Boarding schools offer a wide range of benefits to students that they would struggle to access elsewhere. Obviously, the decision for parents to select a boarding school education over day school options can be difficult. However, it’s important to regard this choice as a consideration of the big picture rather than focusing on short-term effects. The number of successful people and leaders who began their education in a private school speaks for itself, and boarding facilities have helped to form the foundations for presidents, athletes, politicians, and business leaders.
For some, it’s the stability of a boarding school format that is paramount to success. For others, it’s the fact that boarding schools offer incredible challenges, programs, and activities to students on a daily basis, facilitating an approach to learning that is centered on celebrating academic and personal growth.
Following are just some of the benefits in lifestyle and performance achieved by enrolling in a boarding school education.
1. Discover independence and manage priorities
As much as parents may feel compelled to shield their children from the concerns of the world, independence could be the greatest gift they have to give. In a time when many parents are hyper-vigilant about staying involved in the lives of their growing kids, boarding school can deliver the ideal antidote.
In private boarding schools, students are required to navigate the elements of everyday lives without parental interference. For example, they get themselves up in the morning, prepare for classes, keep their rooms tidy, schedule their own study sessions, and work with a college counselor to apply for schools. Because boarding schools teach the value of learning from one’s mistakes and becoming more efficient, they are a great place to learn real life skills such as time management and goal-setting.
At the same time, in boarding schools, students don’t just manage their own affairs, they also learn to live and interact with other people. This gives them the opportunity to develop crucial leadership skills and improve their interpersonal abilities through the challenge of constant social interaction. Boarding school is a transformative experience in learning about the real world, something that most people don’t get until they attend college.
2. Become immersed in learning without distraction
The environment of a residential campus ensures that students are able to immerse themselves in an educational world where learning and growth forms the basis of all of their activities. This unique setting promotes camaraderie, honesty, development, and trust between students and teachers and allows learners to avoid the problems associated with day schooling. For instance, studies have shown that students at day school struggle as a result of traveling long distances between home and school, and may also receive fewer benefits from living in a non-educational home environment. Because parents don’t have the same training as boarding school teachers, they can’t deliver the 24/7 support that can be given in a private educational setting.
3. Access improved resources
Boarding schools offer an ideal environment to foster intense connections between teachers and students due to the benefits offered by intimate, smaller class sizes. Because boarding schools have smaller classes than most day schools, staff are able to spend more time with their students, helping to promote encouragement and engagement throughout each classroom. Similar to the higher levels of staff investment, facilities and resources can be better in boarding school environments too. Often, private educational facilities have expansive grounds packed with well-stocked sports fields, science laboratories, and libraries.
What’s more, the resources available are often accessible to students outside of class times, allowing for improved extra-curricular activities. A study conducted by the Association of Boarding Schools discovered that 54% of students at boarding schools felt satisfied with their education, in comparison to only 40% at public schools.
4. Prepare for a college education
In addition to feeling happier with their academic experience at boarding school, the study by TABS found that 87% of students felt prepared to take on the academic challenges associated with college, compared to only 39% of students from public schools. Part of the reason lies in the emphasis on independence, responsibility, and resiliency. Not only do individuals that attend boarding school feel academically prepared for tackling college life, they also feel more prepared on a non-academic level. For instance, 78% of students indicated that the daily experiences they had at boarding schools made them feel comfortable about the concepts of exercising independence, handling time well, and managing the social demands of college. In contrast, only 23% of public school students felt the same way.
5. The potential to achieve more
Although it’s safe to say that the educational benefits of a life at boarding school are essential to the personal and educational growth of an individual, it’s also fair to say that the skills learned offer value in life after school. Research has found that boarding school students are more likely to attend graduate school and earn advanced degrees like PhDs and Master’s degrees, as well as achieve more prominent roles in their careers. For instance, 50% of boarding school alumni in the TABS study achieved advanced degrees, compared to 21% of public school graduates. Further, 44% of boarding school graduates earned top positions in management within their career compared to 27% of public school students.
Boarding school alumni indicate they truly enjoyed their educational experience, with as many as 90% reporting that they’d be happy to repeat it. The evidence suggests that boarding school students have access not only to top academic resources, but also to the benefits and social experiences that could deliver life-long advantages.
While most parents direct their children towards boarding school opportunities as a result of their educational value, studies show that these schools offer much more to students than just benefits in the classroom. Students also access the ability to exercise their independence, develop leadership skills, work closely with teachers, and develop close-knit friendships that last a lifetime.