21+ Best California Boarding Schools in the USA | 2022 Ranking

Boarding schools in California: Are you looking for the Best Boarding schools in California for your children? or perhaps you are a high school student, looking for the following;

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This article will help you make the right choice.

It is no surprise that providing the best education for your children is crucial; deliberate efforts to send them to top schools are required. Boarding schools in California provide a safe atmosphere for students by preparing and exposing them to comprehensive learning, preparing them for the future.


Aside from providing your children with the greatest academic education possible, boarding schools in California include a variety of extracurricular activities. You must be aware of the benefits.

With over 25 top-rated prep and junior boarding schools serving 7,759 students across Southern California and California, you may be assured of a superb education.

According to the Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), 87 percent of boarders believe they are academically very well prepared for college, a higher percentage than those who attend private or public schools.

Now that you understand why California is such a great destination for students, let’s look at the best boarding schools in California.

Why You Should Choose A Boarding School In California

In an ideal world, boarding schools provide children with a safe atmosphere in which they can exert greater control and freedom over their lives and activities.

This is because the goal of leaving home early is to help the child develop a sense of independence, form new acquaintances, and focus more on overall learning.

Here are a few reasons why you should enroll in a  Boarding School In California.


The Advantages of Attending a  Boarding School In California

California boarding schools provide outstanding educational options. Children learn about diverse social and cultural activities through a combination of academics, mandatory athletics, and a wide choice of extracurricular activities.

Furthermore, boarding schools place a high value on your child’s safety and well-being. In a California boarding school, your child will be supervised 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

California boarding schools California is well-known for its rigorous academic standards and dedication to preparing youngsters to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Here are some compelling reasons why your child should attend a California boarding school…

#1. Closer supervision and support

Teachers and staff at California boarding schools monitor and help the children in their care in every manner they can. As a result, joining a boarding school provides children with full access to school facilities.

It contributes to the development of a learning environment in which students have easy access to libraries, computers, and professors.

#2. Active participation in all school activities

Children can participate in all of the school’s extracurricular activities, including drama, athletics, singing competitions, art exhibitions, and much more.

Many specialized passions, such as ballet, soccer, or music, necessitate early training. Such activities are included in the curriculum of boarding schools to assist youngsters to attain success among like-minded peers.

Furthermore, boarding schools reduce distractions to children’s academic work by decreasing the need for extensive travel/time away from school to visit them.

#3. Classes are small—and the work is challenging.

The majority of California boarding schools maintain small interactive class sizes. The teacher gets to interact with the students closely in this form of learning, making the sessions vibrant and something you won’t want to miss.

According to the Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), 91 percent of boarding school students said their institution was “academically rigorous” (compared to 70 percent of private day school students and 50 percent of public school students).

In addition, boarding school students in California spend an average of 17 hours a week on homework.

#4. It is quite accommodating and adaptable.

In addition to allowing for curricular freedom, California boarding schools take into account a range of specific family or lifestyle issues. Children with special learning or emotional needs are given special attention.

Particularly essential is how boarding school relieves parents of the day-to-day stresses of dealing with their children’s challenges, making time spent together more enjoyable.

In practice, parents whose jobs require them to travel often, live in rural places, or travel abroad may find that boarding schools in California are a beneficial approach to ensure consistency and continuity in their child’s education.

#5. Have Fun and Meet New People

California boarding schools, like your house, maybe a lot of fun, especially if you get nasty with your siblings. It is ideal in boarding schools for your dorm mates to become your closest friends and supporters.

#6. It aids in the development of a child’s character and self-reliance.

Attending a California boarding school helps to build a child’s character and prepares him or her for positions of leadership.

Under rigorous supervision, children set out to compete for the best rank among their peers. This helps to bring out the best qualities and attitudes, such as hard work, honesty, self-discipline, punctuality, tolerance, and so on.

In addition, the youngster learns to appreciate independence as well as partnership. California boarding school kids quickly learn how to conduct household chores and complete academic work on their own.

As a result, they are more prepared for college and career adventures.

What Is the Ideal Age to Get Into One These California Boarding Schools?

Junior boarding schools are relatively uncommon in California and cater to children under the age of 13. Other boarding schools cater to high school students, often aged 14–18.

How Much Does it Cost To attend These California Boarding Schools?

