Of 1,500 private boarding schools worldwide, some 370 are boarding schools in the United States from New York to Florida, California, Texas and all the smaller states in the USA. These private boarding schools are responsible for educating more than 42,500 students in the US alone. Although the typical boarding school has been in operation for more than a century, it is not the stodgy experience you might imagine. Certainly, the most prestigious schools maintain a recognizable tradition. But even among them, each school has its own personality. Diversity is a widely sought goal for most college prep boarding schools. In fact, 10-12% of the students in the typical boarding school are from non US countries. 15% are students of color (among National Association of Independent Schools surveyed 2003-2004, this ratio was nearly 20%). And the denizens of even the most hallowed halls are not all from wealthy families as once was uniformaly the case.
Financial assistance is widely available. Nationwide, $400 million in need-based scholarships and other financial aid goes to private school students, and an additional $12 million is awarded to non-needy students. 20% of private boarding school students receive some financial support. The greater portion of this aid goes to boarding school students, almost 2-to-1. Among NAIS boarding schools surveyed, 31.5% students received aid. Some teen boarding schools are religious, others are non-sectarian, and some of the sectarian schools eagerly welcome students of other backgrounds and faiths. In some cases financial support from the religious body may be the major significant difference between a parochial private school and an independent private school. As far as the student is concerned, the difference may be nil.
- June 10, 2014 Initial release