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25 of America’s Most Expensive Boarding Schools

25 of America’s Most Expensive Boarding Schools

When you hear the words “boarding school,” visions of Hogwarts or rich yet emotionally neglected children may come to mind. But what are America’s most expensive boarding schools really like—and more importantly, how much do they cost?

Well, it’s time to seriously look into launching an enterprise that will transform you into a millionaire, because you’ll find hefty tuition fees—along with amazing opportunities for your children to learn new and exciting lessons—on this list of 25 of America’s most expensive boarding schools.

1. Walnut Hill School for the Arts

walnuthills

    The boarding tuition expense for the 2014–2015 school year is $53,000 for this private boarding high school, according to the Walnut Hill School for the Arts website. Nestled in Natick, Massachusetts, students aren’t far away from bustling Boston as they choose to study subjects such as visual arts, media arts (covering writing and film) or theater, dance and music.

    2. San Domenico School

    sandomenico

      The San Domenico School is situated within the scenic hills of Marin County, California, and their total 9th- through 12th-grade tuition totals can range up to $54,800 per year. The school’s Virtuoso Program boasts an impressive list of universities that certain students of the boarding school have gone on to attend – as well as quality Marin Symphony guests.

      3. The Webb Schools

      webb-schools

        The boarding student tuition for these schools—which are separated into one for only boys and another for all girls—are $53,575 for the 2014–2015 school year. If you’ve got a budding paleontologist on your hands, the Webb Schools have their accredited Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology directly on their campus.

        4. Blair Academy

        blair-academy

          While the name might remind us of a main character from the 1980s sitcom The Facts of Life, the annual fee for Blair Academy could turn smiles serious for those considering sending their children to the location in Blairstown, New Jersey. The boarding student costs for the 2014–2015 academic year that covers tuition, room and board is $53,600. The dorm life includes social activities like trips to the movies and holiday parties—not to mention dining services that are replete with “Blair Angus” burgers, Texas toast and a “protein zone” menu for post-athletic student endeavors.

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          5. Suffield Academy

          suffield-academy

            Tuition for boarding students at Suffield Academy is $52,300 for the 2014–2015 academic year, but you’d better add the cost of an Apple laptop onto those fees, which is a requirement for students. Located in Suffield, Connecticut—just 17 miles north of Hartford—this school features a 20,000–volume library, a new lifestyle yoga/Pilates center named The Balance Barn, and a plethora of outdoor fields for soccer, football, softball and more.

            6. Brandon Hall School

            brandon-hall-use

              The Atlanta-based Brandon Hall School is a college preparatory boarding school that is rumored to cost $62,300 per year, and requires students to complete the application process for at least two colleges in order to graduate. This process of creating practical methods of going on to higher education is why the school boasts 100% of its students going on to attend college, so prepare to study up on cashing out your annuity in order to help your kids make the grade for this high-cost institution.

              7. Brooks School

              brooks-school

                Boarding students in this North Andover, Massachusetts, school may face a tuition cost of $53,420; however, with 10 dormitories, a long list of extracurricular activities and plenty of “Afternoon Programs” in the bucolic location above Lake Cochichewick, it could be well worth the fee.

                8. Cushing Academy

                cushing

                  The 2014–2015 tuition and fee costs for Cushing Academy boarding students is $53,700—and this private school has been praised for providing 21st century leadership skills—as well as a bunch of different dorm activities (like pizza parties and powwows) that help students bond.

                  9. Williston Northampton School

                  Williston Northampton School

                    The 2014–2015 academic year tuition for an upper school boarding student is $52,900 for the Williston Northampton School located in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The family-like environment features a merit scholar legacy program for alumni family members that meet certain stipulations and standards.

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                    10. Hebron Academy

                    hebron

                      Students who live in the United States or Canada will pay a 2014–2015 boarding tuition of $53,900—while international counterparts outside those areas pay $56,900 to call Hebron Academy their boarding school home. With a top-class athletic center, ice-skating arena and extensive trails, this top tier school is located in Hebron, Maine.

                      11. The White Mountain School

                      white-mountain

                        The boarding tuition for the 2014–2015 academic year is $52,000 for the White Mountain School, which is perfect for those who love the picturesque and rugged countryside of Bethlehem, New Hampshire. The lessons taught in the academy’s sustainability study teach students about life from the cradle to the grave.

                        12. Holderness School

                        holderness

                          You’ve probably heard of Upward Bound; well, the Holderness School has a special program called Artward Bound that allows students to express themselves through all measure of artistic endeavors. The charge for tuition, room and board for this Plymouth, New Hampshire-based school for the 2014–2015 academic year is $54,100.

                          13. Portsmouth Abbey School

                          portsmouthabbey

                            This Rhode Island school for 9th to 12th graders has a boarding tuition for the 2014–2015 academic year of $52,730. Founded in 1926 by a Benedictine monk, the Portsmouth Abbey School sits on an idyllic 525–acre campus close to the beautiful shores near Newport. With a wide range of sports and visual arts programs, the institution includes community service internships as well.

                            14. New Hampton School

                            newhamptom

                              Boarding tuition and fees for the 2014–2015 school year for New Hampton School are  $53,700. The New Hampton, New Hampshire-located school offers a special international exchange program whereby a handful of students, along with a couple of faculty advisors, travel to China.

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                              15. Wilbraham & Monson Academy

                              wma

                                Wilbraham, Massachusetts, is the stomping grounds of the aptly named Wilbraham & Monson Academy, whose 2014–2015 tuition for upper school boarding students is $52,985. Little details make the school special, such as the “family meals” that the students have each week with other students in the dormitories in order to foster stronger relationships and learn how to serve one another.

