10 Best Boarding Schools in the USA (2024 Reviews)

Prepare the young ones for the future with these best boarding schools in the USA, a list that is designed to help you make a more informed decision as you consider enrolling for high school in the country.

According to a report, There are 98,755 public schools, 13,477 middle schools, 2,500 Junior high schools, 23900 Secondary Schools in the US

This result show a significant growth in the number of boarding schools too and this post is designed to filter the top destinations for you. And to get started, let us understand why it is critical to consider boarding schools for your children in the United States.

Why are boarding schools better?

School is beyond reading books and passing examinations and this is where great boarding schools play huge roles. In areas such as time management, and how to live together with other students are key.

Aside from these factors, some of the true benefits of boarding schools against the day include helping students develop a wide range of interpersonal skills due to the high level of contact and physical challenges that students are faced with.

The original meaning of boarding school is any school be it private or government that offers food and lodging to their students. Although it was much more than that and can explain as a thriving community of scholars, athletes, and artists. 

In boarding schools, their staff, faculty and families live within the campus and serve in various coaching or advising capacities. All these joined together to make a boarding school that is away from home.

For a nice boarding experience, the majority of the kids in the class with you should be also kids in the dorm with you at the chapel and hanging out on weekends with you.

In summary, here are the top reasons why boarding schools are better:

  1. Students develop better interpersonal skills.
  2. Those who are artistic/athletic transform their talents into skills.
  3. Student’s academic and moral life is improved.
  4. Studies have proven that boarding students tend to be more independent.

Related Post: List of Best Catholic Boarding Schools in America (with Tuition Review)

Top 10 Best Boarding Schools in the United States

Before we head over to the list of over 51 well-rated boarding schools in America, let us have a detailed review of these fifteen selected best options for students and parents:

Phillips Exeter Academy

Phillips Exeter Academy is one of the best college prep schools that have good boarding options for both domestic and international students in the United States.

Even though it is selected as one of the best boarding schools in America, this school is a very competitive coeducational and independent school for boarding and day students in grades 9 through 12.

Philips Exeter Academy does offer secondary postgraduate programs and is located in Exeter, New Hampshire. Aside from being one of the oldest secondary schools in the whole U.S., this institution is ranked as one of the most prestigious.

Phillips Exeter Academy Tuition

Get an idea of the Phillips Exeter Academy Tuition from the 2023/2024 academic session where boarding students pay $64,789 and $50,604 for day students. Book supplies for both day and boarding students remain the same at $900.

Phillips Exeter Academy Acceptance Rate

Wiki reports show that Philips Exeter Academy’s acceptance rate is somewhere around 11% and this implies that for every 100 applicants for admission, only about 11 people get the offer. This validates the earlier review that this school is one of the hardest to get into, in the United States.

On the other side, the same report also shows that over 49% of students got financial aid in 2021, totalling about $25 million.

Phillips Exeter Academy Website: www.exeter.edu

Phillips Academy — Andover

Phillips Academy is a co-educational university-preparatory school and falls in this list of best boarding and day options for students in grades 9–12, along with a post-graduate year. This school is located in Andover, Massachusetts, United States, 25 miles north of Boston.

Phillips Academy Tuition

The 2023-2024 tuition information is as thus: Boarding ($69,600) and Day ($53,950).  An application fee of $50 ($125 for international students) is required with the Preliminary Application (Form 1). While you are welcome to submit test scores, such as SSAT or ISEE scores, they are not required.

Phillips Academy Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate of Phillips Academy Andover is 13%. Phillips Academy, for years, has been ranked among the top private schools in Massachusetts with low acceptance rates. In other words, this school is relatively easier to get into, with respect to the quality it offers.

Phillips Academy Tuition Website: www.andover.edu

Groton School

The  Groton School is a private, college-prep, boarding and day school for girls and boys in grades 8-12, located in Groton, Massachusetts.

One of the things special about the Groton School is that it was founded in the Episcopal tradition. Secondly, Groton offers wide-ranging art, athletic and service programs and unique leadership opportunities.

Groton School Tuition

The 2023/2023 Groton School Tuition for boarding students is $59,995 while day students pay $46,720. There are also other fees such as Technology Fee, Health and others you can figure out via the official website.

Groton School Acceptance Rate

The Groton School Acceptance rate is 9% and this is far below the national average, making the school one of the hardest college prep schools to get into.

Groton School Website: www.groton.org

Choate Rosemary Hall

The Choate Rosemary Hall is an independent boarding and day school in Wallingford, CT for talented students in grades 9 through postgraduate.

