East Coast Boarding Schools

“East Coast” can either refer to the corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C. or to the United States east of Detroit and North of Savannah, Georgia. In either case, there are plenty of East Coast boarding schools. This article tells more.

Two Definitions of East Coast

The first definition of East Coast covers a lesser area, including only Washington, D.C., and the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. In the second definition, it is necessary to add a portion of Georgia Maine, New Hampshire, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

For the purposes of this short article, let us follow the first definition for our assessment of East Coast boarding schools. State-by-state summaries are based on data at the boardingschoolreview.com, which seems to be the most reliable source, but is, unfortunately, not complete. The US government has a way to search for private schools at the National Center for Education Statistics site, but no filter to separate boarding schools from other private schools.

• Connecticut—Connecticut has at least 23 boarding schools, at least several of which are more than 150 years old. Most of them educate students in grades 9–12 with a post-graduate year available, and while many are coeducational, there are several all-girls and all-boys schools. There are two boarding schools in Kent, CT, Pomfret, CT, Simsbury, CT, and Washington, CT.

• Delaware—Several sites list St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware as the only boarding school in Delaware. It is a coeducational school that educates students in grades 9 through 12.  St. Andrew’s is an Episcopal school.

• Maryland—Six boarding schools are listed in Maryland, including the oldest boarding school in the boardingschoolreview.com database: West Nottingham Academy was founded in 1744, making it older than the United States itself! The schools are all offer either grades 8–12 or 9–12, with half offering a post-graduate year. There are 3 all-girls schools, 1 all-boys school, and 2 coeducational schools.

• Massachusetts—Thirty boarding schools are listed, 25 of which are coeducational, 3 all-girls, and 2 all-boys. Massachusetts is home of the second-oldest boarding school in the U.S., Linden Hall, founded in 1746. Three include elementary and middle school grades, and all the rest are high school, a few of which have grade 8 or grades 7 and 8 added.

• New Jersey—Six boarding schools are listed in New Jersey, four of them offering grades 9–12 and a post-graduate year, one having grades 9–12 only, and one offering 7–12. Except for the school offering 9–12, which is an all-girls school, all are coeducational.

• New York While 19 boarding schools are listed for New York, the list is obviously incomplete. First, not a single boarding school is listed in New York City. Second, none of the seven schools listed by Forbes in its 2010 ranking of the best 20 boarding schools is included:

Trinity School # 1

Horace Mann #2

The Brearley School #4

Collegiate School #7

The Spence School # 9

The Chapin School # 11

The Dalton School # 13

• Pennsylvania—Pennsylvania is listed as having 16 boarding schools, but after New York, I don’t trust the numbers. All schools listed include the high school grades, with some picking up grades from middle schools and/or a post-graduate year.

• Rhode Island—Four schools are listed for Rhode Island, all coeducational, three including high school grades, and the other Pre-K–2.