boarding schools
The student-to-teacher ratio at boarding high schools can vary widely based on the institution’s size, mission, funding, and educational philosophy. However, one of the attractions of many boarding high schools is a relatively low student-to-teacher ratio compared to public schools, which can allow for more personalized attention and tailored instruction.

On average, boarding high schools in the U.S. might have a student-to-teacher ratio ranging from 6:1 to 12:1. Some elite or specialized boarding schools might even boast ratios as low as 5:1.

That said, there are some important considerations regarding this ratio:

  1. Not Always Indicative of Class Size: A low student-to-teacher ratio doesn’t always mean small class sizes. Some classes, especially specialized courses or labs, might be smaller, while core or popular courses might be larger.

  2. Varies by Subject: In some schools, foundational subjects like Math and English might have smaller class sizes, while elective or specialized courses could be larger due to fewer available instructors or broader interest.

  3. School Infrastructure: Schools with more resources or a specific focus on individualized instruction might invest more in faculty, leading to lower ratios.

  4. Impact on Learning: A low student-to-teacher ratio can often mean more one-on-one time, individualized instruction, and immediate feedback, all of which can be beneficial for student learning and development.

  5. Other Staff: Boarding schools also employ other staff members, such as residential advisors, counselors, and coaches, who contribute to the overall educational experience but may not be factored into the academic student-to-teacher ratio.

To determine the student-to-teacher ratio of a specific boarding high school, it’s best to check the school’s official statistics, which are usually available on its website or through its admissions office. Additionally, when evaluating schools, prospective students and parents should consider not just the ratio but also the quality of the teaching, the school’s educational philosophy, and feedback from current or former students.

Boarding school students enjoy more than double the time per week with teachers, coaches and staff members outside class than private day and public school students. –THE ASSOCIATION OF BOARDING SCHOOLS

Parents consider sending their children to boarding schools for a multitude of reasons. While each family’s motivations can be unique, there are several common factors that contribute to this decision:

1. Academic Excellence:

  • Rigorous Curriculum: Many boarding schools offer challenging academic programs that push students to excel.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs: These programs, commonly offered at boarding schools, prepare students for college-level coursework and can provide an edge in college admissions.
  • Specialized Courses: Boarding schools might offer courses or majors not available in regular schools, catering to students with specific interests.

2. Personal Development:

  • Independence: Living away from home can help students develop independence, responsibility, and self-reliance, skills valuable for college and beyond.
  • Character Building: Many boarding schools emphasize values, ethics, and character development alongside academic education.

3. Extracurricular Opportunities:

  • Diverse Offerings: From arts to sports, robotics to horseback riding, boarding schools often provide a wide range of activities, allowing students to discover and nurture talents outside the classroom.
  • Leadership Opportunities: With numerous clubs, teams, and organizations, students have ample opportunities to take on leadership roles.

4. Structured Environment:

  • Study Habits: The structured daily schedule, with designated study times, can help students develop strong study habits.
  • Discipline: The regimented life at many boarding schools instills discipline and time management skills.

5. Social Growth:

  • Diverse Peer Group: Boarding schools often attract students from various cultural, geographic, and socio-economic backgrounds, promoting cross-cultural understanding and friendships.
  • Life-long Friendships: Living in close quarters, students form deep bonds and relationships that often last a lifetime.

6. Specialized Needs and Interests:

  • Therapeutic Boarding Schools: For teens facing emotional, behavioral, or academic challenges, therapeutic boarding schools provide an integrated environment for healing and learning.
  • Special Interests: Some boarding schools cater to specific talents, such as arts schools, military academies, or schools focused on STEM.

7. College Preparation:

  • College-like Environment: The boarding school environment can mimic college life, preparing students for the transition.
  • Advisory and Counseling Services: Boarding schools often have robust college counseling services, guiding students through the college application and selection process.

8. Family Considerations:

  • Tradition: In some families, attending boarding school is a tradition spanning generations.
  • Logistics: Families who travel frequently or live abroad might find boarding schools offer a stable educational environment.

9. Smaller Class Sizes:

  • Personalized Attention: Boarding schools often boast smaller student-to-teacher ratios, ensuring students receive individual attention.


The decision to send a child to boarding school is significant and multifaceted. While boarding schools offer numerous advantages, they might not be the right fit for every student. It’s essential for families to evaluate their reasons, conduct thorough research, visit prospective schools, and involve the child in the decision-making process.