Most Exclusive Boarding Schools in Virginia

By Sarah Brodsky , last updated January 24, 2012

Virginia, like several other states on the east coast, is home to some of the country's most prominent and exclusive boarding schools. These boarding schools attract excellent students from across the U.S. and internationally. Competition for admittance to these schools is high because they have a proven record of preparing students for college and imparting character and values. Here is an introduction to some of the most selective boarding schools in Virginia.

Chatham Hall

Chatham Hall is an Episcopal high school for girls that was founded in 1894. Students take part in extracurricular activities such as music concerts, theater productions, and horseback riding. They can choose from fourteen Advanced Placement courses, and they have the option to study in France or Spain. The knowledge girls gain at Chatham Hall carries them far. Graduates have been accepted by distinguished universities like Johns Hopkins University, New York University, and the University of Notre Dame. Given the quality of a Chatham Hall education, it's only natural that girls from across the globe are beating down the doors to get in! Applicants have the best chance if they apply for ninth or tenth grade, but a few girls enter the school in eleventh grade. It's no surprise that Chatham Hall says that it's most important for applicants to have good grades, although girls should also brush up on their interview skills because admissions officers will talk to them in person before making their decision.

Episcopal High School

Episcopal High School is a coeducational school that incorporates Western Christian values and philosophy into its program. Students hail from 18 countries and 25 states. Because the school is just 10 minutes from Washington, D.C., there's also plenty of competition from local applicants who want to take advantage of the school's educational opportunities, like its journalism program and its portfolio art program. Episcopal High School accepts the Standard Application for Admission to Independent Boarding and Day Schools, which makes life a little easier for students who are applying to lots of schools at once. Applicants must also submit letters of recommendation and meet with an admissions officer.

The Madeira School

The Madeira School is a high school for girls located just 12 miles from Washington, D.C. The school offers many specialized courses, like Italian and Women in America, that few other schools teach. Graduates have been accepted at some of the U.S.'s foremost institutions of higher education, such as Cornell University, Brown University, and Harvard University. Getting into the Madeira School is tough, but the school smoothes out the application process by offering an online application that allows prospective students to check their status at any time. Girls who are considering applying can attend an open house, a tour, or a lunch with current students and teachers.

Woodberry Forest School

Woodberry Forest School is a high school that has been educating boys since 1889. Its exciting programs include summer study abroad, numerous sports teams, music, and studio art. Applicants must take the SSAT as well as the TOEFL exam if English is not their first language. An online checklist guides prospective students through the process.

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