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Don’t Just Take Our Word For It: The Advantages of Boarding and Girls’ Schools

Suzanne Romero Dewey
The application deadline for many independent schools is typically in January or February. Whether you’ve completed all of your applications or are putting on the finishing touches, we commend you for taking the initiative to find the right school for you. Seeking something different for your high school experience is a bold and courageous step.

Once your application has been submitted, admission officers will be busy reviewing and considering but you have done the hard work of selecting your schools of interest. It is now time for you to make the most out of your current school and further delve into the classes and activities that bring you joy.

When admission decisions come, some students will be comparing their current school with their prospective choices. This is where visiting makes all the difference. Take advantage of schools’ invitations to visit. At Emma Willard School, this is called “Best Fit Day.” Visiting a school once you’ve been accepted will feel different than when you were choosing where to apply. You will be trying to see how you might thrive in a new school community. Revisit days will happen in March and April. 

Until it is time to step back onto campus, we compiled some data for you to consider as you think about attending a school like Emma Willard School. As a boarder or as a day student, the data about boarding school environments and girls’ schools is worth thinking about:

A recent study done by The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) surveying over 1,000 boarding alumni/students, 1,100 public school students, and 600 private day school students suggests that boarding school students might be better prepared for college and more rapidly progress in their career paths. A few highlights from the study:

  • 54% of boarding school students report high satisfaction with their academic experience, compared with 43% of those who attended private day schools and 40% of those who attended public high schools.
  • 75% of boarding school students report that their peers are motivated, as compared to 71% of private day school students, and 49% of public school students.
  • 91% of boarding school students feel their school is challenging academically, as compared to 70% of private day school students and 50% of public school students.
  • 90% of boarding school students report that their teachers are high quality, whereas only 62% of private day and 51% of public school students would rate their teachers as high quality.
The National Coalition of Girls’ School offers several observations and data points on their website. Here are just a few key facts:
  • Girls’ schools lead the way in STEM education for girls. Graduates of girls’ schools are six times more likely to consider majoring in math, science, and technology and three times more likely to consider engineering compared to girls who attended coed schools.
  • A national survey found that nearly 87% of girls’ school students feel their voices—their opinions—are respected compared to 58% of girls at coeducational schools.
  • 93% of girls’ school graduates say they were offered greater leadership opportunities than peers at coed schools and 80% have held leadership positions since graduating from high school.
  • An estimated less than 1% of girls in the United States attend girls’ schools, yet an impressive 20% of the women currently serving in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives graduated from an all-girls school. While only 23% of the current U.S. Senators serving are female, 13% of those women graduated from girls’ schools. Even fewer women—only 19%—currently make up the U.S. House of Representatives, yet an overwhelming 22% graduated from girls’ schools.
We hope to see you on campus soon!
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285 Pawling Avenue, Troy, NY 12180 | P: 518.833.1300 F: 518.833.1815
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Welcome to Emma Willard School, a private day and boarding high school for girls in Troy, NY, and a leader in girls' education for over 200 years. 

PLEASE NOTE: All visitors to campus must check in with Campus Safety, which can be found at the red flag entrance to Sage Hall (Pawling Ave. entrance).