10 Myths about Boarding School Debunked

by Aimee Yllanes


More engaged. More empowered. More than ready to take on the world. Here’s the truth about boarding school.

Where and how your child learns can greatly impact their chances for success. A boarding school education can be a superior alternative when considering schools. Here, we’ve compiled the most common misperceptions about boarding schools from parents. Browse through them to learn the truth and discover more about boarding school.


MYTH: Boarding schools are rigid and formal, and my son/daughter will have to wear a uniform every day.

FACT: Each school has a unique campus look, feel, and level of formality. Not all schools require uniforms. CRMS holds formal dinners every month; it’s a special tradition on campus where students and faculty dine together for “family style” meals, where students serve their table of peers and faculty, just like they would at home. Visiting a campus will be critically important to get a glimpse of what campus life would look like and feel like for you and your child.


MYTH: Parents only send their kids to school because they have an unhappy home or are punishing them.

FACT: Boarding school presents an alternative learning environment where happy, well-adjusted kids thrive. A loving home life is a wonderful springboard to boarding school and allows each student to grow and learn in a new environment, becoming more independent and confident. Kids who are looking for more challenges academically, more diverse friends, and more opportunities to try new sports or activities see boarding school as the opportunity of a lifetime.


MYTH: My child will get into an Ivy League university if they attend boarding school.

FACT: No school – private or otherwise – can guarantee that. It’s what you do while you’re in high school that helps determine whether you get into competitive colleges. CRMS offers a college counseling program to help students navigate the admissions process. And what we can guarantee is that the character, independence, and critical thinking skills that a boarding school education instills allow students to adjust more quickly and seamlessly to university life.


MYTH: Without parental supervision, boarding school students are more likely to get involved in drinking and drugs than kids who live at home.

FACT: Not according to research. In fact, 95 percent of boarding school students say that their social lives do not revolve around drugs and alcohol, compared to 82 percent of private day and public school students. Along with having ethics standards and codes of honor, your child will be surrounded by like-minded peers who care about education and being the best student/person they can be.


MYTH: There is little to no free time each day for students to relax and just hang out with their friends at boarding school.

FACT: Each school is unique, and most weekdays are fairly structured. At CRMS, the activity pool overflows with fun options, from clubs to sports and art opportunities. With only 24 hours in a day, the real challenge will be picking which ones you spend your time on. During weekends and evenings, you can spend free time with your friends, enjoy dorm events or participate in on-campus activities. 


MYTH: Parents of boarding school students can’t be involved because they’re so far away.

FACT: Not true. Each school has different programs for parental involvement and interaction, but all schools recognize the critical role that parents play in their child’s development during their school years. There are typically many opportunities to visit campus and catch up with your child. 


MYTH: In our 21st-century world of technology, modern classrooms and real-world learning, boarding schools can’t provide anything that the local high school can’t.

FACT: Along with having all-day access to the latest technology, boarding school students receive more access to their teachers (who spend every day with your child and often represent their dorm family). Students are also afforded more hands-on, real-world learning opportunities, like trips to immerse themselves in the Spanish language and culture, blowing the glassware used in the dining hall, or adventuring outdoors to live by the Leave No Trace principles.


MYTH: Boarding school students have no one advocating for them or helping them resolve issues when they are so far away from their parents.

FACT: Actually, most schools have a full-time school counselor or psychologist on campus to meet the needs of all students on a confidential basis. Additionally, schools offer a wide network of other resources ranging from faculty leadership, faculty advisors, dorm parents, peer-led honor councils, and off-site counselors who are willing and able to help a student in need, anytime, regardless of topic.


MYTH: It’s hard for Day Students and Boarders to become close friends.

FACT: The tight-knit community at a boarding school ensures both day students and boarders feel like part of the family. We know social growth is an important part of school, so we make sure there are many opportunities for boarders to befriend day students. From class interactions to the playing field, it’s easy to make friends here. Plus, many boarding schools strive to involve day students in weekend and residential life activities.


MYTH: Boarding school is one big party that doesn’t really prepare kids for the future.

FACT: Our research shows that boarding school alumni succeed at a higher rate than their public- or private-school peers. In addition, the resourcefulness and self-confidence that boarding school students build are directly tied to their ability to learn independent living skills and lead happier, more productive lives.

Want to learn more about Colorado Rocky Mountain School? Reach out to one of our admission team members today.

Tags from the story

Admission, Boarding, College Counseling, Community

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