If you’re a parent looking at boarding school possibilities for your kid, you’ve certainly realized that selecting a school is more than just an educational decision — it’s also a financial one.

Paying for boarding school is a significant financial commitment that requires careful planning and assessment of the return on investment. However, the median boarding school education in California costs between $35,000 and $60,000.

Do Boarding Schools in California Provide Financial Aid to Students?

Boarding school education is extremely beneficial to young pupils. Today, the decision to attend a boarding school in California comes at a cost. Families can, however, fund boarding school education in a variety of ways.

For some, the annual tuition may be too much of a barrier to contemplate boarding school in the first place. After all, a boarding school education now looks like a college education, with an average cost of $48,050 per year.

So, how do other families deal with it? According to the National Association of Boarding Schools, nearly 37 percent of boarding school students receive yearly financial assistance.

With the help of the school’s financial aid packages, as well as merit-based and foundation scholarships, the issue of the cost of boarding school education is one that can be avoided.

There are various types of boarding school financial aid:

#1. Financial Assistance on the Basis of Need

Need-based financial help is offered as a grant and does not have to be repaid. The money comes from the school’s budget, and kids’ families must explain in detail why they require it.

The majority of TABS member schools use the Parents’ Financial Statement from the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), which is governed by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). More information can be found at www.nais.org.

#2. Merit Scholarships

In an ideal world, some institutions would provide merit scholarships to outstanding students. These scholarships are highly competitive but do not require reimbursement.

#3. Tuition Loan and Financing Program

Tuition loans are provided by a few colleges, banks, or other financial institutions. Such loans are collateral-based, which means they are subject to credit checks and must be repaid-with interest over time.

Payments are made over a set period of time. However, interest rates on boarding school loans are generally lower than rates on most consumer loans.

#4. Tuition Payment Plans or programs

A variety of financial institutions provide tuition payment schemes to assist families in meeting boarding school expenditures.

These programs are not exactly loans. Tuition payment schemes, in essence, allow for tuition price installment payments over the course of an academic year. The installments are interest-free, however, there may be some entry costs.

Are International Students Accepted at California Boarding Schools?

With over 25 boarding schools in California, international students make up about 15% of the student body.

California boarding schools offer exceptional opportunities for deepening cultural understanding and developing global friendships. They provide a welcoming environment in which international students can flourish.

Furthermore, ESL (English as a Second Language) classes taught in boarding schools assist international students in learning English more quickly. ESL courses are designed to help overseas students improve their speaking, reading, and writing skills.

In a nutshell, boarding schools in California not only provide learning opportunities for international students, but also expose them to people from various religious, geographic, and linguistic backgrounds.

READ ALSO: 21+ Free Online Summer Programs for High School Students 2022

What Is It Like to Attend a Boarding School in California?

Aside from the fact that California boarding schools are beautiful, well-equipped, and full of wonderful teachers, they also provide educational opportunities that may not be available elsewhere.

Furthermore, they allow children to grow in a variety of ways by exposing them to various social and cultural activities.

Most California boarding schools cater to students and families seeking the best education available. They provide a more rigorous option than their home school does.

That is, their exposure is more intensive in terms of development. In addition to challenging classes, California boarding schools provide a structured schedule of extracurricular activities and study time.

There are a number of boarding schools in California that are known for their high academic standards and focus on preparing young people to be tomorrow’s leaders.

How Many Boarding Schools Are There in California?

California, the most populous state in the United States and the third-largest by area, is home to 25 top college-prep and junior boarding schools that serve 7,759 students.

These boarding schools offer exceptional educational opportunities to children in California. Here is a list of the best boarding schools in California.

Best California Boarding Schools 2022 Ranking

The most populous state in the United States is home to a large number of residential schools. As a result, parents looking for one-of-a-kind educational possibilities for their children in California are at the correct place.

These colleges were chosen based on the following ranking criteria:

The student-to-teacher ratio – denotes the number of students allotted to each teacher. It is well acknowledged that a lower class size improves learning.

Accreditation – A school’s accreditation status assures that the school is authorized to operate.

Acceptance rate – The acceptance rate of a boarding school in North Carolina displays the percentage of students admitted each year.

