Top 5 reasons a boarding school may be right for your family
Deciding if a boarding school may be right for your family begins with understanding where to begin the process - oftentimes the most daunting of tasks, but perhaps the most rewarding in the end.
Just as a prestigious university will lead to endless opportunities upon graduation, a boarding school allow for an unmatched experience, preparation unlike any other program, and a network and community that will be available for years to come.
Have you proposed the option of attending a boarding school to further your education before entering the next level, but you want to know what is a boarding school like? Are you interested in understanding the advantages of boarding school? The below are five areas that will allow for you to better determine the answer you may be posing: "Why boarding school?"
1. Relationships over acquaintances
One of the major differentiating factors when comparing boarding schools to private and public day schools is the element of camaraderie. Studying, eating, competing, and living with your peers allows for an opportunity to develop relationships that simply cannot be duplicated outside of a boarding school atmosphere. Whether it's studying with your teammate, supporting your classmate in his or her game, exploring new opportunities through on-campus clubs and organizations, and more, a boarding school experience enables a sense of community that translates directly into college.
Teachers also fall under this category, as they regularly attend competitions and games both on and off campus. By having an opportunity to support students and gain an understanding of their athletic abilities, teachers learn to develop an entirely different level of respect for students than they may have otherwise had. Additionally, boarding schools teachers and faculty have the ability to take feedback from students and directly implement it into campus life because they have increased academic freedom which, in turn, furthers those relationships that can carry over beyond high school. Many boarding school graduates admit that they visit their alma maters to see past teachers and that their friendships made in school have carried on past the college years.
Leaving home at the age of 14, I had no idea what to expect. IMG Academy allowed me to expand my horizons, helped me work towards my goal of playing baseball at a higher level, and it provided me with friendships from all over the world that will last a lifetime. - Michael Xirinachs - Class of 2009, baseball - Bentley University graduate
2. Independencefrom admittance
Boarding schools are the ideal college preparatory environment because they do just that - prepare you for college. By living independently, but with more on-campus safety and supervision than that a collegiate institution, students begin to learn how to balance their schedules and develop an understanding of time management and responsibility. With independence comes growth, as students will begin to recognize they are more self-reliant than ever. From tidying up your dorm to making time for breakfast before class or practice, students with a boarding school background see the transition from high school to college becoming one of ease.
Boarding schools offer schedules that mirror that of a collegiate program, and learning the ideal balance of both sport and school begins well before setting foot on a college campus. According to The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), 78% of boarding school students feel prepared for college, as opposed to 36% of private school students and 23% of public school students.
He's the best freshman leader I've seen in 22 years of coaching. - Tod Kowalczyk, University of Toledo men's head coach on former IMG Academy basketball post-graduate J.T. Thomas
3. Less distraction, moreinvolvement
Boarding school schedules do much more than prepare you for college - they also create a structure that's simply impossible to mimic in a private or public day school. By taking advantage of each moment in the day, from eating meals to transitioning from class to practice to attending a study session or campus club meeting, students recognize that their lives are much more structured in a boarding school environment.
Additionally, traveling for sport no longer means risking the chance to take a mandatory exam. Teachers understand the traveling commitments from athletic teams and can stay after-hours to administer a test, explain important subject matter, or tutor a challenging topic. TABS also reports that boarding school students spend 17 hours on homework per week, as opposed to 9 hours and 8 hours for private and public schools, respectively. The lack of disciplinary concerns inside a boarding school not only comforts families but also ensures a unifying and supportive environment for students.
Undoubtedly, IMG Academy is a means to facilitate leadership, self-confidence and self-esteem. We can only thank you for everything the Academy did for our daughter in her academic and athletic development. She is certainly prepared for the next stage in her life. - Leticia S., Mother of an IMG Academy alumnus
4. Diversity through immersion
Because of the ease of living and studying on a boarding school campus, they tend to attract a much more diverse environment than other prep schools. Boarding school students may attend a Social Studies class where they are able to learn directly from their peers as opposed to strictly from their textbooks. Additionally, a more diverse student population allows boarding schools to incorporate more international elements into the course curriculum, including understanding overall culture as opposed to generic customs. These opportunities to expand your cultural awareness while building friendships with students from all over the world carry over into both college and careers.
I had teachers who inspired me to reach beyond my comfort zone and respectfully question the world around me. Because of the diverse nature of IMG Academy, the quality of the learning and the demand to balance school with sport, I was more prepared for my college experience. - Alexa R., IMG Academy graduate
5. Competition on and off the field
From day one, boarding schools take on a competitive stance, including through the admissions process, athletics, academics, and even campus life. Becoming immersed in a competitive atmosphere results in students pushing their peers to succeed in class, in their upcoming tournaments, and in their daily routines. Boarding school students become motivated by seeing the tendencies of their classmates and teammates. Unlike other prep schools, the competition in the athletic arena remains unrivaled because of the extreme focus placed on sport. By competing alongside top athletes from around the world in your given sport, you will develop even further and learn from your peers. It's not as much about competing against your team but more about learning and growing together. Competition yields growth and also relates directly to collegiate athletics, applying to jobs, and having a desire to strive to be the best you can be.
The combination and quality of coaching, facilities, and in-house competition makes it a total triple threat. The strive for excellence translates beyond sport and into life. The experiences and opportunities I had while I was at IMG Academy shaped me into the person and athlete I am today. IMG Academy took me from a national stage to a global mindset, and I am truly sincere when I say that IMG Academy changed my life. - Mallory Cecil, Class of 2009, Tennis - Duke University graduate and NCAA champion