Top Boarding Schools In Michigan (2023)
Michigan is located in the upper Midwestern United States. It is the largest state by area in the east of the Mississippi River. Finding out the total number of private schools and their enrollments in this state is challenging due to fewer regulations for non-publicly-funded schools. However, the state has 446 private middle schools, most of which are religious.
Among the private boarding schools listed in Niche’s 2023 Best Boarding High Schools in Michigan, the top two are art-related, and the rest are either Catholic or Christian schools. All have high SAT and ACT results above the state’s average of 1,133 (SAT) and 24 (ACT) for the academic year of 2021-2022.
For more details, here is a list of the top five private high schools in Michigan:
List of Top Michigan Boarding Schools
1. Cranbrook Schools
Cranbrook Schools is the best co-ed independent preparatory boarding and day school in Michigan state of the USA (Niche). The schools comprise a co-educational elementary school, a separate-sex middle school, and a co-educational high school with boarding facilities. It has a total of 1,656 K-12 students from various backgrounds and ethnicities with excellent academic results.
Designed by the legendary Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, the school is closely related to art from its design and architecture, its Gold-Crown-awarded student literary arts magazine Gallimaufry, to the great variety of art classes options and its very own Academy of Art and Cranbrook Art Museum. Many of American’s greatest design and art talents came from Cranbrook, such as Bill Prady (1977) – producer of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ TV show. In fact, architecture critic Paul Goldberger of The New York Times called the Cranbrook campus ‘one of the greatest campuses ever created anywhere in the world’.
A perfect combination of art and science, the school’s science students also benefit from the Cranbrook Institute of Science, which contributes to the education of many successful Business and Science alumni. Among them is Ivan Krstic (2004) – IT security engineer and one of the world’s top 35 innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review in 2007.
The school focuses on nurturing creative and critical thinking skills through learning activities that build empathy, foster perseverance, promote inquiry and creative problem-solving, and build mastery of complex concepts.
This vision has led to some astonishing results— Cranbrook Schools students achieved a high average SAT score of 1400/1600, an average ACT score of 31/36 and a 100% graduation rate.
Cranbrook Schools’ tuition including boarding fee is $54,800 per annum for the 2022-23 Academic Year.
2. Interlochen Arts Academy
Interlochen Arts Academy is a private college preparatory boarding and day school for ambitious artists. Founded in 1928, the academy provides a traditional four-year high school with a postgraduate gap year option for students in Grades 9-12. A strong bond between art and academics is embedded in the curriculum as Interlochen students spend half their school day on various types of art classes from the academy’s seven art disciplines under professional artists’ instruction.
Besides academic and art classes, the academy also provides a unique Interlochen 5 program that consciously builds upon a successful artist’s five key global capacities. Moreover, Interlochen Arts Academy partners with Indiana University on their Advance College Project to allow their students graduate high school with extra college credits accepted at most colleges and universities.
Interlochen’s alumni have truly left memorable marks in the world with 50 Presidential Scholars – the USA’s highest award for outstanding achievement in the arts by high school students. The academy’s alumni contribute up to 13 percent of the musicians in the nation’s major orchestras. On top of that, they have brought home 145 Grammy Awards, 30 Tony Awards, 27 Emmy Awards and 3 Pulitzer Prizes.
Some of Interlochen’s most famous alumni are Vince Gilligan – Emmy-winning executive producer for Breaking Bad, Dan Goor – Golden Globe-winning writer and producer for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Ed Helms – actor for The Office, and Ashley Park – lead actress in MEAN GIRLS and Emily in Paris.
Interlochen Arts Academy students achieved an average SAT score of 1290/1600, an average ACT score of 29/36 and a 100% graduation rate.
The Academy ’s tuition (including boarding fee) is $73,200 per annum for the 2023-24 Academic Year.
