Monday, July 15, 2024

New Poll Ranks the 50 Best Boarding Schools in the U.S.

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An image of two high school students in a hallway.

Boarding schools have a reputation for being prestigious. The academic institutions accept high-achieving students from across the county (usually after a rigorous screening process) and promise to prepare them for university success—perhaps even on Ivy League campuses. Most boarding schools offer a challenging academic setting with esteemed faculty and impressive extracurricular opportunities. They also commit to helping students build friendships, gain independence, and focus on personal growth.

It's true that boarding schools don't have the best portrayal on TV shows and movies (we're looking at you, Dead Poet's Society). But they actually aren't full of elitist students wearing tweed jackets and flaunting their family's money. Indeed, according to, a data-driven rankings site for higher education, boarding schools are becoming more diverse and geographically varied than ever before. And while they still cost a pretty penny, many students get some type of scholarship to attend boarding school.

To help students and parents interested in attending, combed through every boarding school in America and chose the best ones. Their rankings are based on the influences of faculty and former students, compiled using machine-learning data technology and artificial intelligence. 

"Sending a child to a boarding school is a big deal, matched in significance only by a student's decision to attend," says Dr. Jed Macosko, academic director of and professor of physics at Wake Forest University. "Our ranking gives students and their parents a place to compare the schools they've heard about with ones that are new to them. The ability to compare more options helps everyone make a solid, well-informed choice."

More than 300 boarding schools exist across America today. These 50 made the list for best boarding schools 2021:

  1. Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida
  2. Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey
  3. Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts
  4. Buxton School in Williamstown, Massachusetts
  5. Canterbury School in New Milford, Connecticut
  6. Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut
  7. Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts
  8. Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana
  9. Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts
  10. Fessenden School in Newton, Massachusetts
  11. Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Virginia
  12. Georgetown Preparatory School in Bethesda, Maryland
  13. Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine
  14. Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts
  15. Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia
  16. The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania
  17. Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut
  18. Indian Springs School in Indian Springs, Alabama
  19. Kent School in Kent, Connecticut
  20. La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana
  21. Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois
  22. Lawrenceville School in Lawrence Township, New Jersey
  23. Madeira School in Fairfax, Virginia
  24. Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts
  25. Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts
  26. Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut
  27. Missouri Military Academy in Mexico, Missouri
  28. New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico
  29. Northfield Mount Hermon School in Mount Hermon, Massachusetts
  30. Oak Ridge Military Academy in Oak Ridge, North Carolina
  31. Peddie School in Highstown, New Jersey
  32. Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts
  33. Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire
  34. Portsmouth Abbey School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island
  35. The Putney School in Putney, Vermont
  36. Santa Catalina School in Monterey, California
  37. Shattuck–St. Mary's School in Fairbault, Minnesota
  38. South Kent School in South Kent, Connecticut
  39. St. Albans School in Washington, D.C.
  40. St. Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey
  41. St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island
  42. St. Mark's School in Southborough, Massachusetts
  43. St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas
  44. Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut
  45. The Thacher School in Ojai, California
  46. University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  47. Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
  48. Westtown School in West Chester, Pennsylvania
  49. Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry Forest, Virginia
  50. Worcester Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts
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