Methodology for Fortune’s list of the world’s leading boarding schools in 2023

BY Meghan MalasFebruary 27, 2023, 6:21 PM

Your child’s education is one of the most important factors in determining their future. So if you are considering the option of enrolling your child in a boarding school, this decision carries a considerable investment and can understandably be daunting. Not only do you care about academic success, but you also want to ensure a school grants the opportunities and experiences for children to become well-rounded, contributive, and aspirational members of their communities. 

The boarding school landscape is wide-ranging, and there are hundreds of institutions that promise they will be the right choice for your family. To help you navigate your search for the school that’s the best fit for you and your child, Fortune presents its listing of the world’s leading boarding schools in 2023. This directory consists of 250 top-rated boarding schools around the world. 

In partnership with market research company Statista, this inaugural list is based on recommendations made by the heads of school and heads of admission via a peer-to-peer survey, boarding school consultants and agents, and parents and alumni. These online surveys were conducted between June 30, 2022, and November 15, 2022, generating thousands of recommendations for boarding schools from this group of stakeholders. Recommendations of one’s own boarding school were not counted or considered in the evaluation.

In total, almost 5,000 people received survey invitations. Along with the outlined parties, people could actively request participation in the survey via registration, pending Statista’s evaluation of their eligibility to vote. The registration link was announced on and made available online on the project’s information website

Heads of school, heads of admission, and heads of international admission

These boarding school leaders were invited to take part in the survey to recommend and evaluate other boarding schools they know and value. To make a recommendation, heads of school, heads of admission, and heads of international admission filled out voting cards that were distributed by email with a personalized link that could only be used once.

The sample pool of qualified participants was determined via research conducted by Statista on school websites and further available sources. These participants had the opportunity to not only evaluate other schools, but they could also nominate up to 10 contacts to evaluate their schools, who would then also receive a personalized voting card.

Parents and alumni

The survey for parents and alumni only allowed an evaluation of the boarding school attended by the pupil, both in general and by various aspects. 

Boarding school advisers

Boarding school agents and consultants were also actively invited to participate in the survey and could recommend schools.

Evaluation and presentation of boarding schools

To determine which schools would qualify for the list of the world’s leading boarding schools, selections were based on the number of recommendations they received and a score based on that of Satmetrix Systems Inc. The net promoter score (NPS), developed by Bain & Co. and Fred Reichheld, indicates the willingness of a survey participant to recommend a boarding school from zero to 10, with 10 being the highest score.

With these factors in mind, the leading boarding schools featured on this list were assigned a five-star or four-star classification. The list is presented in alphabetical order. Schools are also identified for specific strengths and offerings available to enrollees, such as academic excellence, care and well-being, career and network, community (social and values), learning support, music and arts, sports, and value for money.

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