Study confirms benefits of boarding schools

Posted December 10, 2009

Many people have long sung the praises of the boarding school experience, claiming that the high-level academics, the friendships and the life lessons learned are without rival at public schools. Now, a study released by The Association of Boarding Schools. (TABS), a non-profit organization of independent, college preparatory schools, validates these claims.

The survey, conducted by the Baltimore-based research firm the Art & Science Group, involved interviews with 1,000 students and alumni from boarding schools, 1,100 from public schools, and 600 from private day schools (including independent day and parochial schools).

Why do students apply to boarding schools? The TABS study found that the primary motivation is the promise of a better education. And, the majority of current and past students surveyed reported that their boarding schools deliver on this promise. Current students indicated significantly higher levels of satisfaction with their peers at public and private day schools, and that they find their schools academically challenging, their peers are more motivated and the quality of teaching is very high.

The 24/7 life at boarding school also gives students a significant leg up when they attend college, the survey documents. Some 87 percent of graduates said they were very well prepared academically for college, with only 71 percent of private day and just 39 percent of public school alumni saying the same. Boarders reported that their schools also helped better prepare them to face the non-academic aspects of college life. The TABS survey also documented that more boarding school graduates go on to earn advanced degrees once they finish college: 50 percent, versus 36 percent of private day and 21 percent of public school alumni.

Beyond college, boarding school graduates advance faster and further in their careers comparatively. By mid-career, 44 percent of boarding school graduates had reached positions n top management versus 33 percent of private day and 27 percent of public school graduates. 52 percent held positions in top management as opposed to 39 percent of private day and 27 percent of public school graduates.

But perhaps the most compelling statistic that the study produced is the extremely high percentage – some 90 percent – of boarding school alumni who say they would, if given the opportunity, repeat their boarding school experience. This alone is a strong argument that validates the enduring value of the boarding school model.

To view the study and its findings visit:

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