Last week, my daughter and I drove about 2000 miles in 5 days. We toured three boarding school campuses, and had admissions interviews.
The schools are
- Kents Hill in Maine
- Grier in Pennsylvania
- Oldfields in Maryland
Campus tours are a key part of the admissions process for boarding schools in the USA. Boarding schools are typically for 9th to 12th Grade, but some schools do have boarders as early as 7th grade.
USA School System Explained
- Primary school here is typically Kindergarten (starting at age 5 or so) until 5th Grade.
- 6th – 8th Grade is typically Middle School.
- High School is 9th – 12th Grades.
So, we basically have 13 grades, if you count Kindergarten in USA School System.
We have both private and public schools most places.
Public schools are free, and private schools are not.
Boarding Schools are a special class of private schools under USA School System. They are typically further away from home, and most are located on the East Coast, with most in New England.
One key part of the admissions process for schools here in the USA is the tour of the school, and the admissions interview.
We talked to the admissions directors and heads of schools at various schools.
My daughter and I got to see their classrooms, facilities, and most importantly for my daughter- the Stables, Indoor Riding Ring, as well as talking to the director of the horseback riding programs.
It is a requirement that you have the interview with the school as part of the application, and they do not take your application seriously if you are a student from the USA and do not visit in person.
The schools we looked at do have a number of international students, ranging from about 10 percent at Oldfields to almost 50 percent at Grier.
The admissions counselors travel to various countries to conduct interviews, and they will also conduct interviews via skype as a last resort.
At the end of the trip, we had chosen which schools to apply to, and our application is in the mail.