Prospective students and their parents can be overwhelmed when beginning the boarding school search process, but asking the right questions from the beginning and following a few simple step along the way will ultimately result in the best match.
Step 1 – It is important for parents and the prospective student to consider the following questions:
- What are your academic strengths and weaknesses?
- What classes do you enjoy and why?
- Are you comfortable making new friends and staying away from home for extended periods of time?
- What are your extra curricular interests?
- What type of learning environment do you thrive in?
- What are your academic goals?
- What are your interests and talents outside of the classroom?
- Which geographic areas are you most interested in and why?
- Are you open to any kind of climate and weather? Why or why not?
Step 2 – Researching each school’s website and print materials, and the many types of boarding schools available is also important. Comparing notes about each school will offer insights into those you want to eliminate and identify a handful that are a potential match.
Step 3 – Next, you should review each school’s financial requirements and scholarship opportunities. In addition to scholarships, there are many options from which to choose to help you afford boarding school, including financial aid, payment plans, and third party loans. Boarding schools are an important investment, and your admission counselor will help guide you through the various options and appropriate financial planning.
Step 4 – Perhaps the most critical step is to schedule a visit and to have candid conversations with the admissions reps at the various boarding schools you are considering. While visiting, you should be able to see classrooms and dorms, have conversations with students, faculty, and dorm parents, and roam the campus at a leisurely pace.
Following these simple steps will open the door to the many opportunities that boarding schools offer and pave the way for a positive boarding school experience.