What Is Boarding School?

We understand you have lots of questions

Sometimes, it’s hard to know what questions you should be asking as you get started on the journey to discovering more about boarding school. Browse through these frequently asked questions from both parents and students. Don’t see the answers to some of your questions? Feel free to send us a note and we’ll get right back to you.


List of 15 items.

  • After my classes end each day, how will I spend my time?

    At most boarding schools, there is an expectation that students will be involved in some aspect of school life. Whether it’s the arts, athletics or another activity, boarding school students are often at their busiest after school. Schools offer a wide variety of options, from traditional sports and arts to mountaineering, community service and much, much more.
  • How much independence/freedom can I expect at boarding school?

    New students, and younger students, tend to have more structure built into their day. They have fewer free periods and more structured study time in the evenings. But as students get older, they earn more independence and freedom each year. By the time students are seniors, they have a good deal of freedom, and are expected to manage their time effectively. The goal is that over time students become completely self-reliant and able to manage their time and responsibilities so that they are ready for the freedoms and challenges of college and university life.
  • I like my friends, but they’re all the same. We all dress alike and have the same stuff. I’d love to meet different kinds of people, from all over the world. Would I find kids from other cultures at boarding school?

    Boarding school is pretty unique in that kids from many different states and countries choose a school for a particular reason. That means most boarding schools have kids who have grown up somewhere in the US or Canada, but could also have kids who have grown up in Europe, Asia or the Middle East. You’ll make lifelong friendships in boarding school because you share so much – classes, sports, a dormitory and meals. If you’re looking for a place to make friends from all corners of the globe, boarding school could be for you.
  • I like school and I am on a couple of sports teams, but I always want to do more. Would I find more variety at boarding school?

    Yes, you would. It’s a fact that at boarding school, 12 hours per week are dedicated to exercising or playing sports, compared to about nine hours in private day and public schools. If you’re looking for more challenges, more variety or more interesting activities, boarding school is definitely the way to go.
  • I like to stay busy, but a lot of my friends just like to stream Netflix and play video games. Would I fit in at boarding school?

    Yes. Boarding school students are busy doing many interesting things. They spend considerably less time watching TV – only about three hours per week. If you like to stay busy, but also have some free time to spend like you want, boarding school might be just what you’re looking for.
  • I love my family. I would miss them if I went away, and my parents would probably think I didn’t want to live with them. Do kids get used to being away from home?

    Great question! Happy, loving families that have strong connections make great boarding school families. And believe it or not, your connections to your family will probably grow even stronger when you’re living away from them. Like sleep-away camps in the summer, after the first day or two, you start to get involved, and that homesickness begins to fade. You’ll get to see your parents for events at the school, and of course you go home on breaks and vacations. About 70% of boarding school students say that boarding school has helped them develop self-discipline, maturity, independence and the ability to think critically. All things that help prepare you for college, and for life.
  • I really like my teachers, but they’re so busy that they don’t really have time to help me outside of class time. How would boarding school be different?

    At boarding school, teachers often live in the same building you do. Entire families may live in your same dormitory, and they are there for you, like a family. You’ll also eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with your teachers and coaches in the school dining halls, so you see them every day, many times a day. We did a study and found that boarding school students enjoy more time with teachers, coaches and staff members outside of class than public and private day school students do – about nine hours per week, compared to four hours. That’s a big difference!
  • I’m not athletic, but I like to join clubs. Would boarding school be a good fit for me?

    Yes. While most boarding schools do require all students to be involved on one team per school session, the good news is that you can try a lot of different sports beyond just the typical ones most schools offer. Dance counts as an athletic option at boarding school too. And, more good news is that 35% of current boarding school students spend between seven and 14 hours per week on non-athletic extracurricular activities like the arts, student government and clubs. There’s really something for everyone.
  • I’ve heard that boarding schools are for kids who get into trouble and their parents don’t know how to handle them. Is that true?

    That’s a common misperception about boarding schools. And maybe that used to be partly true a very long time ago. But these days, boarding schools are pretty competitive, and you even have to take an entrance exam to be accepted. So, if you have good grades, you shouldn’t have a problem getting in. Today, boarding schools are known for strong academics, the ability to play a different sport every season, and the opportunity to try new things that you may not normally get to try. And because you live with your friends in a dormitory, you build really close friendships too.
  • Is it hard to make friends?

    If you feel like it might be hard for you to make friends, remember that there are lots of other new students just like you who feel the same way, and are likely just as nervous as you. Generally speaking, students at boarding schools are eager, open-minded and adventurous. Most students find it very easy to make new friends as they begin the adventure of their life.
  • Isn’t boarding school for kids who are in trouble?

    No. Boarding school is for students who are looking for more. Students who attend boarding school are often very successful, and truly want to attend. And in fact, it’s usually their idea. Ultimately, boarding school is a place where you can do more, try more and be more.
  • What is the admission process like?

    The admission process is actually a lot of fun. During the journey, you will learn a lot about yourself and about the schools to which you apply. At each school, you will meet students, admission officers, and oftentimes even parents who want to share with you why they love their school. The hope is that through the admission process, you will find the best school for you. Of course, each school has its own set of criteria for evaluating students as candidates. Some schools are very competitive, and just a few students are admitted. Yet other schools’ admission processes are much less grueling. At those schools, it’s less about what you’ve accomplished so far, and more about what you’re capable of doing once you get there.
  • What is there to do on the weekends?

    Students and faculty work hard to create great options for students on campus each weekend. From dances and mixers, to movies, games and other activities, schools make sure that weekends are action-packed on campus. Weekends are also a time for students to go home, or visit the homes of friends who live nearby. And, weekends are also a great time to relax, take a nap, watch TV and hang out with friends.
  • What’s the biggest difference between my public high school and boarding school?

    There are many. First and foremost, boarding school will challenge you by offering you more opportunities to stretch and grow than you ever thought possible. Whether it’s in the classroom, on the stage, or on the field, boarding school is an immersive environment. That means everything is right there for you on campus. Faculty, staff and coaches are available 24/7. It’s a close-knit community that you’ll belong to. You won’t be a number at boarding school – everyone will know your name.
  • Will I have time at boarding school to do the things I love, like playing an instrument?

    Absolutely. Boarding school students spend about six hours per week on creative endeavors, like performing music and painting, compared to four hours by private day and five hours by public school students.
An independent, college preparatory school for boarding and day students, grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
© Copyright 2016
New Hampton School
70 Main St., New Hampton, NH, 03256 (603)-677-3400