Question for BS parents who are now (or also) college parents...

<p>Do you feel that the extra expense you incurred sending your child to boarding school (I'm talking about any of the quality boarding schools mentioned on this board) you feel that it was worth it when college time arrived? </p>

<p>Did your child receive any grants or merit scholarships that you feel were a result of their BS education? I know this is hard to quantify because you don't know if they would have received them anyway, but what do you think?</p>

<p>In other words, if you have to spend some of your child's future college funds on BS right now, will they be able to make some of that back up in merit scholarships or grants? </p>

<p>And just to clarify, I'm not talking about Ivy colleges or top tier, but standard, good quality colleges or state universities....did your child receive any extra incentives or scholarships to attend a good (but non-ivy) school due to their BS education? Did any colleges or universities recruit your child for their unique academic background?</p>

<p>Thanks in advance :)</p>

<p>Can’t figure out how to edit my first post.</p>

<p>But I want to clarify. I should not have asked “was BS worth it?”, because I know that for many kids it most definitely IS worth it in terms of education and college preparation.</p>

<p>So, I guess what I’m wondering is…do colleges notice when a child is coming from a good preparatory school and possibly give financial incentives/scholarships to attract such students? Do BS students stand out during the admissions process (especially at non-Ivy colleges), or not??</p>

<p>BS made all the difference for our S. His college opportunities included the top LACs much discussed on CC, and very much because of his BS background. In BS, he struggled to achieve a B average, but his transcript showed he was always pushing himself. He was a one-sport varsity athlete. He repeated 10th grade when he went to BS. SATs were not/not within standard range for the schools which looked at him. Still, BS made one of these colleges possible via ED. Moreover, we had next to nothing to do with his application. Really. Beyond the college admissions metric, the usual cliches apply: more independent, more mature, comfortable with writing, writing, and writing (still only endures math). He has a serious case of senioritus right now. Finally, BS kept him occupied in healthy ways (best we can tell) throughout some dicey years for his peers back home in suburbia. Our finances (even with FA) took a serious walloping. But he and we (his parents) would do it all again. His siblings also attended BS (different ones); it didn’t work out for one of them, but the other two remain generally satisfied so far. Cheers</p>

<p>Ditto to everything @Klements said.</p>

<p>I sent my oldest to a competitive local private school after years of frustration with her local public school. The offers of merit aid, I’m convinced, were due to her improved academic climate the private school but also her growing independence and the risks she took as a student. The amount of merit scholarships she was awarded balanced out the amount we paid for her private school. But I can’t say that is the norm.</p>

<p>I suspect, now having one in BS that the result will be the same. She’s exposed to a great deal more than she would have even if she attended her older sister’s school. The academics are more rigorous than the local private, I suspect I’ll see that reflected in her entrance exam scores. She also took a year abroad in a country where she did not speak the language, which is another reflection of her willingness to take on a challenge with gusto. </p>

<p>HOWEVER - and it’s a big one - we didn’t choose the private school option for kid #1 or boarding school for kid #2 (actually the latter kid chose BS on her own) so they could get into college. The options were considered because the public options were so terrible and they both needed to be with a peer group where they weren’t ostracized for being smart or wanting “more” from their educational experience. In a sense, they were both tired of dumbing themselves down to fit in. </p>

<p>Don’t discount the fact that boarding school can expose a child to a broader international landscape and more cultural experiences. The range of economic backgrounds also spans a wider gamut than what we would get locally. So although I am spending more, I feel my youngest is getting significantly more than her older sister received in academic options and individual attention. God bless small class sizes, individualized instruction and teachers who live on campus.</p>

<p>I do know that when I do college interviews I do take into account that a BS student has already mastered the art of living in a dorm, adjusting to cultures, navigating a block schedule and a campus, etc. Those are all transitions they don’t have to relearn when going to college. In those cases I look carefully for “emotional” growth to match the BS experience.</p>

<p>Still - the cost/benefit issue a hard thing to quantify when college costs are looming. The best way to view this is to not think of BS as an expense with a return on investment at college scholarship time. It’s just not something that can be guaranteed. We’re not banking on it when D begins applying to colleges next year. I can say that both of my daughters were better “prepared” to take on their college challenges.</p>

<p>For the most part, I can just say ditto to Klements and Exie. </p>

<p>DC1 is in his first year of college, after 4 years of boarding. When it came time to look at colleges, he had a very clear idea of who he was, and what type of school he wanted to attend. That clarity was invaluable in shaping his list, and resulted in very positive results with some great options. College admissions knew they were getting a well prepared kid. </p>

<p>At the end of his first semester in college, several of his new friends found themselves floundering, with very low grades, because they didn’t know how to balance living in a dorm, attending class, studying, working, play, etc. DC didn’t have this issue, nor did any of his classmates who were coming from BS.</p>

<p>I do want to say, I don’t think the preparation and benefits from a positive boarding experience can be distilled to a financial equation. The kids who pursue and do well in BS tend to be the kids who would make the most of whatever opportunities are available to them. </p>

<p>I knew we needed significant FA, so his list was heavy with schools where his stats were in the top 25%.</p>

<p>Thank you. Your replies are all very helpful. </p>

<p>Since this is our oldest child and we are just embarking on 9th grade, I admit we are a bit in the dark, especially when it comes to what we can expect from BS and from the future process of finding, applying to, and AFFORDING the right college for her. Honestly, it’s all a bit scary and intimidating. And the serious financial aspect just makes it more so.</p>

