Location: West Roxbury, Massachusetts (a section of Boston)
Type of school: boys' school
Students: 299 boys in grades 7-12
Diversity: 35% students of color
Tuition: $24,300 (2012-2013)
Financial aid: 35% of the student body receives financial aid, with an average grant of $17, 533
Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1
About the School
Roxbury Latin, a 7-12 boys' school located in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, is ranked among the top private schools in the country. Founded in 1645, during the reign of Charles I of England, it is among the oldest schools in the country and admits its students on a need-blind basis. The result is a rigorous, diverse school with unbeatable academics.
The school was founded by John Eliot, a church leader who translated the Bible into the Algonquin language to bring religion to the local Native Americans. Students in colonial times studied Latin to prepare for entrance into Harvard. The school also provide early students with spiritual instruction in an effort to create good Christians. Many prominent members of the early Commonwealth of Massachusetts attended the school, including James Pierpont, the founder of Yale University. Later graduates included Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed Central Park and the Boston park system, and, more recently, Christopher Lydon, the former host of NPR's The Connection and a 1993 candidate for mayor of Boston.
Roxbury Latin's endowment of over $100 million allows the school to admit students on a need-blind basis, meaning that it accepts students without regard to their ability to pay. As a result, the school has a socially and economically diverse student body that hails from many different communities around Boston. Over one-hundred students come from the city of Boston itself.
The academic achievements of the students at Roxbury Latin are notable. For example, on the AP or Advanced Placement exams in 2012, 84% of the students earned 4s and 5s (out of a possible 5), and 49% earned 5s, the top score. The median SAT scores for the class of 2012 were 740 on the Critical Reading section, 740 on Math, and 750 on Writing, for a combined score of 2230-among the highest of any school in the country. Graduates attend some of the most prestigious colleges in the country, including Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Amherst, Vanderbilt, and others.
As a boys' school, Roxbury Latin is attuned to the learning style and needs of boys. The school aims, in its words, to help its students "explore the full range of their personalities and potential and to engage in creative pursuits, and they can discover and express their capacity for compassion and for nurturing support. Part of our mission is to develop young men who can and will participate sensitively and collaboratively in the world beyond." Given the small size of the classes and the 8:1 faculty-to-student ratio, teachers also get to know students well. Seventy-seven percent of the faculty have advanced degrees, and many have taught at the school for over twenty years.
The school's 117-acre campus includes several stately buildings, including a separate arts center and a science center, eight athletic fields, and ten tennis courts. The school fields 55 teams. Students can also participate in activities such as chess, debate, a classics club, Model United Nations, Habitat for Humanity (the Roxbury Latin chapter), and others. The school has many music groups, including a glee club, chorus, a cappella group (The Latonics), a jazz band, and several chamber music ensembles. Roxbury Latin has a casual dress code, though formal dress is required on certain occasions. The school creates an atmosphere in which boys from different backgrounds feel comfortable engaging their whole personalities and intellect.