  • Amerigo Los Angeles, Bishop Montgomery High School
  • Amerigo Napa Valley Justin-Siena High School
  • Woodside Priory School
  • Amerigo San Francisco Saint Patrick-Saint Vincent Catholic High School
  • Army and Navy Academy
  • The Athenian School
  • Besant Hill School
  • Cate School
  • Dunn School
  • Santa Catalina
  • EF Academy Pasadena
  • The Thacher School
  • Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy
  • Idyllwild Arts Academy
  • Monte Vista Christian School
  • Oak Grove School

#1. Amerigo Los Angeles, Bishop Montgomery High School

Amerigo is a Southern California private boarding school that offers students an exceptional opportunity to receive a world-class education in Los Angeles, a city noted for its natural beauty and rich culture.

Students at Amerigo Los Angeles have access to rigorous academics, robust extracurriculars, and a friendly atmosphere, all while experiencing Los Angeles’ magnificent natural beauty and distinctive cultural possibilities.

Students are equipped for a great future with options in both Middle School and High School.

As a result, Bishop Montgomery High School ranked first among California’s best boarding schools.

The Co-ed school has a student-teacher ratio of 1:7 and grades 9-12. The California boarding school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA).

#2. Amerigo Napa Valley Justin-Siena High School

Justin-Siena is a Lasallian Catholic high school that promotes educational excellence in a loving, Christ-centered community, preparing students to serve and lead in an ever-changing world.

Amerigo Napa Valley, located just outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, combines a rigorous academic curriculum with a scenic, supportive community.

Students at Justin-Siena High School benefit from an all-encompassing college-preparatory curriculum designed to prepare students for competitive schools and universities.

The Students in the Amerigo program benefit from a residential and social environment meant to aid their growth and support them as they reach their goals, guided by our experienced campus teams.

Students live in cutting-edge facilities with professional dorm parents on-site and participate in a variety of weekend activities such as sports and recreational activities, off-site excursions and immersion tours, community service, and numerous American cultural festivities.

The Co-ed school accepts 57 percent of students and has a student-teacher ratio of 1:7. The California boarding school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA).

Justin – Siena High School ranked first on our list of the best boarding schools in California for grades 9–12.

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military boarding schools in california

#3. Woodside Priory School.

A group of seven Hungarian Benedictine monks from Saint Martin’s Archabbey founded Woodside Priory School in 1957. It is California’s only co-ed Benedictine College Preparatory residential school! Woodside lays the groundwork for a balanced educational adventure with a great staff and a strong college-prep curriculum.

With an average small class size of 6:1 student to teacher ratio, students have the opportunity to engage in in-depth intellectual discussions with their highly educated lecturers. The admittance rate at the school is 57 percent.

It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), the Western Catholic Education Association (WECA), and the Association of Boarding Schools (ABS) (TABS).

Woodside Priory School ranked first among the finest boarding schools in California for grades k-12 to grade 6-12, according to our rating of the best boarding schools in California.

#4. Amerigo San Francisco Saint Patrick-Saint Vincent Catholic High School

Saint Patrick-Saint Vincent Catholic High School, founded in the traditions of the Dominican Sisters and the Congregation of Christian Brothers, instills academic achievement in the minds of her students.

Students at SPSV discover the intellectual challenges they seek, and 99 percent of them go on to college. All educational programs are challenging, requiring each student to think, learn, and perform at the greatest level possible.

Furthermore, through student groups in art, music, French and Spanish, physics, speaking, sports medicine, and other subjects, students deepen and broaden their classroom learning.

Students at SPSV also benefit from an innovative school-wide leadership program.

Furthermore, SPSV is now implementing a multi-year technology strategy that includes new classroom technology, a new wireless infrastructure, the implementation of a 1:1 iPad program for kids, and expanded connectivity with our families via e-mail and e-news.

Families will also have immediate access to student progress thanks to our online grading system.

The Co-ed school has a student-teacher ratio of 1:7 and grades 9-12. The National Catholic Education Association has accredited the California residential school (NCEA).

Saint Patrick-Saint Vincent Catholic High School ranked first in our list of the finest boarding schools in California for students in grades k-12 to grade 9-12.

#5. Army and Navy Academy

This southern California boarding school is an all-boys military institution that inspires and shapes lads to be their best.

Their core curriculum is based on the entrance standards for the University of California, and their college-preparatory curriculum includes Advanced Placement (AP) and honors courses.