<p>She currently attends a very good and academically rigorous independent private school, but we do feel that the experience of BS will be wonderful for her as she is desperate for even greater challenges and new adventures. She is extremely motivated, mature, organized, and self-directed…which, at her age, I was not so much. So, it can be hard for me to relate to her desire for more challenge!</p>

<p>She is certainly willing to stay at her current school if necessary (but I know she desperately wants to attend BS). She reads the course catalog every night and tells me that she dreams about all of the interesting classes she will take and sports she will try, not to mention all of the other “academic kids” she will meet! I keep telling her that it will be harder than she thinks (in many ways), but she is totally unfazed. Deep down she knows it will be amazing, and she is probably right! </p>

<p>I guess we are just trying to weigh all sides…which is very hard since it’s our oldest child and all of this is basically new to us.</p>

<p>thanks again.</p>



<p>That describes my child. The entire process was driven by her. I never broached the idea or spent much time talking about my own experiences. My daughter was very independent and self motivated. Mature even though she was younger than her classmates. But when I see what she has become - how much more she has grown from these challenges, I can’t imagine not having let her pursue this dream. It is VERY hard financially - but for us worth the sacrifice. This is a new experience for her Dad but he is smitten with the school now and how it has shaped her views of college, being a global citizen, etc. </p>

<p>And God bless Klements for all his encouragement when we waivered about letting her go overseas for her second year. Other parents urged staying in the US and loading up on AP courses. But her boarding school was really excited about it and urged her to do it as a school representative. We visited this past Christmas and were blown away at her language skills, her ability to navigate a foreign country independently, and her new relationships with her family and all the relatives.</p>

<p>Letting a child stretch their wings and push the boundaries is sometimes the best investment in their future we can make. But I won’t kid you - the transitional first months is often tough. The academic rigor was much harder then her “college prep school” at home. But after she got into the new pace - there was no stopping her and we say that play out in her EC’s, the teacher comments, and her attitude towards life in general.</p>

<p>Wishing you the best whatever you decide. The unknown is very scary (especially with a big bill looming) but for our family, it has proven to be a risk worth taking.</p>

<p>To the OP - post number 3 is absolutely correct. Your child will get a tremendous boost in college admission coming out of BS. This is primarily true for private LACs or smaller private universities. Not the Ivys, Stamford etc. Nor the large publics. The way I read your question - the answer is - no, going to BS will not get your kid extra merit money. The famous merit scholarships from Duke, Vanderbilt, etc. are extremely difficult to obtain (for example I think Duke gives 40 a year), but if your child is a tippy top student he/she will be competitive for those, irrespective of the schools he/she attends. In terms of the regular merit awards that I think you are discussing - attending BS will put your child at a disadvantage. Reasons - I am going to generalize here, and if some colleges differ, its a rare exception that proves the rule - most merit money goes to students in top 3%, which is extremely difficult to achieve in BS, similarly a lot of BS do not rank, but rank plays a huge part in merit money, a lot of merit goes to kids with the most AP’s - sometimes not possible in BS’s since some of them don’t have official AP classes. So if you’re thinking of merit money from places like UT honors etc, being in a BS hurts by virtue of the way the system works, and the small numbers of a BS class (top 10% in a class of 100 is 10 kids, versus sometimes a 100 kids in a class of 1,000 at a huge public). Also don’t forget the kids at the very top of the academically challenging BS’s are the top of the top. To compete with them is hard and grinding work.
So you need to see what kind of classes your private day provides and what kind of merit money people are getting coming out of it.
Again, this is all not a scientific observation, but experience of three kids both at BS and independent day schools (although the top in US), with two already at college and observation of friends’ experiences. Most people got fin. aid in a need- based way, with a few, as in count them on your fingers of one hand few, getting name merit scholarships that either pay full ride or half.</p>

<p>I agree with mhmm on why it’s actually harder for students from competitive BS to be qualified for merit based scholarships. Another consideration is that after the high qualify education your kid receives in BS, it’d be more difficult a decision to make to attend the big state university or the “third tier” private schools where some of the merit based scholarships or “full ride” opportunties may lie in. Then of course, as mhmm pointed out, this is just a generalization to the whole population. Individual results may vary.</p>

<p>Going to BS put my children in a position where they were able to be admitted to extremely generous private colleges with large endowments that offered big grants, not loans. No merit aid, but also no “gapped” financial aid awards.</p>

<p>baystateresident, in you experience, are colleges with large endowments as generous as the BS with large endowments (in their standards of course)?</p>

<p>DAndrew-yes. Actually, more generous than BS in our experience!</p>

<p>But, I’m certainly not complaining. As some other parents wrote on a previous thread about donating to the annual fund, I will be thankfully be making a token annual contribution for the rest of my life!</p>

<p>That’s good to know. Chatted with a couple of middle to upper middle class families through PM’s. Their experience wasn’t as positive. It could have something to do with their expectations I guess? In their cases, the BS were a lot more generous. Well, as said earlier, individual results do vary!</p>

<p>DAndrew, well, we are definitely in the middle class not upper middle class category!</p>

<p>^^ re: the last few posts - the cut off level for income for which to receive need-based financial aid is somewhat lower in college, rather than BS. Where some schools say they will consider giving some money to people with an income of 200-300k, you can go whistle for aid with that income in college. However, if you have 2 in college, the aid can go up a lot.
Note to future CCers - space your kids closer together to take advantage ;)</p>

<p>Mhmm- absolutely! But who knew, at the time? We just were lucky that way. I have a friend with four in college right now, due to tight spacing of children, and they are receiving a LOT of aid right now.</p>