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Unformatted text preview: The Truth About Boarding School
A Comparative Study of Secondary School Education Forward Foreword
Boarding schools today are much different than they used to be, and poles apart from stereotypical Hollywood images, such as havens for children of privilege or refuges for troubled teens. New research proves that contemporary boarding schools serve a diverse body of motivated and well-rounded students who study and live in supportive, inclusive academic communities where they learn about independence and responsibility—traditional values that help them achieve success at higher rates than private day and public schools students— in the classroom and beyond. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of modern-day boarding schools and the relative value of the boarding school experience, The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), the non-profit membership organization for independent, college-preparatory boarding schools, commissioned Art & Science Group, a market research and consulting firm based in Baltimore, to study the subject. The results of their detailed assessment debunk many of the misperceptions about boarding schools and offer new insight into the strengths— and advantages—of boarding schools today. Introduction
This report summarizes the main findings of the research, providing a picture of boarding school education and how it differs from a private day or public school experience. Interviews with current boarding school students reveal why young men and women choose to apply to boarding school, what they learn once enrolled, and how boarders spend their time as compared to students who attend private day or public schools. Interviews with boarding school alumni across generations reveal the long-term, lifechanging effects of attending school in a residential setting, and how the lessons and values learned at boarding school influence and shape college experiences and professional success. 2 Research Methodology: Art & Science Group interviewed more than 2,700 high school students and adults over the course of 16 months. The total sample comprised approximately 1,000 students and alumni from boarding schools, 1,100 from public schools, and 600 from private day schools (including independent and parochial schools). Interviewees included high school seniors, post-college graduates (25- and 26-year-olds), as well as mid- and late-career-level professionals (38- and 39-year-olds and 58- and 59year-olds, respectively). Findings from boarding school students and graduates were compared with corresponding populations from public and private day schools. To isolate the effects of the boarding experience, samples were drawn and weighted to match public and private day populations based on socioeconomic status, college graduation rates, and gender. 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Public Private Day 50% 70% 91% Boarding PERCENT OF STUDENTS WHO REPORT THEIR SCHOOL IS ACADEMICALLY CHALLENGING Chart 1 8 hours 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Public 9 hours 17 hours Private Day Boarding HOURS SPENT PER WEEK ON HOMEWORK Chart 2 Boarding school students and alumni are overwhelmingly satisfied with their academic experiences
For most teenagers—and their parents—it is the high-quality academics that motivate them to apply to boarding schools. About 60% of students enroll in these institutions primarily because of the promise of better education. Those surveyed reported significant enthusiasm for the classroom instruction they received. “ At boarding school, I rediscovered my love of learning. The classes were high-level and challenging. The teachers communicated the joy of learning.” —Mid-career boarding school graduate
• 95% say they are satisfied or very satisfied with their academic experience, compared to 86% of private day or public school students 5 • 91% report that their schools are academically challenging, compared to 70% of private day and 50% of public school students (Chart 1) • 90% report having high-quality teachers, compared to 62% of private day and 51% of public school students • Boarding school students spend about 17 hours per week on homework, compared to approximately 9 hours by private day students and 8 hours by public school students (Chart 2) • 75% of boarding school students report being surrounded by motivated peers, compared to 71% of private day and 49% of public school students (Chart 3) • 90% of mid-career and 80% of late-career boarding school graduates say they would repeat the boarding experience 100 90 80 71% 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Public Private Day Boarding 49% 75% PERCENT OF STUDENTS WHO REPORT BEING AROUND MOTIVATED PEERS Chart 3 Boarding school students use their time more productively than private day and public school students
In addition to enjoying the benefits of serious education and dedicating significantly more time to their studies, boarding school students participate more in extracurricular activities than other students. • 12 hours per week are dedicated to exercising or playing sports in boarding schools, compared to about 9 hours in private day and public schools • Boarding school students spend about 6 hours per week on creative endeavors like performing music and painting, compared to 4 hours by private day and 5 hours by public school students • 35% of current boarding school students spend 7-14 hours per week on nonathletic extracurricular activities like student government and clubs, compared to 27% of other students • Boarding school students spend considerably less time watching television— about 3 hours per week, compared to 7 hours among private day and public school students—a pattern that continues throughout life 7 100 90 80 70 60% 60 52% 50 40 30 20 10 0 Public Private Day Boarding 77% PERCENT OF STUDENTS WHO SAY THEIR SCHOOLS PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR LEADERSHIP Chart 4 Boarding schools encourage positive personal development
The study indicates that boarding schools play a direct and influential role in shaping the personal values and ethics of their students, fostering a wide array of desirable traits in a supportive and motivating environment. Boarding schools place as much importance on character development and growth as they do on academic success. • About 70% of boarding school students say that boarding school helped them develop self-discipline, maturity, independence, and the ability to think critically • 77% of boarding school students say that their schools provide opportunities for leadership, compared to 60% of private day and 52% of public school students 9 (Chart 4)
• About 75% of boarding school students say that their schools provide a supportive environment, compared to about 70% of private day students and 50% of public school students • Boarding school students enjoy more time with teachers, coaches, and staff members outside class than private day and public school students—about 9 hours per week compared to 4 hours • About 26% of boarding school students say there is “some” cheating at school, compared to 60% of private day and 54% of public school students 100 90 80 71% 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Public Private Day Boarding 39% 87% PERCENT OF GRADUATES WHO REPORT BEING VERY WELL PREPARED ACADEMICALLY FOR COLLEGE Chart 5 Boarding school students are better prepared for college