Academics are not limited to the classroom. Teachers are available for tutoring immediately following the conclusion of classes and in the evenings during study hall.

They also coach or supervise sports and activities, giving them the opportunity to get to know pupils outside of the classroom.

With a student-to-teacher ratio of 15:1, their children receive the best possible education and go on to achieve success in any pursuit.

The all-boys Co-ed school serves students in grades 9-12 and has a student-teacher ratio of 15:1. It currently has a 57 percent approval rate.

The National Catholic Education Association has accredited the California residential school (NCEA).

Army and Navy Academy ranked fifth top boarding high schools in California for grades 9-12 in our assessment of the finest boarding schools in California.

READ ALSO: 8 Best Boarding Schools in Washington State 2022-2023

#6. The Athenian School

Athenian is the San Francisco Bay Area’s only nonsectarian school with a high school residential program, located on 75 lovely acres at the base of Mt. Diablo.

The Athenian School prepares students for the rigors of college as well as a life of purpose and personal fulfillment.

Furthermore, they foster each student’s personal characteristics in order for them to become an integrated human beings with integrity, strong moral character, and physical well-being.

Athenian boarding school in California will help you learn about yourself, including how you focus, collaborate, and handle responsibility.

With 25 teachers, their families, and dogs living on campus (a total of more than 70 individuals), some direction is always accessible.

You will gain group living skills while learning about other cultures and customs while living with a varied group of peers from roughly 20 countries.

Someone is never far away to help with homework or to play soccer on the field.

The Co-ed school accepts 57 percent of students and has a student-teacher ratio of 1:7.

The Athenian School is the sixth-best boarding high school in California for grades 9-12, according to our list of the finest boarding schools in California.

#7. Besant Hill School

Besant Hill School is more than a school; it cultivates a culture of caring, learning, and empowerment.

Besant Hill School provides a nurturing atmosphere for teenagers. Students are encouraged to use what they have learned and to incorporate new information about the difficulties they are dealing with.

Students at Besant Hill School develop lifelong abilities that enable them to adapt to change and new learning.

Besant Hill School enrolls 100 students from 13 states in the United States and 17 countries across the world, with a 99 percent admission rate and a faculty to student ratio of 1:4.

The Besant Hill School of Happy Valley is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), and it is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and The Association of Boarding Schools (ABS) (TABS).

Besant Hill School is the seventh-best boarding high school in California for grades 9-12, according to our list of the finest boarding schools in California.

#8. Cate School

Cate School combines the academic rigor of East Coast prep schools with the West Coast’s adventurous energy.

The California college-preparatory boarding school provides pupils with an exclusive boarding school experience.

You will learn foundational abilities in English, history, humanities, art, math, science, foreign language, and human development during your freshman and sophomore years.

Then you can select from more than 35 elective courses to follow your unique interests and gain a deeper understanding of a subject.

The Co-ed school has 320 students with a 57 percent acceptance rate and a 5:1 student-to-teacher ratio.

Cate School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), as well as the Association of Boarding Schools (ABS) (TABS).

#9. Dunn School

Dunn School is a Southern California independent residential school that was founded in 1957.

The Dunn School community’s aim is to educate the whole student to his or her greatest potential in preparation for a life of learning and responsible leadership in society.

Dunn School is a compassionate community of teachers and students with a focused approach to whole-student development, located in a beautiful and secure setting in northern Santa Barbara County. Dunn Middle School’s programs seek to prepare students for a life of learning and responsible leadership in society.

The Co-ed boarding school admits kids in grades 6-12 and has a 57 percent acceptance rate and a 5:1 student-to-teacher ratio.

#10. Santa Catalina School

Santa Catalina School is a prestigious private, boarding, all-girls Catholic school in Monterey, California.

The school pushes students to thrive in all areas, from academics — including a marine ecology program that takes advantage of the school’s proximity to Monterey Bay — to competitive athletics in 12 sports and an arts program with professional-quality facilities.

Boarding at Santa Catalina is full of new experiences and one-of-a-kind chances that our students make their own. They develop life skills and values that can only be learned via community living.

Santa Catalina has 216 students in grades 9-12, with an 8 to 1 student-teacher ratio. After graduation, every student from this school attends a four-year college.

