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Second Edition: The Owl Boarding School Guide has Grown! Highlighting the Small Boarding School Association

We’re so pleased to add and highlight a special group of nurturing, supportive schools known as The Small Boarding School Association! In our school planning world, the SBSA schools are roughly equivalent to the Colleges That Change Lives consortium in our college planning practice: hidden gems with hands-on Heads of School, project-based learning, and individualized learning support. Most importantly, given the disruption adolescents have experienced due to COVID, SBSA schools cultivate community and provide caring dormparents thanks to their intentionally isolated campuses and small enrollment – generally under 200 students. That said, we invite you to explore the diversity of their curricular and extracurricular specialties here.

Welcome to the Owl Guide - and to the New Boarding School Landscape

Here at McMillan Education, our deep roots as former boarding school faculty and administrators (and in many cases, as students and parents, too) continue to inform our work with students. We have experienced firsthand the transformational power of boarding schools in the lives of hundreds of students we have worked with from across the country and around the world.

The Owl Guide was conceived and grew out of COVID, when we decided to host a series of Virtual School Fairs to broadcast boarding schools’ missions, which, in our estimation, became more critical than ever in the wake of the pandemic’s effects on education and student development generally. Not surprisingly, boarding schools met the challenge swiftly and effectively. Bon voyage navigating this vast and varied world of boarding schools, including the new admissions criteria.

Learn More About Boarding Schools

73%
Boarding
Co-Ed
Gender
Ojai,
 CA
Location
Featured Matriculation
  • UCLA
  • UC Berkeley
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • University of Oregon
55%
Boarding
Female Only
Gender
Monterey,
 CA
Location
Featured Matriculation
  • Boston University
  • University of California at Berkeley
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Stanford University
100%
Boarding
Co-Ed
Gender
Los Olivos,
 CA
Location
Featured Matriculation
  • Boston College
  • Colorado College
  • Harvard University
  • Pomona College
  • Stanford University

For our First Edition in June, 2021 we curated concise, objective information representing 90 traditional, primarily-boarding schools in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and California. In November, 2021 our Second Edition added a couple dozen members of the Small Boarding School Association, including many from other parts of the country, and a couple international schools. See how we’ll be adding different types of schools to the Owl Guide in future years.

About McMillan Education

Over the decades, we have been privileged to have gained the trust of so many who understand that our close and personalized planning process means we strive to develop a caring relationship with each student and his or her family.

We frequently work with students throughout their educational career, guiding them from elementary school placement, to secondary boarding and day school planning, then to college, and even right through graduate school placement. Many students we have counseled return for guidance for their own children. Keeping in touch with our students and families long after they have left us is a constant source of inspiration and joy.

Learn More About Us