2017 Best Boarding High Schools in America

The 2017 Best Boarding High Schools ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents. Ranking factors include SAT/ACT scores, the quality of colleges that students consider, student-teacher ratio, boarding school ratings, and more. Data sourced from the U.S. Department of Education, Niche users, and the schools directly.
See how this ranking was calculated
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Phillips Academy

    • Andover, MA
    • 42 reviews
    Niche User:Andover truly is a special place! The opportunities for learning within the self are endless. I have adopted a true growth mindset at this community, learned from my peers, which represent youth from every quarter. This community is equitable, kind, generous, and truly incredible. My teachers believe in my potential to succeed. #SayYesToAndover #BigBlueNice #WelcomeHome #SmartWithHeart
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  2. 2

    Phillips Exeter Academy

    • Exeter, NH
    • 172 reviews
    Alum:I really loved the academics at this school. The classes that I wanted to take were really amazing, well taught, with plenty of interesting trips and research. The field classes that I took were especially fun to be a part of. I also really enjoyed being part of the sports teams there as a player on a team. The coaches I encountered were fantastic and the sense of family within teams was huge. I struggled a little socially there, but the athletics gave me a chance to connect. Some of the atmosphere of the school can be difficult to manage, it is not for everyone and it takes some adjusting, but it is well worth the effort. I came out well prepared for college academics and challenges.
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  3. 3

    The Lawrenceville School

    • Lawrenceville, NJ
    • 94 reviews
    Senior:The Lawrenceville School is considered one of the best high schools in the country for a reason. The academics are among the best. The teachers are all qualified and have extensive experience from the best high schools and colleges. In terms of diversity, Lawrentians are from around the world. At Lawrenceville, students are taught manage the many aspects of their lives, and I feel prepared to transition into college. The facilities are one of a college, including a STEM lab with VR and 3D printing, a building for every subject, and a huge library. The sports are also good here. The mandatory sport for each term brings out a lot of talent in students who would have never tried a sport otherwise. Also, students can participate in clubs, sports, and school sponsored volunteer activities. There is much more that could be said about how good the Lawrenceville School is. But I hope from what you have read, you can see how great a school it is.
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  4. 4

    St. Paul's School

    • Concord, NH
    • 46 reviews
    Niche User:I'd be completely lying if I said I loved my whole time at SPS. I transferred as a new sophomore and wasn't accustomed to the whole idea of what a prep school actually entailed. I felt very lost in athletics, academics, extracurriculars, socializing, and even myself. But that was because I hadn't utilized all my resources. And anybody currently at the school will know who this is when I say this: I became best friends with Humanities IV teacher and he changed my life. Every bit of success I encounter in this lifetime is because of him and his willingness to always be there for me. So before I get all mopey, I'll say this - it wasn't easy at first (but what really is?) but my experience did a full 180 once I started taking advantage of the resources and people St. Paul's had to offer.
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  5. 5

    The Hotchkiss School

    • Lakeville, CT
    • 34 reviews
    Freshman:My experience at Hotchkiss has been categorized by a uniquely welcoming community, deeply engaging Instructors, a highly rigorous workload and an abundance of athletic and extra-curricular opportunities. As the school continues to evolve, I hope Hotchkiss is able to maintain the number of sacred traditions that make it so special.
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  6. 6

    Choate Rosemary Hall

    • Wallingford, CT
    • 87 reviews
    Senior:Great private school. More relaxed and friendlier than the other New England private schools, but just as rigorous. Great teachers and really interesting classes. They are continually doing construction to improve the school so it will only get better with time. The food is leagues better than public school, but it gets tiring after awhile. Some of the classes can be boring or unnecessarily difficult and there will be late nights, along with the occasional really early night because you have almost no homework. Overall, one of the best New England schools.
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  7. 7

    Cranbrook Schools

    • Bloomfield Hills, MI
    • 182 reviews
    Alum:Cranbrook is the best school in the world! After having a terrible time in elementary and middle school in the public school system, I switched to Cranbrook and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Cranbrook helped me to become a strong and confident student. I am now at a top 50 school worldwide and am succeeding at a level that would have never been possible without the amazing faculty and staff at Cranbrook!
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  8. 8

    Deerfield Academy

    • Deerfield, MA
    • 14 reviews
    Alum:There is too big of a divide between the different races when it comes to social life. Teachers should also be constantly reviewed by the students and made sure that they work to fix their biggest problems so that the teachers become better. While the rumors about certain teachers, such as the talk about how harshly Mr. Henry graded, when it was still around a few years ago or the relatively bad teaching quality of certain teachers, they should have been reviewed by the faculty and worked on so that the students get better education and learn to enjoy the classes that they take.
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  9. 9