                                16. George School

                                georgeschool

                                  George School boarding students tuition and fee amounts for the 2014–2015 academic year are $53,600—an amount that will also cover room and board. Although Quakers located in Newtown, Pennsylvania, founded the school, “GS” doesn’t seek to convert children to a path of Quakerism. Instead the focus remains on fun art activities, academics and athletics—all married with a sense of understanding.

                                  17. The Thacher School

                                  thacher

                                    The 125–year–old Thacher School is located in gorgeous Ojai, California; however, students get the choice to take an entire year to study elsewhere, either in the United States or overseas. The boarding tuition and fees for the 2014–2015 school year are $53,500.

                                    18. Deerfield Academy

                                    The total tuition costs for the 2014–2015 school year of $54,580 that boarding students pay for Deerfield Academy covers a wide range of items, such as academics, room and board—as well as lab equipment use, art supplies and lots of the weekend campus perks. Perhaps the biggest bonus of attending this school is that certain alumni go on to attend Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Yale.

                                    19. The Masters School

                                    masters

                                      Expect to shell out $55,050 for boarding costs, tuition and special event fees for the 2014–2015 school year for this Dobbs Ferry, New York, academy that houses boarding students from all over the world as well as those closer to home. Placed within 96 acres and woods that have a vantage point above the Hudson River, The Masters School is an ideal environment for learning.

                                      20. Sandy Spring Friends School

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                                      ssfs

                                        The Sandy Spring Friends School sounds like the perfect place to meet new acquaintances and academic ideals, and for tuition costs of $54,600 for 7–day boarding of students from grades 9 through 12, plenty of opportunities for bonding arise in this school that focuses on outdoor learning and athleticism in Sandy Spring, Maryland.

                                        21. Tabor Academy

                                        tabor

                                          The Tabor Academy boarding students pay $53,375 for tuition and fees during the 2014–2015 school year to learn a variety of subjects, including up close and personal marine biology studies conducted during two-week-long winter breaks in the Caribbean. Beyond that, the Marion, Massachusetts “School by the Sea” focuses on language arts, athletics and a great measure of subject areas to keep interest from waning.

                                          22. Mercersburg Academy

                                          mercersburg

                                            Count notable actors such as Jimmy Stewart and Benicio del Toro—both Oscar winners—among the illustrious former students of Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. And while you’re counting, plan for tuition, room and board costs of $52,700 for the 2014–2015 school year for this 300–acre campus that prides itself on birthing students that go on to attend highly competitive colleges.

                                            23. Oregon Episcopal School

                                            oes

                                              At the Oregon Episcopal School in scenic Portland, Oregon, tuition for the 2014–2015 school year is $53,498 for boarding students in the 9th through 12th grades. The combination of small class sizes and an emphasis on global exchange programs along with college prep instructions makes this a valuable place to pick up values and educational skills.

                                              24. The Winchendon School

                                              winchendon

                                                The Winchendon School costs $54,080 for boarding tuition and fees for the 2014–2015 school year, and for that cost, “The Winch” provides its attendees with a big education in digital literacy, top-notch athletics, arts and college-prep classes at the New England boarding school.

                                                25. St. George’s School

                                                stgeorges

                                                  Rounding out the list is St. George’s School, another Newport, Rhode Island-helmed boarding school that costs $54,100 for the 2014–2015 academic year for boarding students. “Because the journey matters,” reads the tagline of this Episcopal school by the sea that allows more than half a dozen students to travel the Atlantic shoreline on board Geronimo, a large marine research vessel. Perhaps the pledge to act with truthfulness and honor in the student’s honor code is what draws parents the most to this learning facility—along with all the additional academic and spiritual offerings.

                                                  Featured photo credit: Suffield via media.cdn.whipplehill.net

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                                                  Last Updated on September 2, 2020

                                                  How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                                                  How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                                                  Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

                                                  In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

                                                  4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

                                                  Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

                                                  1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                                                  Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

                                                  It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

                                                  Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

                                                  2. Keep Goals Realistic

                                                  It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

                                                  It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

                                                  3. Account for Inflation

                                                  Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

                                                  Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

                                                  For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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                                                  4. Short Term Vs Long Term

                                                  Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

                                                  As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

                                                  By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

                                                  How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                                                  Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

                                                  • Ensuring healthy savings
                                                  • Making smart investments

                                                  You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

                                                  Ensuring Healthy Savings

                                                  Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

                                                  This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

                                                  1. Track Expenses

                                                  The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

                                                  Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

                                                  If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

                                                  2. Pay Yourself First

                                                  Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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                                                  Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

                                                  The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

                                                  Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

                                                  3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

                                                  Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

                                                  Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

                                                  At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

                                                  Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

                                                  You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

                                                  4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

                                                  In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

                                                  Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                                                  • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
                                                  • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
                                                  • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                                                  The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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                                                  5. Talk About It

                                                  Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

                                                  Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

                                                  6. Maintain a Journal

                                                  For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

                                                  If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

                                                  When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

                                                  Making Smart Investments

                                                  Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

                                                  1. Consult a Financial Advisor

                                                  Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

                                                  Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

                                                  2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                                                  Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

                                                  Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

                                                  As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

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                                                  3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

                                                  Einstein once remarked about compounding:

                                                  “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

                                                  Use compound interest when setting financial goals

                                                    Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

                                                    Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

                                                    4. Measure, Measure, Measure

                                                    All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                                                    If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

                                                    Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

                                                    The Bottom Line

                                                    Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

                                                    and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

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                                                    Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

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