Best Boarding Schools: The Top 20 List

Best Boarding Schools


Boarding Schools: Finding the Right Fit

A staple in the northeast, boarding schools are an excellent option for parents looking to give their child a quality education in a great environment. In this list of the best boarding schools, we have compiled some of the best and brightest boarding schools from across the country and around the world.

While the majority of boarding schools are located in the New England area, we have also detailed some other excellent boarding schools in locations like California, Florida, and Washington D.C., and even in the United Kingdom. So take a look, and see if there is an excellent fit for you.

Also, it is never too early to start thinking about college. So make sure that you checkout our list of the best scholarship sites to take advantage of all the great college scholarships that are out there and available for students.


Top 20 Boarding Schools:




St Paul’s School – Concord, NH (link)

An Episcopal school welcoming of all faiths, St Paul’s School is located on 2000 acres in New Hampshire’s state capital. As a fully residential school that houses approximately 525 domestic and international students. Some of the top colleges attended by graduates include Georgetown, Brown, Columbia, and Dartmouth.




Groton School – Groton, MA (link)

With a class size of around 12 students, 87% of Groton’s students are boarding students. Groton School also has a high (94%) success rate for students scoring at least a three on AP exams, as well as a healthy endowment.





Phillips Exeter Academy – Exeter, NH (link)

A school based on the Harkness Method, Phillips Exeter Academy boasts many notable alumni, including 19 state governors, five Olympic athletes, two Nobel Prize winners, a US president, and the list is always growing. As a result, the school’s endowment is around 1.2 billion, through which many students receive tuition help.





The Webb Schools – Clermont, CA (link)

With two separate schools for boys and girls, The Webb Schools of California is located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. In addition to solid academics (492 students received National Merit Recognition between 2010-2014), The Webb Schools also offer a variety of athletics and fine arts.





The Hotchkiss School – Lakeville, CT (link)

Founded in 1891, The Hotchkiss School is an independent boarding school in Lakeville, Connecticut. With around 600 students, the school is large enough to provide a host of extracurricular activities, while small enough to provide personalized attention. Many of the graduates attend the most selective universities in the country, making The Hotchkiss School a great choice for those looking to get into prestigious institutions of higher learning,





Eton College – Windsor, UK (link)

Founded in 1440 by King Henry VI, Eton College is one of the leading boys’ boarding schools in the UK. Just a short distance from the famous Windsor Castle, the school boards around 1300 students. Modern, yet steeped in tradition, the school offers comprehensive curricular and extracurricular offerings. The school also offers financial support (up to 100%), making the school attainable for many.





Choate Rosemary Hall – Wallingford, CT (link)

For more than 125 years Choate Rosemary Hall has educated students that have gone on to lead and innovate. Located in Wallingford, Connecticut, the school strives to foster critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and a love of learning. With activities, athletics, and a thriving student community, kids will be able to grow in all aspects of education and life.





Taft School – Watertown, CT (link)

Founded by Horace Taft in 1890, the whole-body education of the student has been the mission of the Taft School since its inception. The beautiful and sprawling campus is located in Watertown, Connecticut and the close and tight-knit community make for a great home away from home.





The Thacher School – Ojai, CA (link)

A coeducational school located at the foot of the Topatopa Mountains in sunny Ojai, California, The Thacher School is committed to excellence. Character building, healthy living, and demanding academics are hallmarks of the school, making this a great west coast boarding school.





Kent School – Kent, CT (link)

Founded in 1906, Kent School is located in Kent, Connecticut. Their goal is to not only help prepare students for college but also life. Situated on 1200 acres, they offer a load of different activities, athletics, and clubs for their student body. There is a 7:1 student to faculty ratio that makes sure every student is getting the attention they need.





Harrow School – Middlesex, UK (link)

Located in Middlesex, United Kingdom, Harrow School is a full-boarding school for boys. Since its inception in 1572, the school utilizes the entire day productively. Academics, athletics, arts, and community are all featured prominently here, making Harrow School a great single-sex boarding school.





Emma Willard School – Troy, NY (link)

For more than 200 years the Emma Willard School has provided high-quality education as a boarding school for girls. With small class sizes (12-14 students is the average), and a low student-teacher ratio (6:1), the school provides individualized and concentrated instruction. In addition to the top-notch academics, a variety of athletics and arts offerings make this Troy, New York school an excellent choice for girls from across the country and world.





Suffield Academy – Suffield, CT (link)

Since its beginning in 1833, the Suffield Academy has focused on diversity and inclusion. As an independent coeducational day and boarding school, the school focuses on academic excellence, a strong work ethic, and active citizenship. This Connecticut school is a great choice for those looking for whole body student development.





Deerfield Academy – Deerfield, MA (link)

An independent coeducational day and boarding school located in Western Massachusetts, the student body is comprised of students from across the country and globe (42 states and 37 countries are represented). Rigorous academics and a strong athletic and arts programs, coupled with the communal campus life, make Deerfield a great eastern United States boarding school.





Middlesex – Boston, MA (link)

Located just a short drive from Boston, Massachusetts is the beautiful campus of Middlesex. Day and boarding students in grades 9-12 are provided with an education focused on breadth and depth, matched only by the music, art, and athletics at the school. For an education that focuses on every aspect of student development, Middlesex is a great option.





Portsmouth Abbey School – Portsmouth, RI (link)

Located on a 525-acre campus alongside Narragansett Bay, Portsmouth Abbey School has both a day and boarding school program. The school also offers 84 courses, including 17 AP courses, as well as a thriving athletic program (43 interscholastic teams). Facilities include a Scottish-style golf course and equestrian buildings.





St. Albans School – Washington, D.C. (link)

While just a small number of the 575 enrolled students are boarders, the all boy’s school of St Albans boasts 21 Presidential Scholars and 45 National Merit Semifinalists. With an average SAT score of 2170 and a high percentage of faculty with advanced degrees, St Albans also boasts a robust academic program.






St Andrew’s School – Boca Raton, FL (link)

Boasting over a 1000 students, the once boarding exclusive St Andrew’s School now also offers a large day program. Draws for the school include a well-developed study abroad program, a 75% acceptance rate for graduates into most competitive and highly competitive colleges, as well as honors, AP, and IB coursework.






Phillips Academy – Andover, MA (link)

With a 5 to 1 student/teacher ratio, Phillips Academy in Andover, MA offers over 300 different courses. Phillips also offers an array of athletics, with 30 facilities for sports, including hockey rinks, swimming pools, squash courts, basketball courts, a dance studio, tennis courts, playing fields, a boathouse, and a fitness center.





Concord Academy – Concord, MA (link)

With about a third of the approximately 375 students residing on campus, Concord Academy offers 23 interscholastic sports, 70 plus student organizations, and a 6 to 1 student-teacher ratio. Concord Academy students also historically have done really well on AP exams, with 95% of students earning a score of at least 3 (60% higher than the national average).



Best Boarding Schools Conclusion

Attending a boarding school can be a big decision for both parent and student. That is why we wanted to put together this list of the best boarding schools. We wanted to find the boarding schools that were going to provide a stellar education, while also having an excellent environment for the student to grow up in.

If you have any feedback on the schools listed above, we would love to hear it in the comments below.


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