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Top 10 Questions to Ask When Looking at a Boarding School

Meghan Mileham, Assistant Director of Admissions

There are over 300 boarding schools in the United States, and finding one that fits your child can seem overwhelming at first. Whether you are looking for a boarding school for learning differences like The Gow School, or just looking to see what options are available, it can be hard to know what question to ask first. We have compiled a list of our 10 most frequently asked questions and our answers. We recommend asking each school you are considering the same questions and compare answers to help narrow your search.

What is the first step in the application process?

There are three important ‘first steps’ when it comes to the Admissions process at Gow.

Filling out an inquiry form – this allows us to keep in touch with you and leads us to the next step…

• Chatting with an Admissions counselor on the phone, 716.687.2001. There is so much information out there, and quite honestly, it can be overwhelming. Each boarding school is different and talking directly to the Admissions Office can help narrow down exactly what your student needs from a school.

• To know if Gow is a fit, the next step is to look at the student’s Psychoeducational Evaluation, which ideally has been conducted within the last three years. It shows us what the student needs academically, and we align that with who we serve best.

Is your application online?

Yes, our application is available online but is passkey protected. Applying is one of the last steps in the admissions process at Gow.

How long is the visit? What is the difference between a preliminary visit and a full visit?

Gow has two different visit options; both have advantages:

• The preliminary visits typically being at 10:00 am and conclude around 1:00 pm. You have a chance to meet the Admissions Office, tour the campus, meet with students during lunch, and wrap up with the Director of Admissions. Families typically choose this type of visit when they are trying to learn more about Gow but are not ready to fully commit to a formal interview.

• A full visit is our formal interview and is a required part of the admissions process. We ask that you have your application complete before the day of your visit. The visit typically begins at 9:00 am and concludes around 4:00 pm. There is ample time with our students, meeting with the Head of our Upper or Middle school and Headmaster. There is also a language and math assessment.

Where is the closest airport?

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is 30 minutes from campus.

Where do you suggest we stay when we visit?

We are lucky to be in a location that has many options available. From a hotel chain (Hampton Inn) to several local B&B’s and many AirBnB’s. To see a full list, please visit our website:

What is the school day like?

In one word, structured. Our students are busy from 8:00 am until 9:00 pm at night. From breakfast and house jobs, to classes, tutorial, athletics, and study hall, our students are always doing something.

How often do the students go on break?

There are breaks every five to six weeks during the school year. Each break is at least one week long.

Where do your students come from?

Although it changes year to year, our 145 students typically come from 25 states and 20 countries.

Is playing a sport required, and what sports are offered?

All Gow students are required to play a sport after classes; sports provide a physical outlet to the rigors of the academic day. To see a full list of the sports we offer, head over to our website:

What do students do on the weekend?

Weekends here are busy! All Gow students have classes until noon on Saturdays, and after a little downtime in the dorms, there are a few trip options that our students can choose from. Anything from going to the mall and movies, laser tag, skiing, visiting Niagara Falls or attending a professional football, hockey or lacrosse game. Sundays our student relax on campus and gear up for the upcoming week by attending study hall Sunday night.

To learn more about how The Gow School can help your son or daughter with learning differences or to start your admissions process, please visit