Aside from the numerous financial aids offered to students in various capacities, this school made it to the list of best boarding schools in the United States.

The school provides students with transformative and meaningful experiences that instil lifelong habits of learning, leadership, and service, shaped by innovative and passionate educators.

Choate Rosemary Hall Tuition

Tuition for boarding students is $67,380 while Day students pay $51,880. Other fees here include the Technology Fee of $1,000 ( for both the boarding and day students). Respectively, we have a total fee of $68,380 and $52,880 for Boarding and Day Students.

Choate Rosemary Hall Acceptance Rate

Even though one of the most prestigious and high-quality college preparatory schools in the United States, Choate Rosemary Hall has an acceptance rate of 18%.

This acceptance rate makes the schools one of the easiest to get into, in this list of best boarding schools in the US.

Choate Rosemary Hall Website:  www.choate.edu

Deerfield Academy

The Deerfield Academy is an independent coeducational boarding preparatory school in Deerfield, Massachusetts. Founded in 1797, and one of the oldest college prep schools in the entire United States.

In this list, Deerfield Academy offers is unique values and worth for students and below is a summary of the tuition and acceptance rate.

Deerfield Academy Tuition

An idea from the 2022-2023 academic year shows Deerfield Academy Tuition tuition for one year of study as $64,850 for boarding students. In this school, day students pay $46,800.

Deerfield Academy Acceptance Rate


Deerfield Academy is a private school and has an annual acceptance rate of 12%. In this list of best boarding schools in the USA, Deerfield is a top private school in Massachusetts with low acceptance rates.

Deerfield Academy Website: deerfield.edu

The Lawrenceville School

The Lawrenceville School is a coeducational preparatory school and one of the most prominent boarding schools in the United States. This school is located in the Lawrenceville section of Lawrence Township, in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. As a coeducational preparatory, the Lawrenceville School is for both Day and Boarding students.

Lawrenceville School Tuition

At the Lawrenceville School, Boarding students pay $76,080 while the tuition for Day students is $62,600.

Lawrenceville School Acceptance Rate


The acceptance rate of The Lawrenceville School is 15%, which is lower than the national average of 80%. The Lawrenceville School’s acceptance rate is ranked among the top private schools in New Jersey with low acceptance rates.

The Thacher School

The Thacher School is an elite private co-educational boarding school in Ojai, California. As an Only-Boys school, the Thacher School was founded in 1889.

In the year 1977, the first set of girls was admitted leading to the first co-educational class in 1978.

Having maintained a high-quality standard of education in academics, arts, athletics and other spheres of students’ needs, the Thacher School has remained one of the best boarding schools in the United States with relatively great tuition, financial and acceptance rate.

The Thacher School Tuition

The Thacher School Tuition for the 2023/2024 academic year is as follows:

  • Boarding students: $69,980
  • Day Students: $56,680

The Thacher School Acceptance Rate


The acceptance rate of The Thacher School is 10%, and this is also lower than the national average of 84%. As a private school in the region of California, has a relatively low acceptance rate and is one of the hardest High Schools to Get into.

Thacher School Website: www.thacher.org

St. Paul’s School

St. Paul’s School is a 9th through 12th-grade coeducational boarding school, in the United States and is well-known in several countries of the world. This educational institution is one of the elite schools in the world and one on this list of best boarding schools in the United States.

As of the time of creating this review, St. Paul’s School is ranking top as one of the most prestigious preparatory (High Schools) in the US.

St. Paul’s School Tuition

Based on the tuition information for 2022/2023 ( including room and board), students pay $62,200 for a third consecutive year. On the side of the school’s financial aid, more than 200 students received nearly $12 million in aid in 2022/2023.

St. Paul’s School Tuition Acceptance Rate

As one of the most competitive co-educational private preparatory schools, St. Paul’s school is accepting 16% of its annual student entry. Relatively, it is one of the hardest high schools to get into and as well as one of the schools with a lower acceptance rate in this list of best boarding schools in the US.

St. Paul’s School Tuition Website: www.sps.edu

Milton Academy

Milton Academy (also known as Milton) is a highly selective, coeducational, independent preparatory, boarding and day school in Milton, Massachusetts consisting of grade 9–12 Upper School and a grade K–8 Lower School. Boarding is offered to start in 9th grade. Historically, it has been an unofficial feeder school for Harvard University.

Milton Academy  Tuition

The Milton Academy annual tuition for Upper School is $64,800 (boarding students) and  $55,560 for their Day counterparts.

