10 Top Boarding Schools in California (FAQs) | 20228 min read

Students who choose to attend any of the boarding schools in California will discover a state that is full of exceptional academic strengths and a few weaknesses.

This article explains the top boarding schools in California, stating the study process in California, and other tips.

Is Studying in California Worth It?

A large number of top-tier institutions and colleges may be found in the Golden State.

The University of California system and the California State University system are two of the strongest public college systems in the United States.

Students from all around the country also go to elite private institutions like Stanford University and the California Institute of Technology to gain exceptional knowledge and skills.

Moreover, the cost of living in California is 38% higher than the national average, according to the 2020 Cost of Living Index.

But, the exact cost of living varies substantially depending on where you live in California.

Is boarding school in California a good idea?

Yes, it is. Boarding schools for children in California are distinct from regular schools in that they require students to reside on-campus.

There are many things they do together, such as taking lessons, eating meals, and living in the same place.

During the summer, between grades, and on weekends at some schools, students return home to spend time with their families.

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Boarding Schools in California:

1. Idyllwild Arts Academy:

Idyllwild Arts Academy is the school of choice for many parents with children who are interested in pursuing a profession in the visual or performing arts. It is one of the top boarding schools in California.

This coed boarding high school for grades 9 through 12 is within an hour’s drive of Palm Springs, and it features a private 205-acre campus that is covered in pine trees.

It is considered a fairly international school and has an enrollment of 300 pupils from 25 nations.

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The Academy, which also runs an arts program during the summer, is dedicated to assisting youngsters who have a passion for performing in realizing their goals.

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2. Bishop Montgomery High School Amerigo Los Angeles:

Bishop Montgomery is a private, co-educational high school with boarding services in Los Angeles, California. 

Students at Amerigo, a private boarding school in Southern California, have the unique opportunity to get a top-notch education in Los Angeles.

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

When students go to middle school and high school at the same time, they have more chances to get ready for a good future.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA) have both given the California boarding school their seal of approval as an authorized educational institution.

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3. Justin-Siena High School Amerigo Napa Valley:

Justin-Siena High School is a Catholic boarding school that provides a good community for students and prepares them to be leaders.

Students at Justin-Siena High School, which is a Catholic high school in the Lasallian tradition, receive an excellent education in a community that is loving and Christ-centered.

This helps the students prepare to serve and lead in a world that is constantly changing.

Students at Justin-Siena High School have access to a full college-preparatory curriculum that is meant to help them get into schools and universities where admission is very competitive.

As one of the best boarding schools in California, the students have the opportunity to spend their weekends participating in a variety of activities, including sports and recreational activities, off-site excursions and immersion trips, community service, and various celebrations of American culture.

4. Midland School:

The Midland School is a relatively modest independent college preparatory institution which is a boarding school located in Los Olivos, California.

The school was started in 1932 by a Harvard graduate who wanted to change the way education was done. It is for kids in grades 11 and 12, and the classes are hard but not impossible.

The school has an 8-acre garden that the students help to manage, and each student is required to take part in two different team sports throughout the academic year.

The school participates in the Western Preparatory School Condor League and currently offers basketball in addition to other sports such as soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, and cross-country running.

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5. Besant Hill School:

Besant Hill School is a high school that can be found in Ojai, in the southern part of California.

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The Besant Hill School of Happy Valley, which used to be called the Happy Valley School, is a private school in Ojai, California, that serves both boys and girls.

This coeducational boarding school first opened its doors in 1946 to educate adolescents in grades 9 through 12.

Both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Association of Boarding Schools have granted Besant Hill School its accreditation.

When students leave this school, they have a better than 95% chance of going to a college or university to continue their education.

As one of the best boarding schools in California, students at Besant Hill School have a calm place to learn because the school is in a natural area in California’s southern valley.

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6. Army and Navy Academy:

Army and Navy Academy is a private military boarding school for boys that helps them get ready for college. It is located in Carlsbad, California.

This military boarding school for boys in southern California is an all-boys institution that inspires and molds young men to become the best versions of themselves.

Their college-preparatory curriculum includes Advanced Placement (AP) and honors courses in addition to their core curriculum, which is based on the entrance criteria of the University of California.

Accreditation can be found through the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) for the residential schools in California.

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7. Monte Vista Christian School:

The Monte Vista Christian School can be an excellent alternative for parents who want their children to receive an education with a Christian worldview while still having the opportunity to participate in boarding school.

It is one of the best boarding schools in California.

The school is well-known not only for the religious-centered activities it offers but also for the very competitive athletic teams it fields in the Monterey Bay League.

Students have the option of competing in a wide variety of sports, such as football, basketball, soccer, golf, swimming, and wrestling, amongst many more.

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8. Woodside Priory School:

Woodside Priory School is the only Benedictine College Preparatory residential school in California that is open to students of both sexes.

Woodside School has a great group of teachers and a rigorous curriculum that gets students ready for college.

Students have the opportunity to participate in in-depth intellectual conversations with their highly educated lecturers because the typical class size is only six students to one instructor.

This student-to-teacher ratio ensures that classes are kept small. For new students, the institution has a 57% acceptance rate.

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9. Ribet Academy:

Ribét Academy College Preparatory is a private school in Los Angeles, California, that is open to both boys and girls from Pre-School through 12th grade. It is one of the best boarding schools in California.

This school is different from other ones in the area because it has the largest marine biology lab in Southern California, as well as a theater, courtroom, photography studio, and room for an orchestra.

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10. Santa Catalina:

Santa Catalina School is a highly regarded private, Catholic boarding school for girls that is located in Monterey, California. 

Students are challenged to achieve excellence in all aspects of school life, including academics, athletics, and the arts.

Students make the most of the one-of-a-kind possibilities and brand-new adventures that come their way during their time on board at Santa Catalina.

Living in a community is the only way that one can truly acquire the life skills and values that are taught to them.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Boarding Schools in California:

Why do parents send their children to boarding school?

If there is a death, divorce, or major sickness in the family, students can focus on their own growth and development instead of worrying about their loved ones at boarding school.

Is boarding school a good idea?

Boarding schools expose students to a wide variety of activities, including social service, art, drama, and woodworking. Children will get more self-confidence as they discover what they enjoy and are good at.

Can you workout in boarding school?

Many boarding schools provide numerous extracurricular activities to help students break out of their shells.

Can you bring a TV to boarding school?

Dorm rooms at most boarding schools do not allow televisions, and even if they do, they are usually limited in size and require that they be free-standing.


To ensure that your children receive the very best education possible, it is necessary to make concerted efforts such as enrolling them in reputable institutions.

Boarding schools in California give kids a safe place to live because of how they teach, shape, and get to know their students so they are better prepared for life after high school.

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