Secondary education in the United States is available in both public and private schools. It is quite difficult for foreign students to get into a public school because of their lack of citizenship or permanent resident status in the country. But private schools are open to foreigners. Boarding schools in the United States favorably differ and are very popular among private educational institutions that provide secondary education.
First, the level of education in boarding schools is much higher than in conventional, even private, not to mention public schools. Usually graduates of such schools are more likely to be accepted into the leading universities of the country. Often the program of study here is aimed at preparing students to enter specific universities. Secondly, boarding school students do not have to worry about finding and paying for housing. This is convenient for Americans who send their children to study away from home, and even more so for foreigners. By the way, international students make up to 15 percent of all American boarding school students.
The United States offers students and their parents a wide range of boarding schools, each with different programs. In addition to boarding schools, which are traditionally separate for boys and girls, there are also schools with a focus on:
- basic military education
- Therapy and psychological help for troubled teenagers or children with specific illnesses
- Special sciences and fields of knowledge
In addition, there are schools which can only accept and teach adolescents of a certain age group. For example, only from seventh grade, or from tenth to twelfth grade, and so on. There are, of course, also those in which children can take the entire high school curriculum, that is, from first to twelfth grade.
In addition to the profile, an important issue in choosing the right boarding school is its location. In schools located in or near larger cities, the number of places available may be limited. And the tuition and living costs will be higher.
Other indicators are also worth considering:
- average SAT scores for graduates
- total student body
- the percentage of students admitted out of all applicants
- Cost of tuition and other services.
- All of these factors make up a school’s ranking – the higher it is, the more prestigious the school is considered.
- It is necessary to find out in advance
- whether the boarding school of choice is accredited by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
- whether it is authorized to accept international students.
Advantages of boarding schools:
- Highly professional and experienced faculty.
- High-quality knowledge, strong curricula which ensure continuation at university.
- Well-equipped and small class sizes for a maximum of 15 students.
- Equipped campuses that provide optimal conditions for studying, recreation, and entertainment.
- A variety of programs that offer sports, dance, music, design, acting, photography, and other artistic pursuits.
Living in Boarding Schools in America
Most students live in private schools as boarders. This is essentially the only option for international students. Some schools offer homestay with host families, but this option is less common.
Boarding schools are completely closed territory, so students live and study in the buildings, located within walking distance from each other. Living conditions can be called excellent – usually it is a double or single rooms with a bed, a closet and a desk for study. There are common rooms and playrooms, as well as kitchens and terraces where you can hang out with friends after school.
Living in a boarding school of America gives your child the opportunity to participate in all the extra activities that interest them. For example, to attend eduaction, music or painting classes, including in the evenings, when day students have already left campus.
Any additional studies are taken seriously here – the boarding houses have an excellent sports infrastructure, theaters, and art studios. Success in sports or arts can be an additional advantage for admission to universities in the United States.
Unlike other options, private boarding schools in the United States are more expensive, because the costs are higher. However, if consider that the price includes not only tuition, but also accommodation and meals, so there is no need for significant additional costs, the investment is fully justified.
Private institutions are guaranteed high academic standards and highly qualified teaching staff. As a result, the entrance scores of boarding school graduates, as opposed to public school students, are higher. Data published by the North American Consortium of Boarding Schools show that private schools in America graduate 90% of future students of the most prestigious university eight, the Ivy League Association.