Why Boarding School?

Finding the right school can be a daunting task. For some, boarding school seems like the right choice, but questions and misconceptions still linger. Outdated notions of boarding schools as places for "problem kids" are thankfully becoming a thing of the past (in truth, many of today's best and brightest students choose to attend boarding schools). And while different schools certainly cater to different needs and ambitions, in all you will find a community of students, parents, and educators committed to inspiring and teaching young men and women.

The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), the non-profit membership organization for independent, college-preparatory boarding schools, commissioned the Art & Science Group, a market research firm, to study the subject. The results of their detailed assessment debunk many misconceptions and offer new insight into the strengths—and advantages—of today's boarding schools. Some highlights (full report available here) include:

  • 95% say they are satisfied or very satisfied with their academic experience, compared to 86% of private day or public school students;

  • 91% report that their schools are academically challenging, compared to 70% of private day and 50% of public school students;

  • 90% report having high-quality teachers, compared to 62% of private day and 51% of public school students;

  • 75% of boarding school students report being surrounded by motivated peers, compared to 71% of private day and 49% of public school students.

Boarding Schools Encourage Positive Personal Development.

Schools play a direct and influential role in developing the personal values and ethics of their students, fostering a supportive and motivating environment. Boarding schools place as much emphasis on character development and growth as they do on academic success.

  • About 70% of boarding students say boarding school helped them develop self-discipline, maturity, independence, and the ability to think;
  • 77% of boarding students say that their schools provide opportunities for leadership, compared to 60% of private day and 52% of public school;
  • About 75% of boarding students say that their schools provide a strong positive and nurturing environment, compared to about 70% of private day students and 50% school students
  • Boarding school students enjoy more time with teachers, coaches, and peers outside of class than private day and public school students.
Boarding School Students are Better Prepared for College...and Life.

As they learn how to live and study independently and self-reliantly, boarding school students develop the skill sets necessary for success in college.

  • 87% of boarding school graduates report being very well prepared academically for college, compared to 71% of private day and 39% of public school alumni;
  • 78% of boarding school graduates say that they were very well prepared for the non-academic aspects of college life, such as independence, social life, and time management, compared to 36% of private day and 23% of public school students;
  • 41% of boarding school students say that their college or university guidance counselor was very helpful in exploring college options, compared to 23% of private school students and 13% of public school students;
  • 50% of boarding school graduates earn advanced degrees, compared to 36% of private day and 21% of public school alumni.

Boarding School Alumni Advance More Quickly in their Careers.

Research shows that students who graduate from boarding schools achieve greater career advancement than private day and public school students, and are more actively involved in philanthropic causes.

  • By mid-career, 44% of former boarding school students achieve positions in top management, compared to 27% of private day and 33% of public school graduates;
  • By late-career, 52% of former boarding school students achieve positions in top management, compared to 39% of private day and 27% of public school graduates;
  • Boarding school alumni are more philanthropic: by mid-career 60% give to social service organizations, compared to 46% of all others; 58% to political parties, compared to 33% of all others; and 52% to their colleges, compared to 35% of all others.

Is a Boarding School a good fit for Day Students? Absolutely!

Because we're a boarding school, our doors never close - we're a school, 24/7. WNA provides a wide variety of programs and activities both during the week and on weekends - significantly more than most day schools. Most of our day student families fully participate in these programs. For students, weekends getaways to museums, malls, and sports events are a perfect way to unwind with classmates and have some fun. For parents, it's the piece of mind knowing that all events and trips are supervised by WNA faculty and that your son or daughter is fully engaged in their high school experience. Lastly, attending boarding school as a day student is the perfect way to "test drive" what it might be like as boarder for your junior or senior year as you prepare for college. Day students are often invited to stay over in the dorms with their friends.

West Nottingham Academy
1079 Firetower Road
Colora, MD 21917

© 2013 West Nottingham Academy
phone: (410) 658–5556
fax: (866) 381–3684

Established in 1744, West Nottingham Academy is the oldest boarding school in the United States. We are a 9-12 grade co-educational boarding and day school located in Northeastern Maryland, an hour's drive from either Philadelphia or Baltimore, 90 minutes from Washington DC and just over two hours from New York City.

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