Looking for an all-boys school that will be a life changer for your son? Army and Navy Academy will help you weigh your options when selecting an all-boys school in the United States.

Typically, families choose single gender education for a number of reasons based on the benefits cited below. Reviewing these benefits will help you determine if an all-boys school is the right direction for your child’s education. Then, check the lists and resources provided to find the best all-boys school based upon various personal preferences.

As part of your research, remember to think about whether you prefer a traditional boarding school, military (day/boarding school) or a private school (day only). It will also be important to consider whether you prefer a denominational, non-denominational. or a private school with a character development program.

If you elect to research boarding schools, keep in mind there are fewer than 40 all-boys boarding schools in the U.S. This could mean your son will need to travel somewhere in your state or even out-of-state to attend.

If you live near a boarding school, bear in mind that most of them do offer a day option for local families. Families often choose boarding schools because they want their son to have an immersive experience, academic support after classes end, mentorship from an umbrella of adults and easy access to co-curricular activities (e.g. athletics, clubs, trips, activities). International families often choose all-boys schools to help their sons improve their English and gain admission to a college or university in the U.S.

So, now let’s dive into the benefits of an all-boys education:

    1. Chance to achieve academically based on how boys learn best – Boys and girls learn differently as substantiated by research conducted by Michael Gurian and other key neuroscience researchers. If boys are to thrive, we need to ensure the learning environment matches up with the ways they learn best. For example, at Army and Navy Academy, classrooms are interactive, hands-on, and teamwork is emphasized. Specialized career oriented electives are offered in areas of interest such as: computer science, aviation, game development, and cyber security.
    2. Opportunity to focus on leadership and character  – During adolescence, boys look for opportunities to lead and sometimes this includes leading in the wrong direction. As a society, if we want to help boys move toward manhood with strong values and take the lead in their lives, we must offer them opportunities to acquire leadership and management skills at a young age. In a single-gender environment, boys have a chance to set goals, gain self-discipline, and assume leadership roles.
    3. Place to develop a value system for life – Private all-boys schools, both denominational and non-denominational, focus on a value system that resonates with boys. This moral compass gives boys some guidelines that are easy to understand and follow. At some boys schools, values like honor, integrity, respect, responsibility, and compassion are emphasized and integrated into all aspects of campus life. Class lessons, activities, trips, and assemblies incorporate these values.
    4. Welcoming environment for healthy competition – Going to a school geared for boys allows boys to engage in healthy competition as well learn the value of teamwork. Whether this takes place in the classroom, out on the athletic field, or in clubs and activities, this is a natural part of male development. Competition in an all-male school gives boys a chance to shine in the classroom, where they can speak up, showcase their talents, and enjoy camaraderie without worrying about competing against girls.
    5. Male mentorship for guidance and support- Most boys’ schools have both male and female faculty, but they may rely exclusively on males for residential life management and for most of their athletic coaches. This means that boys receive guidance from residential life staff after classes end for the day. In a boarding school environment, this would include: clubs, weekend activities, personal hygiene, dorm inspections, dorm meetings, mandatory study time. In addition, these men offer guidance and support to help boys move toward their personal goals and gain life skills. Athletic coaches are also inspirational and further reinforce leadership, good character, and teamwork.
    6. A safe haven for emotions and personal growth – At some all-boys schools, there is a counseling department, specifically trained to address the kinds of issues that come up for boys. This allows counselors to understand issues that may affect student performance and male maturity, without comparison to females on campus. This has a significant impact when counselors push into the classroom to cover various topics related to masculinity, relationships, communications, and other key topics. It also impacts their individual sessions with male students, academic scheduling, and college planning services, without a gender bias.
    7. Academic support systems designed for boys – First, boys like structure, so a structured daily schedule helps them navigate their life and learn self-discipline and key executive function skills. Boarding schools for boys typically offer after-school tutorials, evening office hours with faculty, time to meet with counselors, mandatory study time, and tutoring services. Some schools also offer learning strategies to support boys with ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia and other learning challenges. For international students, ESL or ESOL may be offered to improve English reading, writing, and speaking skills.
    8. Career-Oriented classes, clubs, and activities – Generally, boys like to learn practical skills that tie in with academic subjects and their personal interests. For example, at Army and Navy Academy in San Diego, they offer career-oriented electives like computer science, cyber security, game development, and even a comprehensive aviation program.
    9. Healthy concepts of relationships – Adolescence is a time for boys to forge a personal relationship with themselves without distractions. Of course, at all-boys schools, there are still opportunities to interact with girls at proms, dances, and other planned social activities on campus, but timeframes are far more limited. This allows boys to keep their focus and mature on their own timeline. It also offers them a chance to understand the opposite sex, gain strong values, and good manners before they enter relationships.
    10. Positive Views of Masculinity – Self-esteem and confidence are essential to maturation and personal self-development. We need boys to feel good about themselves and to embrace the best aspects of their gender. In fact, in a survey conducted by the International Boys’ Schools Coalition, school administrators believe the most pressing challenge is to work on “healthy concepts of masculinity and relationships.”

Facts About Boys in School 

  • High School Graduation Rates: “Data supports the claim that boys are falling behind, and dramatically so. For example, there is a growing gender gap in high school graduation rates. According to the Brooking Institution, in 2018, about 88% of girls graduated on time, compared with 82% of boys.” – USA Today
  • College Statistics: “Last year, women made up 60% of college students while men accounted for only 40%, according to statistics from the National Student Clearinghouse. College enrollment in the United States has declined by 1.5 million students over the past five years, with men accounting for 71% of that drop. – U.S.A. Today
  • Reading, Math, & Science Proficiency Levels  – “Worldwide, boys are 50 percent less likely than girls to meet basic proficiency in reading, math, and science.” – Check out the book The Boy Crisis by William Farrell PhD and John Gray PhD.

How to Find an All-Boys School

  • All-Boys Private Schools in the US – For a list of schools by state, Wikipedia offers a full list of all-boys private schools.
  • Review Sites – If you would like to compare schools at-a-glance, Private School Review and Boarding School Review are great sites to check out with filters you may apply. In addition, you can view rankings and other info on sites including: Niche, Great Schools, Study International, Our Kids, The Association of Boarding Schools (boardingschool.com), and other directory listings.
  • Accreditation – If you want to check accreditation, check the school’s website, contact admissions, or check national sites like the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

Now that you have reviewed the benefits and reasons why families choose an all-boys school, you are now ready to do some research based on various preferences. Keep an open mind and consider all your options as some of the best all-boys schools may not be in your immediate area. This could be a chance for your son to reap the many benefits and gain additional life skills in a more immersive boarding school setting.

To gain a full perspective, we encourage you to schedule campus visits based on your top choices.