We are excited to launch our new newsletter, where we update you on the dynamic admissions landscape, and invite you to explore the only directory providing thorough and unbiased boarding school data and descriptions, The Owl Boarding School Guide, which we curate.

As lifelong educators who taught extensively in independent schools, the 20 of us here at McMillan Education now extol the benefits of private schools to families across the country and around the world.

Independent schools not only provide tailored academic enrichment in small classes, they allow children to grow by trying a range of extracurricular activities, and, most importantly, develop as responsible and caring citizens due to the committed team of faculty members who serve as role models. In this edition of our school newsletter, you’ll find the latest updates:

Creating a Broad School List to Maximize Options
Considering Boarding Schools to Tap into the Special 24/7 Care they Provide
Completing the Inquiry Forms before Fall/Winter Campus Visits
Scheduling Virtual, In-Person and Open House Visits
McMillan Education’s Conference Presentations this Fall
See what campuses McMillan Education has visited this summer

Timely Advice for School Planning

1. Building Your School ListSusanna Beckwith offers practical advice on building a broad and diverse school list to optimize your choices.

2. Consider the Benefits of Boarding: Our School Planning Chair, Carolyn Nelson, underscores the transformational experiences offered uniquely by boarding schools.

3. Start Early: Practical Advice on Completing your Inquiry FormsSusanna Beckwith gives school applicants timely advice on the inquiry form process that precedes the school visit.

4. Strategies for your Open House and School VisitsBill Southwick shares his decades of experience as a school admissions professional.

As independent school leaders, we constantly host and visit admissions officers and school leaders to trade notes about current practices.

We also frequently join our colleagues in the school world to present on trends at national conferences, including topics related to the disruption COVID has rendered not only on the admissions process but student mental health as well. We invite admissions officers and school administrators to attend these presentations this fall:

The Enrollment Management Association/SSAT National Conference– Las Vegas, September 12 and 13

Dr. Sarah McMillan will be serving on a panel along with keynote speaker and author Jennifer Wallace, and Debra Wilson, President of the National Association of Independent Schools: How Do We Address Mental Health/Student Wellness Inside of the Admission and Onboarding Process?

Don McMillan will moderate a panel consisting of Susan Baldridge, Executive Director of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), Suzanne Buck, Head of School at Western Reserve Academy, Brian Beale, Director Enrollment at Brimmer and May, and Lisa Pelrine, Director of Enrollment at The Landmark School: Post-COVID Recruitment and Admissions Assessments.

Don and Sarah will be giving a presentation in December at the National Conference for The Association of Boarding Schools in Boston. They will also host a reception for schools at the conference.

Summer Visits!

We use the summertime to reconnect with School leaders through in-person visits, tours, and events. McMillan School counselors joined OxfordChapel Hill-Chauncy Hall, Bancroft, and Canterbury at Boston’s oldest tavern.


Rachel, Bill, and Carolyn pretended they were students again, enjoying a lunch break at this funky table at Greenwood School.


Bill, Whiz, and Heather visited 7 Southern New England boarding schools (PomfretRectoryMarianapolisSt. George’sPortsmouth AbbeySt. Andrew’s, and Tabor) where they caught up with admissions folks, toured campuses, and met amazing students.

Stay Tuned…

Our new video series, Inside the Owl Guide, releases this September and highlights boarding schools of the Independent School League.

Our upcoming W.I.S.E. Advice on Educational Planning podcast episode on Building a School List releases September 28.