Study Reveals Boarding School Is Springboard for Success
Students who attend boarding schools find greater success than their peers in college and in adult life, according to a new study conducted by the Arts & Science Group of Baltimore on behalf of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS).
For the study, the Arts & Science Group interviewed more than 2,700 high school students and adults at different stages in their lives about their experiences in high school and in adult life. In order to isolate the effects of the boarding experience, samples were drawn or weighted to match populations on distributions by socioeconomic status, college graduation rates and gender.
According to the research:
•• Boarding school students are more likely to achieve positions of management earlier in their careers than their peers at private day or public schools, and reach higher management positions throughout their careers.
•• Boarding school students are much less likely to watch television or play video games than their peers, not only while in high school but into adulthood.
•• Boarding school students are also more philanthropic as adults, continuing a pervasive tradition of service.
The study also dispels stereotypes that persist in popular culture about boarding schools as havens for rich and troubled children.
•• Boarding school students are not “sent away,” but chose to enroll primarily because of the high-quality academics.
•• Boarding schools are not homogenous.
•• Most boarding school students said their social lives do not revolve around drugs and alcohol.
“We undertook this detailed study to explore the differences of boarding school, private day and public school education to better understand how the opportunities for interaction and learning beyond the classroom found at boarding schools impact a student’s life at school and into adulthood,” said Steven Ruzicka, executive director of TABS, the nonprofit association of independent, college preparatory boarding schools. “We were especially pleased to see that the leadership skills and community focus of our students continues to play an important and distinguishing role in their lives beyond the boarding school experience.”
The data, collected over 16 months, examines the experiences of boarding students and their attitudes about their college preparation, as well as their personal and career success and civic contributions or leadership. The interviews conducted with current boarding school students — those in their senior year of high school — reveal why young men and women choose to apply to boarding school, and how boarders spend their time as compared to those who attend public and private day schools.
•• Ninety-five percent of current boarding school students say they are satisfied or very satisfied with their academic experience, compared to 86 percent of private day or public school students.
•• In addition to enjoying the benefits of a rigorous education and dedicating significantly more time to their studies, boarding school students also concentrate more on extracurricular activities than non-boarders.
•• About 70 percent of boarders say that school helped them develop self-discipline, maturity, independence and the ability to think critically.
•• Eighty-seven percent of boarding school graduates reported being very well prepared academically for college, compared to 71 percent of private day and 39 percent of public school alumni.
For more information, visit The Association of Boarding Schools’ Web site at <www.schools.com>.
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