As they learn how to live and study independently and self-reliantly, boarding school students develop the skill sets necessary for success in college. “ Boarding school was an unbelievable experience. It taught me how to be a leader and how to work hard. I learned how to work with others. Boarding school prepared me for college, and it prepared me for life.” —Mid-career boarding school graduate
• 87% of boarding school graduates report being very well prepared academically for college, compared to 71% of private day and 39% of public school alumni 11 (Chart 5)
• 78% of boarding school graduates say that they were very well prepared for the non-academic aspects of college life, such as independence, social life, and time management, compared to 36% of private day and 23% of public school students • 41% of boarding school students say that their college or university guidance counselor was very helpful in exploring college options, compared to 23% of private school students and 13% of public school students • 50% of boarding school graduates earn advanced degrees, compared to 36% of private day and 21% of public school alumni 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Public Private Day Boarding 27% 44% 33% PERCENT OF GRADUATES WHO ACHIEVE POSITIONS IN TOP MANAGEMENT BY MID-CAREER Chart 6 Boarding school alumni advance more quickly in their careers and are more philanthropic
Research shows that students who graduate from boarding schools achieve greater career advancement than private day and public school students, and are more actively involved in philanthropic causes. “ I benefited from the close interaction I had with people who were my age but who had a variety of different interests and goals. We learned to work together. The principles that guide my life are the principles that I learned at boarding school.” —Late-career boarding school graduate
• By mid-career, 44% of former boarding school students achieve positions in top management, compared to 27% of private day and 33% of public school graduates 13 (Chart 6)
• By late-career, 52% of former boarding school students achieve positions in top management, compared to 39% of private day and 27% of public school graduates • Boarding school alumni are more philanthropic: by mid-career 60% give to social service organizations, compared to 46% of all others; 58% to political parties, compared to 33% of all others; and 52% to their colleges, compared to 35% of all others Dispelling Myths
The study provides data that debunk many of the false stereotypes and long-held misperceptions regarding boarding school culture. Boarding schools are homogenous. 59% of boarding school students describe their schools as having students from many races and ethnic groups as opposed to 19% of private day and 39% of public school students. Boarding schools are for problem students who are being “sent away.” 60% of respondents applied to boarding school primarily because of the opportunity for better education. Boarding schools are places where students get into trouble. 95% of boarding school students say that their social lives do not revolve around drugs and alcohol, compared to 82% of private day and public school students. Boarding school students have troubled home lives. 86% of boarding school students report being very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their family life. About TABS
The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) is a voluntary membership organization for 300 boarding schools in the United States, Canada, and abroad. The independently incorporated non-profit organization exclusively serves the marketing and professional development needs of college-preparatory boarding schools, and provides information for families and other individuals about the benefits of living and learning in a residential setting. The association provides these services through an annual conference, a series of workshops for school administrators and staff members, admission trips, the publication of an annual directory, and a comprehensive website—www.schools.com. 15 About Art & Science Group
Art & Science Group, LLC is one of the nation's most influential consulting firms specializing in market-related issues facing education and the non-profit sector. The firm conducts highly sophisticated survey research, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and planning for colleges, universities, schools, and other organizations to strengthen their missions, performance, and relationships with key constituencies. The Association of Boarding Schools acknowledges the generous support of these Leadership Schools
Appleby College, ON Army and Navy Academy, CA The Asheville School, NC Baylor School, TN Berkshire School, MA The Bishop Strachan School, ON Blair Academy, NJ The Blue Ridge School, VA Brentwood College School, BC Brewster Academy, NH Brooks School, MA Cate School, CA Cheshire Academy, CT Choate Rosemary Hall, CT Christchurch School, VA Colorado Rocky Mountain School, CO Cranbrook Schools, MI The Culver Academies, IN Cushing Academy, MA Dana Hall School, MA Deerfield Academy, MA Emma Willard School, NY Episcopal High School, VA Fay School, MA Fountain Valley School of Colorado, CO Foxcroft School, VA George School, PA Girard College, PA Gould Academy, ME Governor Dummer Academy, MA Groton School, MA The Gunnery, CT institutions in funding the research for The Truth About Boarding School. The Hill School, PA Holderness School, NH The Hotchkiss School, CT The Hun School, NJ Idyllwild Arts Academy, CA Kiski School, PA Lake Forest Academy, IL The Lawrenceville School, NJ The Loomis Chaffee School, CT The Marvelwood School, CT The Masters School, NY The McCallie School, TN Mercersburg Academy, PA Middlesex School, MA Millbrook School, NY Milton Academy, MA Miss Porter's School, CT Montverde Academy, FL New York Military Academy, NY Northfield Mount Hermon School, MA Ojai Valley School, CA Oldfields School, MD Oregon Episcopal School, OR The Peddie School, NJ The Pennington School, NJ Perkiomen School, PA Phillips Academy, MA Phillips Exeter Academy, NH Purnell School, NJ Ridley College, ON St. Andrew's College, ON St. Andrew's School, DE St. Andrew's-Sewanee School, TN St. Catherine's School, VA St. George's School, RI Saint James School, MD St. Mark's School, MA Saint Mary's School, NC St. Paul's School, NH St. Stephen's Episcopal School, TX Santa Catalina School, CA Shattuck-St. Mary's School, MN Shawnigan Lake School, BC Stevenson School, CA The Taft School, CT Tallulah Falls School, GA The Thacher School, CA Thomas Jefferson School, MO Trinity College School, ON Virginia Episcopal School, VA The Webb School, TN The Webb Schools, CA West Nottingham Academy, MD Western Reserve Academy, OH Westminster School, CT Westover School, CT The Williston Northampton School, MA Woodberry Forest School, VA Woodside Priory School, CA Wyoming Seminary, PA Leadership Organization: Western Boarding School Association (WBSA) www.schools.com ...
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This note was uploaded on 09/24/2010 for the course BOUIZAN 352140 taught by Professor Scroeba during the Spring '10 term at Acton School of Business.
- Spring '10