    Groton School

    • Groton, MA
    • 12 reviews
    Sophomore:It's really good. The small school really makes it feel like you are part of the family. There are many interactions with the faculty members not just inside classroom.
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  10. 10

    Middlesex School

    • Concord, MA
    • 31 reviews
    Senior:The two things that stand out to me about MX are 1) the way students are encouraged if not forced to try new things and find new hobbies/passions, and 2) the incredible teachers. Middlesex has mandatory sports and arts for freshmen and sophomores, giving younger students great exposure to all sorts of new activities. The faculty genuinely care about every student, and over time they become friends as well as teachers, since they live in dorms, coach teams, and serve as advisors, in addition to just teaching. By senior year, most kids begin to feel like the school is just too small, but I think it's worth it, since most underclassmen NEED the close-knit community. They are working on diversity, and student culture is changing a LOT, so don't believe everything you read from a few years ago regarding lacrosse culture, etc., because MX is quickly becoming a much more progressive institution.
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  11. 11

    Milton Academy

    • Milton, MA
    • 83 reviews
    Parent:As a parent, I could not be happier with the education my two daughters have received at Milton. The have learned a lot, and have really grown as individuals. The college placement group may be the best one in the entire world! I felt they were safe and supported at their dorm (they are both boarders), and have made lifelong friends.

    Each of my girls had one bad sports experience at Milton, so I didn't give sports that high of a mark, but everything else is great.
    More about Milton Academy
  12. 12

    Cate School

    • Carpinteria, CA
    • 19 reviews
    Niche User:Cate School is amazing! I was incredibly lucky to be able to attend. I feel I received a world class education in one of the most beautiful high school campuses in the world. My teachers were always there for me, and I learned an incredible amount of valuable information in what felt like a short time span. I will always have tremendous gratitude and respect for Cate School and my experience there.
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  13. 13

    Lake Forest Academy

    • Lake Forest, IL
    • 32 reviews
    High School Senior:Overall, teachers are very accepting and want to help you to succeed- if you're willing to put in the time and effort. The school has a small enough environment that allows every person to have their own unique impact on the community, and it allows for your classmates to also be your teammates. With that being said, it's not so small a school that you know everything about everyone, so there's always room to explore more about people you don't know.
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  14. 14

    The Hockaday School

    • Dallas, TX
    • 104 reviews
    Alum:I went here for 14 years and loved my experience! I felt so prepared for college and I got some inspirational and helpful teachers, genuinely interesting classes. Furthermore, they taught us how to be independent, socially-aware, and smart women.
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  15. 15

    The Taft School

    • Watertown, CT
    • 41 reviews
    Parent:The teaching staff and the choices of classes are excellent. The student body is highly intelligent, strong athletes,musicians or both. The campus is small but well maintained and the food is better than the other top notch New England boarding schools. Most Saturday nights Taft makes sure to keep the students socially exited and engaged in fun events. Teachers are ready and willing to meet with students that need extra help outside of the regular class times. Dorms are lovely and there are always blooming flowers around the campus. Students are kind to each other and supportive. The administration lets the students have a strong voice in the way the school is run. I highly recommend this high school for smart, self-driven students looking to be on their own. For New Yorkers a bus is provided for most long vacations and the drop off is in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Penn Station.
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  16. 16

    St. Stephen's Episcopal School

    • Austin, TX
    • 53 reviews
    Alum:I loved my time at St. Stephen's. The teachers are exceptional and the lack of AP classes means that they don't just teach to the exams but what is most interesting to them -- which usually translates into much more interesting class time! I felt like I was more prepared than most of my college peers (at an elite school nonetheless!) -- my writing was better, I was better at time-management. The only thing I would change is that at the time the student body was not especially active in clubs/non-sport activities, however I think this is slowly changing.
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  17. 17

    St. Andrew's School

    • Middletown, DE
    • 55 reviews
    High School Junior:I have found that St. Andrew's isn't perfect-no school is. But it tries to be the best it can with rigorous academics and the tight family like bond we try to incorporate everyday. The goal to be open minded, caring, and intellectual human beings who care about what is going on around them is what makes our school unique. I have been able to improve in subjects and projects that I have always had trouble with just by the positive and supporting attitudes I have received not only from my teachers, but especially from my peers. We understand that the reason we attend St. Andrew's is because we are like minded individuals who desire success and we achieve our success through the support and challenge of being around each other. I would choose St. Andrew's all over again because I could not imagine myself anywhere else.
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  18. 18