#11. EF Academy Pasadena

This is one of the Southern California boarding schools. The new Pasadena campus is located in a quiet neighborhood with a diverse landscape and a vibrant learning environment.

EF Academy has everything you’d expect from a world-class boarding school: modern facilities, competent professors, and academic programs that are globally renowned.

As an EF student, you will grow as a person and develop the skills required for success in the globalized twenty-first century.

Students explore different ideas and perspectives in class and through co-curricular activities, with a 100% admission rate and a 7:1 student-teacher ratio. The Southern California boarding school is highly regarded.

#12. The Thacher School

The Thacher School, a coeducational boarding high school in Ojai, California, founded in 1889 on a citrus plantation at the foot of the Topatopa Mountains, is anything but ordinary.

Students here experience a unique blend of hard academics, tough character-building challenges, and a healthy, authentic community culture that supports them every step of the way.

It is via this method that Thacher is able to shape strong, empathetic, and ambitious young men and women who are ready to face the difficulties of today’s world. Thacher students are solving practical, challenging problems with real-world implications at the crossroads of mathematics, science, and computer programming.

#13. Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy

The Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy is a private school. Flintridge Catholic Dominican College Preparatory School in California is noted for educating and training young women for a life of faith, integrity, and truth.

The Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy has roughly 385 students, 15% of whom are boarding students and 85% of whom are day students.

Tuition and general expenses for this CAIS, WCEA, and WASC certified school are $22,765 for day students and $50,215 for boarding students each year, which includes accommodation and board.

However, one-quarter of the students who attend get some form of financial assistance, such as a scholarship or financial aid. Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy offers a diverse Visual and Performing Arts program.

READ ALSO: 15 Best Boarding Schools In Georgia 2022 | Latest Ranking

#14. Idyllwild Arts Academy

Idyllwild Arts Academy is a California-based international arts high school that operates from September to May. It offers artistic training as well as college preparation.

Music, dance, creative writing, fashion design, film, digital media, music, theater, and visual arts are among the courses offered to students from over 25 nations.

Courses in songwriting, poetry, prose, and theatre are available through the creative writing department.

Students can take part in a variety of cultural and social events. Idyllwild is both a boarding school and a day school. Boarders are fed breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and day students are served meals.

The summer program caters to adults, while the children’s center caters to children aged 5 to 12, and The Junior Artists Center caters to children aged 11 to 13.

#15. Monte Vista Christian School

Monte Vista Christian School is a co-ed private school that educates students in grades 6 through 12. This institution was established in 1926 and has been in operation for nearly a century. Monte Vista Christian School provides scholarships for a wide range of disciplines, as well as excellent chances for community service.

This school is in Watsonville, California, which is in an agricultural section of the state. Monte Vista students are not required to complete community service requirements, but they are strongly encouraged to engage in as many community initiatives as possible.

Monte Vista assists senior persons, the Red Cross, literacy programs, and animal shelters in the community. These are just a few of the many wonderful volunteer options accessible to those who choose to make Monte Vista their home for learning.

Frequently Asked Question About california boarding schools

How much does boarding school cost in California?

The typical boarding school education in California cost ranges from $35,000 to $60,000.

Is it worth it to go to boarding school?

Boarding school might also be worth considering if your child excels at a particular skill or subject, which residential schools could cater to; in these cases, sometimes, a student does not feel challenged enough at their current school,

What is the youngest age for boarding school?

From our experience, younger boarders from the age of 7 or 8 settle quickly into the prep school boarding environment; the schools are smaller and very family-orientated with bright, cozy shared bedrooms and lots of games and fun activities at weekends and in the evenings.

How do you survive boarding school

These 7 life hacks for boarding school will help prepare you to overcome any obstacles and thrive from the get-go!

  • Bring Plenty of Clothing, Supplies, and Reminders of Home.
  • Be Open-Minded.
  • Maintain Good Hygiene.
  • Connect With Your Roommates.
  • Use Your Time Wisely.
  • Listen to Dorm Parents and Teachers.
  • Learn to Manage Your Time.


Giving your children the greatest education possible is not a given; deliberate efforts, such as sending them to top schools, are required. Boarding schools in California provide a safe atmosphere for students by grooming and exposing them to all-around learning, thereby preparing them for the future.

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