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Getting Started


Now that you are considering boarding school as an option, the process may feel daunting. Rest assured that there is plenty of help available as you go through this process and any boarding school admission office can provide you with necessary support. Here are a few tips to get you started...

How do I find schools and narrow my list?

There are many ways to “discover” a potential school - guidance counselors or secondary school placement directors, educational consultants, the Internet (e.g. and TABS), summer programs and word of mouth are just a few. You've also found yourself on this site, which is sponsored by five of the top boarding schools in the Northeast. With that in mind, your search has already begun.

If you want to get to know a particular school a little better, we encourage you to check out their websites, talk to alumni and/or current parents, visit an Open House event in the fall, or request school materials via phone or online.

Schools love to hear from prospective students and they want to make the introduction to application process as easy as possible. Remember that an admission office is here to serve the needs of interested students and their families. Once you know you are truly interested in considering a boarding school, you should go online and fill out inquiry forms at several schools. You can also contact admission offices via phone or email to connect with an officer that will be happy to answer your questions. Finally, most schools host/attend events that are open to the public, such as school fairs and receptions. The Mid-Atlantic Boarding School Group hosts many events across the course of the fall and spring. 

A school visit is one of the most important parts of the process. It is important to get on campus to see faculty and students in action. This is where you will get a "feel" for a given school. Most visits include a tour and interview and last about two hours, but accommodations can be made for students that want to visit a class or meet with extracurricular directors or teachers. Other visits might be at an Open House event, which occur in the fall and early winter. 

What about fit? How do I know if a school is the right one for me?

“Fit” is a big word and has a lot of different layers. Consider these questions when making a decision:

  • How do you feel when you walk onto campus? When you leave?
  • Can you picture yourself living in that school’s community (even in the dead of winter)? Going to school with the kids you met?
  • Are there programs and courses that interest/excite you?
  • Will you be appropriately challenged, inside and out of the classroom?
  • What about the location? Size? Cost? Gender breakdown?