“Are boarding schools worth it?” is a common question for many families considering boarding school as an option for their children. While boarding schools are expensive, there are a lot of positives that might offset the cost. At the end of the day, it’s up to each family to choose what’s right for them; however, I do have some advice as you consider your options.
Food and sports are included.
While this may seem like a small amount, if you consider that the average person spends $40 a day on food and that students are in school for nine months out of the year, that’s close to $11,000 in savings on food. When you throw sports and afternoon activities into the mix, many of which are included in the tuition for school, the overall value of boarding schools starts to increase.
Students get an elite education that prepares them for college
Many families send their children to boarding school so that they can receive an education different from that which can be provided locally. Whether it’s teachers with actual subject matter expertise in their fields of study (such as a rocket scientist teaching physics!) or simply an educational curriculum that values interdisciplinary study, boarding schools usually specialize in preparing students for the education they will receive in college. This kind of experience, plus the experience of living away from home and with a roommate, makes the transition into college life easier for many students.
There can be more communication with parents
At Cheshire Academy, teachers communicate with parents regularly through our online learning management system. Parents can log on to see grades, assignments, and notes from teachers, giving them a full window into the student experience. While most boarding schools have similar learning management systems, even the ones that don’t usually pride themselves on communicating regularly with families about each student’s learning. Without having to guess what’s due and when, parents are able to stay more involved and help keep students on track. If your student would benefit from this kind of transparency at school, investing in boarding schools is worth it.
Financial aid is often available.
Even though boarding school can seem expensive, many schools offer partial scholarships or financial aid. Cheshire Academy awarded nearly $4,400,000 in need-based financial aid to 44% of the student body in the 2016-2017 school year. In addition, we offer loan and payment plan options to appeal to a wider range of financial circumstances. If you’re worried about how your family will afford boarding school but believe it will be worth it for your student, apply to the school and request financial aid. You may be surprised by the results!
At the end of the day, only you and your family can decide what works for your student. However, boarding schools are worth it for many families, both because the “sticker price” can seem deceptively high before considering food costs and financial aid, and because of the elite education students experience at many boarding schools.