Milton Academy  Acceptance Rate

The Milton Academy is a highly competitive college preparatory school in the United States, accepting only 14% of applicants (based on the 2020–21 school’s data).

Milton Academy Website: www.milton.edu

Middlesex School

The Middlesex School is a coeducational and non-sectarian boarding independent secondary school for grades 9-12 located in Concord, Massachusetts. The school was founded in 1901 by the famous Frederick Winsor whose aim was to make Middlesex School distinct from the boarding schools of the time.

In the list of best independent ( private schools) in the United States, this school has remained practically unique as a non-sectarian School with a positive sense of tradition and mission.

Middlesex School Tuition

Prestigious as the academic, arts and athletics offering are, the tuition at the Middlesex School, as of the 2022–2023 academic session, is $69,280 for boarders and $55,970 for day students.

The student distribution shows that up to 70% of its students are boarders, leaving just about 30% as Day students. What also makes the institution stand out is the number of financial aids and grants that amount to $54,603 and a total of over $7.2 million.

Middlesex School Acceptance Rate

The Middlesex School Acceptance Rate is 14% and obviously one of the most competitive secondary schools in the whole of the United States.

The acceptance rate of 71% is way more than the national average of 71% which places the Middlesex School on the list of some hardest college preparatory schools to get into.

Middlesex School Website: www.mxschool.edu



These are frequently asked questions about US boarding schools, and what you may need to learn outside of this list of best boarding schools in the United States:

What is the most prestigious boarding school in the USA?

From tuition, and rich historical background to academic excellence, here is a list of the most reputable boarding schools in the USA:

  • Phillips Exeter Academy
  • Phillips Academy
  • Putney School
  • Church Farm School
  • Episcopal High School

What is the hardest boarding school to get into?

1). Phillips Academy Andover

The Phillips Academy Andover has an acceptance rate of 13% and what this implies is that out of 100 applicants, only 13 are likely to be offered admission. This strict admission acceptance rate has placed this school top of the list of hardest high schools to get into, in the United States.

More about Phillips Academy Andover:

Phillips Academy Andover was founded in 1778 and aside from its long-aged existence, its rich academic pedigree has remained evident. Also, history favours this school as one of the most reputable in America even with notable alumni including George W. Bush and Julie Andrews.

Other hardest high schools to get into, in the USA:

  • Middlesex School
  • Deerfield Academy
  • Cate School
  • Philips Academy Andover
  • Thacher School
  • Groton School

What are the most expensive boarding school in America?

Based on a random web pick, here are the most luxurious boarding schools in the United States ( in 2024):

  1. Groton School
  2. Portsmouth Abbey School
  3. The Athenian School
  4. The Governor’s Academy
  5. Northfield Mount Hermon
  6. San Domenico School
  7. The Lawrenceville School
  8. The Webb Schools
  9. Kent School
  10. The Master’s School
  11. Cate School
  12. The Thacher School
  13. Deerfield Academy
  14. Middlesex School
  15. Brooks School
  16. Blair Academy
  17. Tabor Academy
  18. Oregon Episcopal School
  19. Woodside Priory School
  20. Emma Willard School
  21. Westminster School
  22. Stevenson School
  23. Berkshire School
  24. Choate Rosemary Hall

See this related Post: Best Boarding Schools South Africa | Cost and Location

What is secondary school called in USA?

In the United States, the term used for secondary school is “high school.” High school typically comprises grades 9–12, although variations exist, such as senior high school.

Additionally, junior high school, intermediate school, or middle school (ranging from grades 6–8, 7–8, 6–9, 7–9, or other combinations) are occasionally categorized as secondary education.

How many private secondary schools are there in the US?

In the United States, the number of public secondary and high schools saw a slight increase from 23,499 in 2009–10 to 23,519 in 2020–21. Similarly, the count of private secondary and high schools rose from 3,405 in 2009–10 to 3,626 in 2019–20.

So, you can also tailor your search to focus on the best private high schools or the best private boarding schools in the United States.

How many 4 year schools are there in the US?

In the United States, there are over 6,500 postsecondary Title IV institutions. Among these institutions, 2,189 are Title IV non-degree-granting, while the remaining are degree-granting. Specifically, there are 1,485 2-year colleges and 2,828 4-year colleges.

Is secondary school the same as high school USA?

Yes, high school and secondary school are often used interchangeably in the USA, referring to the same level of education. Typically, this level covers the grades or years 9-12 or 10-12, depending on the specific educational system.

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