Admissions

About Boarding Schools

The overwhelming majority of my posts here on Admit This! have been focused on preparing for and getting into college via mainstream routes, specifically public schools. But what about private high schools, many of which require that students live on campus away from home? These, obviously, are known as boarding (or “prep") schools.

Perhaps one of the most memorable movies ever made about life at boarding schools is Dead Poet's Society, starring the late Robin Williams. Other scenes concerning boarding school also come from later episodes of the TV series, Mad Men. Making the decision to send a son or daughter away to a boarding school is a significant task, perhaps made easier if an older sibling has already made that journey or is currently attending a prep school.

The competition for prep school admission can be just as sharp as that for competitive colleges, sometimes even more stressful. Don't believe me? Take a look at the Prep School Admissions forum on College Confidential. There you will find 250 pages of threads that discuss the quality of various prep schools and the sagas of getting in or not getting in. It's a mirror of the college process but focused on a much younger demographic.

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