3. St. Mary's Preparatory School
Founded in 1885, St. Mary’s Preparatory School is a relatively small Catholic day and boarding school for male students between Grades 9-12. The school now teaches 475 students with around five percent being international boarding students from countries such as Poland, China, Slovenia and Canada.
The school provides great facilities for their students with a Science Center hosting outstanding Chemistry, Biology and Engineering labs; the largest high school library in the Midwestern United States and an Athletic Complex which houses a $4 million ice arena and an NHL regulation-sized rink.
Academic wise, the school partners up with Madonna University and Lawrence Technological University to provide college classes with the transcript from the respective universities upon graduation. Some of the courses available are Calculus with Analytic Geometry I and II, General Biology I and II, Introduction to Engineering and Introduction to Psychology.
St. Mary’s Prep alumni profoundly impact the world, especially in sports. Some of their most famous alumni include Allen Robinson – an National Football League (NFL) All-Pro American football wide receiver, Kalin Lucas – a professional basketball player and Big Ten Player of The Year, and Dave Bowens – NFL American football linebacker.
Academics-wise, St. Mary’s Prep students achieved an average SAT score of 1250/1600, an average ACT score of 28/36 and a 100% graduation rate.
St. Mary’s Prep’s tuition including boarding fee is $50,000 per annum.
4. Everest Collegiate High School & Academy
Everest Collegiate High School & Academy is a private co-ed boarding Catholic school for students between Grades 6-11. Founded in 1991, the school has a rigorous academic program built upon the foundation of english, math, science and social studies subjects.
Since the school has strong roots with Catholicism, Everest students grow their personal relationship with Christ through the Integral Formation philosophy, woven into all aspects of their school life. Everest Collegiate High School & Academy is the only PS-12th grade school in Michigan to be recognized as a School of Excellence by the Cardinal Newman Society and the US Department of Education.
For 6th-11th international graders, the school provides a one-year boarding program to immerse themselves in an English-speaking environment. Besides learning English as a Second Language (ESL), they will get to participate in sports, weekend outings and trips on top of the classic American high school activities such as homecoming, school dances and powderpuff football games for girls. International students can also attend the Everest Mountaineers gender-specific English language summer camp on July each year to get a taste of the Everest life.
Everest Collegiate High School & Academy students achieved an average SAT score of 1310/1600, an average ACT score of 29/36 and a 100% graduation rate.
Everest Collegiate High School & Academy’s tuition including boarding fee is $63,045 (Grades 6-8) and $71,945 (Grades 9-11) per annum for the Academic Year 2023-24.
5. Spring Vale Christian School
Spring Vale Christian School is a Classical Christian co-ed school for students in grades JK-12. The school was founded in 1946 and offers boarding services for Grades 9-12. With a mission of making Christian education accessible to everyone, Spring Vale Christian School has one of the lowest private school tuition rates in the United States. The school only enrols 56 students with a faculty:student ratio of 2:1, making this the best value in private education in the United States.
Religion is the heart of school education, complemented by classical teaching methods. Unlike the secular system which gears students towards tests and college entrance exams, the Classical Model expands the aim of education more holistically also to include relationships, careers and leadership.
Each subject is linked to the Christain faith, whereas students are taught towards a curious and open mindset. Oral presentation and exposition are also emphasized in Classical education, giving Spring Vale students advantages in communication, persuasive writing and eloquent language. For extracurricular, students at Spring Vale Christian School have plenty of activities to contribute to the community and experience another side of campus life.
Everest Collegiate High School & Academy achieved an average SAT score of 1310/1600, an average ACT score of 29/36 and a 97% graduation rate. The school’s tuition including boarding fee for Grades 9-12 is $11,500 per annum.
Michigan’s top private schools have fostered many successful alumni who have made a significant impact in the USA and the world. Some of the schools excel at sports and have advantageous college partnerships, while offering affordable fees for private education. All schools are devoted to their belief, be it Art or Religion, while maintaining a good standard of academic achievement for their students.
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