    Noble & Greenough School

    • Dedham, MA
    • 17 reviews
    Senior:Noble and Greenough is great, all-around school. I strongly believe that this is a unique community - one that is small, hard-working, and genuine. The genuine nature of the school is what stands out to all students and teachers. Each student works hard because the teachers care - and vice versa. I think that there used to be a stereotype that Nobles is for 'white jocks'. This could not be further from the truth. It is impossible to label Nobles with a stereotype because each student provides and brings so much to the table.
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  19. 19

    St. Albans School

    • Washington, DC
    • 32 reviews
    Senior:St. Albans (STA) is a very strong school. It is not for everyone, as people "work hard and play hard." STA allows its students to be involved in rigorous academics, athletics, and arts activities simultaneously, leading to more well-rounded boys. Everyone is well prepared for college, and many boys find their respective schools easier than St. Albans.
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  20. 20

    The Thacher School

    • Ojai, CA
    • 29 reviews
    High School Senior:Thacher was the exact school that I needed when I entered high school. The people here are warm and the students are generally unified. Of course, this varies from class to class, and my class has generally been more fractured than other classes. I've enjoyed my experience here, particularly the first two years of high school which were easier and focused more on class bonding. It is not the right school for everyone and diversity is still somewhat lacking, particularly amongst faculty. Support for students who come from lower economic backgrounds should be increased. The horse program is a truly great experience to bond as a class, though I do have an issue with some of the horse faculty. Despite the issues that I've found through being here for several years, Thacher does feel like home to me and if I could go back to eighth grade, I would choose to attend this school again.
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  21. 21

    Peddie School

    • Hightstown, NJ
    • 81 reviews
    Senior:Peddie is the most welcoming school I have attended so far in my life. The academic curriculum is solid and demands for efficiency from individuals, but it is also not overwhelming to an extent that may cause incapability to finish certain assignments. In addition, student life is diverse and colorful in the sense that students are closely knit with one another and form close bonds through a brief period of time. As a boarding student, I was able to so meet so many people I would not have met as a day student. The more outgoing I was, the better off I became in understanding the school community as well as connecting effectively with others. I made so many friends through plenty of interactions. Attending Peddie has been quite the memorable experience!
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  22. 22

    The Loomis Chaffee School

    • Windsor, CT
    • 76 reviews
    Freshman:The Loomis Chaffee School is a diverse and rich culture that I have the privledge of being a part of. This school is competitive to get accepted to, and many would assume that creates a competitive air. That is the opposite of true. Loomis students are open and kind, wanting each other to succeed as much a school ourselves. I am a boarder in the new Cutler Hall, and we are making it a home. The academics and rigorous, but teachers are open and willing to help students with any problems. There is a quantitative resource center in the math and science building where students can receive help from high level students, and a writing workshop for editing advise. The diversity makes Loomis unique as well. My favorite event is Latino Fest! Here at Loomis, you will see the world through a different lenses with people who care about education and the common good all around you.
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  23. 23

    Oregon Episcopal School

    • Portland, OR
    • 68 reviews
    Senior:Oregon Episcopal School provides its students with the skills needed to make a positive impact on the world. Students are encouraged to think critically, take action, and engage in a variety of different opportunities. The well-rounded education that Oregon Episcopal School provides prepares students for college and beyond. The academics are great and the teachers are helpful. Overall the experience at Oregon Episcopal School is a great one.
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  24. 24

    Emma Willard School

    • Troy, NY
    • 38 reviews
    High School Sophomore:Emma Willard School really emphasizes being your own woman and creating experiences unique to yourself. All the students are different and have different interests. There are activities for everyone, and if you want to learn something that's not offered, there is always the practicum program!

    The students are all hard workers, but they know have to have fun as well! The class sizes are small and intimate, which makes learning so much easier. Teachers are really knowledgeable and accessible, as most of them live on campus.

    I would highly recommend checking out this school!
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  25. 25

    Concord Academy

    • Concord, MA
    • 67 reviews
    Alum:Despite inevitable bumps in the road, my experience at Concord was everything I could have wanted from a private high school. I definitely had frustrations with the administration, but I think that the community support, the dedication of the teachers and the community's overall creativity make this an incredible place. I was pushed academically, artistically and emotionally. My teachers invested themselves completely in my learning and took the time to know me as both a student and person.

    I loved the opportunity to design an independent study senior year. One day, while we were discussing some of my poems, my teacher looked me straight in the eye and said: "I'm editing these as a colleague, not as a teacher." That, for me, was a quintessential CA moment and it's how I'll always remember the school.
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