2017 Best Boarding High Schools in America for College Acceptance

Parents believe that there is no real difference between boarding schools.  Some actually believe that they are all “basically” the same.  That, is however, a myth when it comes to college acceptance to elite colleges.

According to John G. Palfrey (Phillips Exeter ’90), (Harvard College ’94), (Harvard Law ’01) and a former Harvard Law School professor who now serves as the Phillips Andover’s head of school, selective high schools attract potential Harvard students away from their home high schools.

Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools released its latest ranking of the best boarding schools in the US, specifically highlighting the best schools that prepare students for elite colleges.  By elite colleges, I am referring to colleges parents already know about: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, UPenn,  Cornell, Dartmouth, Stanford, MIT, Duke, and Johns Hopkins.

Here are the best 25 US boarding high schools by rank:

  1. Phillips Academy – Andover, MA
  2. Phillips Exeter Academy – Exeter, NH
  3. St. Paul’s School – Concord, NH
  4. Lawrenceville School – Lawrenceville, NJ
  5. Choate Rosemary Hall – Wallingford, CT
  6. Deerfield Academy – Deerfield, MA
  7. Groton School – Groton, MA
  8. Noble & Greenough School – Dedham, MA
  9. Cranbrook School – Bloomfield Hills, MI
  10. Hotchkiss School – Lakeville, CT
  11. Hockaday School – Dallas, TX
  12. Cate School – Carpinteria, CA
  13. Middlesex School – Concord, MA
  14. Thacher School – Ojai, CA
  15. Milton Academy – Milton, MA
  16. Lake Forest Academy – Lake Forest, IL
  17. St. Albans School – Washington, DC
  18. St. Stephen’s Episcopal School – Austin, TX
  19. Hackley School – Tarrytown, NY
  20. Peddie School – Hightstown, NJ
  21. Kent School – Kent, CT
  22. Emma Willard School – Troy, NY
  23. Taft School – Watertown, CT
  24. Concord Academy – Concord, MA
  25. Madeira School – Mclean, VA

A comprehensive list isn’t publicly available, however, based on our research, Phillips Andover, Phillips Exeter, St. Paul’s, Lawrenceville, Choate and Deerfield all send 25-30 students each year to Ivy League schools over the past five years.

U.S and especially international families prefer their children enroll in schools that provide the best return on investment on (average tuition, room and board is $55,000 per year) — college placement.   “Affluent international parents consider the education of their children as their premier investment.  To international parents, a superior education and a pedigree degree for their child, is worth more than real estate or luxury items.  Education has become the new global currency and path to wealth.  –  Dr. Lowe’s blog:  Intellectual Wealth and Education

Now that you aware of the ranking, the only problem is how to get your child accepted this admissions season!  And that’s where we come in!  The first part of the your admissions plan: avoid common parental mistakes when applying with the help of a professional who knows where the “rejection” land mines are in the application process….and there are many!


Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group’s Private School Admissions Advisors.   Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for U.S. and international families and students who are interested in applying to top U.S. boarding and day schools.  Dr. Lowe also helps U.S. and international students gain admissions into their top choice private schools after they have been wait-listed and rejected.