four hours a week working an on-campus job; jobs change each term.

Students are frequently accepted into schools like NYU, Northwestern, Vassar, Emory, Bates, and Boston University, as well as the Ivies.

41 Kent School

Kent SchoolFounded in 1906, the Kent School in Kent, Connecticut, is located 90 miles east of Manhattan. Because the founder desired to teach students from all walks of life, Kent was the first secondary school in the U.S. to offer sliding-scale tuition.

In addition to a menu of 160 courses, Kent offers a unique pre-engineering program, especially designed for students interested in pursuing an engineering major on the college level.

Students get into the Ivies, certainly, but apply to a broad range of schools that fit their unique personalities and interests. Kent students enroll in large numbers at George Washington, Syracuse, and the University of Vermont.

42 The Emma Willard School

The Emma Willard SchoolFounded in 1814, Emma Willard is an all-girls boarding school in Troy, New York, serving students in grades 9--12. The school offers a post-graduate year. As the first Fair Trade--certified high school in the U.S., Emma places a special emphasis on social justice and community.

Students can choose from more than 132 courses, and according to the school's college profile, “the faculty intentionally limits the number of AP courses offered in order to provide students with an array of equally rigorous non-AP electives at the upper level.” Emma girls are frequently accepted to the Ivies and schools like American University, UVA, Rensselaer Polytechnic, Grinnell, Hamilton, Boston College, and NYU.

43 Lawrenceville School

Lawrenceville School Located just five miles away from Princeton University, the Lawrenceville School has historically been the feeder for the New Jersey Ivy. The private, coeducational boarding school serves students in grades 9--12 and offers a post-graduate year.

Lawrenceville's faculty is largely composed of advanced degree holders---a stunning 94%. These highly educated teachers employ the Harkness teaching method in their classrooms. The school requires 40 hours of community service for graduation in addition to seminars in personal development.

Over the past five years, Lawrenceville students have matriculated in droves at Princeton, Georgetown, NYU, Brown, and Cornell.

44 Pomfret School

Pomfret SchoolFounded in 1894, Pomfret School is an independent coeducational college preparatory boarding school in northeastern Connecticut for students in grades 9--12 and postgraduates.

To provide a stable foundation for the remainder of their studies, all first-years are required to attend a year-long, weekly seminar in personal and academic success. Sophomores must take a course in social issues, and all students have the chance for independent academic study.

All students at Pomfret participate in the TELL program, a series of 14 workshops held throughout the school year that focus on health and wellness, diversity and multiculturalism, and leadership and ethics.

Pomfret grads have most recently matriculated at Connecticut College, Northeastern, Trinity, Hobart and William Smith, Bates, Penn, and SMU.

45 Westminster School

Westminster AcademyFounded in 1888 and offering a solid, traditional college prep course of study, Westminster Academy in Simsbury, Connecticut, serves students in grades 9--12 and offers a post-graduate year.

One of the core elements of life at Westminster are the family-style dinners where students are assigned to a table for two-week rotations with faculty families. Unique to this school is the Visiting Poets program, during which nationally lauded poets take up temporary residence on the campus, address the student body, and visit classes.

Westminster grads most frequently attend schools like Boston College, Trinity, University of Richmond, and Connecticut College, along with the Ivy League schools.

46 South Kent School

South Kent SchoolFounded in 1923, Connecticut's South Kent School serves boys in grades 9--12, as well as those interested in a post-graduate year. Boys are called to adventure, service, and the arts at South Kent, and academic requirements reflect the three calls.

In addition to traditional curriculum, the school focuses on experiential, project-based programs. The Advanced Media Group affords students the chance to learn digital entrepreneurship and web-casting and serves as the model for similar programs in other schools.

Graduates attend the Ivies, MIT, Trinity, Penn State, Colgate, Wesleyan, and Colby College.

47 The Williston Northampton School

The Williston Northampton SchoolA private coeducational boarding school, the Williston Northampton School was founded in 1841 and is located in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The school serves students in grades 9--12 and offers a post-graduate year.

Wiliston Northampton provides a traditional college preparatory curriculum. Students may participate in a Writer's Workshop and attend the Photographer's Lecture Series. All students are part of the Curricular Technology Initiative.

The most recent graduates of Williston Northampton attend NYU, Trinity, Hobart and William Smith, Connecticut College, Union College, Colby, Bentley, and Ithaca College.

48 The Cate School

 The Cate SchoolLocated outside of Santa Barbara, California, the Cate School was established in 1910. As a private coeducational boarding school, Cate serves students in grades 9--12.

The campus's proximity to the Pacific Ocean invites unique experiential education. In addition, students may choose from more than 155 courses.

Cate students frequently matriculate at the USC, Stanford, NYU, Colorado College, and the University of Chicago, in addition to Ivies.

49 The Ethel Walker School

The Ethel Walker SchoolSince 1911, the Ethel Walker School has served girls in grades 6--12 as a private boarding school for girls in Simsbury, Connecticut. The school also offers a post-graduate year.

Girls complete a community service project each year and will either be a “Sun” or a “Dial” as part of a friendly campus rivalry during their time on campus

While Walker's girls receive a solid background in traditional college prep courses, they also have the option to take unique skills-based classes in advanced math, equine studies, creative writing---even Arctic studies.

Students matriculate at every Ivy as well as every top school for engineering in the U.S.

50 Wayland Academy

Wayland AcademyFounded in 1855, Wayland Academy is a private, coeducational boarding school in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, serving students in grades 9--12.

The school offers a strong, traditional college prep curriculum, and has recently embarked on an engineering and robotics initiative.

Students gain entrance to the Ivies and also enroll at Drexel, St. Olaf, Franklin & Marshall, Grinnell, Smith, and West Point.

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