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Boarding School Secrets

boarding school secretsA study about boarding schools shows that this type of education is more than a simple stereotype. In fact, boarding schools produce students who are better prepared for college than those who attend private or public schools. Check out these boarding school secrets you may not have been aware of. Enter the Association of Boarding Schools and the Arts and Science Group's Truth About Boarding Schools (TABS) study, which compared the difference among students at public, private, and boarding schools. Let's break down the stereotype and discover the secrets of boarding schools..

Challenging Academics
According to TABS, boarding schools provide an academically challenging curriculum. Ninety-one percent of students surveyed felt they were sufficiently challenged, as compared to the 50 percent and 71 percent at public and private schools, respectively. In addition, boarding school students estimate that they spent at least 17 hours a week on homework, while public school students spent only eight hours completing their assignments.

Some find that students who are a product of boarding schools are more organized, have better time management skills, and have learned to manage their lives without the help of a parent. "I find that college students who attended boarding school are better adjusted academically in regards to teacher expectations," says Peter N. Feen, the Director of Annual Giving at the Lycee francais de New York. "In my college experience all the boarding schools had already dealt with writing a research paper and had well-regimented study skills."

And these students also go on to achieve top jobs. According to TABS, boarding school alumni tend to achieve top-level management positions more frequently than those who've attended public and private school. By the middle of the boarding school alum's career, 44 percent have reached a top-level position.

Leadership skills are always looked at on a college admissions application. Have students been able to lead in some way that would make them seem independent and capable of getting along on their own in a college setting? Students at boarding school have a more disciplined schedule, leading to a commonality among their peers. Less time watching television equates to more time for after school activities in a motivating environment where students can commit to working together and taking on leadership roles.

In fact 77 percent of boarding school students reported to TABS that they had the opportunity to be leaders at their schools. This is 17 percent greater than those at private schools. However, this leadership shall not be confused with serious competition. Jane M. Pesek, the Director of Development at the Thomas Jefferson School in St. Louis, Mo., says that students really try to better themselves than compete against each other. "At TJ, competition in academics is with oneself - the goal is to achieve more for yourself, not for someone else. This translates into learning as the goal, not competing for the best report card."

Individualized Attention
Public schools oftentimes have lots of students per class. That way it's very difficult for students to get any individualized attention. Boarding schools provide a smaller environment for students and those struggling really get a chance to get extra help. In addition, students can really shine in a class and teachers ensure that this happens.

Many teachers actually live on the boarding school campus grounds with the students and eat their meals with the boarding school students. This fosters a great sense of community and prevents students from being intimidated by the adult professors.

An invaluable opportunity to have is the chance to network with a group of people. And diversity is an even greater part of school to be exposed to. "A school like TJ allows young people from all over the world to come together to live and study," says Pesek. "My sons (as well as many other students here) have contacts all around the world, which is important in today's global economy."

Networking is important so that future opportunities will always be available to you. As unfortunate as it seems, it's often who you know more than what you know. So why not have a plethora of choices available to you? This can also be good if you're in a top position and need to find someone that you know you can rely on. One of these people may be perfect for the position and you'll be saved the hassle of hiring blindly.

Get Going!
Now that we've seen the advantages of a boarding school, it's your turn to do some research. Boarding school can be the best years of your life and college can continue those days. Networking, small classes, leadership skills, and a great education are just some of the positive points. Talk to some alumni and school representatives and you're sure to get a better idea if you're a good boarding school match.