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6 reasons why high schoolers should attend a boarding school

From a focused experience to personalized instruction, here are just a few reasons why boarding school might be right for you.

Interlochen Arts Academy students share a conversation on Osterlin Mall

Interlochen Arts Academy students share a conversation on Osterlin Mall.

What do you think when you hear “boarding school”? For many of us, the words “boarding school” conjure visions of elite institutions, wealthy students, and preppy uniforms.

In reality, boarding schools are as diverse as the students who attend them. Each year, millions of students just like you choose to continue their education at a boarding institution. Whether you’re interested in academics, art, or engineering, there’s a boarding school that can help you hone your skills and kickstart your college or career journey. Here are just a few of the reasons why a boarding school might be right for you.

  1. Specialize in your area of interest. Whether you excel in math or music, chemistry or creative writing, or finance or film, boarding schools give you the ability to explore your speciality at an advanced level. Many schools are actually dedicated to the study of certain subjects, which means you’ll not only get an in-depth education—you’ll live and learn with other students who share your passion.

  2. Gain independence. In college, you’ll be expected to manage your own time, choose your meals, do your own laundry, and clean your own room. Those same expectations are standard at most boarding schools. But at boarding school, you’re not just thrown into the deep end: Academic and residence life staff will teach you the life skills and study habits you need to excel on your own. You’ll also participate in the roommate experience and learn strategies for sharing a space and navigating conflicts.

  3. Enhanced focus. There are lots of little distractions at home—both good and bad. Things like working a part-time job or helping your little brother with his homework are calling your attention away from your schoolwork. At a boarding school, these distractions are minimized so you can focus on your studies. Of course, there’s still plenty of time for fun!

  4. Access to resources. Public school administrators do their best to support the diverse interests of their students. As a result, school finances are spread across various academic and extracurricular programs. Boarding schools, however, are able to focus their investments to their area of specialization. You’ll have access to facilities designed specifically for your field and with professional-caliber equipment. You’ll also work with world-class faculty and choose from a wider variety of courses.

  5. One-on-one guidance. Let’s face it: Some schools, especially those near big cities, are huge. In a school with 1,000+ students, it’s easy to feel like a number. At boarding schools, capped dormitory space means that enrollment stays small. You’ll be able to develop meaningful, supportive relationships with your instructors and get one-on-one guidance. You’ll also enjoy the intimacy of a smaller student body; you’ll really feel like you know everyone on campus.

  6. Intercultural experiences. Conventional public and private schools generally draw students from the same geographical area, which means you probably have a lot in common with your peers. Boarding schools, on the other hand, attract students from across the country and around the world, giving you the opportunity to mingle with students from vastly different cultures and backgrounds. These multicultural experiences will help you broaden your perspective and expand your worldview.

Interested in an arts-focused boarding school? Discover more about Interlochen Arts Academy.