The top American colleges accept students with diverse passions and interests: artists and authors, math whizzes and budding scientists, volunteers and athletic superstars. But the two categories where top colleges don’t compromise? Academics and character. Even now, top universities are reshaping the admission process to shift the focus away from “just” grades towards ethical and intellectual engagement.


Here’s a piece of insider information: those feeder high schools are exceptional at educating and building character in high schools students, but keep in mind that their selective admissions process allows them to choose students who already possess many of those traits. A middle school student who struggles academically or who has not clearly demonstrated effort, leadership, or character is unlikely to be seriously considered for admission at a competitive secondary school like Exeter or Deerfield Academy in the first place.

As a result, it’s critically important to make sure academics and character development are key areas of focus during your child’s middle school years. In this way, you increase the odds of securing placement for your child at a secondary school that is a good match, which will in turn boost your child’s chances of gaining admission at a great college.


You should also consider junior boarding school. さて、皆さんはジュニアボーディングスクールという選択肢を聞いたことがないかもしれません(いや、あるかもしれません!)。ジュニアボーディングスクールとは、5年生から9年生までの生徒を対象に、5日間または7日間の全寮制プログラムを提供する学校のことで、子供たちに高校や大学に向けて最高の基礎を与えたいと考えている家族にとって、素晴らしい選択肢となります。 その理由は以下の通りです。






ほとんどのジュニアボーディングスクールでは、サービスラーニングの機会を設け、生徒たちがボランティアとして実際に体験し、人を助けることの大切さを身をもって学んでいます。例えば、Fay Schoolでは、中学3年生がドミニカ共和国で1週間、恵まれない地域の子どもたちに英語を教えます。この旅行は、多くの生徒にとって、啓発的で変化に富んだ経験であり、人助けへの長期的なコミットメントの始まりとなります。


Academics are by far the top focus at the most competitive secondary boarding schools. In order to increase the odds of earning a spot at a top college, students at these schools must distinguish themselves to college admissions counselors by succeeding at a high level, which requires investing significant time and energy into their studies.

It’s hard to achieve this level of focus when a student is still getting used to the boarding school environment. Settling into a routine, assimilating to a new social circle, and getting used to living away from home are all challenges for new boarders. If your child is already accustomed to this environment by the time he or she enters secondary school, there will be less times spent adjusting and more time dedicated to coursework and extracurricular activities.


Eminent universities like Harvard and Princeton have diverse applicants from all walks of life. However, admissions counselors still consider a prospective student’s high school while evaluating their application. According to research published in the Chicago Tribune, 6% of Harvard’s Class of 2017 came from just 10 high schools – several of them being secondary boarding schools.

By attending a junior boarding school, students have a better chance of getting into one of these “feeder” secondary schools that send graduates on to Ivy League-caliber colleges. But it’s not just about reputation or personal relationships – top secondary schools offer the academic rigor and curriculum that prepares students for the competitive college environment.



College is one of the most important milestones in your child’s life, and a meaningful college experience is one that will help your child mature as an individual, hone academic skills, and formulate life goals. By enrolling your child in a junior boarding school, you give him or her a strong start on a path that can lead to a top-notch secondary school experience, and, in turn, the opportunity to attend a great college.