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10 Ways High School Boarding Schools Will Prepare You For College

A military boarding school education prepares a student for college and life beyond in a way that other types of schools are unable to match. Here are the top 10 reasons to give boarding school a try.
From strong academics to a diverse social life, high school boarding schools have much to offer students as they get ready to finish their high school careers. The boarding school setting is one of the best environments to prepare students for college life. In both academic and non-academic aspects, boarding school prepares your child for the challenges and demands of attending an accredited university.

1. Engage in More Academically Challenging Courses

College courses can be incredibly challenging, and many high school students are not properly prepared for this. However, high school boarding schools are known for rigorous academics, and students are better prepared for a high-caliber college curriculum when they complete a boarding school program. The vast majority of boarding schools exceed the minimum requirements for curriculum content in their states. In a recent survey from The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), 87% of students reported that they were well prepared for college academics after completing boarding school. Only 39% of public school students had the same report. Because of the quality of their preparation for university academics, 50% of boarding school graduates go on to complete advanced degrees.

2. Prepare for Dorm Life

College often means living in a dorm. This can be difficult for new high school graduates who have always lived at home. Learning to adapt to people from different cultures and with different ways of thinking is challenging, and this is something boarding school students can practice before heading to their chosen college or university.

3. Gain Independence

In order to excel in college, young adults need to have independence. Living away from home is a major adjustment, and some students find this level of independence difficult at first. They must be able to make decisions about everyday life and their education without their parent's constant oversight. Living away from home in high school in a boarding school environment creates this independence, but in a safer, more structured setting than the college environment. This gives kids a taste of what college life will be like, so they are well prepared to make that transition.

4. Learn Valuable Time Management Skills

In order to succeed in college, a student must be able to balance their time. Many college students are working, taking classes, and balancing social obligations. In boarding school, students have to learn how to manage their free time to get their homework done and participate in extracurricular activities. In the TABS report, boarding school students indicate they spend 17 hours a week on homework, compared to 8 or 9 hours for private and public school students. This gives them an ideal place to learn those valuable time management skills, so they are prepared for using their time wisely in college.

5. Learn to Appreciate Diversity

The college campus is a highly diverse place. College students walk among people from many different cultural and religious backgrounds. They must learn how to think for themselves while also appreciating the differences others bring to the conversation. When a student attends boarding school, they are no longer surrounded by people from their own geographic area. Many boarding schools draw students from around the country, and most welcome international students. This means the student body is far more diverse, and this prepares the student for interacting with college peers in the future.

6. Participate in Extracurricular Activities

When a student lives at a boarding school, they have more time freedom to explore extracurricular activities and find an area they feel passionate about. Most high school boarding schools have both extensive athletic programming as well as art programming. Because the student lives on campus, access to these programs is easy to attain, without the need to join an outside club or program. Students are encouraged to branch out and discover their passions, and this can help funnel them into the right college and career choices.

7. Receive Individualized Attention

In a boarding school, the average class size is much smaller than in traditional education. The average class size for American high schools is over 24 students. This does not give the teachers much time to develop the individual talents of their students. In high school boarding schools, class sizes are around 12 to 15 students per class. Some, like those at Riverside Military Academy, are even smaller. This allows teachers to give their students more individualized attention. Individualized attention means better participation in classroom activities and access to help when it is needed. This helps students succeed, and success in high school leads to future academic performance in college.

8. Practice "Soft Skills"

In boarding school, students must prepare their projects and presentations without parental help. This forces them to learn soft skills, like computer skills and planning skills, that they will need to complete college successfully. While the staff is available to help as needed, the students become adept at doing these things on their own when they are in a boarding school environment.

9. Get Help with College Applications

When a student is nearing graduation, the staff at a boarding school will start assisting with the college choice and application process. While traditional schools have guidance counselors, the boarding school environment gives faculty more opportunities to guide the decisions of the students. When the time comes for college applications, students have teachers and counselors they trust to help with the process.

10. Gain Valuable Self-Confidence

The boarding school environment and the independence it creates leads to incredible self-confidence for students. This self-confidence gives them the emotional fortitude they need to excel academically and socially in college. Whether they are branching out to make new friends or are studying hard for a chemistry exam, they will have the confidence that they can do so well.
For parents who are looking for a way to prepare their students for college, high school boarding schools should be at the top of the list. Riverside Military Academy offers a top boarding school environment in northern Georgia for young men. Schedule a tour today and see how the school's exemplary academics and caring staff help transform high school students into college-ready young adults.
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