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5 Reasons to Consider a Military Boarding School

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When you think of the military, you think of discipline, honor, and commitment. These are all characteristics that you will embrace if you choose to attend a military boarding school for high school. Contrary to popular belief, military school is not a place where parents send only their troubled, undisciplined children. Nor does attending a military school mean that you have to pursue a career in the military.

Military school is a place where students who strive for excellence in academics and in character will thrive. Motivated students who work well in a structured, disciplined environment are a good fit for a military school. Here are five reasons why a military school could be an excellent choice for students who are seeking an alternative to public education.

1. Military schools prepare students for college.

Military schools, like other college-prep schools, prepare students to become qualified, exceptional candidates for college admission. Students have a strict study schedule and also receive peer tutoring when needed. Competition among students encourages them to strive for excellence in academics. You might also consider a post-graduate year at a military academy after high school. Valley Forge Military Academy, for example, offers a PG year program.

2. Military schools instill leadership qualities in their students.

Students at military schools receive peer leadership training that includes the core values of effective leadership. Leadership involves traits such as character, judgement, compassion and trust. A good leader will have good communication, decision-making, goal-setting and negotiation skills, and possess strong motivation and ethics. Colleges look for these skills in their applicants. Massanutten Military Academy says in its mission statement that it, seeks to develop “effective leaders who treat others with kindness, courtesy, dignity, and respect; lead by example; and enforce the rules in a firm, fair, and consistent manner.”

3. Military schools inspire students to have strong personal values.

Based on the core values of the armed forces, military schools expect their cadets to adhere to these principles. For instance, the Marine Military Academy (a private school not affiliated with the U.S. Marines) expects its cadets to abide by these three core values:

      • Honor: Cadets are held to the highest ethical and moral standards, and respect for others is essential.

      • Courage: Cadets must face their fears and overcome them, and they are expected to do what is right regardless of the consequences.

      • Commitment: Cadets must strive for excellence and never give up because duty to others is fundamental.

These are indicative of values at other military schools around the country.

4. Military schools provide structure and discipline.

Students at a military school are expected to follow an organized schedule that promotes academics, physical fitness, military training and service. In addition to 10 or more hours a week of military training, students are also required to participate in clubs and expected to remain physically fit. Students respond well to this type of environment because it encourages success and achievement while promoting personal growth. And you might be surprised by the diverse athletic programs. Howe Military Academy, for example, offers SCUBA training to cadets.

5. Military schools promote service.

Service to country and to others is at the core of every military school. They promote this concept by encouraging community service and other programs that teach students the importance of giving to others. Not only is this an admirable character trait, but colleges look for this type of service in their applicants. Cadets at Riverside Military Academy, for example, work with animal rescue organizations, Habitat for Humanity and disaster relief, among other causes

Before making your decision, talk with admissions offices, visit the schools and ask questions. Talk to the cadets during the visit who will more than likely sing the praises of this type of environment. If discipline, structure and academic achievement are your goals, a military school will help you achieve them.

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Written by Suzanne Shaffer

Suzanne Shaffer counsels parents and students in the college admissions process and the importance of early college preparation. Her Parents Countdown to College Coach blog offers timely college tips for parents and students, as well as providing parents with the resources necessary to help their college-bound teens navigate the college maze.

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