5 Best Boarding Schools in Chicago 2024 | How to Apply


As expected, no parent wants their children out of sight. Seeing them evolve from cute little darlings to adults capable of making their own decisions brings inexplicable joy to them.

However, they’ve realized that for kids to take care of themselves independently, they should be sent to boarding schools.


A boarding school is an institution where children live within its premises while learning formal education and social interaction from designated authorities.

While some students may scowl at the mention of a boarding school, others look forward to it as they await the adventure that lies within.


Whatever the case, all boarding schools have the same goal of providing care to their students, instilling morals and values into their cores while ensuring they remain sound in their academics. 

In this article, we’ll provide information about the best boarding schools in Chicago, both specific and general.

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Are there Boarding Schools in Chicago? 

Yes, there are boarding schools in Chicago. In the last decade, these schools have recorded a significant increase in the graduation rate of their students into various higher institutions of learning.

This feat has shown that students are the main focus in these schools. As such, the influence of Chicago-based boarding schools on students can’t be underestimated.  

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5 Best Boarding Schools in Chicago

Assessing the best boarding schools requires thorough scrutiny and fair play. Hence, the schools on our list are picked after considering their stands on quality, reviews, and other important criteria.

Listed below are some of the best boarding schools in their respective categories. 

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Therapeutic Boarding Schools in Chicago

Chicago houses some boarding schools where young people with troubled minds, unstable emotions, or psychological trauma can learn while dealing with imperfections. These schools differ as some are single-sexed while others accept both males and females.

Whichever one it is, if you need a school that takes care of you or your child’s mental well-being, Chicago’s got you covered.

Here are some therapeutic boarding schools in Chicago:

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1. The Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School

The school offers academic programs geared towards helping young people and their behaviors. 

Though therapy is the school’s primary focus, academics come second. Teachers are experienced and well-trained in assisting troubled teenagers.

In addition, the school takes a unique approach. Many programs are based on honesty, faith, perseverance, and courage. Students can accept this way of life and incorporate these values into their personalities. They can undergo long-term changes as a result.

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Acceptance Rate: 33.3%

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Military Boarding Schools in Chicago

A conventional learning style isn’t enough, and Chicago knows this. That’s why the state has established military boarding schools for young people keen on learning who don’t mind some military vibes.

Although the daily routines differ from school to school, an average military school student wakes up, ensures that the barracks are tidied up – because of daily inspection – and goes to class. 

Military boarding schools in Chicago are exceptional for their blend of academics and sports. They include:

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2. Phoenix Military Academy

Phoenix Military Academy has an outstanding reputation for character and leadership development despite operating for less than two decades. The academy ensures students become morally upright, academically excellent, and military-ready. 

The Academy focuses on five essential areas for student development: leadership, character, citizenship, service, and academics. Students engage in various extracurricular activities, which help develop their talents and soft skills.

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Application Fee:  
  • Acceptance Rate: 98%
  • Tuition & Fees: No tuition fee (Boarding)

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3. Carver Military Academy

Here, students can participate in extracurricular activities in addition to the disciplined military environment and academics.

The school’s activities encourage students to be up and doing at all times, stay extra alert, and be disciplined in all affairs. Also, the school allows students to prepare for military recruitment while banking on their college chances.

As students get familiar with the school, they’ll certainly love it. Be sure to enjoy your stay at the school.

  • Location:  Chicago, IL  

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Islamic Boarding Schools in Chicago

Not only is Chicago home to boarding schools, but it’s also home to religious boarding schools.

If you’re looking for a boarding school where you can be sure of academic excellence within a working environment that specializes in Islamic doctrines, check this out.

4. Islamic Foundation of Villa Park

The Islamic Foundation School strives to achieve all-around development in students. This development provides students with academics, interesting extracurricular activities, and religion.

Here, students are taught good human qualities and the consequences of bad ones, emphasizing the teachings from the Holy Qur’an. Their tutors are experienced, very understanding, and ready to help students achieve their best in all aspects.

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Application Fee: $50 
  • Acceptance Rate: 93%
  • Tuition & Fees: $8,004

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Christian Boarding Schools in Chicago

As expected, there are Christian boarding schools in Chicago. They teach students academics, morals, and, most importantly, the word of God. They believe grooming students in a Christian environment will make them more responsible, excellent, reliable, and Godly.

If you’re a Christian and feel a Christian boarding school suits you best, the Christian boarding schools in Chicago are there for you. Check this out.

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5. Wheaton Academy

The United States Department of Education has named Wheaton Academy an Exemplary High Performing School due to the school’s excellent records.

Wheaton Academy aims to foster students’ growth through healthy relationships, academic excellence, and service to the Glory of God. Students also engage in competitions and other extracurricular activities. Similarly, they aim to provide students with a Christ-centered, Biblical view of the bigger world outside.

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Acceptance Rate: 93%
  • Tuition & Fees: $52,600 (Boarding)

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Other Boarding Schools in Illinois

While Chicago is just a city filled with dreams, Illinois has some other boarding schools that might interest you.

They’re equally good schools with excellent academic records and student, teacher, and parent reviews. Here are some boarding schools in Illinois

6. Lake Forest Academy (LFA)

Lake Forest Academy draws students looking for challenging and rewarding learning opportunities and meaningful relationships.

Every aspect of LFA’s colorful boarding environment reflects the school’s participation culture. Day and boarding students are encouraged to approach new difficulties with curiosity, open minds, and self-confidence.  

  • Location: Lake Forest, IL
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Acceptance Rate: 86%
  • Tuition & Fees: $45,950 and $61,500 (Boarding)

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7. Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart

Asking difficult questions, making connections, and diving deeply into ideas are all part of education in Woodlands. Here at this all-girls school, teachers encourage students to participate actively in learning. 

Education is a process of transformation, and at Woodlands, young girls learn with a unique blend of academic support mixed with moral and emotional support. 

  • Location: Lake Forest, IL
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Acceptance Rate: 86%
  • Tuition & Fees: $29,400 and $54,530 (Boarding)

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Frequently Asked Questions About Boarding Schools in Chicago

What Is Boarding School Like?

Boarding school students typically follow a highly organized day, including classes, meals, sports, study times, activities, and free time. The boarding school experience is enhanced by resident life. A child’s confidence and independence grow due to being away from home and learning to cope.

What Are the Benefits of Boarding Schools in Chicago?

It’s amazing how boarding schools in Chicago combine academics, sports, socials, and round-the-clock monitoring into one convenient package. For busy parents, that’s a significant bonus.

How does Boarding School Improve the Parent and Child Relationship?

Boarding school has even helped some parents better their connections with their children. The parent becomes the child’s confidante and ally. What happens at home when a student’s room isn’t clean? A parent cannot impose detention, but the school can. This means that when a child complains about how bad the regulations affect him or her, parents can be the shoulder to cry on, which means parents don’t always have to be the strict ones.

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Boarding school is great. Consider Chicago boarding schools if you want to live at home while learning.

Although it requires careful consideration, it might be the best decision for yourself or your kids.


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