Boarding School Blog /

Building a Strong Foundation

It may be time for parents to realize that times have changed.  Somehow during the course of our life, something has shifted and we may want to react to it.  Many parents are beginning to figure out that the traditional sequence of educating a child (allowing them to attend the local high school – regardless of the quality – and then paying for their university education) may be leaving things too late.  The proverbial boat may have already left the dock.

If we were honest with ourselves, many of us in our 40s and 50s cruised through high school with little or no pressure on us to make a decision about our future.  The culture in the 70’s and early 80’s was that university was a place where all this would get sorted out.  Our future was something that would magically come to us once we enrolled in a university.  These were halcyon days.

More and more parents are recognizing that the investment in their child’s future needs to come sooner rather than later.  Waiting to pay for their child’s university education may be waiting too late if the child’s high school doesn’t provide a top-tier education along with an experienced and capable post-secondary counseling program.  I deal with parents everyday who have decided to invest in their children’s education now, while they are in high school.  They know that if they don’t get it right now, they may not get a second chance.

The logic is sound. Building a strong foundation academically allows students to have a leg-up in university.  With drop-out rates in universities and colleges across North America at an all-time high, it is abundantly clear that the student’s academic readiness is a key factor in college/university retention.  If a student is well prepared for the academic and social demands of post secondary education, they are more likely to stay in school.  Here is where there is a distinct advantage for students studying at a quality boarding school.

Boarding schools are designed to be a bridge to university.  Quality boarding schools offer the social/academic tools for post-secondary survival.  As parents, perhaps it is worth taking another look at what boarding schools offer.  After all, you can’t build a solid structure on a weak foundation.

Clayton Johnston is the Director of Admissions at Brentwood College School in Vancouver Island, BC. He blogs regularly at Brentwood Admissions Blog about his school and about life in the admissions office at Brentwood College School. Visit BCS to learn more: www.brentwood.bc.ca

More by Clayton Johnston

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